Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Westbury Court Gardens



The Water Gardens at Westbury Court.

This pool was full of Koi.
Westbury Court was a beautiful Manor House with gardens in the Dutch style.  Unfortunately, the house is gone, but the gardens have been saved and renovated.  The Dutch style of gardens were all the rage in the 1600, but in the 1700's they were ripped out to make way for the new style popularized by the landscape architect,  Capability Brown.  Fortunately for us, the owners of Westbury were not wealthy enough to go for the latest styles, so the Dutch garden remains.  It includes several water features, a vegetable garden, formal gardens, orchard, and 3 of the oldest trees around.  One of the main features of such a garden was the garden house; a two story building, with windows all around the second story so one could view the gardens to their best advantage.

A Holm Oak planted in 1580

As you can see, it is a very big tree.

Who knew that raspberries came in any color but raspberry?
When we arrived at the gardens, the woman in charge told us to be sure and visit the vegetable gardens.  The plants were all from the 1700 or earlier.  "Oh, and please try the golden raspberries, they are coming on strong!"  So we did.  She was right, they were delicious!

The Formal Flower Gardens

The Orchard had a diamond shape pattern mowed into it.  The brown parts have bulbs that bloom in the spring.

The Garden House, for viewing ones garden away from the prying eyes of servants.
One of big concerns of the National Trust for Westbury Gardens are the yew hedges.  With the warming of the climate, which means cooler, drier summers, the yews have developed a disease for which there is no known cure.  There are scientists working on a cure, or at least a new strain of yew that is not affected byt the disease.  The hedges are one of the main features of the garden.  Also, the water table is rising, so the area has experienced major flooding for the first time ever.  They are trying to come up with ways to protect the property.

Espaliered Apple tree on the garden wall.

The tallest Liquid Amber tree we have ever seen!  They grow these in California as front yard trees because they don't get too big.  Obviously, they've never grown one long enough!
The local church, which was once part of the manor, still is in use.  It's old graveyard has headstones leaning in every direction  The ground itself is very uneven, making walking difficult.
Gravestone with a beautiful angel.

Some of the stones are straight and some are crooked.

The Church at Westbury Court.

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