The name John Lewis is synonymous with quality department stores in the UK. It has a subsidiary, Waitrose, that is its supermarket chain. However, unlike many similar companies, JL has other sides. It owns arable, dairy, mushroom and apple farms in Hampshire and its vineyards produce quality wines. Yet, there is more: it owns and manages a long section of the famous River Test, adjacent nature reserves, the Longstock Water Garden and the adjacent nursery and restaurant.
Longstock is a few miles south of Andover and north of Stockbridge, and the water garden sits on river gravels and alluvial soils. The site has been developed over around 100 years from gravel diggings and is beautifully maintained.
I will allow the photographs to tell the story of the place and its vegetation, yet it has its difficulties. The narrow access stream carries small amounts of silt which slowly fills up the waterways. So, occasionally the accumulated debris needs pumping out – not a mean task!
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