Categories
autumn autumn colours country walks Land Art landscapes National Trust ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture photography Shrewsbury Shropshire The National Trust woodland woodlands

A Lockdown Woodland Walk- Attingham Park

On a warm bright autumn in mid-November we took advantage of the covid lockdown rule allowing us out for exercise and booked a slot at Attingham Park our local National Trust property.

We really enjoyed the amazing sense of freedom we felt every minute of our wanderings. It felt great to take a few photos again! Here they are! The last few show some knitted animals placed among a shrubbery for the autumn season.

Categories
colours garden photography gardening gardens ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs

Simply Beautiful – no 32 in very occasional series

We reach number 32 in this very occasional series of simply beautiful things found in gardens. Today I am featuring an extremely unusual Berberis with the most rich orange flowers I have ever seen. Sadly I do not know its name and there was no label on the shrub. We found this lovely plant at Moors Meadow in Herefordshire.

So there it is the most amazing Berberis I have ever seen, and I don’t know what it is!

Categories
colours garden design garden designers garden garden arches garden paths garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens gardens open to the public half-hardy perennials hardy perennials meadows ornamental trees and shrubs roses shrubs The National Trust trees Wales water in the garden

Seasonal Visits to two very different gardens – mid-summer at Bodnant

Back with the next installment in this series of posts where we visit Bodnant Gardens in North Wales and Wildegoose nursery and Garden in South Shropshire. In this mid-summer visit to Bodnant we enjoyed a warm bright day wandering around this large wonderful garden on the edge of Snowdonia.

After our breakfast enjoyed in the Pavilion Cafe we wandered along the underpass that takes us below the road to the garden entrance. Even before entering the garden itself we were treated to the site of meadow planting on the banks either side of the path.

Leaving the Reception area we turned right where we enjoyed  a first glimpse of one of our favourite borders of all, the long, hot wall garden.

I took so many photos that day because the light was so good and the garden so interesting, so it is best now if a share a selection of my images with you in a gallery. As usual click on the first pic and then navigate using the arrows.

We will make a return visit to Bodnant in the Autumn to see how the garden looks in that season.

Categories
fruit and veg garden furniture garden paths garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens grow your own hardy perennials kitchen gardens National Garden Scheme NGS ornamental trees and shrubs Shropshire shrubs spring gardening woodland woodlands Yellow Book Gardens

A new NGS Yellow Book garden, Longden Manor

It is always exciting finding a new NGS garden to visit and when we find one that is just a few fields away as the crow flies it is extra interesting. Longden Manor with its organic farm still had to be driven to though and we seemed to drive in a big loop before we got to its field parking. As we drove up the drive to the field we were amused by several topiary pieces as well as a beautiful bright patch of Azaleas.

The Manor House itself sits in such a dominant place with wide sweeping views out across the Shropshire countryside. A huge lawn sits in front of the house ensuring a clear view, a view framed by large specimen trees.

New areas are being discovered all the time, old parts of forgotten gardens which are now being unearthed. It was a privilege to look at a pool and bog garden area just cleared and being prepared for planting. The pool has been reinstated already but it looks as if there will be exciting waterfalls and streams to follow.

From the newly discovered old pool we wandered through established woodland into a small orchard, an unusual holly orchard and kitchen garden.

I shall finish off my report of our visit to this new National Garden Scheme garden with another piece of topiary created to make you smile. A rather happy caterpillar!

 

 

Categories
colours flowering bulbs garden design garden photography gardening gardens hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs South Shropshire spring spring bulbs spring gardening trees village gardens Yellow Book Gardens

My Garden Journal 2019 – May

It is the last month of spring and the garden is alive, everything is thriving and growing apace. But the weather is still confusing our plants. Towards  the end of the month we had a few daffodils still in flower alongside normal May flowering plants. Here is my journal entries for the month.

I started by referring back to the weather in April, “April disappeared without giving us a day of ‘April showers’, the garden is still confused by the weather but we carry on enjoying being outside whatever the weather. The garden seems weeks ahead of where it should be, with trees and shrubs flowering and leafing out of season. May is a great month for flowering shrubs, using their fresh foliage as a foil.” I followed with photographs of just a few of our flowering shrubs.

Cercis siliquastrum                                             Loropetalum chinensis “Fire Dance”

Azalea luteum                                                               Pittosporum tennuifolium ‘Gold Star’

Pittosporum tennuifolium ‘Silver Queen’                   Buddleja salviflora

Blueberry

Over the page I continued by writing, “In May many of our flowering shrubs have white or off-white coloured flowers such as Viburnums in variety, Aronia and deciduous Euonymus.”

On the opposite page Euphorbias take over, a plant that fills our garden with its bright chartreuse, yellow and green. It is a very exciting plant family.

“Euphorbias -one of our favourite plant families. We grow so many! Brilliant form, texture and architectural beauty comes from foliage, bracts, stems and the tiniest of flowers. Euphorbias deserve looking at closely. Get down and enjoy the details.”

    

Turning over to the next double page we move from Euphorbias to garden jobs and the far more delicate perennial Violas.

“May is a busy month in our Avocet patch, a month when we are still deadheading spring-flowering bulbs and beginning regular mowing and edging of our grass paths and lawns.”

“Ian our garden helper, mows and trims edges while I reorganise my loppers.”

“Jude hangs out the hanging baskets and puts succulent pots outside.”

“We have planted strawberries in the strawberry pot.”

“Our tomatoes and courgette are now snug in their growbags.”

Violas feature on the opposite page where I wrote, “Recently we bought some old varieties of hardy perennial Violas, including V. Elaine Quin, V. Columbine, V. Etaine Cream and V. Belmont Blue.”

   

“We grow dozens of different ferns in the shadier parts of the garden. The star fern for May has to be ‘Matteuccia struthiopteris’ the Ostrich Fern.”

As we move on to the next double page we discover my Acer pruning  and lots of Alliums.

“I enjoy pruning many of our shrubs in a Japanese style called Niwaki, which finds the beauty in each shrub, exposes their lower limbs and lets light in. Our Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ hasn’t been prunes in this way for a couple of years so May was the time I tackled it. The photos show before and after forms. I removed about 50% of the growth.”

  

“May is the month when our first variety of Alliums are at their best. Hundreds sweep through our borders with their beautiful, bee-attracting purple spherical flower heads.”

 

And so the final page for my garden journal in May, where we look at probably our favourite tree and the one asked about and admired most by visitors to our garden, Cercis siliquastrum.

I wrote, Cercis siliquastrum, probably our favourite tree in the garden was in full flower in April and still looks magnificent at the end of May. I treat this to a Niwaki prune too as the first photo shows. As it begins to slowly drop its pink petals it leaves pools of bright pink on the lawn and on the seat beneath it.”

Categories
flowering bulbs garden design garden paths garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials meadows National Trust ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs spring bulbs spring gardening The National Trust trees Wales water in the garden Winter Gardening winter gardens woodland woodlands

Early Spring in Bodnant Gardens – Part 2 – The Dingle and back to the hall

So here is Part 2 of the post concerning our visit to the National Trust’s Bodnant Hall Gardens. We will explore the Dingle and then make our way back to the nursery via a route taking us by the hall itself. In Part 1 we wandered as far as the end of the Yew Walk ready to drop down into the stream valley and follow the clear, fast-moving waters.

Another important flowering shrub that attracts thousands of visitors to Bodnant at this time of year is the Camellia, with its gaudy pink or white flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. I will admit it is not a favourite of mine but here is a small selection of those we wandered by. Someone likes the flowers enough to create a little piece of artwork with them for others to enjoy.

To continuing sharing our visit to Bodnant with you, I shall share a gallery of photos taken as we wandered around the area on two sides of the hall. Click on the first photo and then navigate using the right arrow.

Just before we left the garden we walked through the hot garden alongside a tall stone wall, a border we love in the late summer when it is at its best, but on this visit we found a few interesting plants. The strongest feature was the selection of Hyacinths in an exciting range of colours from creamy yellow to nearly black. These were joined by Tulips, Anemones, Bergenias and emerging fresh growth of Euphorbia griffithii.

 

We had a great day out exploring these wonderful gardens, full of atmosphere and such a wide variety of different areas developed in different ways. We will return for a follow up visit in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
garden photography gardening ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs winter gardens wise watering

Simply Beautiful – no 29 – winter yellow

At the beginning of every year we are treated to the amazing display of flowers on our Cornus mas. The shrub gets covered in its citr us yellow unusual flowers. The flowers have to be looked at very close up to appreciate the details of its structure. The bees love it as an early food source.

I hope you enjoy sharing ours through my photos.

Categories
garden design garden paths garden photography garden pools garden seat garden seating gardening gardens gardens open to the public hardy perennials lakes National Garden Scheme NGS ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture pathways Shropshire shrubs spring gardening trees Yellow Book Gardens

The NGS get together at Hodnet

Every year in late March we attend a get together with the NGS county organiser and the garden openers. This year was our friend Allison’s first year as county organiser and as her garden is small she had to arrange an alternative venue. To everyone’s delight the owner of Hodnet Hall and Gardens offered the use of his restaurant and also allowed us free range of the gardens. We were in for a treat!

To start off with we were warmly greeted by the car park attendants, Martin and George, then after parking up as we reached the courtyard fronting the restaurant building, we received more warm welcomes from Allison, our County Organiser, and Sir Algernon Heber-Percy the owner of the hall and its garden. He formally welcomed us all with a humorous speech. After informative talks by representatives of MacMillan Nurses and Horatio’s Gardens we indulged in a sumptuous meal.

Then we were left to explore the gardens, all 60 acres of it! We began our exploration by following a small flight of stone steps into an area of tall mature trees and then moved on to take a slow wander around the string of lakes and back to the borders below the hall itself.

I will continue the tour by sharing a gallery of photographs with you. As usual click on the first pic and navigate using the arrows.

So that was our day out at Hodnet Hall – a great time was had by all! I wonder what next year’s NGS get together will entail!

For information Hodnet Hall is open for the NGS but does have other opening dates throughout the year so do check them out.

Categories
colours garden photography gardening light ornamental trees and shrubs shrubs Uncategorized

Simply Beautiful – more catkins – No 28 in a very occasional series

Simply beautiful no 27 was about the catkins of Hazel and as a follow up to that here is Simply Beautiful no 28 where I share my photos of the beautiful catkins of one of our Salix shrubs, Salix gracilistyla Melanostachys. A willow with a mouthful of a name but also the most amazing of all catkins coloured black and red.

 

 

Categories
architecture autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden furniture garden paths garden photography garden seat garden seating gardens gardens open to the public light light quality ornamental trees and shrubs pathways Powis Powys roses shrubs trees Wales Yellow Book Gardens

Gregynog – a garden with woodland walks

Another NGS garden we visited last summer is called by the wonderful name Gregynog.

Gregynog is situated in the county of Powys and just has to be worth a visit sporting such a magical name, like something out of the Hobbit or a Hans Christian Anderson tale. Winding lanes eventually led us to a scented drive lined with roses. Here we gained the first glimpses of the half-timbered hall itself and the brick-built reception buildings. October light helped us to appreciate the garden, woodland and buildings.

 

The gardeners here certainly know how to prune and shape common shrubs to give them an extra edge. The first two photos are of Cotoneaster, trimmed to domes.

The garden around the front of the hall afforded us more opportunities to enjoy the gardeners’ pruning and trimming work.

The low sunlight caught this stand of asters lighting it up from a distance and as we walked closer to look we spotted this wonderful old seat, carved from a fallen tree.

We continued around the building all the time getting views of the hall above us.

We then came to a walks sign directing us to choose a walk to follow and we chose to make our way to the woodland walks and lake. We walked back alongside the hedge of scented roses at the side of the driveway, taking in their delicate colours and rich aromas.

As we reached the end of the row of roses we turned towards the woodland walk, aiming  towards the lake, passing an Acer grove along the way, but this is all in part 2 of these posts about our visit to Gregynog.