Thursday, May 10, 2012

Architecture, Gardens, Prince Charles - We Must Still Be in England! 

Today's blog does not include even one kitchen.  I'm sorry, but it's spring, spring when all bloggers' fancies turn toward gardens, at least this blogger's fancy does.  First we'll look at a home designed by Prince Charles's favorite architect, Quinlan Terry.  Then we'll visit a garden in Sussex.  And lastly, I'm sending you to You Tube to view Alan Titchmarsh's four-part interview with Prince Charles at his beloved estate, Highgrove.

In June of 1985, Architectural Digest devoted its entire issue to "The English Country House."  I've saved this issue and, when in my English period of design, carefully studied all the homes and gardens.  One of the architects I found most appealing was Quinlan Terry because he remained true to his English roots.  He did not try to be nouveau anything; he "remained true to the great tradition of domestic architecture in England...."  A quick disclaimer here - because the pictures of Waverton House were so beautifully spread onto two pages, I either tried to scan both pages at once or placed them side by side.  As you know, I have difficulty with blurriness or split images when doing this, but the house demanded it.  Be patient and just enjoy.

My son will be most upset when he sees the split above and the blurriness below, but isn't it a beautiful house.  It is considered a medium size country house and took three years to complete.  At his desk, sits Jocelyn Hambro, owner of Waverton House.  Love almost everything in this room, even the draperies and I'm not a devotee of draperies with swags and fringe.  It all fits here.  (What did get cut out is the owner's dog peering into the fireplace, in case you wondered what Mr. Hambro is looking at.)

Leather books line beautiful book shelves.

Mrs. Hambro and I must have been reading the same book on bargello needlework.  I once stitched this very same pattern in the very same colors for my dining room chairs.

The fireplace into which the missing dog was looking.

A view of the rear of the house and just as beautiful as the front.  The trees surrounding the house must have been there even as it was being built.  Their large size really complements the house.

Architectural rendering of Waverton House.

Now it's onto a garden in Sussex which "the late Lady Birley created over a fifty year period."  The image below includes the garden's dovecote at Charleston Manor.  ( I think my English fantasy house will have a name and a dovecote.)

Notice the identical gate on the other side of this garden which leads to the manor house.

Yew hedges and poppies.  Am I the only one with ravenous yew-eating deer??  I think they fence the deer in England.

A huge climbing hydrangea clambers over the wall below.  Don't you just love that roofline and those chimneys peeking over the brick wall!

This is one of the largest "tithe" barns in England.  Half of it was converted into the owner's studio.

And now as a final treat, at least it was for me, a tour of the garden of Prince Charles - Highgrove, presented with Alan Titchmarsh.  (Alan Titchmarsh is a well-known gardener, author and broadcaster in England.) I have loved Highgrove in every book and magazine article and video in which it appeared and which I could lay my hands on.  I admire Prince Charles's garden aesthetic, but especially his devotion to gardening organically and his devotion to the enviornment.  His garden has inspired me over the years, and hope it will you too.  (Also, note the interior of Highgrove as the interview moves indoors.  It has so many of the English elements we have been discussing.)  Now, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy an hour (each part is about fifteen minutes) touring a most beautiful English garden.

You must click on the link that appears after choosing the first, second, third or fourth segment.

Alan Titchmarsh visits Prince Charles at Highgrove

Part two of Highgrove

Part three of Highgrove

Part four of Highgrove

Enjoy your week-end, and get out into your garden.  Till next time-


  1. Thank you! Thank you! I did not know about the interview. I took a quick preview, but will savor the entire tour / interview tomorrow when I have the day off.

    I visited Highgrove 2 years ago. An experience I will never forget. Simply put: Magical!! It rained the whole drive to HG....I was devasted. A chance of a lifetime crushed by lovely English weather. When we parked, the sun miraculously came out. The tour started in the orchard reception room, then through the gardens, and ended with tea back in the orchard room. The walled kitchen garden with the sweet pea tunnel was unbelievable. The sundial garden, which used to be black & white, now has touches of color.....via a new head gardener. Alas, photos were prohibited.

    Looking forward to the interview tomorrow!

  2. Billie,
    Highgrove is on my to visit-list!!! So beautiful and charming! So good that you saved all the older magazines where you find the most gorgeous pictures!
    Thank you for the links! I will watch the video's about Highgrove this weekend!
    Happy Mother's day!!