About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, August 01, 2016


"Imagine discovering a lost garden with tunnels and underground grottoes buried under thousandsof tonnes of soil for over 50 years. That’s what happened at Dewstow gardens. Built around 1895 the gardens were buried just after World War Two and rediscovered in 2000." http://www.dewstowgardens.co.uk/)

This is from the brochure I brought home...One of the most exciting horticultural finds of recent years has been the underground Edwardian gardens at Destow House in Monmouthshire.

In1893, Henry Oakley purchased the ancient Dewstow estate, managing it until his death in 1940. A keen horticulturist and wealthy bachelor, Oakley embarked on the creation of a truly ambitious and unique garden in his ground.

Commissioning eminent London landscapers Pulham & Son, work on the massive project began in the late 19th Century.  While there are many examples of the Pulham's work in stately homes in the UK, Dewstow is unique in its scale and subterranean focus.

With no descendants the land passed from Oakley at his death in 1940.  During the forties the garden was filled in and the land reverted to working pastureland.  The vast majority of the private gardens were buried or destroyed and as no records of their existence remained, they were forgotten until the land was purchased by the Harris family in 2000.

After an initial investigation, the discovery of steps leading down and other evidence of the garden were found. Subsequent excavation has revealed far more than was ever imagined."

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting these gardens on one of my last days in southern Wales and was absolutely overwhelmed at its beauty.  So instead of writing about it, how about taking a look for yourself!  Be sure to expand into full frame mode and turn up the music (a jazz rendition of "Sunny")for a bit of ambience!  Here's a sneak peak from the brochure.
With divine thanks to the darling Denise, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to our dapper administrator Roger.  Also thanks go to the dauntless team of ABCWers who daily monitor and comment on all the dazzling contributions we receive from around the world. And now, on with the show!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


photowannabe said...

I'm so glad that this beautiful place was restored to its former beauty.

Melody said...

And a lot of d's filled in ...and wonderful done as well... lovely photo's Leslie. A bundle of joy in total

Have a nice ABC-W-Day / – week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

ellen b said...

Absolutely beautiful. So glad you were able to visit and see this in person.

Ann said...

Sure it was a very remarkable thing to discover, I love all the statues. Wonder how they decided what plants to re-create.

Hildred said...

What a treat, Leslie, - thank you for sharing this lovely Smilebox creation.

Roger Owen Green said...

Teacher is filled with new info!


Reader Wil said...

Thank you for the beautiful video. This is about the most beautiful garden in the world! It has everything like ponds, grottoes, all kind of flowers. I can understand that this must be overwhelming.

Amit Agarwal said...

Very beautiful indeed!
Thank you Leslie:)

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous garden and great choices for D ~

Happy Day to you ~ ^_^

Rajesh said...

Wow! beautiful garden.

Anonymous said...

This beautiful garden gives me a different outlook of Wales than one my friends painted (which was a bare, God-forsaken place) - am glad with this info, because Wales has such a rich history!

Joy said...

Gorgeous, what a lot of work must have been done to bring it back to life.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

That's astounding how people were able to figure where the gardens were under the dirt.

Unknown said...

very nice