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colours flowering bulbs garden design garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens gardens open to the public hardy perennials National Garden Scheme NGS ornamental trees and shrubs spring bulbs spring gardening The National Gardening Scheme" trees walled gardens water garden water in the garden Yellow Book Gardens

Yellow Book Gardens – 3 – Brobury House Gardens

For our third Yellow Book Garden visit we found another garden set in our neighbouring county of Herefordshire, so we drove down through the beautiful countryside of South Shropshire and North Herefordshire. It was a sunny day with a sparkling blue sky. Brobury House Gardens are open for much of the year but on the day of our visit they were open for the NGS Yellow Book Scheme. Their website was enticing so we arrived with high expectations. The garden was situated alongside the River Wye so we were looking forward to views of the Wye, probably the most picturesque river in England.

We began as usual with coffee and cake which was served in a beautiful conservatory with seating in and out. The view we enjoyed as we sat enjoying our refreshments increased our expectations. We were given a beautiful plan of the garden with some details of the garden and from this we learned that the garden was being redesigned and a lot of replanting had taken place.

As we approached the conservatory we spotted this beautiful blue Clematis and a nice barrow of plants for sale. From the conservatory we admired this beautiful, gnarled Mulberry tree reputed to have been planted by the naturalist and diarist the Rev Francis Kilvert. Close by, yellow tulips lit up the borders.

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Among the tulips we were pleased to see a Drimys showing its delicately scented yellow flowers. We have a couple of these evergreens in our Avocet garden but we have rarely seen them elsewhere.

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From the pond, in the section of garden inspired by Lutyens, we got a wonderful view back to the house.

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After the formality of the Lutyens styled garden we wandered down to the strongly contrasting stream and informal pools. Close by was a stand of mature white stemmed Birches, which glowed on this sunny afternoon.

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As we followed the narrow stream of clear water we found a border of Hellebores under the shade of tall native deciduous trees. The stars of this border were the Hellebores with flowers the colour of Primroses.

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The stream continued its short journey to the River Wye through beautifully planted bog gardens.

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As we left the boggy areas we found a stand of Weeping Silver Pears covered in white blossom.

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The stream beyond the boggy areas became narrower as it passed through sloping meadowland. Here our native Snakeshead Fritillaries graced its banks and among the purple flowers we discovered this white beauty with thin green lines on the outside of its petals.

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Behind the coach house the walled kitchen garden has been renovated and redesigned. It still has peaches growing on the walls and the greenhouse range has been beautifully restored.

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We were drawn by the varieties of Tulips in flower in this area, especially this stunning lily flowered orange bloom.

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We had one border still to see, a long border against the wall below the house. Spring bulbs featured strongly here so it was a very colourful border.

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And naturally we had a coffee before we made the journey home, this time we sat outside on the terrace as the weather had improved throughout our exploration of this interesting garden and the chill wind had lessened. We shall certainly recommend this garden to our friends.

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Categories
architecture buildings canals light light quality photography reflections

A Canalside Walk in the City Centre

A canalside walk in the city centre! It just has to be Birmingham. You may remember a recent post about the new library in the great city of Birmingham. To those of us who live in the centre of the UK and not in the South and who know the city well, then it is obvious that Birmingham should be the Capital of England and not London. Being in the middle of the country it could represent the whole nation properly without the dreadful North-south divide that having the capital in the south has created.

The first photo is a self portrait and also sets the scene. The following batch illustrates the quality of light available for me to use that day. All the photos were taken on my Galaxy Phone’s camera – great little camera to use on the streets when you don’t want to be noticed. People remain at ease if you have a phone in your hand rather than a camera.

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The new library proved what a vibrant, forward thinking city Birmingham is. This post will feature a part of the city’s past that has been brought back to life. Its canals. Here small business thrive, cafes and bars are full of life and people just wander looking contented.

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We soon discovered that there is such an array of buildings of all shapes, sizes, functions and ages to be viewed from the canal towpath.

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It was hard to imagine as we walked the towpaths that this thin strip of water was a hub of transport a few centuries ago, the equivalent of the clogged M6 motorway we had traveled on to get to it. This little tug barge was one of the few signs of the canal’s previous importance.

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Our usual coffee break was taken within the comfort of one the National Convention Centre cafes. One of our favourite concert venues, the Symphony Hall is integrated with this building. There are some wonderful features here both inside and out.

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As we progressed around our canal-side ramble we got occasional glimpses of the New Library. Can you spot it in the picture below?

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No canal wandering can be complete though without a few reflections to enjoy, and not forgetting a nice old curvy bridge!

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I keep trying to get a good picture of shadows created by benches and am never very pleased with the results. The one below I was actually quite pleased with. I then finish off with a pic of patterns found beneath our feet and my favourite photo of the day, the glass globe against a filigree of delicate branches.

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