Two hundred years of Camellias at Chiswick House

Chiswick House CamelliaLast summer, Yannick and I visited Chiswick House, a neo-Palladian villa built by the third Earl of Burlington in 1729. The gardens, restored in a two year, twelve million pound project and reopened in 2010, were glorious, but there was one thing we missed seeing – the camellias, which bloom in February/March. I vowed then to come back for the annual camellia festival in the amazing two hundred year old conservatory, so last week saw us on the train to Chiswick once again. Continue reading

A bijou neo-Palladian villa – Chiswick House

Chiswick HouseYannick and I are on a roll at the moment, ticking off historic houses at a rate of knots. This week we got the train to Chiswick to visit the perfect bijou neo-Palladian villa, Chiswick House. And not just the house; it’s set in acres of manicured park dotted with statues and with a garden café where Yannick had his first encounter with rock cakes.  Continue reading

Flowers of Spring

CamelliaHa! I bet when you saw the headline you thought this post was going to be about crocuses and daffodils and suchlike, didn’t you? With perhaps a bit of cherry blossom thrown in. Well, you were wrong. It’s about some spring flowers that are in bloom now that we don’t think about nearly so much as the obvious harbingers of spring. Continue reading