A week ago, in the best company possible for this day out, I went to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Sussex. I love all open air museums and skansens and this one was no exception. I also loved that we decided to go in Autumn when the fire in most of the houses was already lit giving the places even more atmosphere. Step back hundreds of years and enjoy the beautifully preserved buildings (from Medieval cottages and Tudor houses to a Victorian school, there is so much to see) and the most charming cottage gardens.. (for which I’m already thinking about a Summer visit too)
When thinking of Chatsworth, only such words as magnificent, elegant, grandiose, lavish.. and so on come to my mind. But then please, is there a walled garden? A vegetable garden? A cutting flower garden? Not that these couldn’t be elegant or magnificent but well, I know you know what I mean. And yes, there is, all of the above. And that’s exactly where I spent 95% of my first time ever at Chatsworth.
I almost went to Chatsworth in the Summer when I was in the area but the harsh Summer sunshine and heat just put me off. This time, I got soaked. I was locking my car thinking, shall I take my rain jacket? Hm .. So my photos are quite limited due to the fact that my camera (or my cardigan for that matter) is not waterproof.
At the garden entrance (of course I only bought a ticket to see the gardens, the house will have to wait) a a very friendly member of staff gave me a detailed map of the statues in the garden and I almost said to him, please, please, keep it, just point me to the direction of the kitchen garden. I’ve been following Becky Crowley, the super-talented flower grower of Chatsworth, on Instagram for quite a while now so seeing the gardens almost felt familiar. It’s such a shame she was on holiday as I would have loved to meet her but I’m sure I’ll be back very soon. Until then, here are some of the images I took that day.
By this time the rain was quite heavy. My final rain shelter was the first Duke’s Greenhouse, that was also a very inspirational space, I loved it a lot.
I love Winter. I especially love very cold days when it’s dry and the sun is shining. This is how last Saturday was. And as our friend stayed, we went for a walk in Great Milton, a village near us. This pretty village is famous for Raymond Blanc’s Manoir. We didn’t go in for a nice cup of tea, no, but we decided to walk around the gardens. Even in the depth of Winter, the gardens were full of beauty and inspiration.
The village itself is quite quintessentially English, thatched roofs, cosy cottages and hollyhock still flowering. And because until just a week ago it was very mild, there were many signs of Spring with cow parsley, snowdrops and daffodils showing off their greens. When Spring is back, I’ll be back too.
All photos taken by my iPhone.