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From dragons to snakes – you can’t say that I’m not… consistent.

I was preparing to have another crack at Grafton Wood today – with a slightly heavy heart, because it’s not a site I especially like, and I’ve almost given up hope of seeing a Brown Hairstreak this year – when R rescued me from myself by proposing a trip to Sezincote. At the time the weather was highly dragon-appropriate, so we set off with a full complement of cameras and lenses for the capturing thereof, but by the time we arrived heavy cloud had rolled in, and the only dragon we saw was heading determinedly towards the wood – presumably to roost.

Sezincote though… it’s one of those places that makes you feel better about life. Even before you’ve eaten some of their lovely cake. I need to be careful not to oversell it – I’d hate you to go on my recommendation and be disappointed – but R and I find it utterly charming and relaxing.

My main image is the spout of the Snake Fountain, which sadly sprays water so enthusiastically that it rapidly empties its header tank, and is therefore only used on special occasions; I really like it as a dry feature though, and I think the spider webs add atmosphere. I’m sure this would make an interesting mono conversion, but I wanted to convey the lushness of Sezincote today – unexpected, given the recent drought, but the garden is watered by natural springs, and is said never to look parched, however dry the season. We hope to make another trip in the autumn, before the estate closes for the winter, and ideally I would like to see the garden on a damp and misty day.

My extra shows the south frontage of the house, with its Persian garden, and part of the lovely curving orangery where teas are served (and where you can have your wedding reception if you’re not already firmly married). The red car parked outside the front of the house is an Indian wedding taxi, which was given to his wife Camilla by Edward Peake, the present custodian of Sezincote.