the decorative gardener

croft-gateWe took a short break on Wednesday afternoon to get some exercise and to see what progress the plants at the local National Trust garden were making.

If  you strip away the stately home, nay castle, the chapel, the 1500 acre parkland and farm, the Victorian walled garden, our place is just the same as Croft Castle. We share the same sort of soil, are at roughly the same altitude and our gardens face south. See? Very similar!

Within the walled garden there are chickens, bee hives, vines, an orchard and perennial borders. Over the winter there has been much path laying and whilst it is not quite finished the gardeners were restoring the borders where they had been affected by the work. This picture summed up the work in its on-going phase, the gardener having left his tools for a well-earned tea break, the stones removed from the border lying on the path. I love the faded paintwork on the blue door, the neat and tidy wire strainers  for attaching the espalier fruit trees to in parallel rows on each side. There is something beautiful in the simplicity of this scene.

The path is goicroft-pathng to be surfaced with a bonded gravel and will be a practical surface for the many visitors, but I think this old brick and cobble path in another part of the garden  is delightful.  It makes me wish there were old bricks and stones knocking about at home to make a path like it. The apples are beautifully pruned too. In fact, I had orchard envy and need to learn how to make my trees look this

Plant wise, the colour was mostly being supplied by bulbs-daffodils, crocus and snowdrops, quantities of chionodoxa and scillas, including a pink chionodoxa with many honeybee visitors. There were clumps of pulmonaria with bees too, but that was about the sum of the plants in flower.Very much the same things I have in flower at home, with the exception of the pink chionodoxa and that has been added to my wish list. I think it would be nice to plant  a clump under an apple tree to repeat the pink colour when the apple blossoms opens.

And on the same subject, my neighbours are growing  clumps of Primula denticulata “Alba” alongside a rich blue pulmonaria in their front garden.  It looks stunning and is a planting idea I shall cheerfully steal. Have you seen anything eye-catching or heart stopping, plant combination wise recently?


6 thoughts on “the decorative gardener

    1. Brollies and wellies! I guess Rosemoor would be a great source of inspiration for you. It looked fabulous when we were there about 3 weeks ago, In fact, I think early season Rosemoor is my favourite time for visiting-when it is quiet.

    1. It is a lovely path and a moment later three small children were charging down it. I have filed the idea away for the future.
      I think hedgehogs can easily access this walled garden through and under the gappy gates, but I take your point about walled gardens in general. I loved the fruit trained onto the high walls and in this location they afford great shelter from the worst of the winter. There was still snow lying at the top of the hill our walk took us to.

      1. take your point Judith – out of the city it’s not so sheltered and I’m a fan of walled gardens for espaliered fruit!. If only hedgehogs could climb – instead they need tunnels.
        One can be so creative with bricks ;).

  1. That brick and pebble path is beautiful, and has got me thinking, and I am definitely going to steal the pulmonaria + white primula idea, how lovely, I have the perfect spot for that combo too. The chionodoxa-under-apple-tree sounds perfect. I lack the apple tree but I think adding some under the magnolia would be rather beautiful. Something else to add to the constantly expanding bulb list…

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