Sunday, 29 June 2014

Lots of Surprises in Store today at Oare House

Looking through my Twitter feed this morning, I noticed via NGS that Oare House near Marlborough was open today, and since it's only open twice a year, plus it was very lavishly described on page 594 of the Yellow Book, I decided to pay it a visit.
The 1740s house extended in the 1920s by William Clough Ellis is splendid, and there are some lovely pots around the house, and small garden areas with long borders, a small greenhouse filled with tender pelargoniums, all of which I photographed, not realising that there were far more  photogenic aspects to the visit.
Here are a selection of photographs illustrating the most interesting parts of the garden which took 2 hours to look round, and that was with a speeded up last section.
At the back of the house, there 's a huge formal lawn and borders:
And beyond that a swimming pool:
With gloriously planted formal beds:
And behind this area, there's a tulip tree in full flower:
And then there's the pavilion to visit, this can be seen from the house and is reached by a walk through parkland and woods:
You can only just see the pavilion between the trees, but when you do reach it, the shape is familiar, and when I looked it up, I discovered it's the only building in this country designed by the architect
I.M. Pei who also designed the pyramids at the Louvre in Paris. Here's more information:
Here it is this afternoon:
 Woods near the pavilion
 And just before getting back to the main part of the garden, there's a secluded pond where there was a green woodpecker feigning injury to protect its young giving a superb view of its plumage.
Back at the gardens, the kitchen gardens are extensive and micro managed, providing plenty of fresh vegetables

 Lettuces were grown carefully in patterns:
And the long perennial borders beyond the vegetable garden were fantastic
 Is this the seed head of an Allium?
 I think we'd seen most things, when we went for tea and cakes in the potting shed with its polished tools and cold frames being utilised to grow vegetables when I noticed a sign for the glasshouses.
These were tremendous, with this huge Fuchsia with a thick woody stem, yet a smallish pot being very impressive. There were many tender pelargoniums including my all time favourite Pelargonium ardens behaving itself remarkably well for once.
I'm sure I've missed out lots of things, the view for one of Pewsey Vale seen from many parts of the garden:
One of the best garden visits ever. Thank you NGS for organising such fabulous gardens for us to visit.

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