We had gathered for the weekend with DH’s two younger brothers and their wives at the home of my dear mother-in-law in the Cotswolds and the weather wasn't promising. It had rained almost non-stop the previous day, so when the sun broke through the clouds on the Saturday afternoon we took advantage of the respite to go for a walk in a local beauty spot, Batsford Arboretum.
The house is privately-owned and not open to the public, but the fifty acres of beautifully-landscaped parkland which surround it contain a wonderful collection of specimen trees, always an attraction for my tree-loving (though not, so far as I know, tree-hugging) husband. The landscaping we still see dates back to the 1860s and predates the rebuilding of the house in the 1890s, but both were the work of members of the Mitford family, who owned the estate for several decades. During World War One it was the home of the famous (to some perhaps infamous) Mitford sisters until it was sold in 1919.
|A parkland vista|
|And in the far distance deer may safely graze|
Though our visit was in early October there was sadly little of the glorious autumn colour we had been hoping for. The very cold late spring seems to have pushed the subsequent seasons back by several weeks and most things were still very green as we strolled happily among the trees and admired the views. I can only hope that the forecast storm won’t wreak havoc among the magnificent old giants that stand with such dignity in their beautiful setting, having survived the Great Storm of 1987, when so many millions of their fellows were not so fortunate.
Just in case here are some more images from our lovely afternoon walk in quintessentially English landscaped countryside.
|Batsford House in its setting|
|A few glimpses of colour|
|A magnificent beech|
|Trio in a green study|