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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.

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Are you sitting comfortably – no 14 in a very occasional series

Back with another set of garden seats for you to enjoy. Imagine yourself taking a seat for a rest, to take in the view and appreciate the comfort of the seats themselves.

Firstly let me share a few seats from the gardens at Ivy Croft in Herefordshire, a garden open for its huge snowdrop collection and interesting winter plants.

We recently visited John’s Garden attached to Ashwood Nursery in the West Midlands, and being in February seats became very obvious features. They varied so much in style!

Next I want to share with you seats from the gardens at Erddig, a Welsh National Trust property.

So that is it for this collection of garden seats. More to follow in the future!

 

 

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Biddulph Grange – a fantasy garden

Biddulph Grange north of Stoke-on-Trent, is a garden we re-visited this week after decades. We remembered it to be a garden created by the imaginative Mr Bateman who made a garden of several different rooms. Egypt, China, the Dahlia Walk, The Stumpery and two avenues one featuring Lime trees the other Western Red Cedar. This time we visited the gardens with our friend Pam who we know from college 40 years ago. So we were catching up a friend and a garden!

Please come with us for a wander round by following my gallery. Just click on the first photo and then navigate using the arrows.

 

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Early Spring at Bodnant Garden – Part 1 – to the Dell

I promised a few reports on our planned visits to Bodnant Garden in North Wales so we are pleased to share our visit in early spring, a day with the most perfect weather possible to make our exploration a good one.

Warm, calm and blue skies! We stayed over nearby to make sure we had time to wander slowly around this large garden at a leisurely pace, the only way to appreciate a garden so full of interesting plants.

After parking up we soon spotted a bank of little blue bulbs which we thought were possibly Scilla. As we entered the garden itself we came across this informative and attractive sign prepared by the head gardener giving us ideas of what was looking good in the garden.

Our visit coincided with the height of the flowering seasons for Magnolias, Rhododendrons and Camellias as well as spring flowering bulbs and the earliest of perennials, so we were in for a colourful day’s exploration. Bodnant is a garden designed to present choices where paths fork and cross.

We made our way to the Winter Garden, one of our favourite parts of the garden, a place so full of ideas for anyone to use to add winter interest to their own patches.

     

We then found a gateway that took us into a field of daffodils, simple old cultivars, creating a peaceful place to wander slowly and take in the atmosphere of this special space.

We strolled through the field slowly and then made our way down to the top of the Dell. The gallery that follows shares this part of our time at Bodnant. In part 2 we shall wander along the dell and then back up the long slope to explore the areas around the hall.

 

 

 

 

 

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A quick visit to Bodnant Gardens – mid-May

Instead of my usual series of posts where we visit the same garden every month of the year, we have decided to look at two gardens one large and one small. This is because it is impossible to find another good garden that is open all year and easy to get to.

For the big garden we have chosen the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in North Wales which we shall look at over the seasons and for the small garden we have chosen Wildgoose Garden and Nursery closer to home here in Shropshire which we shall visit each month during its open season.

To start this series I am going to look back at a visit we made to Bodnant back in May 2018 to give an idea of its beauty.

A final day out on our Anglesey holiday was to visit the gardens at Bodnant just slightly inland from the North Wales coast. It is a garden we have visited and enjoyed many times before and at all times of the year. The one strength of the garden is that is has so many different faces to be discovered and enjoyed.

In recent years a rectangular border alongside a tall stone wall has changed completely becoming a hot border, full of flowers and foliage the colours of fire. On a sunny day they really light up.

   

Directly opposite and in complete contrast is a formal area of low trimmed hedges holding together borders of tulips.

  

The Winter Garden at Bodnant is one of the best in the UK, and although superb in its special season, the winter, it is still an interesting garden in the summer.

  

The narrow gravel paths take us into the shady areas beneath mature deciduous trees. Bluebells added a blue mist to the rich green grassed areas.

What many visits make the journey to Bodnant for are the bright clashing colours of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. We however are not great fans of these acid loving bloomers, but here are a few shots for those who do.

An area of Bodnant gardens we have rarely reached over the years because of my mobility problems is the deep steep-sided valley with tall trees towering over a beautiful sparkling stream which meanders along its length. After recent surgery I can now manage to get down to this magical dingle. The magical atmosphere is created by the huge trees that tower above visitors who wander the gravel paths along the valley running close to a clear mountain stream, and on the banks beautiful bog and water loving plants grow happily. Primulas, hostas, ferns and Skunk Cabbage add colour and texture to the scene.

   

No doubt it won’t be long before this great garden is featured in another of my greenbenchramblings posts as we usually wander around its Winter Garden early in the year.