A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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
Friday, 2 May 2014
Day Out - Part 2: Biddulph Grange Gardens
Biddulph Grange Gardens were created by James Bateman, his wife Maria and friend marine artist Edward Cooke in just 27 years, from 1842 to 1868. The garden was dug out of the valley side and compartments were constructed for trees and plants that Bateman sourced from famous plant explorers. Each compartment or room of the garden has created its own little microclimate. The gardens are a famous example of a Victorian Garden and are Grade I listed.
Many thanks to "Dragonfly" who kindly told me of a recent programme on these gardens as part of the British Gardens in Time series on BBC4. I watched the programme on iplayer and it reveals many interesting facts about James Bateman and the construction of the gardens. The global aspect of the garden has been compared to the Great Exhibition of 1851 and features from this can be seen in garden sculptures. Sadly Bateman spent so much money on the gardens that he eventually had to sell the house and garden. In more recent years the House was used as a hospital and parts of the garden nearest the house were actually filled in. The National Trust has completely renovated and restored the gardens to their original splendour.
Different parts of the garden visit various parts of the world and as we descend into the garden we began with "Italy".
Tunnels cut through rock are found throughout the gardens and its a wonderful surprise when you emerge as you really have no idea what to expect.
Flowers around the tennis lawn - rhododendrons and azaleas are just starting to flower
The Lime Avenue
The Gardens are famous for their dahlia walk but at this time of the year compartments surrounded by yew are full of tulips - 10,000 bulbs have been planted! (Rather a lot of tulip photos so if you are not keen on the flower it might be best to scroll down a bit!
The Shelter House
View from the Shelter House looking back along Dahlia (Tulip at present) Walk
The Stumpery - the oldest in Britain
"China" - the design of the garden is based on the china "Willow" pattern design
At this stage, horrors of horrors, not only was the battery flashing ever more urgently that it was low but I suddenly realised the camera card was nearly full :( So I had to economise rather a lot on photos from now on.
The Himalayan Glen - this is the lower part I managed to miss the upper part.
"Egypt" - another well known part of the gardens. I could have taken a lot more photos here.
The Cherry Orchard
Parterre - I think this is probably the Iris parterre which is the smallest garden within the garden
By now the battery had completely given up :( We went on a beautiful woodland walk (although it may well have been too dark for photos or so I tell myself!!) with lots of wildflowers and willow structures for children to play in and walked back along Wellingtonia Avenue.
We were the last to leave the gardens at 5.30 when they closed. Sadly no time for tea or cake :( and the shop and plant centre had closed too. There were several areas of the garden we just didn't have the time to visit (I really think you could spend a day here rather than the two and a quarter hours we had) - the Kitchen Garden, the Pinetum with monkey puzzle trees and also a geological gallery which in Victorian times formed the entrance to the garden.
E's already planning next year's birthday trip and, oh joy!!!, she wants to visit Ely. I don't think she's cottoned on yet that, as well as shops, it has a cathedral and stained glass museum which I've wanted to visit for years!!! :)
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.