Other people’s gardens: Stowe, again

We made a return visit to Stowe on Easter Saturday, braving the Bank Holiday crowds and the threat of rain. This time we were joined by our friend W, and we were keen to see the new visitor centre, opened a few weeks ago with much celebration (and a visit from Alan Titchmarsh, no less). I’m pleased to report that it’s lovely – the recreation of the New Inn, where the original visitors in the 18th century would have watered their horses and swigged their ale before buying a guidebook (yes, really – Stowe was one of the very first places to have them) was very well done, and the new buildings are sympathetic and modern at the same time. If you see what I mean.

This time we tried to make our way round some of the gardens that we hadn’t seen before, which really meant a long walk around the Octagon Lake and the Eleven Acre Lake.

The Octagon Lake, from the Eastern Lake Pavilion

The two lakes are separated by a cascade, with a path and some artistic ‘ruins’:

The Cascade

From the cascade, you can see along the Octagon Lake to the Palladian Bridge:

Lord Chatham's Urn is on one of those little islands. I don't know which Lord Chatham (always assuming there was more than one).

Last time I was at Stowe, everything was frozen and the snowdrops were about the only things flowering. Now, things are starting to emerge:

No idea what type of tree this was, I just loved the green leaves.

By the Octagon Lake there was a clump of cornus:

I'd love some of this in the garden - that lovely red, all winter - can you imagine?

I found a few flowers to photograph:



Periwinkle (not the leaves - those are something else - just the lovely blue flowers)


Seeing the periwinkle reminded me that I want to get some to grow over the bank at the end of our garden. It can be invasive if not kept in check, but it’s great ground cover and the flowers are such a gorgeous colour.

By the time we made it back to the Eastern Lake Pavilion, it was starting to rain, so we called it a day.

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