I hope you have enjoyed the country house tour in my earlier posts. Now, how about a little virtual walk through some country gardens in full bloom?
Spring is the best time of year for it because the colours are absolutely astounding! Even better than in the summer. Can you imagine anything more romantic than our favourite couple strolling among the bluebells?
Or under cherry trees in bloom?
Or in a glade overgrown with daffodils?
Or perhaps wandering into a mysterious garden…
… to be blissfully alone and steal a kiss or two beneath a towering magnolia or under garlands of wisteria?
You must have recognised the Pemberley paths in the daffodils photos. The last three images are from the lesser-known Greys Court, a beautiful place near Henley-on-Thames. Downton fans might remember it as the place where, in an early episode, the family were supposed to retire when faced with downsizing from their grand abode and relinquishing it to Mr Crawley. The Dowager Countess had tea on the lawn, looking extremely sour at the prospect. And well she might because, compared to Highclere Castle (a.k.a Downton Abbey), Greys Court is not grand at all.
But in real life it was a home full of love. The last owners, Lord and Lady Brunner, who donated it to the National Trust, seem to have been one of those extremely fortunate couples who were not only deeply attached, but also blessed with the good fortune of growing old together. There is a portrait in the house showing them in their old age, sitting together in the garden. Their faces are heavily lined, but they glow with almost tangible love. It’s in their beautiful home that I saw this quote set in a frame – a few deeply moving lines which, to me, are the perfect embodiment of the Darcys’ marriage:
“There is nothing better than this: when a man and a woman, sharing the same ideas about life, keep house together. It pains their enemies and delights their friends, but only they themselves know what it truly means.” (Homer – Odyssey)
On this lovely note, let me finish with some more lovely pictures. Imagine our favourite couple strolling through the vast grounds of Pemberley, only to turn a corner and come across this:
How Elizabeth’s eyes would light up in wonder and absolute delight! How irresistible she would be to a besotted Mr Darcy! And how sweet to imagine them kissing among azaleas, then walking hand in hand towards their ‘happily ever after’!
Hope you enjoyed the stroll. If you haven’t already, look up my facebook page, All Roads Lead to Pemberley, for more images from the places that have inspired my stories. Hope you’ll come walking with me again, and with any luck, in real life too 🙂
(Photos Joana Starnes at Chatsworth, Greys Court, Lyme Park, Virginia Waters)