23 June 2009

Trumpeters' House, Richmond

I see almost every production at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond so I was obviously going to be attracted by their Summer garden party and any doubts that I may have had were swept aside by the location.

Trumpeters' House is part of the formal Royal Palace, home to King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I before the original building was destroyed.

Richmond has changed a great deal since then, it is no longer in the country any more having been engulfed by London, but the location of Trumpeters' House is still majestic being situated between Richmond Green and the Thames. In fact, it seems to occupy most of the land between the Green and the river!

The garden is in several sections, formed by the selling and purchasing of adjacent plots of land over the centuries. There is a long informal lawn that leads from the house to the rear entrance by the river, but that is relatively boring so I've not included a photo of it here.

Instead, here we see a view of the formal lawn to the side of the main lawn. In the distance we can see the stalls of the garden party and on the left an avenue of trees that leads the way, like a troop of soldiers, to one of the many statues in the garden.

If these two lawns and there borders were all that were in the garden it would be well worth visiting, but there is much much more to it than that.

The most striking feature of the garden (or gardens) is this large pond, hidden from the lawn above by a high hedge. The pond ticks all the boxes that an ornate pond is meant to tick, it was water lilies, an eye-catching statue (not shown), several paths to it to offer many different views and attractive borders to set it off.

Once again you think that the garden has done all a garden could possibly do but again there is still more to enjoy.

Not far from the big pond, but even more hidden, is this little water feature that forms the centre piece of a tranquil and shady space with seats to encourage you to linger. The lights under the water suggest that this sanctuary is also a welcoming refuge at night.

By now we have walked down lots f paths, discovered lots of hidden places, enjoyed hedges, flower beds and statues, but still there is more.

Passing through a small gate takes you in to an arid garden (ironically) next to the river. Suddenly the formality of the previous garden is replaced by a chaos of wild flowers. There are more statues, seats and hedges but also doves and an outrageous (i.e. bright pink with castellations) working artist's studio.

It's for gardens like this that weekends were invented.

1 comment:

  1. That was interesting to see, from the inside. I believe I have walked past this house many times, walking from Richmond across the lock to get to the Isleworth side. Lovely pictures!


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