Thursday, 9 May 2013
Spring at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
It was a beautiful warm and sunny afternoon on Tuesday so as I was passing I stopped off at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens for an hour.
My Lady's Border
Very late this year but the Gardens had one of the best tulip displays I have ever seen there. Did you know that in the hidden meanings of flowers as revived by the Victorians Red Tulips are a Declaration of Love, Variegated Tulips symbolise beautiful eyes and Yellow Tulips represent Hopeless Love?!
There was a beautiful patch of "Bleeding Heart" in one of the borders near the entrance. I first discovered this lovely flower at the Gardens.
Looking towards Melon Ground
Auricula and Geranium Theatre by the Green House
Unfortunately I had managed to miss the best of the fruit blossom in the orchard but the grass was speckled with Cowslips.
Cowslips often used to be called "Herb Peter" or "Key Flower" because the nodding flower heads were believed to symbolise St Peter's bunch of keys. Cowslips have been used to make wine for centuries (although hopefully not these days!!) and children have used them in the past to make cowslip balls and May Day garlands.
"Then came the cowslip,
Like a dancer in the fair,
She spread her little mat of green,
And on it danced she.
With a fillet round her happy brow,
A golden fillet round her brow,
And rubies in her hair".
A Chanted Calendar by Sydney Dobell
Shakespeare referred to them in a fairy song from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
"The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see,
These be rubies, fairy flavours,
In those freckles live their savours...
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear."
There was still plenty of blossom, however, on the espaliers.
Unfortunately, the Extra Gardens were closed on Tuesday so I couldn't go and check on the Snakeshead Fritillaries by the Mirror Pond or look for Orange Tips in Nut Ground.
I did see some Orange Tips around the gardens and several Holly Blues and a few "Whites". None lingered long enough for photos though.
Looking along the West Claire-vole towards Castle Bromwich Hall
The Secret Garden
I heard one of the ladies in the Vistor Centre refer to Melon Grounds as a Secret Garden - the beauty of these Gardens is that there are "Secret Gardens" everywhere :)
Wood Anemones or Windflowers close their petals at night and in windy weather and, according to folklore, fairies curl up inside for protection having first pulled the petals around themselves! What a lovely story!! I don't think I shall ever look at a closed Wood Anemone again without thinking of a fairy inside :)
Another of my favourite flowers at the Gardens is Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis). One of these days I will buy some of these for our garden to join the Bleeding Heart plants
Parterre and Summer House
"Daffy Down Dilly has come up to town
In her Yellow Petticoat and her green gown".
Lady Bridgeman's Garden
The planting here varies from season to season and I think this Spring's combination of colours is just stunning. I took loads of photos but sadly none did this garden justice.
I was really thrilled to see a Nuthatch in one of the old trees in the part of the Gardens by the Hall. This is the first time I have seen this species here.
Lots of dandelions on grassy verges in the car park. Whenever I see Dandelions en masse at this time of year I think of my father collecting bagfuls years ago to turn into the most delicious Dandelion Wine.
For more information on the gardens please visit www.cbhgt.org.uk or click on their blog link under "My Blog List" on the right hand side of the page.