Surely you’re going through Downton Abbey withdrawal with the rest of America, so let’s visit another Great Place, and look at the gardens of Highclere Castle, the real-life stand in for Downton. Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and evidence shows that there has been a home on this site for more than 1300 years. The majority of the current castle dates from the 1800’s, and is built in the neogothic style.The drive and approach to Highclere are very typical of great English houses. Broad lawns with large specimen trees, running right up to the house with very little planting around the home is quite common.
The English gardens of Highclere are also VERY English. An answer to the highly geometric and pruned style of French gardens, the English garden is all about “neat chaos” and overflowing blooms and flowers.
18th Century Georgian wall on the border of the Monks’ garden.Architectural folly. Greatly in vogue in the English gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries, architectural follies or ruins were often constructed merely to be viewed either from the house or from across a lake.