Monday, November 30, 2015

Progress Update Part 3...

Thanks for joining us for the last part of our progress update with a stroll around the grounds. Here are some photos taken on a sunny day.

Above: The view of the manor from the Urn en flambeau Parterre.

Below: View of the manor and carriage house from the lake.

Below: The Urn Parterre. The buxus hedging has taken off despite the rabbit problem, although the rabbits have dug out many of the irises in an attempt to excavate a warren underneath the urn. I feel more rabbit pie will be on the menu this autumn. I love the way the established trees in the distance provide a backdrop of the parterre down the view of the lime walk. It's almost as if it was planned that way :-)

Below: A view back up the lime walk from the parterre.

 Some of the bedding plants close up...

Antirrhinum (Snap dragons)

Dianthus (Pinks)

Across the lawn on the other side of the parterre is one entrance to Badger's Wood. This has certainly established itself in the last 2 years (original post here)...

We have Pukeko's nesting in the woods. Here is one that is protecting a nest of fledglings. 
 For other bird life at Willowbrook Park see our post on Ornithology here.
Above: Our Diamond Jubilee Oak tree has grown too in the last couple of years.

More photos of the wood looking back on the pathway from the other end. 

 The knot garden has down well since last autumn, and soon the plants will form a nice hedge.

Peter has been busy grooming the beds and topiarising the corner plants into perfect pyramids.
Above: The Gertrude Jekyll Roses

Below: A giant gunnera, which is to be moved to the brook by the bridge in autumn. Is will be a hot dry summer and anything we attempt to transplant before then won't survive.

The currants are doing very well this season...

... as are the vines. Come autumn we should have our first decent harvest of table grapes, and when the wine grapes are planted we will be able to start our domestic viticulture.

 Above: A splendid hedge rose in the orchard.

Below: Another in the lime walk.

The bees are having a marvelous time.

View from site of rotunda towards urn parterre again.

The Elysium Field, the site of our future wildflower meadow, which has been grown for hay for emergency stock tucker over the summer should we run into a drought (always prepared).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Progress Update Part 2...

Climbing up the newly laid stairs, our update continues with the first floor.

Above: The stairs being laid. My OCD is such that we had to have solid one piece treads and risers, as when I walk up tiled stairs the lines of grouting do my head in...

Above: View of landing from long gallery. The balusters have all been made for the stairwell and balcony, so these should be able to be installed next week. We're still not sure whether the banister will be carved wood or formed from pouring coloured concrete into boxing on site. There are pros and cons to each. We had to ditch our ideas of wrought iron balustrade and banisters as we had seen the quality of the ironwork being imported for other projects which was terrible, and having the same product made to our drawings in NZ would cost an arm and a leg. We have used to following staircase for our inspiration for the finished balustrade...

 Above: View across landing near top of stairs.

Below: Upstairs powder room. A smallish space, but still better to have an additional space for guests to freshen up; and it is well appointed. We have a lovely mirror to hang above the vanity.

The Brideshead Suite is almost ready for use as well. Below a view looking towards the bed end...

and with the furniture waiting to be unwrapped and placed...

Looking towards the other end of the suite:

Inside the bathroom, a view of the spa bath with the Rowe and Perrin fittings all plumbed in.

  The curved marble with handmade cornicing came out well. 

The vanity and loo...

The Chatsworth Suite...
This suite too is ready to be furnished and used.
 Above: View from where the bed will be positioned.

Below: Views towards (left to right) the entrance door, wardrobe, espresso bar, and bathroom.

Space inside for fridge (bottom left), and the shelf above that (which will be finished with a marble surface) upon which the nespresso machine and tea tray etc will be. Then there are an additional 2 shelves to be added to the unit above for other things (? what exactly).

The Chatsworth vanity and loo (red marble, gold taps).

The Blenheim bathroom (gray marble, nickel taps).

The Blenheim suite is yet to be wallpapered, but once it is we will share some more pics. Here is the furniture in the Blenheim suite waiting to be unwrapped and placed after the papering is done.

The Master Suite
Above: View as you walk into the room.

Below: View facing south corner.

Below: Fireplace and chandelier. Once all the crystals are hung there will only be an inch of head clearance. Alas, it can not be hung any higher, but being a little lower is more traditionally Georgian, and it will allow light to shine onto the four-poster, which it wouldn't if it was a foot higher.

 The Master Bathroom

Master Vanity

 and master shower (AKA 'the carwash').

 David's Study (AKA 'The Lords').

The unpainted spaces above are to be fitted with cabinetry as per diagram below...

... but alas when the furniture arrived it was the wrong size and the wrong colour (even though there were several detailed and well dimensioned drawings which were sent). So, we have had to order the same again in the correct size and colour, which being made overseas will not arrive until late January, early February. I will look forward to relaxing in my study then with a glass of scotch to celebrate the end of this long running saga.

Below: The furniture before it was unpackaged.

This was the same for Peters study (AKA 'The Commons').

Peter loves the green colour of his walls. Here is a closeup of his door handle...

Join us tomorrow for a stroll around the grounds in our last update post before the big shift on the 20th December.
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