Bowood House, near Calne in Wiltshire, is a fine example of an English Country House. The gardens and part of the house are open April-November and are well worth a visit. Every spring the owners open their justly famous Rhododendron Walk to the public, and this year I was able to go. But though the rhododendrons are spectacular, my interest was elsewhere…
The perfect English hedgerow is an ephemeral thing and this year I was lucky to be on the spot at the right time. The ingredients are:
Hedges (of course!)
Key trees are oak, ash, blackthorn or sloe, beech, hazel and the occasional horse chestnut, but absolutely vital to a spring hedgerow is hawthorn, or as it’s known when in flower, “May”.
Occasionally the “hedge” is a wall…
…and there should be the odd gate or gap to allow a view of the fields beyond.
Wild flowers peeping out from the grass;
And last but by no means least: cow parsley. Not that spectacular seen singly,
but in drifts…beautiful!
This one was found on one of our Sunday walks, in the Garfield Heights area of Pasadena.
More technical issues this month, but I did manage to make one successful trip…
I fell in love with some new trees. This (I think) is the redbud I photographed before, now in full leaf.
A strawberry tree in the entrance courtyard.
This is a magnolia, I think. Just beautiful.
A huge bottle-brush tree by the Bird Observation Station.
And I was captivated by the tulip tree outside the Boddy House.
So exciting…! I have been so preoccupied with house and visitors that I have rather neglected my kitchen garden. But this week I got two new presents.
And second is my first actual produce……mulberries. Not going to be making jam any time soon, but it still very rewarding to have results so quickly. Now if I can only keep the birds off until they’re properly ripe!
I’m planning a planter to go alongside our new hot-tub (on which more next week). From a practical point of view the plants need to be hardy, drought tolerant and evergreen. Ideally they should be tall or visually interesting, to disguise the boring wooden sides of the spa.
I’m leaning towards succulents. Nothing spiny or sharp, but there are some beauties out there that would make a striking display. Here are some inspirations from Pinterest…what do you think?
March is a colorful – and busy! – month at Descanso Gardens. While the camellias are still giving their best, joined now by the clivias planted beneath them,
other trees and shrubs are getting in on the act. The cherry blossom in the Japanese Garden warrants a festival all to itself, well-deserved when you see how beautifully they combine with the azaleas and acers with which they share space.
is holly. I’ve never seen it blossom before.
– a real reminder of English springs!
The dogwoods (though not strictly a blossom) deserve an honorable mention.
And a relatively new plant to me – the redbud.
And don’t get me started on the bulbs…!