While I was away last week, we visited Biddulph Grange. The house isn't open to the public, apart from the gift shop, a small cafe and a garden room. It's a magnificent Victorian pile, complete with a belvedere on the roof to view the beautiful vista of the gardens. And they are truly stunning. Despite the overcast weather and the everpresent threat of rain, we managed to explore about half of the gardens. We will be back for more one day!
The gardens cover a cleverly designed and densely planted fifteen acres, with formal walks, lakes, caves, follies - and above all, trees. Stalely trees, whimsical trees, colourful trees.This is the view from the terrace, and the entrance to the gardens. We'd missed the full glory of the rhododendrons and azaleas, but enough of the former still bloomed to give us an idea of what they would have looked like.
The water irises were flowering along the lakeside, reminding me of home and the irises that grow alongside the River Avon and in the watermeadows. Lakes and rivers are some of my favorite places, and I love to try for arty-farty photos, playing with reflections. It doesn't always work!
This is another view of the house, looking up from the end of the lake before we walked into the darkness...
But before we explore the first of the follies - I think a fake cave leading on to another feature can be called a folly - I couldn't resist this. A tree and rocks. I've no idea what kind of tree it is, but the way it's growing from/around the top of the boulder caught my eye. [It looks better in a larger pic...]
And the cave... It needs a hermit, or Merlin, or even a dragon! It's quite a long tunnel, and leads on to some beautiful places. Including my favorite - the Chinese Water Garden.
Time and the weather meant we didn't get to see all of the gardens - another reason to return. There's so much more to see, and the next time I visit my friends in the West Midlands, we'll definitely go back.
There's quite a bit of information on Biddulph Grange, and other people's photos, HERE on Wikipedia
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