Houghton Lodge Gardens ( @houghton_lodge_gardens) in #Stockbridge, #Hampshire, has been described by visitors as ‘the jewel of the Test Valley’, and ‘A stately pleasure-dome on the most #romantic river in #England’. The Grade II* listed formal and informal gardens surround the UK's best surviving example of an 18th-century Cottage Orné, idyllically set above the tranquil waters of the River Test.
Houghton Lodge is thought to have been designed in 1793 by John Plaw – one of the pioneers of the style – and was probably intended as a fishing lodge.
The walled garden boasts vast espalier fruit trees enclosed by a historical chalk cob wall. It provides protection to 32 different varieties of apple tree, many of which cannot be bought today.
The themed herb garden includes pharmaceutical, medicinal, natural dye, pot pourri herbs and tea beds providing wonderful scents and colours throughout the season.
In early summer the fragrant peonies line the stunning Rose Arbour path leading to hidden corners of the garden. Vegetables grow in raised beds plus wild flowers, sweet peas and dahlias providing a kaleidoscope of summer and autumn colour. Not to be missed is the magnificent espaliered pear tree growing on the eastern wall.
The magnificent 300 foot herbaceous border is an impressive sight with yearlong beauty, bursting with bulbs in the spring, a tapestry of colour in the #summer, and dahlias to brighten the #autumn.
Enjoy over 15 acres of meadows and walks along the picturesque River Test and meet the friendly #Alpacas and resident ‘snorting’ Topiary dragon who enjoys puffing his welcome.
Houghton Lodge is free to visit for members of Historic Houses.
#historichouses represents the UK’s largest collection of independently owned #historic #houses, #castle, #hall, #manor and #gardens. Join today to see more incredible houses across the UK than the National Trust and English Heritage combined. historichouses.org | Photos courtesy #houghtonlodge for the @historic_houses website. #landscape #countryside #history #architecture #travelblog #travelgram #travel #travelphotography #garden #heritage #photooftheday #instaphoto #historichouse