"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Winter's Morning at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

I visited Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens this morning to renew my membership and go for a quick walk through the Gardens. It was cold - the sun had been trying to break through but half way through my walk it clouded over.

For any new visitors to my blog these gardens are a unique example of an English Baroque Garden. They were rediscovered in 1982 in a derelict and overgrown state and for the last 25 years a Trust has been restoring the 10 acre walled gardens to the period 1680 to 1740. The gardens contain over 600 species of plant that would have been grown in this period.

I've tried to include photos of different parts of the garden but apologies to any regular visitors if some look remarkably familiar!

Variegated holly in Lady Bridgeman's Garden

Near the Melon Ground

Green House built around 1729

Photos take in Extra Gardens - located outside the walled garden

A view from West Pond looking along the West Claire-vole towards the Hall

The Stumpery

South Pond and Spinney

Lichens, Tree Bark and Seedhead

Back in the Walled Garden - some photos of the Lower Wilderness

There were a few signs that Spring is not far away such as these snowdrop buds

The Gardens are holding a Snowdrop Day on Saturday, 12th February, between 11.00 and 3.00 p.m. so if you live nearby do pop along and visit these beautiful gardens. There is just a small entrance fee.

I found a few clumps of cyclamen in flower

There were lots of hazel catkins in the Extra Gardens on this photo you can also make out the small female flower with red stigmas.

Castle Bromwich Hall - privately owned and in the process of being turned into a hotel

I've "cheated" a bit here the next few photos were taken last January, 2010, when it was actually sunny and the light was better.

North Pond (home to Great Crested Newt) and Reedmace

South-west Pier

View from the Upper Wilderness looking towards West Claire-vole

Not too many birds around today - just magpie, blackbird, carrion crow, wood pigeon, great and blue tit. The fieldfare and redwings seen in the area in December seem to have moved on.

I've made a list of the birds I saw last year in the gardens (sad person that I am I do love keeping various bird lists :D).

Blue Tit
Great Tit
Wood Pigeon
Long-tailed Tit
Carrion Crow
Cuckoo (heard) Was overmoon with this last April
Mistle Thrush

I am sure the Gardens must attract more species than this so I'm hoping to add to this list this year.

I'm afraid this has been a bit of a long post! but I'll just finish off with a quotation from a poem by Violet Fane (1843-1905)called "In Green Old Gardens" which the Gardens use on one of their leaflets which really sums up the attraction of these beautiful and peaceful gardens for me:

"In green old gardens hidden away
From sight of revel, and sound of strife..."


Pete said...

roll on a few weeks to the snow drops are out in force!!

Anonymous said...

"I've made a list of the birds I saw last year in the gardens (sad person that I am I do love keeping various bird lists :D)."

There`s nothing sad about that Caroline. Show me a birder that doesn`t keep lists.

I had a go a photographing the female flower of a Hazel this morning. To say they`re a challenge, is an understatement.

Ragged Robin said...

Pete - not long to wait now - looking forward to seeing your photos from Anglesey Abbey.

Dean - You are right Dean about the lists - I was thinking that I am not likely to see that many species at the location and its probably not that worthwhile bothering :D.

The female hazel flowers are so small - perhaps I should have had a macro lens instead for Christmas ! Look forward to seeing your photo if you manage to take one.