Visiting Waddesdon Manor today was a first for A, but I had been once before with a friend.
We began by buying our timed entrance tickets, which gave us plenty of time to walk down to the Stables for coffee. This time A took the audio tour and I took some photographs, albeit without flash as that is not allowed. We saw all the lovely artefacts that make up the vast Rothschild collections and A was very taken with the enormous billiard room in the Bachelor Wing.
This visit I was keen to see the beautiful gardens that we had glimpsed through the windows of the Manor. So soon we were outside again and walking around the house to find the famous Aviary. On the way we came across the impressive three-dimensional planting in the shape of some birds. The idea behind the Aviary was for it to be a gateway into the pleasure grounds, which included colourful raised bedding, a
Walking on we came to the beautiful Parterre with its formal planting around the central fountain. We discovered that it takes two days to plant the latest design, which is made on a computer in a grid format; each square of the grid representing a tray of plants. The trays can then be placed as if in a jigsaw puzzle to complete the planting scheme. It works, as the beds were looking wonderfully colourful.
Venturing further into the grounds we found various statues, A Couple of Differnces between Thinking and Feeling by Angus Fairhurst (2002); Ficus Elastica (the rubber tree) by Ann Carrington; Perceval by Sara Lucas. We had seen Jeff Koons’ Cracked Egg(blue) But no pictures are allowed.
At last it was time to wander back to the car, parked along the driveway up to the house as all the car parks were full when we arrived. That is amazing as we never felt that the place was overcrowded. We came passed the urns unplanted in the middle of planting and at the end we found the heraldic beasts topiary. It had been a wonderful visit and we would still like to go back again.