Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Two for the Price of One

I'm plugging away on Heart in Hand's "Plum Cottage Sampler".  The long train rides to and from Scotland were great for doing a little stitching while looking out the window at the scenery.

Today Mom and I once again took the train to Sevenoaks. 

This time our destination was Chartwell. Sir Winston Churchill bought the property in 1922 without telling his wife Clementine - not a good thing!  It is a lovely home and is decorated to reflect the period of the 1930's and 1940's.  The rooms are comfortable and unpretentious. Clementine was not into fussy decorations - I thought all the rooms restful and welcoming.  (No photos or I'd share some).  The house is filled with Churchill memorabilia: uniforms, awards, gifts, his writings and paintings. What an amazing man he was.  A superior statesman and orator, a prolific writer and an extremely credible painter to boot.

Clementine was fond of roses and the gardens around the house are filled with them.  

The gardens were more extensive than I expected.

Several flower beds...

...filled with a nice assortment of plants.

There is a vegetable garden and a cutting garden that was quite stunning. 

Churchill had this small play house built for Mary the youngest of the children.  It has a real fireplace and while in use it had a farmhouse table with four chairs around it, a dresser, a white bench in the window, a small stove, white and blue check curtains and even a chandelier. Mary even cooked in it serving her guests scones. 
Chartwell is sited on a hillside and has wonderful sweeping vistas out over the Weald of Kent.  Unfortunately today was hazy with smoke as farmers were burning.

Chartwell has birds, and since Churchill was a cat-lover, there is a resident cat named Jock who lords over everyone.

Because that wasn't enough for one day.  Because it was only 87 squagillion degrees outside and the humidity was at 110%, I coerced cajoled my Mom into taking a walk from Chartwell to another National Trust Property, Emmett's Garden.
We had detailed written directions to lead us on our way.  The directions included a right turn past this small post box...

...and down this step set of wooden stairs...

...and up and over and down several stiles.

Our reward was seeing not another living soul on the 90 minute walk.
And soaking in sweat.
Soaking in the lovely Kent countryside.
Thank goodness for bottled water!

Through the dappled light of a forest glade...

...and across this road...
(This is a two lane road with a speed limit of 60 miles per hour!)
...and there we were at Emmett's Garden. 
The garden is best in the early spring when the many massive rhododendrons are in bloom.

Nonetheless we enjoyed the garden art...

...and the views of the surrounding countryside.

There is a nice arboretum that features plants and trees from China, as well as one pine from southern Oregon!  There is also a nice rock garden.  And did you see the bright pink lawn chairs in the previous collage?  We made use of those and just sat and enjoyed the view and the cool breeze.

Our train back to London was mostly empty as well as being air conditioned.  That was a great way to end the day. 


Barb said...

Bet that trip felt good. You and I are both out of our element when it comes to heat! The English surely love their gardens. I loved seeing Churchill's home. He was such a great man. The play house was so cute!

cucki said...

Beautiful..I love watching this lovely pictures..
Big hugs x

hazel said...

Another beautiful garden I have not been to. Hope you joined the national trust to save you money.

Your photos are so well taken it is a joy to read your blog each day.

Have you been to Oxford yet?

Hazel c UK

Carol said...

Loved the shots of Chartwell, Beth--I'll bet you were in heaven with all of the gardens. Hang in there with the heat and humidity--we're having a wild week of it here, too :(

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Wow, what a jam packed day you've had. You must be exhausted with all the walking and the heat. It's much cooler up here with us this week - I do prefer it that way compared to what it was like last week when we were in Wales and England. I do enjoy seeing the black swans.

Margaret said...

Great tours of pretty places! Wow, you two are amazing, doing all that in such heat and humidity! I step outside and I melt!

Maggee said...

You AND your Mom are made of sterner stuff than most, for sure! You have probably walked a hundred miles or more on all these tours and visits! Enjoyed it as always! Hugs!

Annette-California said...

Bless you and your mom for even stepping out in that humidity and hiking. You both are remarkable! Loved every one of your photos, such beauty I would never have gotten to see. Loved hearing you had air on the train back. Thank you for this amazing tour. love Annette

Chris said...

Another perfect day!
I wish I was on that walk with you. It looks perfect. Lovely properties too.

Vickie said...

Oh my grandmother's name was Clementine. She loved roses as well. My "Clementine" rose, that was hers, died on me this winter. =(
A lovely garden, soothing.
What an adventure to reach Emmett's Garden!

Giovanna said...

I loved Chartwell when I saw it - I instantly wished for a bedroom like Lady Clementine's.... Nice stitching.

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, quite the walk to get to that garden. Looks quite adventurous. Love it!

Melody said...

How beautiful! An adventurous walk for sure. But, Chartwell looks like a charming house.