Petworth Park : A Landscape with Capabilities

deer park sign

Petworth Park and Pleasure Grounds offer a wealth of possibilities for short strolls, a long walk with, or without, the dog or just a promenade around the the gardens. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-17830, the renowned landscape designer of the 18th century whose 300th anniversary happens to be this year, transformed the 700 acre estate at Petworth into the one we see, and can walk in, today. As we stepped out from the small formal area behind the house  into the larger, grander landscape Diana exclaimed with delight that it was like stepping into Brown’s landscape.

walking into the landscape

Walking into the Landscape

At first she was frustrated that people were strolling across her photos or picnicking just at the spot where she wished to take a picture of the house but we soon realised that, of course, this was just how it was in Turner’s day. Diana really wanted to see the deer but the hummocks (which I tried to convince her were deer at rest) were just hummocks of grass in the distant landscape.

long front

The Long Front of Petworth House

the house

Petworth from the Upper Pond

the lake

The Upper Pond

dog

The Dog of Alcibiades in The Upper Pond

paths to longer walks

Tempting Paths to Longer Walks

Thank you, Diana, for your company and enthusiasm. I suppose I’ll just have to bring Oliver with me next time😉.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Geffrye Garden of Smells

Time flies! It’s already over a week since I was in London and Surrey and at home we’ve been busy, busy, busy. And now it’s nearly time for me to reopen the pages of My Irish Times. This year I’m going Dutch for the first ten days and working my way from north to south.

Anyway, that’s for next week, in the meantime last Friday (13th) I was in London and on Saturday and Sunday in Surrey … and beyond.

Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye in January this year

Continue reading

Boboli Gardens

early view

Early morning view of Florence from the Boboli Gardens Terrace

Friday morning dawned dry and promising so, having foregone a wet afternoon there on Thursday, I decided to get packed and hurry over to the Pitti Palace and gain entry to The Boboli Gardens when they opened at 8.15. This gave me about an hour and a half to walk around, check out the most significant features and return to the apartment to collect my bag by 10am and head to the Railway Station to pick up our bus to Pisa Airport. Continue reading

The Arts & Crafts House in Newcastle and in Leeds

Back in the summer of 2015 on my drive down to Cornwall I was faced with a dilemma. Whether to visit the LAND sculpture created by Antony Gormley as part of the 50th birthday celebrations of the Landmark Trust and installed alongside the Stratford upon Avon Canal outside the Landmark property Lengthsman’s Cottage. Or whether to call in at Compton Verney House to view the exhibition “The Arts and Crafts House; then and now”. In the end the Landmark won the day.

Then earlier in January, I don’t remember how I came across it, I found that the Laing Gallery in Newcastle was showing the same exhibition until the 31st of the month. I knew I would get to see it and who I hoped would come with me. Continue reading

A Book Launch at Middlethorpe Hall, York

Garden Equation

A couple of months ago I contacted Sally Tierney (The Yorkshire Garden Designer) as I’m hoping to improve an overgrown area of the garden and make it into a little haven of tranquility with raised beds of herbs and flowers and a special garden seat but with minimal upkeep as I am away such a lot. I liked her premise that your garden should fit into your lifestyle and not the other way round. When she first arrived in October and we talked about my ideas she christened it ‘The Reading Garden’. Sally then told me about her forthcoming publication and invited me to the book launch. Continue reading

Ancient Ireland [6] : Youghal

youghal poster

It’s beginning to seem like every place in Ireland has ancient connections and that this thread will run and run. But here is another walk description of the ancient port of Youghal (pronounced Yawl), Co. Cork. My walk was a guided one with local town crier, Clifford, in his full town-crying regalia. But it more less followed the suggested Town Walk in this leaflet which I have abbreviated here.

ring-of-cork-clifford-winser

Clifford Continue reading