Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Gardens to Visit: Hatfield House East Garden

Hatfield House has huge grounds; there's a park with tree walks, one over 5 km long, a daffodil ride, several distinct woods, and two different gardens. The West Garden is open every day but the East Garden is more private and only open on a Wednesday. It was laid out by the 5th Marquess of Salisbury
You have to pay a little extra to get into the East Garden but it's rather nice to visit a beautiful place with hardly anyone else around. And I think perhaps not everyone realises the garden is there, or maybe they don't want to pay an extra £4 but that's their loss. I think there were 5 other people in the garden the whole time we were there.
The garden is in two distinct parts. There's a highly structured part with pleached trees, lots of brick and stonework, and flower beds defined by closely clipped hedges, and then there's a more natural area with a large lake. It was my first outing after my illness and to tell you the truth, I think I was a bit ambitious. I had to have a lot of sit downs. And had I waked around the lake, I think I would have had to call for help.
This slightly random gateway leads to steps as you can see., and the steps lead to a little landing stage. This lake is called the New Pond and dates from the seventeenth century.
There are lots of beautiful trees around the New Pond. I really must get round the other side one day.
Just enough wildflowers to make the manicured part of the garden look extra fabulous.
The garden is divided into separate rooms by beautifully clipped yew hedging. This little room is an orchard. Well, I say little, of course this room is bigger than my whole garden.

The formal part of the garden is beautifully maintained. It looks as though they mow the grass every day and cut the hedges every other day. Check out the sharp cut of this maze. Sadly it isn't open to the public. Such a shame. I'd love to get close to that sphinx.  But hedges are more fragile than they look so even a few visitors a week would probably be too many.

I don't know if this view can be seen from the part of the house that's open to the public but here's a link to the East Garden web page which gives a much better idea of the flower beds than my photographs.

It's a lovely garden and I'd really like to go back if there's ever a Wednesday when I'm not at work and it isn't freezing cold and pouring with rain. It's not very far from home so I may get lucky.

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