"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

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A May-time Walk Around Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

I paid a very brief visit last week to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens.

To the west of the Gardens is an area of parkland (in public ownership and badly in need of restoration) comprising grassland, scrubland, woodland and reedbeds - one of these days I will get round to exploring this area.

In the early 1980's a planning application was made to develop parkland surrounding the Hall and Gardens. West Midlands County Council undertook a survey of the area which revealed the importance of this area and the Gardens and planning permission was refused. Following consultation with interested parties, the present Earl of Bradford agreed to donate to a trust, the part of the Gardens still in his ownership. Bovis Homes (who then owned the Castle Bromwich Hall and part of the Gardens), together with the National Trust, agreed to set up the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust which was officially launched as a registered charity in May 1985. The Trust with a "Friends of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens" group began restoration of the Gardens which had become very overgrown and derelict and had also suffered from vandalism since the death of Lady Ida Bridgeman in 1936, who was the last member of the Bridgeman family to live at the Hall.

I started my walk in the Walled Garden

My Lady's Border

Lower Wilderness

North Orchard

There were several butterflies flying around the orchard - I saw my first Holly Blues of the year and a Speckled Wood

I left the formal part of the Gardens to enter the Extra Gardens. There were quite a few Orange Tip butterflies on the wing in Nut Ground and Bluebells in flower.

Green Alkanet

Hawthorn is starting to blossom

and I am still chuffed about my first ever Tree Bumble Bee sighting!

Blossom in the New Orchard

Marsh marigolds or Kingcups are starting to flower in the South Pond. Other common names for this plant include: Golden Knobs, May Bubbles, Bulls'eyes and Water Goggles.

Back in the main Walled Garden there is still plenty of Lungwort in flower

and more blossom on the espaliers.

Green House from Holly Walk

Upper Wildnerness and Castle Bromwich Hall (now a hotel)

Looking down the West Claire-vole from Holly Walk towards the Extra Gardens and West Pond

Geraniums in the Green House

Horse Chestnut in flower near the Church

Reference: Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens by Nicholas Stockton


Rob said...

Water Goggles! I haven't heard that one before for Marsh Marigolds.

Looks like a delightful place to wander.

Ragged Robin said...

Rob - it is nice there - so peaceful and quiet!

Water Goggles is an incredible name! I found it in a Shire Classics book called "Discovering the Folklore of Plants" by Margaret Baker bought last year at Osborne House on your beautiful island! Should have referenced it really.

Dartford Warbler said...

Thank goodness that beautiful garden has been saved! It must be a wonderful place to walk.

Rohrerbot said...

That's a fun name. Water Goggles. Waaateeeer Goooogggles:) This place has a lot of charm and again you've captured the magic with your pics. I imagine myself walking in the orchards. Magical. Golden Knobs....and Water Goggles:)

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - It is a lovely place to visit - The Gardens Trust, Friends Group and volunteers have done a superb job in restoring the Gardens.

Chris - Some of the common and regional names for flowers (and birds etc.) are just superb and so descriptive :)

Toffeeapple said...

A wonderful meander. I laughed at the odd names too.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - its a lovely place to idle time away :) I think "Water Goggles" just has to be the best :)

ShySongbird said...

A lovely visit and lovely photos of beautiful blooms too. I seem to call them Marsh Marigolds and Kingcups equally but Water Goggles is fun :-) A little frightening to see the Horse Chestnut in full flower already, the year is going too quickly! The bee photo that was still in my camera sadly wasn't a Tree Bumble Bee.

The parkland area you mentioned at the beginning sounds like wonderful habitat for lots of interesting wildlife.

Thank you very much for changing my blog name on your sidebar :-)

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Many thanks Jan. I can't believe how fast the year is going either. What a shame about your bee photo - but keep looking and I hope you see one soon.

The parkland does look good for wildlife doesn't it. I'll try and get Brian to come with me one weekend - there are places I will visit on my own and others I am not so keen especially when I've got bins and a camera with me!

Best wishes Caroline