Hougthon Lodge Gardens is situated on the river Test. We wandered through the lovely village of Stockbridge and promised ourselves to come back for creamed teas later.
The garden walk starts with the discovery of the new greenhouse and one can see that they are fond of hydroponics. This is new to me to see hydroponics in the UK. But why not? I always found it exciting to try all sorts of cuttings to have them made roots in water alone. They were never in contact with soil and stayed in that clay substrate. My plants, however were mainly indoor ones and the outdoor plants for hydroponic use were mainly in big containers for roof gardens or terraces where heavy soil was not appropriate. It needs very low maintenance and I should do again some cuttings.
Already at the entrance gate, one is invited to pick apples and other fruits from the walled kitchen garden. We could not resist and tasted a few different apples. I also liked that everything is labelled and all the labels are quite peculiar.
Autumn colours are so warm, aren't they?
And there were still plenty of flowers on show.
After the walled garden, we enter the peacock garden.
It invites to sit and to observe. Very calming.
Coming out of the peacock garden, the view is suddenly captured by the lodge.
This lodge is of a very particular design and its differently shaped roofs are charming and give it a special beauty. Inside in the tea room, it is explained that the lodge was used as a pretty background to one of the "Rosamunde Pilcher" films which are shown on German TV. It also says that the original conservatory around the house had been added much later. As it caused damp inside the house and endangered the wooden structures, it had to be put down again and was replaced by the more open glass roofs which one can admire now.
In front of the lodge, alongside the river Test, is the park with really huge ancient trees.
Suddenly one is frightened by a steaming monster. It is the dragon topiary.
Extremely well designed, the dragon keeps his eggs and tries to scare whoever approaches by letting out steam of his two nozzles.
When going down to the river, there is a little summerhouse built for kids and one finds colour pens and paper and on the walls hang all kind of children's pictures and writings.
We explore further and find the long border and more summer like flowers.
It is a kind of tree poppy, very fragrant. No chance to have one like that in our climate.
Also nerines were flowering, which are very difficult to keep where I live.
This iris is not mistaken by the season but is a winter flowering type. But obviously again only for milder regions.
I am pleased that solar energy is also one of the things which are used at Houghton Lodge Gardens. All together, this garden provides the feeling that the people who look after it are interested in and do care of our planet's future.
I was intrigued about the message on that picture. Does it mean: "take your time" ?
Visiting a garden in some kind of dull weather is not so bad when you know that a nice welcoming tea room in a cute location like Stockbridge is just round the corner :-).
We enjoyed the scones and already looked forward to visit Mottisfont Abbey.