“The Genius of the Place

The gardens at Stourhead, Wiltshire were designed by Henry Hoare II and laid out between 1741 and 1780 in a classical 18th-century design set around a large lake, achieved by damming a small stream. The inspiration behind their creation were the painters Claud Lorrain, Poussin, and, in particular, Gaspar Dughet, who painted Utopian-type views of Italian landscapes. It is similar in style to the landscape gardens at Stowe.

Included in the garden are a number of temples inspired by scenes of the Grand Tour of Europe. On one hill overlooking the gardens there stands an obelisk and King Alfred’s Tower, a 50-metre-tall, brick folly designed by Henry Flitcroft in 1772; on another hill the temple of Apollo  provides a vantage point to survey the magnificent rhododendrons, water, cascades and temples..

The lake is artificially created. Following a path around the lake is meant to evoke a journey similar to that of Aeneas’s descent in to the underworld…..The plantings in the garden were arranged in a manner that would evoke different moods, drawing visitors through realms of thought. According to Henry Hoare, ‘The greens should be ranged together in large masses as the shades are in painting: to contrast the dark masses with the light ones, and to relieve each dark mass itself with little sprinklings of lighter greens here and there.’”

Source: Wikipedia

Old School Gardener