After leaving Attingham house via a courtyard, as time was limited, we had to decide whether to visit either the tearoom for tea and cake and the shop or walk to the
walled garden. The latter won!
A nice walk through woodland with beech leaves unfurling
I've always enjoyed watching rookeries but, having just finished reading "Crow Country" by Mark Cocker, I have fallen in love with corvids all over again. A great book and thoroughly recommended if you haven't read it. Can't wait now to read Claxton.
The three acre Orchard contains around 160 apple trees comprising 37 varieties selected to give a long season of fresh/stored fruit. The earliest apple to appear is a desert apple called Red Joanetting which ripens late July/August. Bramley cooking apples are stored throughout the winter. The apples are all used for baking in the tearoom.
It was good to see areas in the Orchard where the grass had been allowed to grow.
We might not have had time for the tearoom but we were both rather peckish so this Catering Van was a godsend.
Shortbread biscuits were yummy and homemade.
The Walled Garden was originally built around 1780 in order to provide the Berwick family and their guests with fresh or stored fruit and vegetables, together with honey, throughout the year. It closed in the 1960's and then re-opened in the 1990's when it was used to grow Christmas trees. Work to restore the Walled Garden started in 2008 and all the produce is either used in the tearoom or sold in the shop. Both the garden and orchard are organic and today the garden is maintained by a small team of staff and around 60 volunteers.
There are two areas in the Walled Garden - the large, main, rectangular garden and a smaller triangular area containing glasshouses, cold frames and the bothy.
Cerinthe Major - bees love this plant. Sadly, I lost the one I had in the garden at home.
Somehow we managed to miss the Bee House - one of only two known Regency bee houses in the country. It was originally located in the orchard so the bees could pollinate the flowers but was then re-located on lawns south of the Walled Garden. It still houses bees in the traditional straw skeps.
As we walked back to the car - these bullocks wandered over (friendly as they seemed I was rather glad there was a fence between us!!).
The courtyard containing the tearoom, second hand bookshop and giftshop.
Edit - Just been looking at the photos again and spotted Wild Garlic for sale in the last photo. Very annoyed I didn't spot them when we were there as I'd have loved to buy a couple of plants for the garden!!
In the evening we attended the book launch of the second Matlock Hare book - "The Puzzle of the Tillian Wand" by the very talented Phil and Jacqui Lovesey. A great evening with drinks and nibbles, quizzes, raffles and prizes and a preview reading from the 3rd book of the Trilogy to be published next year. For details of the books, Jacqui's exquisite and delightful illustrations and the majickal world of Matlock Hare please visit www.matlockthehare.com.
Up on Swallow Heights
5 hours ago