Hidden in the countryside at Paultons Park is a little slice of Africa. We sent Charly – mum and award winning photographer of the PODcast lifestyle and parenting blog, down to take some snaps for our latest guest blog post.
“The gardens at Paulton’s Park are a wonderfully relaxing place to be. Whether it be in the main garden, once the site of the Paulton’s House, the lake and weir, the Snakes & Ladders Garden or the Japanese Garden. There are twelve gardens to explore in all, many of which are interlinked. They’re really impressive and definitely worth investigating as part of your trip to Paulton’s Park.
One of the gardens we especially enjoyed was the magnificent African Garden – Jungle Falls. Complete with a topiary rhino, family of gorillas, two cranes, a giraffe, an elephant and her baby, it’s the perfect place to explore and unwind.
The African Garden is situated near the rockery and runs parallel to the owls. It’s located just a few minutes’ walk from the main entrance of Paulton’s Park. I love the anticipation as you’re approaching, even from afar it gives the appearance of an idyllic setting. When you arrive you’re enticed in by the entrance and winding pathway. There’s definitely that sense of intrigue as you set off on a voyage of discovery!
The topiary collection in Paulton’s Park is amazing. The African Gardens is no different and a giant rhino catches your eye immediately. Be warned though, while you’re admiring the view you may miss a snake lurking on a rock nearby! The attention to detail in the African Gardens is admirable even down to the cracked tiles beneath the rhino which is representative of an African landscape. The roped pathway at the African Garden provides the perfect platform from which to enjoy the view.
Trees, plants and flowers adopt the African theme and great touches like sculptures and carvings make it that little bit special. The colourful displays that frame the garden work brilliantly and give the impression you are actually watching the animals in their natural habitat.
Water runs beneath part of the bridge where if you look closely, you’ll find giant fish swimming among the reeds. This area of the garden is topped off perfectly with the addition of two topiary cranes. Also nearby is a wooden picnic area providing the perfect place to sit and relax – after you’ve explored the gardens of course!
With the twists, turns and so much to look at, part of the appeal of this garden is the element of surprise. Although you know they’re coming up, when you reach the family of topiary gorillas you can really appreciate how much time and effort must have gone into creating them. Both are surrounding by a fabulous display of flowers and plants that truly capture the essence of Africa.
Continuing along the pathway you’re transported to another part of the African Garden where even more delights lay in store. A giraffe having a nibble on a nearby tree being just one of these – a 12ft giraffe that is!
Next comes a welcoming scene which incorporates a rockery, a pool and a delightful display of pink flowers in varying shades. This really is a beautiful scene and it took a few seconds to realise there was an unwelcome visitor not very far away. It was another topiary gem – this time a resting crocodile! You can almost imagine him sliding in the water if you watch for long enough. When you look across to the other side of the path, any feelings of fear are diminished when you spot an elephant with its baby. The foliage is denser in this part of the garden instilling another level of curiosity.
We loved discovering the African Gardens. So once we’d explored them we walked round and experienced them all over again.”
A mini African adventure into the gardens at Paultons – our thanks to Charly for the photographs and insights. For more interesting images from life and parenting visit: