Chelsea Flower Show, London & Country Gardens with CarexTours Pt. 4

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Let’s geek out on architecture for a few moments, shall we? When I travel, I am at least as motivated to capture shots of fascinating architecture as much as fantastic gardens. And on THIS portion of the trip, I was utterly stunned.

Our fantastic CarexTours guides thankfully had us staying here at the Ettington Park Hotel near Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire for two nights last spring because I think I would have thrown a fit otherwise. This grand building deserved the attention. I only wish I could see it again in summer.

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We arrived in the late afternoon on a typical spring day in the UK, gray, sprinkling, chilly and windy. But, we were rewarded with such incredible drama from this Grand Dame we didn’t even notice.

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The entry hall was ready for us with bikes, umbrellas and even Welly’s to borrow!

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Once we were all given our rooms it was time to do a bit of exploring while dinner was being prepped. ThisĀ was our private dining room where I felt SO under dressed!

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Our incredible dining room even had hidden passageways of course!

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The main salon just off a tiny little bar area was exquisite, my colors!!!

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The view from our dining room was looking toward the remains of this once private chapel for the family who originally built this incredible property.

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The hotel and recently undergone a major renovation and they did a wonderful job bringing this folly back to life. Wouldn’t it be fun to be there during an event?

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My own room was AMAZING. Though I didn’t shoot pics of it because it was quite modern in contrast. My bathroom was GIANT!

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Though it was still quite brisk, you could feel spring and I bet this garden get more beautiful by the day!

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The color of the wisteria blooms was incredible against the warm golds of the local stone used to build this enormous building.

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Hotel guests having fun goofing with this photographer while waiting for dinner service to begin!

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Everywhere you looked, the details imparted by artisans of bygone era’s were sumptuous and truly a sight to behold. The hotel told us that they believe it’s haunted as staff regaled us with stories of ghostly sightings in the halls.

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Can you imagine the time and level of attention to detail that each doorway took to make?
It was truly a reflection of wealth, power, and devotion to the church and state.

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Visiting the ruins of the former chapel was in and of itself spiritual. Maybe it was just me, but in the quiet, all by myself, it was like you could physically feel the history all around you. I could have photographed it for days.

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There was a tremendous amount of history here. This was a space where children were laid to rest.

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I realize these are a bit challenging to read, but if you can, take the time to try, it will be so worth it!

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Incredible details like this were everywhere inside the dark chapel area. There was a closed off portion still quite intact that a few people got a tour of, I wasn’t on the ball enough to get that tour, but I got to see other parts of the property that no one else paid attention to so it balanced out!

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One of my favorite shots because you can see the hotel through the one portion of broken glass.

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More details from the chapel!

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Epic Cedar of Lebanon standing guard near the chapel as we look back toward the hotel and a ray of sun!

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The gorgeous mature trees gave such a feeling of intimacy on this property.

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Heading away from the hotel to the back of the property, we were told there were even Roman ruins here at one point too. This path I followed took me past the employee living quarters and the old tennis court behind this wall. Forget me Nots abound!

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Honeysuckle takes its victim. šŸ™‚

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On top of one of the maintenance buildings….can you imagine how incredible this must have been at one time? The copper alone must have been quite something!

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Then you turn to see THIS! Glowing fields of rape seed were incredibly dreamy.

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These horses seemed to have a GREAT life!!!

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Heading back to the hotel before dark, one last look at the scene. Sigh……

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Night time fell and she lit up like a fairytale castle. Off to bed and the next incredible place we visited! Stay tuned!

If you liked this post, go to THIS link and see about taking a tour with CarexTours for yourself. I was incredibly impressed and felt it was a truly life changing experience!
Until next post, CHEERS!

Chelsea Flower Show, London & Country Gardens with CarexTours Pt. 3

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Spring at the Pettifers garden in Oxfordshire owned and designed by Gina Price is a privilegeĀ to behold. Upon arriving, you have no idea the delightful spectacle that awaits you through the beautiful gate.

 

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The front of Gina Price’s home gives only a minimal taste of what you’re about to see. Our tour group came in through the larger gates on the entry drive.Ā 

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This fantastic color was only mildly foretelling of the visual treat we were in for during this lovely visit.

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Wouldn’t you LOVE for this to be your garage? I could have photographed just THIS for half the day, there were SO many fantastic details to take in and it was so neat and tidy!

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Then you turn and take in the incredible old country home before you. Since 1984 Gina Price has been gardening here after her inspiration from learning about the “New Perennial Movement” that emphasized featuring grasses within the mixed border. Her interest in focusing on perennials rather than the tradition of roses and shrubs became the theme of the garden.

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Keeping certain larger formally clipped, traditional shrubs for the effect of defining spaces served this garden very well!

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I could not take my eyes off of the two urnsĀ placed on top of the pedestalsĀ filled with succulents in cracks and crevices. The blending of two seemingly distant trends in the garden of traditional, old world and the new ways of using practical sedum for color, texture and low maintenance beauty were magical!

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The deep borders displayed voluptuous colors in both flowers and foliage and were incredibly well designed. Combining both old world planting style with 21st century ideas came together expertly.

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Drifts of spring perennials and bulbs worked together in harmony. I would have loved to be able to see this garden in fall too!

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Renowned for the formal parterre garden of clipped boxwood and yew, it also had a quite graceful, casual flair as well.

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Far from the house, this portion of the garden featured more demure color. This clematis must really be a sight in summer!

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Seating both intended for socializing, view gazing or solitary contemplation marked spots all over the property.

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I love the artistic nature and placement of these smooth wooden chairs and the unusual shapes that reminded me of oxen yoke.

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A broader shot that shows the lower part of the garden away from the house and the beautiful rolling hills and glowing rape seed growing in the distance make for an iconic view.

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So many plants to photograph, so little time!Ā 

 

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Happy gardeners!Ā 

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Terrific backdrop for garden loving couples!Ā 

 
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Gina Price on the far right generously toured all of us through her exquisite landscape answering all of our questions before serving all of us proper tea and crisps.

 

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Pettifers also enjoys having a very talented garden assistant on site who had a wonderfully encyclopedic memory for plants and the history behind the garden too. It was a pleasure chatting with her!

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It was our good fortune to be visiting this garden in spring to catch it at the beginning of the growing season all fresh and lovely. What a garden!

Want your very own taste of the English countryside in spring? Click HERE for more information on the spring tours that are about to happen for 2017 and how to secure your own spot. GO-CLICK-NOW! šŸ™‚Ā