This is the view from Eyre Hall's formal garden looking towards Cherrystone Creek. This is the real Eyre Hall, not to be confused with
For details on this other lovely mansion that was definitely not Eyre Hall, see yesterday's post, where Chesapeake Bay Woman
Here's what the main house looks like. As you can see it is immaculately maintained, which was one clue that I was in the right place.
(The other clue was a sign with an arrow pointing to the gardens.)
The colonial-era house is surrounded by an oyster shell driveway, white fences, numerous adorable outbuildings and one absolutely stunning garden loaded with huge boxwoods just brimming with that smell that lets you know you're stepping back in time.
Much to my surprise, the ruins of an old brick building stood just outside the gardens, facing the water near the Eyre family cemetery--which contains graves dating back to the 1700s.
Note: My hasty editing ruined/blurred this particular shot of the remains of a structure known as the orangery:
If you're wondering:
(a) how on Earth I knew this was called an orangery;
(b) what on Earth an orangery is;
(c) why on Earth you should do anything but fall asleep right now; but also
(d) how many times CBW can say the word "orangery" in one post,
the short answer comes from Wikipedia. Evidently an orangery is a greenhouse or conservatory found in certain 17th-19th century houses:
"The orangery, however, was not just a greenhouse but a symbol of prestige and wealth and a feature of the garden, in the same way as a summer house, folly or "Grecian temple". Owners would conduct their guests there on tours of the garden to admire not only the fruits within but the architecture without. Often the orangery would contain fountains, grottoes, and an area in which to entertain in inclement weather."
Thank you, Wikipedia. Is anyone still awake?
Below is another glance towards the creek from one of
Orangery might be my new favorite word. May I bring you a blanket or pillow?
And here's a glimpse of those gorgeous boxwoods with that heavy, earthy, intoxicating smell. The garden was one big maze of boxwoods surrounding mini secret gardens, loaded with flowers and exotic plants, and benches sprinkled throughout. I could spend an eternity just sitting and absorbing the sights and smells of this place.
For a little more background on Eyre Hall, my BFF Wikipedia says this:
"The property where Eyre Hall is located was first patented to the three sons of Thomas Eyre I in 1668 and included 1,600 acres. A 700 acre tract was purchased by Littleton Eyre, a great grandson of Thomas, in 1754 with the purpose to build a family seat and a working plantation. The original structure built in 1760 was a 41-foot-square structure and was a 2 1/2 story wooden home.
The property grew periodically over the years too, as a a dairy was built in 1760 and a smokehouse was built around 1806. The house is surrounded by boxwood gardens, and formal lawns and fields that melt away into the Cherrystone Creek. On the grounds is also a walled garden from the 1800s, the Eyre family cemetery, and the ruins of an orangery from 1819."
Am I the only person who
is still awake? had never heard of an orangery?