Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dogs Rule At Chiswick House

Chiswick House and Gardens in London, England is a great place for a walk in the park.  Although the house, an example of 18th century British architecture, is closed for the season, the sprawling grounds are open all year.  This 65-acre garden, which reportedly influenced the design of New York's Central Park, is located in the west London burough of Hounslow. 

It includes great open space as well as a large woodland garden,

an Italian garden and a greenhouse

a play area for the kids, a large enclosed field for sports,
even a cafe to enjoy a cup of tea and a scone.

There are beautiful walkways, tons of camellias that were covered with buds
and roses still in bloom on this November day.

       But, in the end my two favorite things about this park,
er--garden--was this man-made river

that was studded with trees, shrubs

and ducks.

The swans were a stand out, of course, against the dark background.

  But my absolute favorite thing about these gardens didn't have much to do with
the plants, the statuary, the trees or the blooms.  You heard me right. 
It was all about the dog watching here. 

It seems to be a popular spot for residents to walk their dogs and let them run unleashed. This young pup was having so much fun trying to chase the ducks.

I was bitten by dog love all over again while strolling through here.  It has been a few years now since my cocker spaniel and my llasa apso/shih tzu died and I haven't been ready to get another. 
I don't think any dog could replace the bond that I had with my
beloved cocker spaniel.
Then I saw this King Charles spaniel and my heart melted.

My take away after visiting England a few times now: 
 I love a country where houses frequently have proper names and, even more, where spaniels are King.