Sunday 25 July 2010

The Gardens at Chatsworth

On the way home from our camping, the young man suggested that we should look around the gardens at Chatsworth(!!!!!). Turns out, a few of his school friends had recently been on an arts class trip and he couldn't ever remember looking around the gardens (even though has been loads of times!) and he must have felt as if he was missing out - so off we went.

The gardens are the work of the genius Joseph Paxton - I love this passage from his diary. I often think I fit a shift in at home before I get to work at 9am, but Mr Paxton beats me hands down!! (double click to make it more readable.)

Chatsworth is the stately home by which I measure all other stately homes - only Versailles has ever impressed me more up to now. The location of Chatsworth is simply stunning, and the "Devonshires" have really made the most of this stunning building. I find it amazing that they manage to still live here as well as let Joe Public ramble about too.

Paxtons glass houses are full of peaches and nectarine's.

The borders of the formal gardens near the house are planted with both hot and cold colour schemes. I couldn't decide which was my favourite.

Water features by the gallon around the gardens - this is the famous lake with the gravity fed water spout.

There are many gorgeous ponds teeming with wildlife.

A weeping tree

and of course the magnificent Cascade, fed by the lakes on the moors above.

No matter how many times I visit Chatsworth, I always find something I havn't seen before. On this visit, we discovered the coal hole....

...which led to a tunnel that allowed them to move coal about under the gardens without being seen.

There are some magnificent sculptures dotted around, both old and new.

This chappy kept a modicum of decorum.

I think this is Neptune.

The Rabbit is very similar to the ones in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

There were a couple of these - they looked great against the sky.

This chap appears to have cut his own skin off!!!!! No modesty here!!!!

My favourite bit of any large garden is the Kitchen Walled Garden. I would love to work in here. I have to confess that the raspberries, red and white currants were too tempting to leave. The Duke and Duchess may be a few berries short of a summer pudding this weekend! I couldn't think of anything that wasn't growing in the garden - fruit or vegetable wise. I so would love a garden like this - to pick and cook within minutes. The walled garden is on a very sunny slope and they even had watercress growing in a pond fed by a man made stream, which then went on to water the greenhouses.
The green houses were growing all manner of items including melons.

Apples and pears were growing in an old orchard as well as over the arches. They use every inch of space.

Of course, they grow everything organically here and they run courses throughout the year in the gardens, but the course that really took my eye was spending a day helping out on the farm. I could really fancy that.

One of the problems with Chatsworth is that there really is too much to see and do in a day. We spent all day in the gardens and didn't see all of them. Fortunately, we don't live too far away for a return visit. I do think that admission prices are great value for money too.

The biggest problem with the place though is the gift shops. Oh my. There are several dotted about selling gifts, fancy food, gardening paraphernalia, and just lovely lovely stuff. I couldn't find one thing that I wouldn't have loved to buy. In the end, I was very restrained and spent only £2.75 on a container for herbs for my kitchen.
A while ago, we watched a programme with Vic Reeves talking about his wife Nancy. He said that she had gone shopping for "baskets and sh*t" - my family pounced on this phrase, and now use it to describe the sort of shops that I like!! Nancy would love the shops at Chatsworth.


topchelseagirl said...

Oh I've always wanted to visit Chatsworth, but it's always been so far away. Altho I'm a bit nearer now. Thanks for all the fab photos.

Unknown said...

It's one of my favourite places too Diane. Please tell me you go at Xmas time to see this gorgeous house decked out in lights and baubles and everything Christmassey. The Hans Christian Anderson theme last year was magical.

Jill x

The Patchwork Heart said...

I just want to say Hi! I made your recipe for mozzarella puff found on another blog and it was gorgeous it will be a regular now thanks!
Heather ~ The Patchwork Heart ♥

Lyn said...

we too like Chatsworth, although we have not been for a few years. The last time was a Christmas to see it decorated. I can see they have added a few other things in the garden since then.

JP said...

I can feel a visit to Chatsworth coming on!!!

Ray+Joan said...

U.Ray & I have passed Chatsworth House many times on our way back & forth to Basingstoke/Yorkshire but never been there even when my nephew Mark worked at the reaturant in the grounds,
One day. A. Joan x

Rosie said...

Lovely, Diane - it's ages since we went into the gardens at Chatsworth - your photos make me want to go again soon, it all looks wonderful. Regards Newstead - it's 30 years since I last visited there so I can't think where you are remembering unless it was Rufford - I did a post on that a year or two ago - you've got me wondering now:)

periwinkle said...

you really do visit some lovely places , wouldn't mind that kitchen garden myself

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Such a beautiful place...I'd love to visit there some day. I think the gentleman with the shears got a little carried away!

Seriously, though, you do have so many wonderful places to visit and do such a terrific job writing about them all!

Nearly there Claire said...

Did you see the Duchess' Cochin hens? They roam about on the lawn...they're the same breed as my chicks! Sweet! I feel a visit over yonder coming on too! x

Rowan said...

We're lucky to have Chatsworth so close, the farmyard and adventure playground is our usual target when we go as we usually have grandchildren in tow. The shops are a magnet too:) I haven't been in the gardens for years and have never seen the coal tunnel, sounds fascinating. To be honest I much prefer Haddon Hall though.

Ms B. Thrift said...

ROFL love the Vic Reeves quote :)! So pleased you enjoyed Chatsworth gardens again, I find when I visit I have to do the hall or the gardens as both in one day is huuuuuge so it's easier to spent time enjoying them if you do them on seperate days. So pleased you found so many of the garden treasures, lovely photos you took too!

Gilly said...

That is a hare, Diane! Look at his ears! And very similar to the two bronze hares I saw at Chintsworth lodge when I went to Surrey. (see my blog~!)

Never been to Chatsworth, and probably never will now, too much walking. Although its not far away, Mr. G is not a fan of Stately Homes!

But your photographs make up for that - they are stunning!

The Girl said...

Love Chatsworth. Only been a couple of times and both times didn't really go near the gardens, just walked up a massive flippin' hill. Would love to go back and see the house and gardens properly!

Lisa said...

So many reasons to visit. One day I will.
Baskets are great!
Lisa x