The date was fixed ages go, so my friend Sue and I were delighted when the weather earlier this week turned out to be wonderful for our planned visit to the National Trust property at Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire.
From the car park it is a 15-minute amble down through parkland to the house, so we were very pleased to learn that later in the day a bus would bring us back up if we wished. Deferring the pleasure of a coffee, we turned aside to visit the conservatory.Once refreshed, we just wandered around taking in the general picture.We did think this rather spoiled things,until we saw that why it was there. We learned later that Tim, head gardener, would spend his entire life cutting these hedges if he could get away with it.We continued to wander and saw animate creatures as well as plants.At noon we joined a small group led by an excellent volunteer for a guided tour round the gardens. We also learned about the development of the property by William Brathwayt at the turn of the 18th century. It has been very little altered since then, apart from some Victorian improvements to domestic offices. When the National Trust took it over in 1956 it was in a very deliapidated state. The Trust has been restoring the gardens and grounds to the spirit of their original conception ever since.
Photo opportunities galore of plants near…and very near, with…
and without insects on them.After lunch, we discovered nooks and crannies, and learned that Henry, the cat we had seen earlier and saw again now, lived in a flat on the first floor of this courtyard, climbing up the vine to get in his window.We visited the church,
and wandered a bit more.Then Sue decided to take it easy while I went on another guided tour, of the woodland terraces. Less photogenic this time, but it was interesting to hear, from the same volunteer as had led the morning tour, the story of their development, decline, and current restoration.
There was no time to visit the house. That must be for another time, at perhaps a different time of year, in order to enjoy the gardens at another season.