The weather turned colder today, back to more normal temperatures for the time of year. Last week on some days we enjoyed 20 degrees celsius but it has dropped back to 9, and it felt cold. But we had planned to take a walk at Attingham Park, the weather failed to stop us. Walking through the woods towards the walled garden we were delighted to see splashes of colour from Primroses, Celandines, Rhodendrons and the first leaves of Horse Chestnut trees.
Occasionally a piece of sculpture surprised and entertained us. This piece hanging above us from the branches of a tree, enticed us to look up into its structure, where it captured our images in its circular mirrors. With me are son, Jamie and his girlfriend Sam.
The walled garden changes with the seasons but also as the gardeners and volunteers develop it. The big change which we were delighted to see as we passed through the gate into the protected growing area inside the walls – the pigs had returned.
Each time a new area of the old walled garden is due for re-development, pigs move in to prepare the planting areas. They clear the weeds, turn over the soil and add manure to improve soil structure and add some plant nutrients. Today the pigs we were mesmerised by were young Tamworths with their red bristles.
The veggie beds looked almost empty but the decorative borders were full of colour mostly from bulbs and wallflowers. A few veg had survived the winter and added their own colours. The stems of the chard contrast nicely with their leaves, making them most attractive plants.
In the very centre of the walled area is a large circular dipping pool, from where the old gardeners would collect water by dipping watering cans. Archaeologists have cleared it out and their explorations and excavations have left its beautiful brick interior for us to admire.
The beds lining the paths that lead from the dipping pool are lined with tulips, hyacinths and wallflowers to give colour and scent for visitors to enjoy.
The warming red brick walls that gave protection to the fruit and veg growing within them are lined with beautiful trained fruit trees. The espalliers are wonderfully trained and later in the spring blossom will clothe their limbs and in late summer and early autumn with fruit.
The garden enclosed in a wall inside the outer wall produces fruit and cut flowers and is home to renovated glasshouses and coldframes.
A border outside the gardeners’ bothy was bursting with hot colours. Polyanthas and Wallflowers in reds, oranges and reds shared the space with an impressive clump of Fritillary “Crown Imperials”.
On the return walk we passed through an area of woodland where fallen limbs from the old trees had been used by children to make wonderful dens. Let’s have a wander around and enjoy a few. We enjoyed admiring the children’s handiwork and Jamie and Sam had to try one out for size. Knowing that I would blog about our day out they decided that if they sneaked into a photo they could get themselves into my next posting.