|The manor house itself.|
|One of the many entrances to the garden.|
Gardens serve as statement of their time and place as much as architecture. In the 17th century the passion was for severely symmetrical layouts with geometric designs—largely representative of man’s dominance over nature. In the Enlightenment and into the Romantic periods, this severity was thrown out the window and replaced with the idea of a natural landscape. The irony here is that a tremendous amount of effort was often expended to make a garden or park look “natural.” The grounds at nearby Blenheim Palace, for instance, were rearranged so intensively by the wonderfully named landscape designer Lancelot “Capability” Brown, that an artificial lake could be introduced. Hidcote is no different. To my untrained eye a number of the “rooms” looked like forest or messy mixes of foliage, but the number of gardeners and volunteers working to get the land ready for fall and winter clearly showed that even the wildest looking landscape was a carefully manicured illusion.
|The thatched house in the back was actually one of the homes Lawrence provided for his many gardeners.|
|Early fall in the kitchen garden.|
|Some beds are empty, others are full. The leeks to the left are just one row of increasingly large and thick ones. Further out of frame were older, more massive leeks ready to be harvested|
|It is apple season.|
What do you think about modern aesthetic gardening? Do you think it serves a worthwhile purpose or has it replaced food and production gardening entirely? What would it take to bring the idea of an everyday “kitchen garden” back into wide use?
Cadence Woodland is a freelance writer, editorial assistant, and marketing consultant. Her journalism has contributed to the New York Times, the National Wildlife Federation, and other venues, but she can be found most often at her blog where she writes about her adventures across the Pond in London.