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Are You Sitting Comfortably – 15

Another of the lost garden seat posts – no 15!

This is my 15th post in this occasional series dedicated to the humble garden seat, a garden feature I am fascinated by, by the huge variety of designs, by the large number there are around and by how varied they are in comfort level!

This first selection are all at Powys Castle close to Welshpool. What a variety!

               

I am ready now to search for another fascinating collection of seats to try out in the gardens we plan to visit. See you with Collection 16!

 

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canals countryside hedgerows pathways Powis Powys trees Uncategorized Wales wildlife

A spring time canal walk

We love to take gentle strolls along canal towpaths once stepped on by the large feet of horses pulling barges. At this time of year leaves are coming out from their buds, wildflowers are beginning to flower and birds are becoming more active.

We began just outside the Welsh market town of Welshpool and walked away from the town. As we moved further away more wildflowers were showing themselves, some plants of the hedgerow or woodland edge. They seemed happy living by a canal.

 

We walked past a swing bridge, a beautifully balanced piece of machinery. Later we found another which proved too much for Jude and Vicky to resist trying out.

Not long after we reached the point at which we planned to turn back, Pool Quay. We stopped for a coffee before making the return wander back along the towpath. We found a few surprises, an old door with no purpose and a beautiful nesting swan who gave us a hard stare as we walked past. Her partner hissed and flared his wings at us when we met him further along the canal.

We love canal side walks and often return to this path to stretch our legs.

 

 

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Another NGS Garden : Gorsty Bank – a wildlife friendly garden

This a wonderful wildlife friendly garden which opens for the NGS and is owned and gardened by fellow Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group members Annie and Gary Frost. The garden is a short distance from home so we soon arrived after a short journey and enjoyed the walk through the village of Hyssington and up the drive to the garden. We found some lovely primulas along the lane and the driveway itself was atmospheric with old stone walls on one side and native hedging alongside.

We were warmly greeted by Gary and as usual made our way to the refreshments and enjoyed talking with Annie as we enjoyed tea and tasty homemade cakes. The views from our seats afforded an idea of the richness of the experience we could look forward to.

We then enjoyed a slow wander around this gentle garden with its paths and gateways to guide our way. We loved the two meadows and the mini-arboretum.

 

Another enjoyable return visit to a favourite NGS garden afforded us a great day out. We will be back!

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Gregynog Part 2 – the woodland walks

Here we are back at the NGS garden, Gregynog where you left us just starting out on our exploration of the park’s woodland. We wandered past the rose hedge along the gravel drive before turning off to the left along a gravel track which took us past mature trees, both conifers and deciduous, with an understorey of shrubs. Autumn colours were beginning to show in their foliage.

  

Acers beneath the tree canopy provided bright splashes of colour.

   

We soon found ourselves having to cross over the driveway to enter the woodands and almost immediately came across the lake. We began to meet several other couples and families taking advantage of the weather and the woodland trails, as well as a few more serious runners using the “Green Gym”. We took the path that took us almost all around the lake and then took a side track, grassed underfoot, into the woodland itself. We walked beneath mature wrinkled Birches which let plenty of light through to allow an understory to grow away happily.

        

After walking half a mile into the woodland the pathsides were a mass of tall growing golden leaved brackens. The tallest were the same height as Jude, the Undergardener.

On the wood floor beneath the trees a carpet of colourful fallen leaves gave a soft surface for us to walk on.

A final surprise were the dens built around and against the tree trunks by young visitors enjoying the special woodland atmosphere.

Leaving the woodland we could see the hall through the trees, and then we discovered the “Green Gym”, where wooden gym structures awaited the fit and healthy visitors.

So that was our day out at Gregynog, a completely new garden to us and one we would enjoy visiting again.

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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.

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The Dingle Garden in November

Back to wander around the gardens at the Dingle near Welshpool, for our November visit. We expected big changes after recent strong winds and heavy rain. We did not anticipate seeing many leaves left on deciduous trees and shrubs, but hoped for signs of late autumn colours in foliage and berries.

The first pic at the start of this post shows one leaf that was still hanging on against all odds, even after all our recent strong winds and storms. Below is a selection of photos of flowers still going strong in the woodland garden, some late blooms from the summer and some early winter blooms.

 

Throughout the woodland garden where there was a clearing the ground was covered in low growing perennials often covered with a carpet of fallen leaves.

    

During our visits over the year to The Dingle Gardens there has been an area that has been much wetter than elsewhere, often with water running off the bank across the paths and on down to the lake. On this visit we noticed and heard that work was in hand to add extra drainage systems to rectify the problem.

 

Berries are signs of the year’s end, there to help keep the plant populations viable.  Alongside them in this garden of trees and shrubs there were signs of new life in the form of leaf and flower buds waiting to unfold for us to enjoy in the future.

There was so much to enjoy as we wandered the garden paths that I took lots of photographs, so I thought I would finish our November post about our Dingle Garden visits with a photo gallery. As usual click on the first photo and navigate using the right arrow.

So just one more post to go which will be for our December visit to this wonderful woodland garden.

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The Dingle Garden in October

October to my mind is the first month of the Autumn, whatever the metereological office says about September taking that role. We shall see what aspects of this new season we  found and experienced when we took our October wander around the sloping woodland gardens of The Dingle near Welshpool.

The light was beautiful as we started  to wander around the garden and it was the sort of light that lit up the colours of the foliage, emphasising that autumn had certainly arrived.

 

It certainly wasn’t just autumn foliage that was there to fascinate us, flowering perennials and shrubs were performing well too.

 

Several members of the Eunymus family both deciduous and evergreen grow happily in the woodland garden. They display such unusual berries usually orange with pink highlights.

  

The leaves of this fern reflected the shape of the Rhus foliage, a special variety with lovely cut leaves, Rhus typhina lancianata.

 

Fallen foliage beneath our feet looked like a Persian rug of many colours.

Autumn is also the season for fungi!

So there we have our look at The Dingle gardens for October, a colourful time of the year. Next month perhaps many leaves will be down leaving trees as skeletons.

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countryside hedgerows

Whites in a May hedge.

I love the frothiness of a May hedge when Hawthorn comes into flower, providing explosions of white blossom, while in front the white of Cow Parsley is a matching partner to it. The white of the Cow Parsley has a hint of green to it and it has open umbels of flowers atop wiry stems. A third white flowers joins them but looks less significant, the Greater Stitchwort, a neat little plant covered in white starlike blooms.

I want to share my set of photos with you, all taken within a few minutes on a short 10 metres stretch of lane.

          

While photographing the hedgerow plants, we noticed this old hedgeline with a few old Hawthorns remaining still flowering profusely alongside the ruins of farm buildings.

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The Dingle Garden in May

We planned our fifth visit to the Dingle Gardens near Welshpool for the 23rd May and intended to go whatever the weather. Our April visit was on a day more typical of November than April so the photos I took were rather unusual for a garden in spring.

However for our May visit the sun shone, the sky was clear blue and the warmth allowed us to have a very leisurely stroll around the garden. We had so far this year seen little change from month to month as spring was on hold but this May visit was a strong contrast. We found the garden rich in flowering shrubs and strong fresh growth everywhere.

My first set of pics show paths we followed and the views from them.

  

A real surprise was the explosion of colour provided by the Rhododendrons whose buds we have featured over the first few months of the year. The brightest of reds, oranges, pinks plus cerise hues and shades of white sat together sometimes in harmony but often clashing!

Contrasting and strong coloured foliage provides as much interest as flowers at this time of year as all deciduous foliage is fresh and lively.

        

Ferns are an exciting element in the woodland or shade garden in May as fresh fronds unfurl and open to reveal strongly textured and patterned foliage.

    

I shall finish this visit report for our May wanderings around the Dingle Garden with a few general shots taken near the lake at the bottom of the sloping garden, showing the variation in foliage apparent in the trees and shrubs. We can now look forward to what June at the Dingle will have to offer.

 

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The Dingle Garden in April

We made our April visit to this year’s chosen garden for monthly visits expecting to enjoy all the freshness of early spring. How wrong could we be! The day dawned cold and misty and as we walked around the gravel paths we got more damp with each step as we were walking in a gentle mist. We felt as if we were wandering around the garden on a typical November day definitely not an April day.

Mist hung among the trees and rain droplets hung from buds and branches.

We expected to be able to enjoy early flowering shrubs like rhododendrons and azaleas, but there were just a few as the seasons are still lagging behind. A beautiful bright yellow flowered Berberis really brightened the gloom and an orange flowered variety glowed through the shrubs like beacons. Both of these Berberis added a little welcome scent to the walk.

 

Some Rhododendrons were flowering well while others still showed tight buds. At this time of year every little flower on the shrubs is so powerful.

       

We made our way down towards the lake enjoying the misty views out across the water. When we arrived at the bankside we walked the perimeter and all the way we could see the glow of the yellow-flowered Skunk Cabbage growing on the water’s edge.

 

As we wandered back along the gravel paths we spotted odd flowering perennials and bulbs giving patches of colour in the shade of the shrubs.

       

We were once again surprised by the lack of changes on this month’s visit, but as with anything to do with Mother Nature there was plenty for us to look at and consider. Perhaps on our next visit, which will be in May, we will experience the presence of spring.