Wednesday, July 30, 2008

attingham: the landscapes

"To improve the scenery of a country, and to display its native beauties with advantage, is an ART which originated in England..."
~ Humphry Repton, 1794

Any discussion of the English country house can not begin without a mention of the landscapes in which they are set ~ those rolling green hills, so deliberately picturesque ~ the products of landscape architects such as William Kent, Lancelot "Capability" Brown, and Humphry Repton. But, I will spare you all a lecture, and just leave you with a couple links to explore:

* red books and sketches (via Garden History Girl)
* and a few "capable" landscapes

And tomorrow ~ houses!

(top: the view from my window at West Dean; and bottom: the recently restored rotunda at Petworth)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

...and on a brighter note

A grand tour of English country houses begins tomorrow. I am furiously downloading images, and trying to put my thoughts together. In the mean time, here is a little teaser of what is to come:

Arundel Castle
Badminton House
Bolsover Castle
Broughton Castle
Calke Abbey
Castell Coch
Corsham Court
Dyrham Park
Hardwick Hall
Royal Pavilion at Brighton
Soane Museum
West Dean
Weald and Downland
Wightwick Manor


Monday, July 28, 2008

leaving scotland behind

I realize now that three days in Scotland is hardly enough ~ and as I left it behind, hurtling by train back towards the rolling green hills of England, I promised myself that I would go back some day. Oooooh, watching that coastline fade away was such a bittersweet moment.

But, what great adventures lay ahead! Some of you already know all about the Attingham Summer School Program, and those of you who don't may read about it here. People tell you that it will change your life, which is perhaps a bit dramatic. However, I will say that its impact is tremendous, and that it was perhaps one of the best experiences of my life. Since returning home, I have been wandering in a bit of a haze...wondering if it was indeed real (and emails from fellow classmates attesting to the same sense of malaise give me hope that I am not alone in this). Anyway, I mentioned yesterday that I had been thinking how best to share this whole experience with you. I thought that a systematic review of each house (à la the historic house tours) might be a bit pedantic. SO, I have decided a thematic approach would be more exciting ~ i.e. focusing each day on a specific topic, such as gardens, or textiles, or architecture. What do you think?

Okay, well, until tomorrow. xo.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a few details

Scottish lobster similar to their American cousins, but much more colorful! I am slowly going through the photographs...I have processed the first 200. I am also beginning to think about how best to share them all with you, and think I have finally come up with an idea...but more on that tomorrow.

Wishing you all a happy, lazy Sunday. Cheers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

the blue greys

There is something so intensely wild and dramatic about the Scottish coast...and the light, which is constantly changing. I instantly fell in love with it all. I had only a few days in Scotland, and spent most of the time doing research at the University of St. Andrews. But the long mid-summer days meant that after dinner I still had several hours of daylight by which to explore. I so badly wish I could have captured all of the wonderful little details (like the feel of the lichen and moss, and the tangle of fishing ropes) and smells (like the salt air mixed with the scent of roses)...but sometimes the only place you can keep those things is in your heart. The camera, alas, can only capture so much.

Happy weekend all...I'll keep working on those photos.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

the greens of scotland

Home again...sigh. But, what a long, magical trip it was! And I can't wait to share it all with you (once I wade through the more than 1000 images!). However, I will leave you with a little teaser ~ a few snaps from St. Andrews. Though, nothing can quite desicribe the colors of Scotland. The green greens, blue greys, and rich lovely and inspiring.

Until tomorrow...I look forward to catching up with all of you. Cheers.