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.