Sunday, November 25, 2012

Levens Hall, part 1

Our last day in the Lake District was sunny, the perfect day to enjoy the Levens Hall gardens. We had truly lucked out!

We took the same bus we took to Sizergh Castle, but this time—probably because it wasn’t raining—it was on time. Again, we changed drivers in Kendal. (I don’t seem to have managed to get any decent pictures of Kendal. It’s an old market town that we also passed through on the train.) I think the stop for Levens Hall must have been the first or second stop after the one for Sizergh Castle.

When I was researching historic homes to visit in the Lake District, it was this video that sold me on including Levens Hall. I’d forgotten that the video mentioned the Alice in Wonderland feeling, but that is exactly right. I’d meant to ask the docents in the house if Lewis Carroll had ever visited, but I forgot. Since the garden dates from the end of the 17th century, it would be possible for Lewis Carroll to have seen it. Mr. M and I took lots and lots and LOTS of pictures. Here are a few.

levens hall  topiary 20

I love the different colors of the evergreens. One of the docents did say that it was possible to find topiaries of all the chess pieces in the garden.

Levens Hall topiary 1

There’s also a little bit of a Dr. Seuss feel—see the topiary in the back with the multiple “tufts.” Here it is, again, in the foreground.

Levens Hall topiary 4

Or this leaning fellow.

levens hall topiary 13

Here you can see the hall in the background.

levens hall topiary 15

It may be hard to tell from these pictures, but the topiaries were very large. The gardeners need scaffolding to keep them trimmed. To get a sense of the scale, I asked Mr. M, who is 6’ 3” to pose for me.

Levens Hall topiary crown with Mr. M

Here’s a picture of the hall from the shrubbery.

levens hall topiary and hall 3

I had to laugh, too. One of my books featured “obscene shrubbery” (said in my best Monty Python voice). There wasn’t any of that in this garden, but I can now see how it would be very possible to have such horticultural decorations.

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