The Dingle Garden in December

Here we are with the final report of our monthly visit to the Dingle Gardens near Welshpool. As we drove down to Welshpool the weather just could not make its mind up what it was going to do, sunny with blue skies one minute, showers of cold rain the next. But once we were actually wandering around the gravel paths of the garden, it settled and we had a dry period for most of our walk. A few minutes of rain arrived just as we finished.

The light was dull and we noticed how variegated plants really came into their own. Gold and green, silver and green, grey and green in every possible combination and patterns. Just see in the first photo how the variegated shrub across the lawn shines out against darker foliaged trees and shrubs.

         

Variegation in conifers fails to impress me, as sadly it just looks like a bird has been perched above the foliage for a while! See what you think!

 

Variegated groundcover plants are very effective in the woodland garden as they brighten up dull areas. Silver variegation create mirror effects reflecting any light that gets through the tree canopy.

  

The raindrops hung around on glaucous foliage and we were surprised just how many plants in this woodland garden displayed glaucous leaves. Variegated foliage adds extra bright spots to woodland patches but glaucous foliage creates gentle subdued spots.

 

The oldest surviving plants in the UK are the ferns, lichens and mosses and they love the damp atmosphere of the sloping woodland garden here at The Dingle. They add such beautiful shades of bright green and bluish tints, but a few go golden and ginger as winter takes a deeper grasp on the garden.

         

Berries that were at their most prolific during the autumn months remain in evidence but only just hanging on in ones or twos.

 

Coloured bark adds interest to decorative trees in the winter and those that peel and drop sheets of their bark are even more interesting.

   

So, after twelve visits to the woodland garden at The Dingle near Welshpool, we come to the end of this year of visits. Next year we will begin a new series of garden visits. But for now I shall finish this series with a few general views of different parts of the woodland gardens.

    

 

Posted in colours, garden design, garden paths, garden photography, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, lakes, light, light quality, ornamental trees and shrubs, Powis, Powys, shrubs, trees, Wales, water in the garden, woodland, woodlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family visit to Yorkshire Park Part 2 – outside

Back at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park we saw Arabella enjoying the huge muddy puddles created by the storm that battered the site as we enjoyed the inside gallery spaces. We meanwhile enjoyed a few outdoor pieces alongside the puddles while we watched her antics. We are so pleased with how Arabella has inherited our love of puddles!

      

The following photos are a selection of those taken around the sculpture park.

 

We always enjoy spending time in any James Turrell’s sky spaces and this one called “Deer Shelter” was the first we ever found.

   

Or final stop was in the chapel gallery with a single installation filling the main room. Sheets and music hang among white string “nests”. All of this rises from a piano. This space had a magical atmosphere.

   

So that was the end of our family holiday in Scotland and a few extra days in Yorkshire.

 

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A Family Holiday in Scotland – Part 7 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The last day of our family holiday, where we spent a week in the Scottish Borders, was spent part way during our journey home at The Yorkshire Sculture Park. This is a favourite place for our family so it was great to all be there together. There are always top quality gallery shows and outdoor exhibitions as well as the permanent collection of outside sculpture all dispayed in beautiful parkland.

Before going out to the underground gallery to look at the work of Guiseppe Penone, we had a quick look at exhibitions inside which we all felt were rather strange except  for Arabella who enjoyed the animals. She loves all animals! See what you think of these.

 

We went out into the unnaturally cool, wet July morning across the gravel display area into the main gallery. This building is so good at displaying sculpture and is fascinating in its own right. The right hand photo of the three below shows part of the first piece we spotted as we entered the gallery building.

  

In the main gallery spaces we were enthralled by Guiseppe Penone’s exhibition “A Tree in the Wood”, each piece holding our attention. The centre piece was a tree carved to follow the natural contours and get into its soul. It was a beautiful piece! The tree was so long that the sculptural piece went through two galleries passing through from one to another.

           

This sculptural piece was one of the most beautiful pieces Jude and I could ever remember experiencing, as the sculptor successfully discovered and enhanced the textures, shapes contours and even the soul of the tree when it was still living. Now this tree will live on for ever, unaffected by storms, freezing conditions and long winters.

But there were plenty of other examples of his tree and wood sculptures here to enjoy plus a few 2D pieces.

    

After hours of being enthralled by “A Tree in the Wood” we eventually moved outside to a very wet parkland. Arabella however who loves puddles almost above all else soon spotted one result of the rain. To enjoy this you will have to await my next post.

 

 

 

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A Family Holiday in Scotland – Part 6 – Fountains

After our great family holiday staying in our cottage holiday home in the Scottish Borders, we took a few days to make our way home to make our holiday together  last a little bit longer. We enjoyed two days in Yorkshire visiting Fountains Abbey and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In this post we will share our day at Fountains. After a wet and stormy drive down from Scotland we arrived in Yorkshire for an overnight stay. Jude and I had not been to Fountains Abbey for years so were pleased to take the family there.

As we wandered down the sloping pathto the abbey ruins we could admire the amount of structure still left standing. It is really impressive.

  

Arabella enjoys life and loves going out and about – outside is where she prefers to be.

Once down among the stonework you can really appreciate the strength of the building and the sheer brilliance of it’s construction.

  

Mother Nature enjoys a good ruin to grow on finding the tiniest crack with a drop of soil in in which to grow.

 

The monks had left us a convenient stone seat on which we could perch for a picnic.

As we started clearing our picnic away the clouds darkened and cold rain drops fell. We struggled to find any shelter from the following storm. Arabella never minds rain because it means puddles, her favourite phenomena. I hope you enjoy this set of photos where she shows her delight at puddles.

      

We just had time to explore the outside boundaries of the site before the closing time closed in on us.

      

We followed the finger posts back to the car park at the end of another great family day out.

 

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Garden Entrances and Archways – Part 5 of this very occasional series

It has been a while since we visited this series so here is a new selection of my photographs of entrances and archways we have discovered in several gardens during our visits.

     

 

 

 

 

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A Family Holiday in Scotland – Part 5 New Lanark

On one day during our week’s hoiday in the Scottish Borders, we spent time exploring the heritage site at New Lanark, a once busy place in a steeply sided valley, being reborn with a new identity. It is still a living and working village.

From the carpark we had to walk down a steep but winding path to get down to the site as it was designed and built all around the River Clyde. The view from the top though was so amazing, I just had to get down there, albeit it rather slowly.

Once down in the valley bottom the sheer immensity and solidity of the old mill buildings became apparent. In its heighday it must have been noisy, busy and unpleasant so seeing it now all cleaned up is rather strange. It is good however to see it being reborn. There is a real sense of pride here.

In its former life it was a group of 4 mills and their support buildings, homes for the employees and even “The Institute” formed by Robert Owen in 1816. All the buildings are built of a beautiful pale local sandstone and local slate for the roofs. They look so sturdy! They have now all been cleaned up and given a new lease of life, a new sense of purpose. The river that runs through the valley providing water for the factories is now a nature reserve. The whole site is home for many but also a massive tourist attraction.

On top of Mill 2 is a discovery waiting for all visitors to find, but you have to be pretty stubborn to get there, as the signage is not good at all. It is even hard to find where to start the ascent!

It is a roof garden featuring strong design in the hard surfaces and a collection of sculptures.

     

Inside the old mills are a few signs of their busy past, now silent.

We loved the sight of this inspiring sign, with words of Robert Owen, a philanthropic social reformer who aimed to make the lives of mill workers and their families more bearable.

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A family holiday in Scotland – Part 4 – Dawyck Botanic Gardens

Jude and I had the opportunity to spend a day at Dawyck Botanic Garden, a garden which is part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. What made our visit extra special was that we took our little granddaughter Arabella with us. At just 20 months old she is a great lover of gardens and especially trees.

Dawyck is a woodland garden rich with trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials to back them up. We have visited so many woodland gardens and arboreta over the years but we were amazed by how large Dawyck’s specimen trees were, the largest in girth and height we have ever seen.

 

Arabella was fascinated by the disinfectant pads which visitors had to walk through to help prevent the spread of tree desease to help protect our trees. Good to see the garden setting a good example. Too many of our trees seem to be under threat. Once Arabella realised we were off exploring the woodland she wanted her explorers back pack on. Then she was off!

 

We wandered off trying but failing to follow the yellow way-marked trail, stopping regularly to look up at the tallest trees and touch their bark and study their leaves.

A new word appeared for Arabella when she saw these trees – ENORMOUS! This was always followed a big “WOW”.

     

Arabella did however wear herself out so succumbed to a sleep time so Jude and I enjoyed a good rest too.

We were so fortunate to visit Dawyck on a day with brilliant light quality that emphasised texture and patterens in foliage and bark.

        

But trees cannot take all the praise as herbaceous perennials and ferns were of equal interest and beautifuly displayed and cared for.

      

I have saved this tree until last as it took our breath away and sent our granddaughter speechless for a while until she blurted out excitedly, “More enormous!”

 

It is rare that you can say that the seats in the cafe were worth a mention but these at Dawyck were beautifully carved from wood and each was original. They were comfortable too! A good end to an exceptional day with trees and a young tree appreciator.

 

 

 

Posted in arboreta, garden paths, garden photography, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, hardy perennials, light, light quality, ornamental trees and shrubs, shrubs, trees, woodland, woodlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments