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The other Hampton Court – Part 1

Just a hour’s drive away, following the A49 south into north Herefordshire, is the “other” Hampton Court. It is much smaller and less well-known than its London namesake, but we love it. It is a garden of many moods from a formal Dutch style canal garden, a potager, herbaceous borders, sweeping expanses of lawn with towering Cypress trees,  a riverside walk to a dingle with grotto and pool. Who could ask for more?

We went down for a visit in September taking friends Tony and Jean with us and their granddaughter, Lucy. They are our daughter’s in-laws and niece. Jean has loved gardens for ages, Tony is excited about recently discovering them and Lucy, just 2 years old, simply loves being outside and looking at everything around her.

Naturally we arranged to meet up with them in the coffee shop situated in the beautiful orangery. The lawns outside were decorated with sculptures for all tastes.

The saxophone playing sculpture serenading visitors enjoying coffee and cakes in the Orangery.
The Tree of Wishes provided insight into children’s thoughts and imagination.

One unusual piece of sculpture was “The Tree of Wishes” upon which children hung their wishes written on cards. They made inspirational reading, some sad, some happy and some that just made us think. “I wish my Mum was Happy”. “I want to play for Man United when I grow up.” “I wish I had a sister.”

Jude takes Lucy for a walk around the pool in the canal garden.
And on that pool lived a dragon!

Throughout the garden interesting bespoke buildings delight and surprise.

This beautiful building is one of a pair in the Dutch Garden

The beauty is in the detail.

Down by the pool at the bottom of the Dingle hides this thatched beauty.

And again the detail is worthy of a pic or two.

The best garden buildings of course are those with enticing seats.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

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