A Winters Tale

John Dalkin

Solihull, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

A single tree, on a frosty morning. Seen in Witley Court, England.
Photo taken with a Canon EOS 20D.

The vast and rambling remains of the palatial 19th century mansion are surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens, which still contain huge stone fountains. The largest, representing Perseus and Andromeda – now restored – was described as making the ‘noise of an express train’ when fired.
Before 1846, when William Humble Ward (later first Earl of Dudley) inherited Witley Court, the land surrounding the house was laid out in the 18th-century English landscape style. As part of Ward’s transformation of the estate, he called in the leading landscape designer of the time, William Andrews Nesfield, whose skills in designing intricate and elegant parterres were complemented by his great ability as an artist and engineer.
Nesfield started work in 1854, creating the South Parterre with its great Perseus and Andromeda fountain. His scheme involved elegantly designed planting and parterres of clipped evergreens and shrubs. The central avenue of planting from the house led to the fountains, terminating at the South Parterre. The East Parterre garden, with its Flora fountain, was designed in the Parterre de Broderie style – that is resembling embroidery, with box-edged shapes filled with coloured gravel and flowers.
Following the disastrous fire in 1937, the Witley Estate, including its gardens, fell into long decline. English Heritage has restored the south garden. In addition, Wolfson Foundation funding has assisted with major restoration works in the East Parterre garden, also enabling us to plan development of the formal gardens based on the original Nesfield designs. The showpiece Woodland Walks in the North Park pass many different species of tree and shrub from all over the world.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MarkII

Artwork Comments

  • John Dalkin
  • John Dalkin
  • kathy s gillentine
  • David Davies
  • 1stImpressions
  • lezvee
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