Please click the title for Part 1: Woburn Abbey: Where Afternoon Tea Ritual Started
At dawn, I drove up a mile or so to catch the sunrise.
Later, Monique and I headed off to Bletchley Park about twenty minutes away. We should not have planned anything after Bletchley Park so we could explore it more. But due to limited time and needing to complete the garden tour before sunset, we did both places in one day.
A team of gardeners maintains the plants at Woburn Abbey. Since the current duke’s family lives at Woburn Abbey, the gardens are really a place for the family to enjoy the outdoors for picnics, games, kite-flying, and wandering about, specially in the summer. I asked our tour guide how the family is and he said they’re quite nice and they have normal conversations like what they’d like done in the garden.
The gardens are situated behind the Abbey:
Our visit was past springtime, so the garden’s state was past its most glorious. Yet, it was still a refreshing gorgeous retreat from duties and definitely, it was a time to forget traffic!
The Chinese pavilion is equipped with marble tables to make chocolate and if I remember correctly, ice cream too. The interesting facilities which I was surprised to find in a historic garden made me forget to take indoor photos!
You could feed the ducks in the beautiful pond across the Chinese pavilion. The bell by our tour guide’s boot tells the ducks to come for food.
There is a Conservatory/ greenhouse where tropical plants could be grown. As these plants are not found in this side of the globe, these make for very interesting conversations with guests as they are transported to the tropics.
What the Gardener shared about pruning the dead branches:
and getting rid of the dead stems:
reminded me of what Jesus said that He cuts off the branch that doesn’t bear fruit and prunes every branch that does bear fruit so that it will be even more fruitful. If the Gardener didn’t do the cutting and pruning, the plant itself would just rot and be unfruitful. It is the cutting and pruning that makes the plant more fruitful. Sounds nice that the whole process will lead to more fruitfulness. But when we are being pruned, it is painful as we let go of the things that should really go. All that dead stuff that we are attached to. All that dead stuff that could spread its rotting to the good parts of the branch. If you are in a season of pruning, may you be encouraged to hang in there as your best season is yet to come!
Here is a beautiful video of a breathtaking aerial view of the Woburn Abbey Gardens: