The Drummer by Barry Flanagan
The Drummer by Barry Flanagan

I have been to beautiful Manor Houses like Blickling Hall, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. This time while in England I visited Chatsworth House. It was stupendous inside. But I had seen it all before. Sumptuous rooms magnificently draped. Antiques so splendid that they didn’t seem real to me. How I wished Mum was with me. She would have done her nut about all those wonders! I try to imagine the people that lived in those homes and I fail miserably. Maybe it’s because I am not one for historical novels. I prefer Patricia Cornwell and very rarely do any of her characters romp around Windsor Casle! So going around the splendid inside of Chatsworth House was beautiful but there was nothing new and exciting to me.

It was outside that I had surprise after delicious surprise! I discovered an enchantment that made me gasp in wonder and amazement.

B, John and I joined several others and piled onto a golf buggy and off we trundled around the magnificent estate. If I were to describe England I would use the word green. Green arbours, field of green grass with a confetti of daisies, large green towering Oak trees – green! Cow Parsley is Cow parsleyrampant. Some of you, the non-Englanders, will need me to explain what Cow Parsley is. It is a plant that grows about a metre high and it has a dome- like head of cream lace-like flowers. And it is everywhere! It’s delicacy is enchanting!

We arrived at the first spot: a magnificent fountain called The Emperor Fountain, the highest gravity fed fountain in the UK. John jumped out of the buggy to take a picture and was instantly reprimanded by our driver who was telling us about the various places.Emperor

“Excuse me, Sir, please come back. We have a tight schedule.”

“I’m just getting this one photograph.”

“Well, Sir, I would rather you stayed seated,” he responded crossly. B and I pretended we didn’t know John. We had to! He got out to take photographs every time our buggy pulled to a stop. By the time we had finished our tour in the buggy, our irate driver had developed three ulcers!

A beautiful grotto was pointed out to us, cut into the hillside in the1800’s. We were going through the woods when all of a sudden there was this magnificent statue of a hare standing by the Grotto Pond beating a drum. He was so handsome and…right. Indeed all the outside statues we saw that day seemed to grace the portion of the garden they were placed in.              .

Then we came to the Cascades. I looked up at tier upon tiers of water cascading and tumbling towards me. Copious quantities of water falling in stages down a steep slope. This was built in the 1700’s. It was a scene of breathtaking beauty. Young children laughing as they splashed and frolicked in the tumbling waters. What a treat to see children doing that rather than sitting playing with their computer games and smart phones! The Cascades seemed to be laughing aloud at the joy of life. I smiled at the foresight of its creator who never lived to see his masterpiece completed. But what a masterpiece!cascades

I could go on for ages recounting the wonders that I discovered in Chatsworth gardens. But… must go there and sample the delights for yourselves!

I carry my experience of that estate with me when I left. It has coiled itself into my heart where I can often look at it with delight.

And smile.