My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sunday afternoon outing

Today I had some domestic chores to do (like shopping to eat!) but I was determined to get out into the rare sunshine. As I only had the afternoon, I stayed local heading off for Syon House and Park.

The House was built by Edward Seymour, Lord Protector, between 1547 and 1550; and prior to that, on the same site until the dissolution in 1539, stood Syon Abbey.

This is the home of His Grace the Duke of Northumberland. Having five brothers and sisters, he used to spend the summers at Syon which has been in his family for over four hundred years. The park and gardens were designed by Capability Brown, and it's very hard to imagine that you're only about ten miles from central London.

I didn't visit the house on this occasion (will save that for another day) preferring to be outside - so I duly headed off for a walk around the Great Conservatory and the gardens. What made me really cross here was a family who, despite the numerous notices asking folks NOT to sit on the wall of the new lily pond, actually lifted up their children to do just that, in order to have their picture taken; and the parents had already read the notice. Words fail me!!!!

The gardens are well maintained but in a natural relaxed way. Whilst there are the occasional "formal" style planting of beds, in the main it's parkland and the dead wood has been left to become sculptural interest in its own right!

I really enjoyed my wander and, fortunately, there weren't too many people about.

The (outstide of) the Great Conservatory - this is a curved building with a massive central dome and "hall"; (this can be hired for functions)

and a stroll around the inside

Looking up to the central dome

getting ready for one of the many functions held in the Conservatory

The new Lily Pond

Cacti - getting rather high!

The garden and lake views....
This towering ornament in the gardens was created c.1758 when the 1st Duke of Northumberland converted a large orchard into the 'Syon Pleasure Ground'. Flora stands on a 55 foot (16.7m) column and overlooks a lawn named after her that has organically grown herbaceous beds containing ornamental thistles, Euphorbias, Pholox, Scabious, Gypsophilia and great clumps of Prince of Wales plants. The other principal feature of the pleasure ground is the lake which is a haven for wildlife including terrapins!

I believe these are the roots of Swamp Cyprus trees

Pumped up water is carried up through this tree stump and then finds its own way down to fill the lake

A male and two female Mandarin ducks decided to have a swim

Reflections of the weeping willow

and several Comma Butterflies around on the September flowering Sedum together with a very green fly!!

As no invitation for afternoon tea was forthcoming I headed off for home.


Goosey said...

What a lovely place to visit, the lake with the bridge over it looks like the Monet painting.Glad you had a good time there.

mick said...

Great photos of a very beautiful place.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I just loved this post Tricia and can't wait for when you go back are so lucky to be able to just visit these places that I dream of...can you just wander around outside and inside too??? Did not look like many people were there either...oh such a yummy post ...more more...cheerio. said...

beautiful the flowers and insects

Eagleseagles said...

My local patch! Saw Fieldfares there lasr week...not the gardens in the main park...look out for where the cattle are - if they are near the road you can get all sorts of birds!


Janine said...

Here we call those those cypress roots "cypress knees"
They are thought to help bring oxygen to the root system of the tree, since they typically grow in flooded swamps where the rest of the roots are under water.

Tricia said...

Thanks to you all for your great comments.
Goosey - yes, it is a bit Monet-ish
Ocean - there's a small entry fee for the Conservatory and gardens - more than worth the price! Higher charge for the house.. I will go back for the house one day, but no picture taking allowed!!
Eagles - will watch out for the fieldfares!
Janine - knees is a very apt description!

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