There are many niches containing statuary of a classical nature.
We saw mysterious doors leading who-knows-where,
plenty of architectural detail
until, having walked some way around the house
We came to a gap in the well-trimmed yew hedge and
A glorious ornate iron gate which led into a large walled garden.
We walked under the pergola
And enjoyed the water music of the fountain playing in the pond.
and a church spire from the path by the fruit trees.
It was early in the season but, here and there, were lovely spring flowering bulbs, like these muscari, or grape hyacynths.
Whoever designed this garden liked to frame views.
Luscious hosta leaves seemed untouched by slugs.
Steps with primroses led up to a higher level.
In the next garden area were furry-budded magnolia trees
and paper bark maple trees.
This seemed a highly desirable and picturesque residence for doves, as well as a useful source of guano as a natural fertilizer.
The knot garden was well-kept but, as yet, a little bare.
More doves viewed the estate from the weather vane on the main house roof.
Another view of the pergola, with a flowering ribes in the foreground.
There was a row of auriculae sheltering on the windowsill of the potting shed
and some pretty pots of tulips by the greenhouse.
An obelisque/odalisque led the way to another part of the gardens
dotted with more statuary
beautiful still-bare trees towering above the river
and a path divided by a rill
leading to a pond overlooked by a grotto
and then on to a stone arcade
with places to sit and enjoy the sylvan views under more vaulted roofing.
Mercury showed off his balancing skills.
This long-horned cow escorted us back around the house on the other side of the haha.
There was an intriguing staircase leading upwards
and a gatehouse resplendent with its own knot garden and some extremely elegant chimneys.
On this Thursday afternoon we nearly had the place to ourselves, enjoying the birdsong, fresh air and sunshine as well as the specific delights of Rousham itself. I'm so glad we got there at last.