When I was researching Kenneth Woodbridge, I ran across an article about his son, Tim Woodbridge.
Tim was piggybacking on the subject his dad wrote about, which was Stourhead Garden in Wiltshire. Tim says his dad discovered 95% of everything that is known about the garden today.
The garden is breathtaking because it is surrounding this gloriously breathtaking man-made lake.
All along, people have assumed that the lake was part of the plan by Henry Hoare, the banker, who established the garden as his lasting legacy. But Tim believes he’s uncovered a secret about the garden that had been lost to time.
In 2005, the National Trust commissioned an underwater survey of the lake.
Tim’s book, called The Choice, explains that the lake is hiding a first garden – the garden that was built to honor Hoare's dead wife, Susan.
The garden was nearly completed when suddenly Hoare's son and only heir, Henry, died of smallpox in Naples. He was just 22 years old.
Tim believes that the garden became too painful and that Hoare's shocking next move was to do something about it. Tim thinks that Hoare built a dam and then flooded the garden, creating the magnificent great lake that people drive to see from all over the world. Instead of a planned part of the design; The lake was an outward sign of grief of a husband and father whose tears hid the garden he had built for posterity.
And I think, if a garden could cry... this is what it would look like.