Thursday, 12 April 2012
Spring Flowers, Blossom and "Flutters" at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
Orange Tip Butterfly (male)
Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis)
I haven't been able to get out recently due to family commitments and rainy weather but yesterday I was able to "escape" for an hour before a meeting at my mothers and I paid Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens a quick visit.
The Gardens were looking beautiful - absolutely full of flowers. Sorry for the huge amount of photos - I got a little carried away! but all my favourite Spring flowers are in bloom and the fruit trees are starting to blossom.
A border just to the left as you enter the Gardens - the tulips are putting on a beautiful display this year
Bleeding Heart - I just love these flowers
Lady Bridgeman Garden - the flowers in the borders in this garden vary according to the season but it is always full of colour
My Lady's Border
By the Melon Ground (in the first photo looking towards the Green House)
Another of my favourite cultivated flowers - Crown Imperial
Crown Imperial is known as "roundabout gentleman" in Dorset and "crown of pearls" in Buckinghamshire. Apparently each flower has a teardrop of regret because in its arrogance it refused to bow its head on the very first Good Friday*
Blossom is starting to appear on fruit trees in the Orchards and on the espalier trees against the walls. Here in the North Orchard the grass is carpeted with cowslips, daisies and dandelions
I love daisies - they always remind me of daisy chains made in childhood and as Wiliam Wordsworth wrote in 1802 in his poem "To the Daisy"
"... And oft alone in nooks remote
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
When such are wanted...."
"..Child of the Year! that round dost run
Thy pleasant course, - when day's begun
As ready to salute the sun
As lark or leveret,
Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain;
Nor be less dear to future men
Than in old time; - thou not in vain
Art Nature's favourite."
And the Snowflakes are still in flower - I found several clumps as I wandered around
I then left the formal part of the walled Gardens to wander around the "Extra Gardens"
Fluttering around the Nut Ground were my first Orange Tip butterflies of the year and the bluebells are starting to flower
The butterflies were very lively flittering from flower to flower so it was hard to approach close enough for a photo - and I was reminded me of Wordsworth's lovely poem.
"To a Butterfly"
"Stay near me - do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!
Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey: - with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her! feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.!
"To a Butterfly" by William Wordsworth written in 1801
Lack of rain has left water levels in the North Pond very low
This area around the "Dig for Victory" sign is also very good for butterflies - I saw another Orange Tip and a Speckled Wood
Blossom is appearing in the New Orchard
The West Pond is surrounded by another of my favourites - Snakeshead Fritillary
Walking back into the Walled Garden - I noticed the primroses in Primrose Bank are just geting better and better
More dafodils and tulips as you approach the Upper Wilderness
This lovely shrub covered in blossom is Amelanchier canadensis and it has a host of common names - my favourite being "Sugarplum"!
This shrub is featured as "Plant of the Month" in the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens blog. To find out lots more about this plant visit their blog at http://castlebromwichhallgardenstrust.blogspot.co.uk (sorry I am still unable to get links to work!) or follow the link under My Blog List on the righthand side of the page. Its thanks to this very interesting post that I realised we actually have one of these shrubs in our garden - its one of those plants that we had long forgotten the name of!
Parterre looking towards the Archery Ground and Holly Walk
And finally, by the entrance to the Gardens there is a lovely display of euphorbias.
The Gardens are looking very beautiful at the moment thanks to all the efforts and hard work by the gardeners and volunteers. If you are in the area or live near please do give them a visit - there is always something of interest to see whatever the time of year and they are so quiet and peaceful. For more details including opening times and admission prices visit their website at www.cbhgt.org.uk. The Gardens are a unique example of an English Baroque Garden and are being restored as closely as possible to the period 1680-1762.
* "Discovering the Folklore of Plants" by Margaret Baker - Shire Classics