Brooding topiary at Longner Hall

Is it just the British who have a penchant for pottering around stately homes when the so-called summer weather is typically 'iffy'? Not too far from here is the lovely Longner Hall, who were having a garden open day. 

So Brian and Jean from next-door, Joe and myself all crammed into one vehicle and bimbled across the lanes to have a little look and admire the topiary.

I do like a nice topiary bird.


But I like even better, sinister green domes who seem to be watching you as the rather grandiose 'big house' looms overhead.

 Some people like grand houses.

I am more taken with the ramshackle.

Such as this sweet little conservatory nestling between shapely hedges. 

 Or intriguing secret paths leading to who knows where?

And cunning doors which beckon you to enter...

 ...revealing the most beautiful Victorian walled garden.


And then the rain descended, as it had been threatening to since we arrived.

We all took shelter, packed like sardines in a funny little theatre shack and I passed round mints some found at the bottom of my bag. Jean found them a little strong and had a slight coughing fit.

Once order was restored and the rain passed, we carried on admiring the neat and orderly rows of vegetables, lined up like soldiers on parade.

 One of the old glass houses has been restored.

And already filling up with tidy rows of geraniums.

In the manner of these things, just as we were heading off, the clouds cleared to reveal beautiful Shropshire.

Back along the ever-so-long drive. It's time to return to our own humble but much loved homes, full of grandiose ideas for schemes which may one day come to fruition. Who knows?


Twiglet said...

Lovely post - we do live in a beautiful county don't we.

Frances said...

Gretel, I am imagining how much inspiration you must have gotten walking around those gardens...even with the rain interruption. Yes, funny to have sunny bookends at your arrival and departure.

I agree with you about preferring a bit of intriguing ramshackle to opulent perfect grandeur.

One of my recent posts has lots of pictures of Central Park's Conservatory Garden, a place I think you'd also enjoy seeing for yourself.

We've now reached the challenging city heat and humidity-filled summer days. Very chilling ac at work is making for stark contrasts with my days off!


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Beautiful post! So much to see and take in. You are blesses to live in a country rich in history!

Jess said...

We spend many a happy hour visiting National Trust properties. VERY luckily for us my husband was given a lifetime membership when he was 18 so we take great advantage of it on any spare day we can! Saturday we went to Montecute House, a very large stately house decorated with amazing medieval stone figures and all sorts. A definite exception! I love the topiary in your pictures, it looks like you had a very lovely day out.
Jess x

Lilbitbrit said...

I love the word bimbled. Lovely to visit on an iffy day.

Deb said...

Hi Gretel, I'm long overdue to say thanks for your lovely book which I bought last winter. I've just posted a blog explaining how finding your work inspired me to pick up my needles and I hope it leads a few others to discover you too!
Debs :)