THE FADING AUTUMN COLOUR - Stourhead, Wiltshire
As we look to the year ahead we can’t help but reflect on the year that has just come to a close and the adventures and people that have filled the last couple of months. Having only just stepped out of the Christmas break we’ve been enjoying the wintery walks that’ve passed our time between Christmas and the New Year. As the year drew to an end the colours started to drain away to leave a muted grey landscape with crisp frost underfoot. Sorting through the adventures of last year and recalling the relative warmth of Autumn, it’s strange to think only a short time ago we were crunching along the paths of Stourhead amongst the last of the autumnal colours. The woodlands were still speckled with the burnished rust colours and the remnants of the season were seen in the empty husks of conkers scattered across the paths.
The grounds at Stourhead have been described as ‘a living work of art’ with the classical landscape originally created by Henry Hoare. As you skirt the edge of the lake you glimpse grottoes and temples across the expanse of water that appear aglow with the leaves that have come to settle on the surface. The vast landscape appears doubled with the reflections on the rippled surface and even in the fading colours of autumn the landscape is ablaze with colour. Sir Richard Colt Hoare who was the third owner to leave his mark on Stourhead introduced many of the tree’s that give Stourhead it’s autumnal glow including many beeches, oaks, tulip trees and limes. Colt was also an avid collector and breeder of Pelargoniums and tucked away in the walled garden is the glass house that still houses a collection for you to explore and draw inspiration from. Like any landscape the grounds at Stourhead are always in transition and it’s a walk we love to revisit in every season. As we plan the year ahead I’m sure a visit will be due soon.