While the cat's away [or in this case the small person is in France] the mice will play.....we had a free weekend so we toddled up to Bedford to spend it with a dear chum S.
Being in the right area it gave me the perfect opportunity to visit Wrest Park which has been on my list of places to see for some time [I knock a few off every year and add just as many new ones onto the bottom] The house and gardens were owned by the Grey family from the medieval times until the early 20th century when it was sold. It is now in the hands of English Heritage who are doing a huge amount of work to the grounds with more to follow. The most interesting aspect to the gardens is that, unusually, three different periods of garden design, as different Greys have made their mark upon the gardens, have been retained in respect to their forebears rather than sweeping their choices aside which is so often the case. As for me- it didn't warm the cockles of my heart as it was a little on the grandiose and formal side for me. I found it a little sterile not being a fan of statues and Capability Brown landscaping [he landscaped 170 gardens in his lifetime but as far as I can see he managed to achieved 170 gardens that look the same!] However, a most lovely afternoon and the cafe does wickedly large slices of chocolate cake!! As for the relaxation part of the weekend....my friend loves to cook for people and I love being cooked for so everyone's a winner! Some photos to give you a taste of what we saw.
Imaginative plantings- there weren't many to see but these appealed to me!
Rather strangely a two tailed mermaid.
View from the terrace along to the pavilion. The whole garden is heavily French influenced and it really shows in this view.
Chinese style bridge.
Window detail from the dairy.
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