Stowe landscaped gardens in Buckinghamshire contain 40 monuments, temples bridges and buildings. All of them placed for impact and beauty and have inspired writers and poets. The gardens are managed by the National Trust and with my card in hand we went for a afternoon explore through this picture perfect landscape.
My eyes were peeled for what a November afternoon had to offer for a nature table explorer. The weather was dull with light rain,not perfect.
Despite the dullness of the day there was plenty to discover . The long man made lake was home to plenty of ducks , moorhens and coots but it was the sound of the rain which I enjoyed. Have a listen.
There are some very beautiful trees across the parkland.
Beautiful Beech trees still with plenty of glowing leaves.
The Chestnuts were wonderful.I love the bark with deep fissures that seems to stretch and twist around the trunk.
The Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) can be a very long lived tree around 700 years, there are 52 Chestnuts that were planted in Greenwich park in the 1609’s. In Gloucestershire there is a 12th century Chestnut called the ‘Great Chestnut of Tortworth.’
The largest Sweet chestnut in the world is found in Sicily and is somewhere between 2000-4000 years old and is called Hundred Horse because of an historical legend of 100 soldiers and their horses sheltering under its branches.
This Chestnut at Stowe was smaller but no less beautiful , spreading and we were under it.
The Sweet Chestnut although part of our countryside was introduced to Britain by the Romans , they originate from Southern Europe and Asia. Roman shoulders are said to have eaten Chestnut porridge before battle. I love then roasted or just as they are crunchy and sweet on a walk in the rain.
As you walk around these garden at Stowe the buildings tickle the imagination and it’s interesting to think of the poets,writers and walkers strolling around in their long skirts bonnets and tail coats and wonder how the park looked then and what they did. I’m stomping across the grass in doc martins and jeans looking at leaves , what would they have thought !!
In the slopes leading up to the Gothic temple the grass gave way to whole carpets of soft geranium type leaves. Really soft to walk on , going back in the spring/ summer to see it flower.
Stowe gardens have so much to see,we only walked though a portion of it,lots to see on a revisit.