Mapperton Garden, Dorset

Mapperton Garden, Dorset
Mapperton Garden, Dorset

Video: Mapperton Garden, Dorset

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Video: Join the Countess of Sandwich for a Summer Stroll through Mapperton Gardens 2023, February
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Fountain garden with greenhouse
Fountain garden with greenhouse

Fountain garden with greenhouse

Mapperton is one of the oldest and most beautiful gardens in the county of Dorset in the southeast of Great Britain. It is surrounded by traditional English rural landscapes that do not seem to have changed over the centuries of its existence. This was already felt as we approached the estate. Not far from the entrance, at the farm, chickens were walking calmly, and opposite was an old stable, which was also a coach house.

Stable
Stable

Stable

Farm
Farm

Farm

It is surprising that his centuries-old "pedigree" is known not even up to the "seventh generation", but much deeper. At the time of the land census in England in 1085-86, the owner of the estate was William de Moyon, Sheriff of Somerset. For the next 800 years, it was owned by the same family, inheriting it through the female line.

The surviving Tudor-style house was built in the 1540s from honey-colored sandstone brought from Ham Hill, in neighboring Somerset. This unique stone from the deposits of the Early Jurassic period, the color of which is given by weathered ferruginous rocks, served as a building material for many architectural monuments known today in the district. The house was slightly rebuilt in 1665 after a plague epidemic swept through the local area, which did not escape the local inhabitants. Since the 17th century, the rather modest courtyard of the house has remained practically unchanged, with lawns and sheared boxwoods on either side of the path leading from the gate to the threshold.

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In the history of the development of the Mapperton Garden, four stages are distinguished - the 17th century, 1920s, 1950-60s and the present. The 18th century remains a white spot, it is known only from old maps that at that time an alley stretched to the west of the house, which was later removed to reveal the surrounding picturesque landscape. And on a croquet lawn in dry summers, the outlines of a formal garden become visible - presumably a 17th century parterre.

The manor garden is a local pride - together with the old plantings, it has retained the romantic charm and mood of English patriarchal peace. But it is also a very unusual garden. Tucked away in a steep ravine, it stretches from north to south, down to a hilly valley, five miles from which the sea is already lapping. It can be divided into three main zones - regular, pond and landscape. The total area of ​​the garden is about 5 hectares.

In the northern part of the garden there is a croquet lawn with a pavilion adjacent to the house. The old stonework around it is overgrown with Karvinsky's small petals, bells, ferns, shaved, and decorated with palmettes and climbing plants.

Croquet lawn
Croquet lawn

Croquet lawn

Croquet pavilion
Croquet pavilion

Croquet pavilion

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Going down the stairs to the ravine, we find ourselves in the Fountain yard. The view opens onto the western slope, covered with a flowering Moorish lawn mowed for walking. A prominent place in the garden is occupied by an old walnut tree, "remembering" the plague times.

Descent from the croquet pavilion to the Fountain Yard
Descent from the croquet pavilion to the Fountain Yard

Descent from the croquet pavilion to the Fountain Yard

West slope Moorish lawn
West slope Moorish lawn

West slope Moorish lawn

View of the greenhouse and the Fountain courtyard from the western slope
View of the greenhouse and the Fountain courtyard from the western slope

View of the greenhouse and the Fountain courtyard from the western slope

View of the Fountain Yard from the western slope
View of the Fountain Yard from the western slope

View of the Fountain Yard from the western slope

In the 19th century, the Fountain Courtyard is known to be a delightful Victorian garden with gazebos of roses and small formal flower beds. Quite large vegetable gardens, located in the southern part of the garden, provided the owners with fresh fruits and vegetables, there were greenhouses for growing exotic fruits. The area where the water garden is now located and the valleys below were then planted with fruit trees and vegetables.

The main historical milestone in the history of the garden was the turn from the regular to the landscape style, which took place in the 20th century. In 1919, the estate was bought by Mrs. Ethel Labouchere, who, with the help of local architect Charles William Pike, created a ceremonial Italian Fountain Courtyard with topiary forms here, dedicated to the memory of her husband.

Fountain courtyard from the western slope
Fountain courtyard from the western slope

Fountain courtyard from the western slope

Stairs to the greenhouse
Stairs to the greenhouse

Stairs to the greenhouse

Topiary
Topiary

Topiary

In the Fountain Garden
In the Fountain Garden

In the Fountain Garden

Mixboder at the Red Wall
Mixboder at the Red Wall

Mixboder at the Red Wall

Today, this formal garden site is the most recognizable part of Mapperton. There are many stones, herbaceous perennials, sheared plants. From four sides to the octagonal reservoir, which used to be surrounded by aquatic plants, staircases approach crosswise. For stone fountains with sculptures, the hostess brought 4 lead fountains from London. Protected on one side by a hillside with local hardwoods, on the other side it is bounded by a white balustrade on the slope. The garden's quadrangle structure is supported by 4 white stone benches in cozy seating areas.

Fountain garden
Fountain garden

Fountain garden

Fountain garden
Fountain garden

Fountain garden

Fountain garden
Fountain garden

Fountain garden

Fountain garden
Fountain garden

Fountain garden

The owner designed the entire garden in the style of the times of King Edward, filled it with tub plants, stone sculptures of birds and animals, built two grottoes with columns in the eastern slope, a croquet pavilion and renovated a 17th century summer house decorated with a stone nymph, which separates the described area from the pond garden. A great lover of watercolor painting, she equipped all the buildings of the garden with fireplaces that have survived to this day for plein airs in bad weather. Including a croquet pavilion, grottoes and a summer house.

Grotto in the Fountain Garden
Grotto in the Fountain Garden

Grotto in the Fountain Garden

Grotto in the Fountain Garden
Grotto in the Fountain Garden

Grotto in the Fountain Garden

Second grotto
Second grotto

Second grotto

One of the fountains
One of the fountains

One of the fountains

After the death of the mistress in 1955, the estate was acquired by Viscount Victor Montague, who put in order and slightly simplified the Fountain Garden, added annual flower beds. Diametrically opposite are the greenhouse, now entwined inside with an amazing fuchsia begonia, and an Italian pergola with wisteria, clematis, grapes, roses and other lianas. This small conservatory, maintaining the classic Victorian style, was built in 1966-68 to replace the old greenhouses demolished to the south, allowing for the full inclusion of the picturesque surroundings in the garden panorama.

Inside the greenhouse
Inside the greenhouse

Inside the greenhouse

Fuchsia begonia
Fuchsia begonia

Fuchsia begonia

Italian pergola
Italian pergola

Italian pergola

Italian pergola
Italian pergola

Italian pergola

In the next step, the new owner restored the old pond garden, consisting of two rectangular reservoirs stretching from north to south, and added rows of sheared yews along them, which echo the regular style of the Fountain Garden, combining both parts into a single semantic whole. Today, a row of water lilies in the center of one of the ponds emphasizes the main axis of the pond garden.

View of the Pond Garden from the window of the summer house
View of the Pond Garden from the window of the summer house

View of the Pond Garden from the window of the summer house

View from the back side of the summer house
View from the back side of the summer house

View from the back side of the summer house

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Under him, a small shrub garden appeared in a landscape style named after its creator - Colonel and garden architect Vernon Daniel. In his choice of plants, he settled on sucker, euonymus, plum and barberry, in the spirit of the fashion of the time. Daniel's colorful garden hides the entrance to a secret garden hidden behind him. And it is hidden so well that we, alas, did not see it. The highlight of the secret garden is a small round pool with a bench and a drip fountain. It is planted on different sides with hydrangeas, periwinkles, ferns, cyclamens, lilies of the valley and Corsican hellebores.

Daniel's Garden
Daniel's Garden

Daniel's Garden

The field below the pond garden has been converted into an arboretum (Wild Garden), extending down into a valley. Here, in the 70s, magnolias, tulip trees, wrap-around davidia, catalpas, viburnum, roses, derens, glyptostrobus metasequoia, eucalyptus trees, a meadow of rhododendrons and much more were planted. In the late 1980s, many perennials and rare plants were added throughout the garden. Victor Montague was ahead of his time in the selection of plants, and it is this landscape part of the garden that is his greatest merit.

Descent to the Wild Garden
Descent to the Wild Garden

Descent to the Wild Garden

Wild garden
Wild garden

Wild garden

Wild garden
Wild garden

Wild garden

After his death in 1995, the estate passed to his son and daughter, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, who continue to carefully preserve its historical layout and replenish with new cultures. By the beginning of the new millennium, rare species of birches and oaks were planted in the arboretum, as well as many thermophilic plants that require winter protection. In the beautiful mixborders of the garden, hellebores, geraniums, euphorbia, astrantia, sage, helihrizum, cannes settled. Many perennials stylistically combined different zones of the garden, softened the heaviness of the stone and made the garden splendid.

From the southern part of the garden, above the western slope, the uneven roofs of buildings of different periods rise, behind which there is a view of a small garden, a dovecote and a horse chestnut alley. From here, just a few steps to the Wild Garden and the Spring Garden. The Spring Garden was created at the end of the chestnut alley to make Mapperton more interesting in the early spring period, but now the task is to extend its decorative effect until October.

Surrounding hills
Surrounding hills

Surrounding hills

By the chestnut alley
By the chestnut alley

By the chestnut alley

The Home Church of All Saints, which adjoins the house and encloses its inner courtyard with a back wall, dates back to the 12th century, although part of it was rebuilt in 1704, and in 1846 extensive renovations were carried out, during which the windows appeared inherent in that time colored stained glass windows.

All Saints Church
All Saints Church

All Saints Church

On the ceiling of the living room in the house, Mrs. Labouchere has preserved the old coat of arms with the motto "With swift but equal steps" ("Fast but equal steps"). You cannot think of better than these words to describe the long history of the estate, many generations of owners of which progressively created and supported this masterpiece of garden art, which in all its glory approached its 1000th anniversary.

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