Friday Fountain Challenge: June

My next fountain for June is from Sezincote. An unusual example of Neo-Mughal architecture situated in the middle of the English Cotswolds.

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Thomas Daniell, famous as a painter of Indian scenery, designed the Indian Bridge and the Indian Temple.

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If you’d like to join in with the fountain challenge then please pop over to Polianthus for the rules

This month she is looking for unusual details on fountains/unusual fountains. I’m sure she would love to see you.

Garden Portrait: Tremenheere

Tremenheere is Cornwall’s most exciting contemporary large-scale garden. Located in Gulval, close to Penzance in the south-western corner of the county you get a stunning distant view of St Michael’s Mount from the top of the slopes, where strawberries were once grown for sale in distant Covent Garden. Prior to 1290 the land at Tremenheere was owned by the monks of St Michael’s Mount.

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View towards St Michael’s Mount

In a beautiful sheltered valley, the woods, stream and dramatic vistas provide a perfect setting for large scale exotic and sub-tropical planting. Interwoven with this there is also an evolving programme of high quality contemporary art installations. Inspirational….contemplative… a joy to visit…

Now groups of bold sub-tropical plants amassed by Neil Armstrong greet you and it is easy to imagine yourself in one of the southern hemisphere gardens of Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Armstrong also commissioned a handful of major art installations with the aim of creating ‘moments of wonder’. One is hidden deep in woodland, while a group of charred oak menhirs, eerily evoking a family struck by lightning, stands motionless in a circular dip, surrounded by ferns, natural vegetation and tall trees.

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Black Mound by David Nash

In Tremenheere Billy Wynter has created a camera obscura which provides a focus for one compartment in the gardens. Going inside the darkened room, one has to turn a handle and walk around a central table onto which images of plants and views are combined with light and movement. It is magical.

Perhaps the most striking is Skyscape, the American artist James Turrell’s celestial observatory stationed on a hilltop: from the circular bench inside you become mesmerised by the bright white walls and contrasting roof open to the weather – in this instance an azure blue sky that looked as though it had been painted on the ceiling. I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch clouds drifting across or even stars! I saw another of Turrell’s installations, ‘Skyspace‘, in Canberra last December. He certainly gets around!

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Yes that really is the sky in England!

Planting is mostly structural, continuing the sculptural theme; New Zealand phormiums dominate the hillside; succulents and agaves; South African fynbos, aloes, proteas and restios, sedges and grasses in the arid zone. Bamboos, tree ferns, mahonias and exotic shade plants in the swampy bogs and pond areas.

The garden, built on a slope and therefore not fully accessible to wheelchairs or push-chairs, does have plenty of seating areas where you can take the weight off your feet, rest a while, admire the views and which provide a place of contemplation and wonder.

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View of St Michael’s Mount

Tremenheere = place of the long stones. A garden of the future.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Pashley Manor Gardens

Pashley Manor Gardens is on the border of East Sussex and Kent. Famous for its Tulip Festival in spring regrettably I have never visited before despite my love of tulips. It is a garden worth visiting at any time during the open season from 1st April to 30th September as there are several different areas. Between the end of April and mid-May the woods are open for the Bluebell Walk when the woodland is carpeted in a magical mantle of blue. July and August is Lily time and each year Pashley exhibits the work of many eminent sculptors, including work by local sculptors, some of which is for sale.

There is also a lovely courtyard tea-room and summer terrace where you can sit under a parasol, eat quiche and salad, sip iced-coffee and admire the wonderful views over the lawns and old moat. And try to ignore the dozens of ducks underfoot.

The first area you enter are the herbaceous and  hot borders, full of roses, lilies, dahlias, clematis, monarda, helenium, fuchsias and penstemon.

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From here you can wander through to the woodland or enter the Walled Garden where you will find roses and a potager.

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Up some steps – stop to admire the sculptures – and into the walled swimming pool area which looks very inviting now that the sun has appeared. At the far end is a small greenhouse filled with pelargoniums, pretty Streptocarpus and ferns.

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Boy sitting

Boy sitting

Amongst the borders edging the lawns and summer terrace are dozens of perfumed lilies

Summer Terrace

Summer Terrace

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and my favourite sculpture:

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Wood Nymph