Repton provided the 6th Duke of Bedford with a Red Book in 1805. It is his proposals that the current Duchess is gradually restoring. Behind the house is the Chinese Dairy and Repton planned a Chinese temple now in his Arboretum. The terraced winter garden, lead to the Menagerie, where the Aviary and Pine Cone Pavilion have been restored, as has the flower garden in front of the Camelia House. The Abbey is closed until 2024, so this is an entirely private visit to the garden.
The aim of this garden was to create an open informal space between the house and the wall, enclosing the park. By the house, terraces planted with standard Wisteria and a spreading sea of Erigeron, are given an exotic twist with Fejoia sellowiana. A wide lawn, planted with groves of white-trunked Himalayan Birch, slopes down to a thatched summer house which conceals a door in the wall opening onto the serene woodland walk around the extensive lake.
Tuesday 5 Sept 2023