So here we are back at Croft Castle for the second wander in 2015 around the grounds for my February post. We thought we would find that little would have changed since our January visit, but we found plenty to see and really enjoyed our wander. Fresh buds looked ready and waiting to burst into new life when temperatures rise and light values increase. Droplets of rain from a recent shower caught the light where they lay upon the leaves of a Hypericum.
In the long mixed border beside the tall walls which enclose the walled garden the first flowers of the year had opened, the delicate blooms of the snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis and a few pink blooms dotted amongst the marbled foliage of the Cyclamen coum.
Gardeners had recently discovered a cobbled path running diagonally beneath the lawn close to the gateway to the walled garden. We imagined the excitement when the first signs appeared or perhaps the chink of a spade heard as it hit a cobble. When fully excavated no doubt it will join up with the network of cobble path to be found throughout the garden and grounds.
Inside the walled garden the temperature rose noticeably and we were well protected from the cold of the winter winds. Enjoy this batch of photos showing what we found within the walls.
The foliage of two different Epimedium plants looked good together, one with its coat of glossy green the other a rich shining bronze.
This old willow with branches rambling haphazardly and randomly caught our attention as its silver catkins shone out in its dark corner of the walled garden. Some branches were severely affected by fasciation causing them to be deformed and tightly curled. Others were subject to gall growths caused by gall wasps.
The blue gate that had enticed us to pass through it in January was open again, and we diverted easily to see what was happening in the bothy and greenhouses.
Snowdrops found the shelter under every tree within the walls and encircled their trunks in white bracelets.
We left the protection of the walled garden and wandered around the borders closer to the castle. We were amused by the sight of this caterpillar up a tree. He was a part of a children’s trail discovering the delights of Alice in Wonderland.
When we had skirted most of the castle we reached the little church which on our last visit was covered in scaffolding due to being subject to renovation. We were glad to find the builders had left the little building in peace.
Little narrow borders feature in the grounds of the church and looked full of promise. For now though we had to be content with the display put on by this wonderfully colourful Euphorbia.
From there we returned to the car park to make our way home. On our next visit to Croft Castle we will hopefully discover many more signs of spring.