Our local National Trust property, Attingham Park, is just a 20 minute drive away. We are so lucky as within the grounds are several different walks to choose from including woodland walks, but we also love visiting the renovated walled gardens. When we first visited Attingham Park years ago now there were very few walks accessible, the walled gardens were in a poor state of repair and the refreshment facilities were poor. Things have certainly changed for the better!
In late November we decided to go for a walk around the woodlands and explore the walled garden to see what was going on. The improvements become immediately obvious as there is now a new entrance building and a newly refurbished Carriage House Cafe in the stable yard. After sampling the delights in the cafe we wandered off towards the Walled Garden one of our favourite elements of the Attingham Estate. In the Stable Yard sits a little sales hut selling produce from the walled garden, freshly picked and delivered by bike.
The Walled Garden was originally created way back in 1780 and its job was to provide the estate with fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Looking at it now it is hard to believe that it fell into total disuse and dereliction. An amazing team of volunteers have recently brought it back to life. It no longer produces food for the “big house” but instead sends its organic produce up to the restaurant and cafe and for sale to the visitors.
One of the impressive features of the Walled Garden is the amount of information boards placed carefully to keep visitors fully informed. Before passing through the gateway into the garden itself we always love seeing the beautifully trained fruit on the outside wall.
Taking a step inside and the garden came to life before our eyes, volunteers busy harvesting, weeding the beds and clearing ground ready for winter digging.
The volunteer gardeners enjoy getting creative with Birch and Hazel boughs and branches and their bean supports, tunnels and wigwams always look impressive.
It was good to see sound organic principles being used here, barriers, green manures and companion planting and herbaceous borders to attract beneficial insects, predators and pollinators.
As we moved into the glasshouse area we were impressed by the renovation work being carried out on the glasshouse ranges. Information boards show visitors what the area looked like prior to its rescue.
Cut flowers were also grown here and even in November the Dahlias were flowering well due to the protection of the walls and protection from Earwigs provided by the old fashioned method of putting a pot stuffed with straw on top of a cane.
On a cold day a look inside the gardeners bothy proved to be a welcome time to warm up and enjoy the displays.
Exiting the Walled Garden via the orchard gave us a chance to look at the front of the old red brick buildings. The Walled Gardens here at Attingham are worth visiting throughout the year as there is always something interesting going on. We are so lucky having this national trust property so close to Shrewsbury.
From the walled gardens we wandered off into the woodlands following one of the marked trails. My next post will feature what we found there.