The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lovely Stourhead

An Iconic View at Stourhead: The Palladian Bridge and the Pantheon Accross the Lake

The Temple of Apollo

The River God’s Cave Seen from the Grotto.

An Ancient Liriodendron tulipifera, the 'Tulip Tree", an American Tree that Grows in my Native Pennsylvania

Crinodendron hookerianum aka the Chilean Lantern Bush

Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana known as the Handkerchief Tree. Note the "handkerchiefs" Scattered Beneath the Tree.

Yesterday we visited Stourhead, the 18th century landscape garden with a series of classic temples, mystic grottos and rare exotic trees on a path the takes the visitor around a beautiful shimmering lake. The gardens were designed and laid out between 1741 and 1780 and inspired by painters, in particular Gaspar Dughet, who painted idealized views of Italian landscapes.

Many of the trees are Champion Trees and are the largest or best examples of a particular species in Great Britain. A tree that was new to me was the Crinodendron hookerianum or Chilean Lantern Bush. It is an evergreen tree with unusual red flowers that look like little lanterns on fire. We also saw two very nice specimens of Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana or the Handkerchief Tree. They were magnificent in bloom with their characteristic large white pendant bracts that look handkerchiefs. These trees were first introduced to Stourhead in 1935.

Stourhead is world famous as landscape garden and rightly so. Not surprisingly, it is many ancient trees that have long been grown in Great Britain. I had forgotten, since my last visit, what a excellent resource it is for anyone interested in seeing magnificent specimens of rare and exotic trees hardy in England.


  1. So pleased that you're enjoying the trip! Just hope that the weather holds up for you. Charlotte

  2. Charlotte,
    I have been having a wonderful time and I have been using your blog posts to prep daily. Many thanks!!!

  3. What a dream to be in, Michael. Did you want to leave, or were you tempted to stay behind in a grotto?

  4. Faisal,
    It has been a bit of a dream! Back to reality in two days.



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