Monday, 22 July 2013

Madingley Hall 2: The Gardens

024 mad window Saloon stone mullions stained glass roundels w arms of kings queens England end 19th C lsc Capability Brown mid 18thc

Remember when I visited Madingley Hall?  Through the windows of the Saloon, I glimpsed the Gardens, laid out by the famous garden designer Capability Brown in 1756.

I couldn't wait to get out of the hall and wander through those amazing grounds.

041 mad grassy avenue lancelot 'capability' brown 1756

It was a sultry summer's day.  I took off my shoes and walked barefoot on the perfectly-mown lawn.  There's nothing quite like springy soft turf under your soles.  Absolutely gorgeous!

042 mad shoes lawn

I don't know an awful lot about garden design but this combination of wild meadow and architectural formal bushes strikes me as peculiarly English.

043 mad meadow

Don't you just want to wander down this grassy path?  Like Little Red Riding Hood being tempted into the woods?

044 mad meadow path

And what do you find down in the woods?  Not a Big Bad Wolf but this lovely lichen-clad statue along the Lower East Walk.

045 mad statue lower east walk

046 mad statue cu

Yes, there's art in the Madingley Gardens, too.  Sculpture among nature:  is there anything more Romantic?

This bust of an ancient God stands at the end of the long formal grassy walk, the one with the clipped bushes on either side.

047 mad herm

Turn around, and you will see the north façade of the Hall.  It was built in the 1590s, and re-designed in 1909-10.

048 mad facade shoes

See the arched shapes at the bottom of the façade?  And above them, the light-coloured rectangles?  This heraldic bird of prey is one of them.  Don't you love its stern eyes and lolling tongue?

049 mad dragon

A bit further on in the wall, we find this gargoyle.

050 mad gargoyle

051 mad gargoyle on triangle

And under the terrace, the Buddha Pond.  Note also the fun beast's head.

052 mad buddha pond

I walked around to the south side of the building and found this Hazel Walk, planted in the first half of the 19th century.

053 mad hazel walk1st h 19th

Goldfish and lilies in a pond.

054 mad pond

The Sunken Garden, full of white flowers.

055 mad sunken garden

A sundial invites you to sit and dream.

056 mad sundial

Lichen, stone, spiky grass and fatty leaves:  all sorts of textures.

058 mad lichen

And a lush display of polygonatum or Solomon's Seal.

059 mad poly

Now why does the one in my garden not look like that??

060 mad poly zizou

Look out for my future blog post, the third and last in the series on Madingley Hall:  Murals of bears and wild boar in the turret.

Enjoy these hot summer days!


Part 1:  Madingley House (and its paintings)

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