Friday, 18 March 2011

Garden history ...

Renaissance Garden in Pieskowa Skała, Poland
Gardens ... now that Spring is springing, or Autumn autumning round the corner on the other side of the world ... and as my brain has been having a blip or two in its overwhelmed befuddled state ... I thought I’d write about some of Britain’s finest gardens that I pass on my trips to Cornwall ... but

... I will save those for another day .. because when I looked up Garden in Wikipedia .. I found an amazing array of garden pictures .. and thought these will be just fine and with a few short annotations will be a delight to look and wonder at.  (and yes I am doing the A - Z challenge .. so you will get short posts - surprisingly!)

Click here for more information on the A - Z Challenge

Plan of St Gall
 So saving my brain a little ... which is being stretched in other directions .. here goes, and for more information please just check back to Wikipedia. However I have to get the history bit in ... the etymology of the word refers to enclosure - from Middle English ‘gardin’, from Anglo-French jardin of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German 'gard', 'gart', an enclosure or compound, as in Stuttgart.

The words 'yard', 'court', and Latin 'hortus' (meaning garden, hence horticulture and orchard) are cognates – all referring to an open space. In Britain we refer to an enclosed area near a residential building as a ‘garden’, whereas in American English this would be referred to as a ‘yard’. Isn’t it interesting how the words travel?

Copy of the Plan
 So much for the short and saving my brain .. but well I enjoy it! This Plan of Saint Gall brings together the Latin ‘hortus conclusus’, with the word 'enclosure', 'garden' and 'yard' derivations we use today - as it is the only surviving major architectural drawing from the 700 year period since the fall of the Roman Empire to the 13th century (1200s).

The Plan depicts an entire Benedictine monastic compound including churches, houses, stables, kitchens, workshops, brewery, infirmary, and even a special house for bloodletting. However it appears never to have been built.

Despite those unknowns, much has been learned about medieval life from this architectural design. The absence of heating in the dining hall, for instance, may not have been an oversight but was meant to discourage excessive enjoyment of meals. In the quarters for the 120-150 monks, their guests, and visitors, the ratio of toilet seats was better than those which modern hygienic codes prescribe.

Cottage Garden

To me this Plan epitomises gardens as we know them today ... their history, their variety, their specialities and how all scholarly disciplines have drawn and will draw on them; having said that .... the ancient rulers of Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome for over 4,000 years had their gardens ... then Byzantium and Moorish Spain kept garden traditions alive in Europe during this 700 year dearth of interest in gardens.

By this time a separate gardening eastern tradition had arisen in China, which was taken up in Japan, including miniature landscapes centred on ponds, and separately into the severe Zen gardens of temples.

A typical Italian garden at Villa Garzoni, Italy

The Italians rediscovered descriptions of antique Roman villas and gardens which led to the creation of a new form - the Italian Renaissance Garden; these designs were carried north into the rest of Europe, where they prevailed until the English style of landscape gardening took over.

 The predecessors of the landscape garden in England were the great parks such as those created by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664–1726) and Nicholas Hawksmoor at Castle Howard (1699–1712); Blenheim Palace (1705–1722), the Landscape Garden at Claremont House (1715–1727). These parks featured vast lawns, woods, and pieces of architecture, such as the classical mausoleum at Castle Howard.

The gardens of the great and the good continued to develop owing much to the Age of Exploration, while the spread of scientific knowledge gave us new species; specialist gardens came into being, such as botanical gardens .. along with new gardening specimens and wonders to behold.

Chatsworth - a grand English Garden
I’d like to give you a description of The Pleasure Gardens at Eglinton Castle, Scotland .... where you can really “see” the grounds as described in the 1840s:

“Its princely gates soon presented themselves and we thought we should easily find our way to Irvine through the park. It was a rich treat to wander in these extensive grounds. We soon made way through a handsome avenue to the gardens. The hot-houses for fruits and flowers are on a magnificent scale, and on reaching the parterre we were delighted with the elegance which pervaded it.

Movable stone blocks in the
old heated wall of the walled
garden, Eglinton
 A glassy river with a silvery cascade came gliding gently through these fairy regions, as though conscious of the luxuriant paradise which it was watering. Nor was the classic taste wanting, nor horticultural skill, to render this a region of enchantment. Two elegant cast-iron bridges, vases, statues, a sun-dial; these pretty combinations from the world of art could not fail to please the beholder.

Leaving these luxurious regions we again wandered among thick woods, and occasionally obtained glimpses of the proud castle, peering over the trees. At length we found our way to a seat beneath some noble weepers of the ash tribe, and here we had a fine view of the castle, towering majestically over the dense foliage.”

In the late 1700s and early 1800s some walled gardens would have one hollow side with openings into which a fire could be set, allowing the heat to spread along the wall protecting the fruit growing against it, while the additional heat would escape into the garden. Hot houses were being engineered.
Côté du dôme de la Roseraie du Val-de-Marne

Garden history moved with the population’s growth, the rise of the middle classes and then the factory workers as they had a little extra money to enjoy – we still get the magnificent gardens, that transformed themselves into commercial ventures, but cottage gardens came to the fore, the Arts and Craft Movement, at the end of the 1800s, brought further design and experimentation through wild gardens, colour plantings, cottage inspired borders ...

... all manner of gardens are to be found around the world .. which now include so many types: community, container, sustainable, sensory, raised, roof and living-wall gardens – where there’s a space plant in-fill can give us so much pleasure.

Farmers paint a picture of a water buffalo
using flowers at FuLi Town by the
Huatung Highway in Taiwan
 At the start of Spring and the wonders of the Summer to come .. enjoy your walks in the park, trips to country estates, strolls through the bluebell woods, tennis in between the herbaceous borders or rose gardens and your own little area of green wealth that bring our homes so much pleasure (and work!), through their abundance.

Here’s to all gardens ...

Checkered garden in Tours, France

Dear Mr Postman – my mother was an excellent gardener and still comes up with the Latin names for plants, loves having fresh flowers around, especially those with scent – but all flowers give of that freshness ... which cannot be captured through chemical essences. She will love the reference to the toilet spaces, and the bloodletting room ...

She always comments on Washington’s teeth, or lack of .. we’ve had some sad news which I’m working through with her –hence my hiatus in posting ... I’ll be back! Keep well ... here’s to Spring too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


TALON said...

Spring is finally creeping close here...though a long-range forecast shows more snow (not uncommon for us even into April). But seeing the garden appearing again is so exciting - a thrill each and every year.

I'm smiling at your mother commenting on Washington's lack of teeth, Hilary :)

Dot said...

Thanks for the gorgeous gardens! And the history.

Sorry to hear you've had sad news. Hoping things will get better. Hang in there, Hilary!



Thank you Hilary for the guided tour around the gardens. It was so relaxing to read and see the beautiful pics. I've been round afew myself when my husband was alive , we used to love to visit gardens and the like,

Have a wonderful week-end.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Thanks for all the interesting facts. The word origins and the bit about fireplaces in the garden walls fascinate me.

Of course, you do realize you've made my spring fever almost unbearable with the pictures! I'm longing to see tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and all the blooming trees. I'm finished with winter. :)


Jill Kemerer said...

How did you know I ADORE English gardens? I take giant picture books of English country gardens home from the library all the time.

About a half hour away we have a lovely formal garden for touring. It always makes me smile!

Excellent post!

Karen Lange said...

Love the photos! :) Thanks, too, for all the lovely info. Your blog is a treasure chest of goodies.

Hope things are looking up for you and your Mother. Missed seeing you during your absence.

Have a good weekend,

vered said...

Interesting! If you ever visit me in California, you are going to love my rose garden. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. yes - we've got snow .. well I should THEY have further north! But it's still jolly cold down here .. the daffodils are out, hyacinths and some tulips .. but being cold they'll last longer. It is wonderful how the Spring rejuvinates the land once again .. bliss!

Mum does amaze me what she remembers .. and I've just heard someone say to their niece .. that her sister (the mother) used to say when you take your plates out - that's if you know if your mouth is in good health??!! Overheard through the walls!

Cheers & enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dot .. so good to see you - and delighted you enjoyed the gardens + the history, of course for me!

Yes it's been a 'thinking' difficult time .. we're fine .. just letting my mother know .. and thanks for the thoughts ..

Hugs to you back .. I guess those must be big hugging arms? I'm so naive with these emoticons ... one day! Dot, hope you have a peaceful cheerful weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. I was going to write about the Gardens I could visit on my trips to Cornwall .. but that went by the board .. have you been to Gilbert White's House and Garden at Alton? or the Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight? ... so many lovely places to visit all the way down .. one day I shall do them!

Visiting gardens is a glorious relaxing time .. just pottering, wondering at the design and colours .. must bring back some lovely memories for you.

You loved your gardens on your recent visit to the States .. a few of your photos showed that interest.

You too have a good weekend - if it warms up a little and stops raining .. I'll be grateful! Hilary

Diane said...

Every year I try to grow a wonderful garden, but I really do seem to be green thumb challenged..... oh well. :O)

Talli Roland said...

Fascinating, Hilary! I love gardens -- I grew up surrounded by them and I really missing them, living in central London!

Yay that you're doing the A to Z Challenge!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. how lovely seeing you here .. and now so pleased I put the fireplace wall in!

Sorry .. I think we all get like that at the 'end' of winter .. I hope it arrives with a burst of glory very soon .. isn't amazing - those bulbs just bring joy to life ..

Thank so much .. you too have a peaceful weekend... Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jill .. great seeing you here - a little birdy told me that the 'over the pond' people adore our English gardens!!

Gardens to visit are wonderful - they have so many creative ideas in them ... at all times of the year .. and yes smile away!!

Delighted you enjoyed it .. many thanks .. enjoy the springing weekend! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. thank you and how wonderful to know that I've been missed - partly my own doing .. partly something that happened .. and two bits of news that sort of scuppered bright ideas .. and Japan - so all in all I got de-overwhelmed and indecisive.

The mind is full, full of ideas and sometimes it's a little much .. my mother said this week - she didn't know I had so much creativity in me!! I'd love it if she could participate a bit more - but such is life sometimes ..

I think my next post will explain a few things ... then it's A - Z!!!

You too have a happy time .. Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The word "Garden" sounds much better than "yard". It makes a promise and even teases a bit. Will there be lush flowers and thick plush grass? Huge, majestic trees? I hear "garden" and think this. Here in Canada, garden means plants. Yard mean property. Not near as picturesque a term. We should outlaw yards in reference to the home and garden.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered ... I definitely will visit you one day ... you are a lady of many talents - a rose garden ... ooohhh I wish you were nearby and I could pick some for my Mama - she does love them.

California Dreaming!!??!! Enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. good to see you here - thanks for coming by .. I think it's one of those things where practice makes perfect! And something that's learnt over the years .. keep going - you'll beat the green thumb challenge and overcome!

Enjoy all the plants around you and just enjoy the fresh air and the successes that you have .. Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli - I think if you looked around .. time I know! .. there'd be lots more gardens than you realise - but not as obvious as country gardens.

I envy you your parks and Kew Gardens, and all those squares, then the riverside .. but to have a big garden would be wonderful, I agree.

Yes - A - Z challenge coming .. you founding member ..

Enjoy the weekend if the weather gets warmer .. it was cold in London too yesterday! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. you're right - Garden does sound better than Yard .. I've always thought so!! Yard to me equates to dirt ..

So in Canada .. a garden is similar to the British garden .. plants, trees and grass - lush or otherwise!

I'll vote for you ... Gardens yes, Yards = plant holders (machinery sort), or areas of sundried dirt) - they had yards in South Africa too ... ah! - that was because of the Dutch and German influences ...

You live and learn! Cheers - Hilary

Short Poems said...

Love the photos, so beautiful! :) :) Your blog is a treasure with all the great info!

Hope things are good for you and your Mother.
Much love

Earth Poems

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela .. I loved the photos - that's why I had to put so many in .. couldn't leave them out ..

Delighted I've created a treasure trove! Love those words .. woven strands of information ..

Mum and I are both fine .. thanks so much for the thoughts .. enjoy your weekend .. Hilary

Joanne said...

Wow, these put my little tomato patch into proper perspective! But I must say, by August when my plants are reaching over the top of their stakes, heavy with ripe tomatoes and I look at my garden, it feels just as grand as the wonders you show here.

The Words Crafter said...

I LOVE English gardens!!! And it's terrible because I have a 'brown' thumb, lol.

That's okay, I can look at your lovely pictures all day...happy sigh.

Joyce at I Take Off The Mask said...

Hi Hilary! What beautiful gardens they are! I am reminded of the story about the secret garden, and I'm transported back when I was a child, enjoying nature and without a care in the world. ;)

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

I wondered why I wasn't seeing your usual "footprint" in the blog world. When I opened your post, I thought, "Aha...she's been lounging with the earthworms and seedlings."

Hope your sad news will lighten with time and lots of friendship, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. good to see you - ah! but our little plots of greens, yellows, reds and rainbow colours delight our eyes every day - especially as we can watch provender grow and produce - delicious fresh tomatoes off the bush. That quiet sit in the chair on a summer day's purveying the beauty all around our little place .. can never be replaced .. a delight .. as Joyce says our secret garden .. enjoy it aspringing .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi .. they are fantastic aren't they - so many varieties .. oh dear .. I'm sure it'll get to green sometime - it's just worth while practising .. and I remember an uncle saying to me .. 'see that stick' me = yes, uncle 'well I'm going to see if it sprouts' .. on another visit .. 'see that tree' .... yes it was that stick - so patience is a virtue with gardening, trial and error and lots of dirt!!

Glad you enjoyed the pictures though .. perhaps you should become a plant crafter? might change your luck?! Cheers & enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joyce .. thanks - they were all beautiful and some got left out! Love those secret doors into an enclosed world of plant privacy .. those little spaces we created amongst the bushes - where our minds could wander.

You're so right .. those days of enjoying nature without a care in teh world .. yes - transport me back! Happy thoughts and have a good weekend ... Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. thanks - I'm fine .. just indecision over a few things - and everytime I thought I'll do that - a glitch in the thought process occurred ..

Wish I'd just been out puddling around with the worms and seedlings, pruning .. the worms and moles have been busy though, the birds are feeding furiously and chirping happily as they build their nests and do their thing ready to fill the nests!

Then another trip to Cornwall .. reminded me of great gardens - except we got history too!

We're well .. these things happen - this was just a little unexpected and I have to consider my Mama in the process.

Enjoy the weekend .. it's lovely and sunny here - but with a heavy frost ... love the sun though - Hilary

Paula RC said...

Wow what amazing pictures and thoughts on gardens, Hilary. I couldn't imagine being with out my garden. The sunshine always brings out the gardener in me. I can hear it brings out the gardener in others too as the sounds of lawnmowers fill the air.

Best wishes to your mum and your good self. It's great to know she still remembers all the latin names of plants I just know the names my grandmother told me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jamara .. thank you .. they were so brilliant to find .. adding the historical notes gives their development some depth and understanding and how times change.

I know - getting out into the garden, just savouring the fresh air, pottering around weeding, dead-heading .. just so peaceful .. accompanied by the birds singing, the bees buzzing and the insects crawling or flitting around .. and lawnmowers - I love mowing!

Thank you for the thoughts re my Mama .. I don't remember the names I'm afraid - one day perhaps I will!

Enjoy our sunny weekend .. I presume it's sunny with you too?! Cheers Hilary

KM Nalle said...

OH, I'm so excited for spring. It's foggy this morning here and the temps are below freezing. The trees are all coated with white frost-which is beautiful-but I can hardly wait for this afternoon, when the temperatures will be in the 50s!

Thanks for the reminder that spring is coming. I've always dreamt of having a beautiful garden, but I think I'd need a beautiful gardner to go along with it!

Paul C said...

Enjoyed this history of gardens. A common theme is that great gardens arise out of a plan or design.

Helen Ginger said...

Fabulous gardens. Thank you for all the pictures - and the words about them. I'm not much of a gardener (my husband is, though), but I do love to look at them and learn about them. said...

Absolutely love the checkered garden it's like a patchwork quilt in flowers! :O)

Southpaw said...

You hit on one of my favorite topics. I love gardens. There are so many different types of gardens everyone can find the perfect retreat for themselves. When I was a kid, I use to design gardens on paper.

Spring is coming which means tulips where I am – I’m so excited I can wait for them to bloom!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kari Marie .. I know - it makes our hearts beat faster - just the extra light, sunnier days and greens, colours ..

The white frost sounds pretty horrid - but we had it too last night and into the 50s .. not sure what it is here - it's cold out there though!

Actually you've got a good point there .. the gardener, I add that in as essential! Cheers - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. you're right I'd just loved the idea of the St Gall plan - but as you say the vision and being able to actually turn it into something so beautiful - would love the talent.

Good to see you .. and glad you enjoyed it .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. you have a talented husband .. ?! Clever lady to nab him ....

Aren't the gardens just amazing .. and what can be done .. and then how it all occurred over time ...

I love any loved and cared for gardens ..

Now's the time to enjoy .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. yes - that garden had to be displayed .. it is beautiful isn't it. I just want to take a trip to Tours in a few months and have a jolly good look .. thanks so much for the comment - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly - oh great .. good to see you. There are so many different sorts and as you say we can all find our own little treasure .. or create our own.

Ah - but you're the design queen .. so I can imagine you doing that - think of all the emoticons and typefaces you could incorporate now into your paper gardens ...

Tulips .. oh oh - I was going to include the Keukenhof Tulips gardens .. but left them out - may do a post in early May - as that's their time here .. I'd love to see your tulip displays one day .. fields of flowers - so glorious.

Enjoy the times ahead - Hilary

Kathryn Magendie said...

Wow! This is fabulous! And so appropriate to tomorrow being first day of spring. We're having early growth this year - hope we don't have a Blackberry Winter come to hurt it all!

Mariette said...

Dearest Hilary,

Thanks for your visit and I loved to stroll through all those gardens here. We have been lucky for living and working in Italy in the Veneto (45 minutes out from Venice) and also living and working in Indonesia so gardens are not new to us. We do maintain our own kind of botanical garden here in Georgia; however hard with this climate. It is such a beauty from mother nature to enjoy day after day...

Lots of love,


Susan Scheid (Raining Acorns) said...

You've set out for us a wonderful array of facts and history about gardens, none of which I knew. Thank you so much!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kat - delighted you enjoyed it - yes I sort of forget milestones as they pass .. eg St Patrick's Day and now Spring ..

Have you really got early growth - I thought everywhere was behind .. but do you mean blackberries or Blackberry techie .. they would hurt!

I've never heard of the term Blackberry Winter .. interesting thought .. this year was a whiteberry frozen winter!

Cheers and lovely seeing you here .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mariette - thanks for visiting again - a pleasure seeing you. You have been lucky with the places you've lived .. I've never been to the Far East and one day will definitely get there.

Beautiful if you have a botanical garden .. that must be so interesting and as you say mother nature does provide us with lots of beauty. Tricky gardening in tough conditions though ..

You too have a wonderful weekend .. and with love - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Raining Acorns .. well your little seeds with grow into Oaks of trees!

Delighted you enjoyed the quick tour of the garden through the centuries .. pleasure to please!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend .. Hilary

Betsy Wuebker said...

Beautiful, Hilary! Spring is about to be sprung here in Minnesota and everyone is good and ready for it. Delightful post. Thank you for the wonderful views. Loved that terraced villa in Italy - we should spend a couple of weeks there being waited on like royalty!

Becadroit said...

Thanks, this was very interesting. Love the St Gall history.
In Australia, houses have back yards, but not every yard is a garden as some are little more than lawn. I love the history. It's certainly rich detail for creative writing though, gardens.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Seeing all these visual delights and your excellent and informative corresponding notations, you've made me wish to proceed out into my garden and get it well and truly prepared for the 'wee folks' that call it their home :)
And Chatsworth is but a short drive from where I live. What a marvellous place in a marvellous setting.
Now that spring has arrived, may we celebrate the new awakening in the great outdoors.
Happy spring and to think it started with the glowing wonder of the 'supermoon'.
Cheers Hilary and thanks for a fabulous blog site.
With respect and kind wishes, Gary.

BK said...

Thank you for writing this Hilary. I didn't know that garden was for the better well off people. Right now we get to enjoy it for free and we tend to take it for granted.

Sorry to hear about the sad news, I hope they would go easy for your mother.

Anonymous said...

This is all SO beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful GREEN. My daughter LOVES this. I just love coming over here to see what awesome topics and photographs you have written about and posted. And thank you for your kind words of sympathy re: the passing of my brother. I am so glad it's at peace now. I also enjoy the wonderful comments you leave on my posts. You are a treasure!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. I saw your post yesterday and needed time to absorb - so interesting.

Gosh - it just makes such a difference when Spring really does arrive ..

The Villa Garzoni does look truly beautiful .. it's just north west of Florence - beautiful part of the world .. and yes if your fortune comes rolling in let me know and I'll meet you there - likewise for me if luck turns her face this way!

Just the holiday would be brilliant .. and a little villa - where Pete can cook .. his food sounds too delicious! Little stalls to get fresh food each day .. bliss!

cheers - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Beca . great seeing you here - and delighted you enjoyed the St Gall history.

I think you're probably like the South Africans .. the houses out of the suburbs tend to have yards.

You're right .. gardens need to be created don't they .. plants, shrubs, trees etc are required along with the ubiquitous bit of green lawn or dried earth .. as it became in SA sometimes!

Thanks for the visit - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gary .. well that sounds like an excellent idea .. now that Spring is nearly here .. the wee folk are scuttling around already.

Chatsworth - one day I must get up and visit - the big estates have that marvellous vision of the 'garden' designed by the landscape expert .. in houses or palaces such as Blenheim, Stowe, Longleat .. to name a few.

The supermoon was rather special last night wasn't it .. I saw it as it was coming up over the Channel at dusk .. a creamy glow in the darkening sky ..then I watched as it climbed the sky coming sharply into a silvery focus.

Delighted you enjoyed your visit .. and here's to Spring .. next weekend the days get longer - yay!

With pleasure seeing you here .. enjoy today and the week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BK .. welcome back .. it's not - it's just the way gardens came about as we (as a peoples) developed .. land was land, then the nobles and kings came = Royal land; then the Royals gave land away; eventually a middle class came about .. houses came to be built with small plots, and on and on .. til today when we have a real mix .. none, tiny, joint, private house gardens, larger and estates etc ..

Garden is just one of the names that is accepted as a such today in England ... Singapore with very little land .. the parks are your gardens I guess ..

Thanks for the thought - Mum seems to realise what is happening and is accepting of it .. all the best to you .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. delighted that Jen loves the pictures and the thought of all that green interspersed with flowering colour. Wonderful that's she's happy having a look round - that's a real honour to know it's given her pleasure: thanks for telling me.

I was so sorry to hear your news - though I can understand your thoughts re his being at peace after some harrowing times.

Ann you give so much to so many - we're so lucky that we can meet so many like minded friends in the blogging world .. it's great to give as it is so generous when it's reciprocated. I really appreciate your thoughts here and at others' blogs ..

With love to you both .. Hilary

Mayra Calvani said...

I love the photos! Gorgeous! I love gardens as long as I don't have to do the gardening myself. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mayra .. thank you - there's certainly a lot of work in gardening .. but it's so therapeutic .. despite the aching joints!

In Belgium .. there must be some lovely gardens to visit - enjoy Spring as it comes through .. great to see you .. Hilary

Unknown said...

Wow, what a lovely post. I love the look of those gardens. I wish I had the time and know-how to create gardens like that.

Bossy Betty said...

So lovely, aren't they? And peaceful too! Thanks for all the great information here.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Short posts are best for the Challenge - 200 to 400 words.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Clarissa .. great - glad you enjoyed it ... I know it does take a lot of work doesn't it .. actually it's the ability to see and therefore create a garden that I admire so much.

Delighted to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bossy Betty .. you are so right - they are incredible to look at .. and yes peaceful too.

Glad you enjoyed it ..I just had to post all the pictures .. they just drew me in to them. I love gardens ..

Cheers - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. I thought you'd appreciate if I wrote a book during the Challenge .. only 31,000 words?!

No worries - they'll be short!

I have no desire to read acres of words!! But I'm looking forward to the Challenge .. cheers - Hilary

Wendy@Once upon a rose haven said...

Hello Hilary, beautiful "jardines" and great history. I love gardening!:) Thank you for visiting. I'm glad to hear from you again. Wishing you a lovely spring.
Blessings ~*~Wendy~*~

Talli Roland said...

This part of the world has some of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. I'm a sucker for gardens -- I grew up with parents who love to grow flowers and vegetables. Thank you for the fascinating information!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Wendy .. lovely seeing you too ..

Jardines! .. they are always beautiful .. isn't it wonderful just being outside with nature .. gardening is a real form of release.

Enjoy your spring and watching your garden flourish during the summer .. see you soon .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. certainly London does have beautiful gardens and parks .. let alone little old UK.

Me too - veggies and flowers all around .. we are the lucky ones to have had that childhood .. delighted you enjoyed the post.

Hope the weekend was grand .. and that you didn't over indulge on chocolate! Cheers Hilary

Sara said...

Hilary -- Wow. I learned a lot in this post. I didn't know that garden and yard were considered the same thing.

One thing I loved about being in England during the Spring was how people EVERYWHERE seems to be out gardening. There were so many flowers that I was truly overwhelmed!

I enjoyed this Spring fling about gardens. I couldn't get the A to Z Blog Challenge link to work...just thought you'd want to know, but I will look it up.

I am sorry about whatever sad news you received and hope that you and your mother get through whatever it is. I send you my best wishes:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. great to see you - and thanks re the A - Z link .. I've put Arlee's site separately .. seemed the easiest!

They say we're the nation of shop-keepers .. but I think we must add in gardeners too .. and they're already out pottering around in the sun .. just wonderful! In a week or two there will be a profusion of flowers .. just warming up now - with the daffodils, yellow jasmine .. some tulips, hyacinths .. and leaves coming out ..

Thanks for your thoughts re Mum and the difficult news .. Mum is being very pragmatic about it .. cheers for now - enjoy your Spring and looking forward to more photos .. Hilary

Connie Arnold said...

It's always a pleasure to visit your blog, Hilary, and I love this post! I'm so glad spring is here and enjoy the beautiful pictures and your great information. Happy spring!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Connie .. many thanks .. always chuffed from positive comments.

Isn't Spring wonderful .. the pictures are so glorious to look at ..

You too have a lovely Spring ahead .. cheers Hilary

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, now I definitely have Spring fever! Beautiful gardens, Hilary -- thanks! :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. pleasure .. they are beautiful and inspire us to get out and start sorting our own out?!

Beautiful .. how right you are - great seeing you - Hilary

Keith Davis said...

Hi Hilary
I used to be a member of the RHS - used to visit the Chelsea flower show and... I knew all the Latin names.

I should know something about gardening history, but most of it is long forgotten.

As you say Spring is Springing so perhaps I should dust off my old RHS text books.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Keith .. the RHS yes, the Latin names No! Chelsea yes .. and probably most common names I'm not too brilliant with ..

Hope you had a rough guide memory jogger here as to garden history ..

Well .. do you have time .. in between public speaking and the fact it'll soon be time for a glass of vin blanc outside in the sun? If so Spring cleaning is in the air in the Midlands?! dusting off the books .. I must do some of that.

Cheers for now - I'll be over for your new post tonight of tomorrow - looking at the clock! Hilary

Patricia said...

Beautiful post on gardens and I will say that the gardens were my favorite part of my UK tour now 3 years ago. I enjoyed all the pictures and wish it would warm up a bit and stop raining so I could venture out into mine!

Sorry for the sad news...and I love the toilet seat ratio and bloodletting room reference too!

I adore flowers...yes indeed. I take pictures of flowers in my life and then put them on a slide show for my wallpaper on the computer. I wish I was a better photographer, but they are just bouquets for me!
Thanks for the write up

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. well kept, gardens to be visited here in the UK are superb aren't they .. and I can understand that those would be a favourite part of your visit across here.

Is it still raining .. we had some on Friday, but seem to be in a dry phase - thank goodness and distinctly warmer?!

Thanks for your thoughts .. the loo seats and bloodletting room were fun stats weren't they!

I've never got into wall paper on my computer .. when I'm here I'm working .. and then it gets switched off .. but there are some amazing things we can do with these machines now-a-days ..

Pleasure I'll be back to answer your comment .. tomorrow now! Cheers Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

> to discourage excessive enjoyment of meals
I don't think an absence of heating would stop me :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. certainly in Summer - when the walls had warmed up! But Switzerland in the winter .. perhaps I'd have been encouraged to get moving!

But I agree .. good food delights always ... lovely seeing you here - thanks for coming past .. Hilary

The Old Silly said...

Those are some splendidly awesome gardens! I'm a simple organic vegetable gardener, but a passionate one. Got my seedlings already started inside, waiting for perma-thaw to place in the garden. And a couple yards of organic compost from last year to work into the beds - I do intensive, raised bed style plantings.

Love this informative and illustrative post. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marvin .. they are brilliant photos aren't they - wish I could have said they're mine - but no .. cleverer folk than me!

How wonderful to have raised beds, home grown veggie, with a passionate man looking after them. Great - obviously quite knowledgeable too .. you've got that wonderful community of gardeners at your Church and round about .. fantastic camaraderie - brilliant to hear about ..

Just delighted I added a little to your knowledge .. cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

It always amazes me how you can dissect a topic in such detail. You should really be writing books. Your research is expansive.

Gardens are such peaceful places to go. I'd rather visit a garden then tend to my own though--seems like too much work. But maybe that's more like what I should be doing.

Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Arlee .. you're so kind .. I just love finding out information and pulling pieces out and weaving them together .. really chuffed at your comment: thank you so much.

Gardens are just wonderful aren't they .. I guess we should all be out in our gardens getting a little exercise?! But it is easier to go round others and look see ..

See you shortly .. cheers for now .. Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

I agree that real flowers give off that freshness that no manufactured perfume can match.

Some lovely looking gardens in this, Hilary.

Checkered ones in Tours so lovely but "de la Roseraie du Val-de-Marne" enchants me totally.

And the name Hortense? Does it relate to horticulture, I wonder?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. nothing like fresh and freshly picked ..

As you say .. and the Roseraie - I have to say is on the must visit list .. could see that and the checkered gardens at Tour on one visit?!

As you so rightly say Hortense is accordingly to Wiki: "Hortense is a French feminine given name that comes from Latin meaning gardener."

I didn't know that!! Cheers .. thanks for the nod in that direction ..

Names are quite extraordinary .. I keep coming across really interesting ones .. and here's another ..

Thanks Jannie .. love the learning bit .. cheers .. will be in touch a demain .. cheers to BB et al .. Hilary xoxo

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh wow. This post was a fun trip. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We love gardens. This was fun to read, as all your posts are. Interesting idea to have holes in the wall and set fires to keep the fruit from bring ruined during a frost.

We have lots of Japanese gardens here in southern California. They're so much fun to take the kids and stroll through them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sheila .. great to meet you and many thanks for leaving a comment .. and delighted you enjoyed the read.

Have a good rest of the week -Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. good to see you .. and delighted you enjoyed the post - gardens always make interesting talking points .. lots of ideas. The wall I was fascinated with - especially finding a picture of one .. showing the removable bricks.

I haven't ever been round a Japanese garden .. so one day I must experience one .. just the place for the kids to have a run around.

Cheers Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

I love gardens and this history lesson was amazing. One trick to having shorter post is to take this one, which is long, and break it into multiple post over the course of a week, for example. Good luck with that and I will see you in the A - Z Challenge.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. delighted you enjoyed the garden 'tour' .. and brief history overview.

Yes - I realise that .. but I just prefer to write the one long post .. however for the A - Z they'll be much shorter - promise!!

Cheers Hilary

Sara said...


I just by again to tell you that I recently found a picture book on Chatsworth. We visited it about eight? years ago when my daughter first moved to England.

It was so lovely. I had forgotten how beautiful the gardens were. Thanks for reminding me about this:~)

Cheers to you and have a great day:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. thanks for coming by again .. I've never been to Chatsworth - and obviously should go! Will do one day when I go north ..

Delighted to hear the post jogged a few cobwebs back and the memories came flooding out - wonderful that you had your daughter with you.

You too .. have a wonderful rest of the week .. it is certainly Springing here! Cheers Hilary

Chris Edgar said...

I for one am disappointed that the bloodletting room never got finished, but at least those monks get a gold star for sanitation. I know that's why I keep my condo cold -- to make sure I don't sit in one place for too long. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. great thought - wonder how long it would have survived?! or what it would have been used for?!

You are so right .. gold star for the loos .. and keeping the condo cold .. so you and your guests can get a move on .. makes sense!

Cheers - good to see you .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Great photos Hilary :-)

After looking at all the beautiful pictures you posted and reading the information, I think it's about time for me to plant a few flowers around our house :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ron .. thank you! That sounds like a good idea .. it'll cheer Mrs G up - will it not?

It'd be difficult to match these .. but the cottage garden looks glorious .. and needs care, but probably can be left to bloom happily.

Lovely seeing you and if I've inspired you - how wonderful... cheers Hilary

Ellie Garratt said...

100 comments! Is that a blogging record?

I've signed up for the A to Z Challenge. Nine days until the madness begins.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ellie .. I don't think so .. 50 by me! But I love the thought ..

The A - Z will be fun .. and as you say April madness rather than March Hare madness!

Cheers and thanks for the comment! Hilary

walk2write said...

I think garden admiration is one thing that just about everyone will admit to. The more natural looking ones appeal to me, especially when they incorporate native plants.

I'm glad you're going to do the challenge. Your posts are always interesting, long or short. Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi W2W .. we all seem to love the great outdoors .. and I know you do. I agree - but I also love being able to see the visions of the gardens these designers have made .. so gorgeous .. to know the trees will grow and create those landscapes.

Thank you for the generous comment .. you too have a good weekend .. we have some decent weather here at last! Cheers Hilary

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss hilary! wow those are cool pictures of gardens. that taiwan water buffalo is real neat. my mom loved gardening and had lots of pretty flowers. mostly she love roses and had all kinds. i liked helping her plant stuff.
...hugs from lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hiya Lenny of the Smiley Sunshine Face = glorious to see you today!!

You are so good - you read the post and comment appropriately .. it's a pleasure having you here. Picking up the Water Buffalo .. it is a super idea for a garden - isn't it .. Taiwan is full of ingenious people.

Your mother sounds special - and like my mother .. mothers seem to love gardening .. being able to pick and smell the flowers - then fill a vase or two for the house. Roses are so beautiful - especially the scented ones ..

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sunshine ... we have sun here finally!! and warmth - bliss!!

Cheers and a delight seeing you posted .. with a big hug - Hilary

Julie Musil said...

Oh my goodness, those gardens are beautiful!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. many thanks - I just love looking at them too .. inspirational in so many ways .. Enjoy your weekend .. Hilary

riley harrison said...

A beautiful post (as always). Well my little foray into gardening started with a morning glory plant. Little did I know that I had selected a plant intent on world domination. It has covered the railing on my balcony and has begun to encroach upon the neighbor's balcony and has eyes for the roof.

The Myasthenia Kid said...

Hi Hilary,

Beautiful blog loved all your pictures.

Thank you for leaving such thoughtful comments on my blog.

I hope you and your mother are ok. It can be very exhausting being a carer so please look after yourself.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Riley .. many thanks. Convolvulus is a bit of a run-away plant isn't it! They grow the Morning Glory variety in South Africa .. which isn't as rampant .. here it is a nightmare .. so I can feel for you, your neighbour and the roof .. oh yea - reach for the stars!

Good to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rachel .. how lovely to see you here .. delighted you popped over - and really appreciate it in your circumstances, which must be very, very difficult.

We are fine .. and I do what I can all round .. as I know I need to be as healthy as I am able - fortunately I seem to be lucky that way.

It's a pleasure to visit and support you .. just keep as cheerful as you can .. with many thoughts .. Hilary


Nice post. Though I have never visited an English garden, I have visited the mother of all gardens in Versailles twice. They are awe-inspiring as I'm sure the English gardens are.
I'm wondering why there are so few gardens in Germany? My best

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Count Sneaky .. good to see you - and yes Versailles .. another incredible landscape garden: as you say .. mother of all gardens!

Germany has quite a few gardens listed in Wikipedia .. and certainly Hamburg where I stay with friends .. they have houses with gardens .. and there's the public park, forests to walk in .. and I'm sure public gardens too .. Plenty of castles too .. with grounds ..

I expect you'd find as many gardens as elsewhere .. unless you have special insider knowledge being a Count?! Cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Such beautiful pictures in this post, Hilary. You're making me look forward to springtime even more. Our first flowers are just beginning to peek out of the ground. But it's so cold this weekend.

Interesting to learn how garden and yard came about. I was so impressed with how designed Parisian gardens when I visited. But I loved the controlled chaos of English gardens when I visited there too. It's amazing how people can take flowers and elevate the experience of the viewer.

Anonymous said...

I Love that polish garden, Hilary. I love all of them!! They are gorgeous, and so are you!!

Your posts are an inspiration to me. And your friendship and encouragement are valued more than words can express. Thank you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. we're lucky I guess - we have this slow lead into Spring .. snowdrops, crocus, then the daffs .. and then Spring starts to feel here - though it can snow too! We too have a little chill blowing around .. but I'm so glad it's warmer (for us!).

I'd no idea about yard and garden .. but I love your thoughts about Parisian gardens to our chaotic cottagey ones .. that elevation is like writing .. some do it better .. and we keep practising til it comes right - so many talented blogging authors amongst us. - success will come along ..

great seeing you here - have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann ... the Polish garden is fun isn't it - as are all the gardens .. I 'd love to have that vision of landscape creation.

It's a pleasure Ann - you're such a generous giver to us all .. and having come through so many travails .. a gentle supportive pat ... or big hug to you and Jen .. is what I'd love to do .. just for the moment you are too far away ...

til then - have a great week .. Hilary xoxo

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hillary: Really interesting post yet once again. This post really got me excited for spring and summer. I can't wait for it to come :) Thanks for the reminder of how beautiful it is and that it is close.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. lovely seeing you here .. Spring and Summer just seem to open our hearts to so much, the door is definitely opening .. we now have British Summer time - so it's light til 7.30 .. bliss!

Enjoy the anticipation .. and thanks for commenting .. Hilary

BK said...

Indeed, Singapore has very little land and we have parks instead of gardens but they still provide great place for joggers and family. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Pne of my favorite things about visiting England is all of the gardens and flowers. I love all the pots of flowers and the former water fountains tha are now flower fountains in town squares. I think it's lovely when people take time to enjoy pruning their roses. Lovely post, Hilary!

I hope your Mum is doing better.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BK .. thanks - I can believe that your parks are so important in Singapore .. you certainly make the most of your landspace. The parks that I've seen on blogs - look really wonderful spaces .. and have special celebrations in them .. bringing families in etc .. Cheers and lovely seeing you again .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. you're so right - the gardens certainly bloom here with multi-flora. Our towns and villages take civic pride in their floral displays .. entering various competitions ... but just the personal potter in one's own space, deadheading, pruning back and picking roses for the table .. is a very therapeutic pastime ... in our long summer evenings.

Thanks Sharon .. we're fine .. and as long as Mum is comfortable and entertained as best I can, having been stroked, that's the best thing I can do for her.

Enjoy the week .. and lovely seeing you here .. Hilary

Arts web show said...

We are entering spring properly where i am.
There is something so endearing about flowers and plants coming to life after a long sleep

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. down here things are really coming out .. some of the early trees are in blossom - the cherries, the magnolia, azaleas and rhododendrons, and the japonica - love that flower ..

So you're right - it is just wonderful to see everything bursting with life ..

Cheers and enjoy the week .. Hilary

Maple Seawright said...

Lovely pictures! I like the history explained in this article. It's amazing how culture such as garden designs can travel across borders.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dianne .. good to meet you and thanks for commenting .. just glad you enjoyed the post.

As you say - it is amazing how 'things', let alone people, have travelled around the world .. and we share so many similarities.

Cheers - Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Whatever stands out for you matters and is believed to be true. You believe things into existence. Everything is pointing to who or what you are and you figure this out as you expeirence what you are not. What you are cannot be taken away. You are discernign what is reliable. Mother Nature is always with you, in and ouside the gardens.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Liara .. Mother Nature fortunately is here .. in all parts of my life. My heart and mind are open to so much at the moment - it is a wonderful place to be.

So much to absorb .. life is such a learning curve ..

it's really good to see you - have a good week .. Hilary

Tony Payne said...

We love gardens too, and I published some slideshows of the ones that we visited in Cornwall last April on Yahoo Contributor Network. This makes me realise that I need to add them to my blog as well. That has my "G" post in the A-Z Challenge for April sown up at least.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tony and Debbie .. great to see you here .. and I can tell you're somewhat more blog literate than I am .. lenses and all.

Still it would be lovely to see your photos ... ah G in the A - Z challenge .. I wait and see ..

So pleased Debbie your life is improving .. long may it continue and enjoy your times ahead ..

Cheers Hilary

DEZMOND said...

Hilary, these gardens were absolutely amazing! The work of true artists!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dezmond .. for an inveterate traveller and translator - you'd probably know these sorts of things more than the rest of us .. but I just loved them .. and as you say - absolutely the story of time through art - just couldn't resist the photos .. lovely seeing you here - thanks .. Hilary