Monday 1 April 2024

Spring at RHS Bridgewater

After Dunham Massey's enchanting woodland garden I wasn't really expecting to find another garden with such a wonderful display - but RHS Bridgewater has another similar one. Hundreds (thousands?) of daffodil bulbs have been planted in the orchard area, and I happened to catch them at their best. 
Not all of the fruit trees were blossoming but those that were lent a special feel to the area. 

Wandering round the walled gardens, I found more daffodils and other bulbs - anemones, narcissi, hyacinths, and the showy crown imperial fritillaries. 

This large pond in the centre of the walled garden was my favourite spot when I visited last year, but I think I may have found a new one - this small pagoda situated in the Chinese waterfall garden. Work is underway on a larger building nearby which I hope will be just as attractive.

The garden itself is under development but there are plants on the banks of the stream, and stepping stones to cross if you're brave enough.

We started our visit with pizza at one cafe and ended it with cake at another. Whar could be better>

Sunday 31 March 2024

Spring flowers and blossom at Dunham Massey

I'd heard of Dunham Massey's winter garden and planning a trip to Manchester I wanted to include it. Maybe I was a little late for winter as such but as an 'early Spring' garden it was wonderful.

There are lots of photos here but really there's little to say beyond 'wow'.

The garden lies to the side of the house and entering through its gates the visitor is met with the smell of hyacinths and a carpet of daffodils spreading in front under trees just coming into flower.

I'm not sure my photos have captured how truly magical it was but hopefully they can give an idea.

It seemed that every way I turned yet another path wandered through an amazing carpet of flowers - mainly daffodils but other spring bulbs too such as fritillaries and snowflakes. 

To the sides of the paths were camellias in every shade of white through pink to deep red

There was scent too - this I think is an early viburnum, and below is a white flowering currant.

I certainly needed the label to tell me what this - stachyurus praecox which looks far more amazing than here, with its catkins moving in the breeze.

Walking under cherry blossoms and magnolias made everything seem enchanting.

Passing over the stream to the more formal side of the garden I expected there to be less of interest, but there were tulips, magnolias, fritillaries, and more daffodils.

As I said this was my first early Spring visit I'm determined now to come back each year.


Monday 25 March 2024

Daffodils at Shipley

Having failed to find masses of daffodils on my trip to the Lake District, I decided to search for them nearer to home - at Shipley Country Park just north of Derby.

Daffodils are spread all around under the trees which once surrounded the (now demolished) hall. Obviously they were once laboriously planted but have now naturalised covering a huge area.

I don't think this is the best display I've seen there - possibly due to weather conditions last summer or over winter, or it could just be that the bulbs were in one of their 'rest periods' - but even so they're lovely

On the slope of Horsepool Hill, something white caught my eye, so I slipped and slid across the slope to find a wonderful patch of wood anemones.