"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, 12 June 2015

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

B and I went along to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens for an hour or so earlier this week. These gardens are a real hidden gem in North Solihull offering peace and tranquility whenever you visit.

The 10 acre (Grade II Listed) walled gardens are a rare surviving example of a formal 17th century English Garden. Many formal gardens disappeared when the more informal English landscape garden became popular. The gardens had been neglected for some decades during the middle of the 20th century but were re-discovered and in 1985 the Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust was formed to restore the Gardens to how they would have been in the years 1680 to 1760 when they would have been in their prime.

Flying around the Sweet Williams were my first Damselflies of the year -

I think these were Common Blue but my damselfly identification skills are not brilliant.

French Lavender in Lady Bridgeman's Garden was covered in bumble bees -

Red-tailed bumble bee.

I wondered what this plant was until

I spotted these Red Lily beetles!

Peonies and

Daisies in

My Lady's Border together with


Pink Rock Roses with flowers looking like crumpled tissue paper were also attracting bees.

The North Orchard

White Alliums

We spent some time exploring the Extra (or Slip Gardens) which lie outside the main walled formal garden. When I visited this time last year several alterations had been made such as the planting of wildflower meadows and a bird feeding area behind willow screens.

Wildflower area

Mirror Pool

More wildflowers have been planted in the orchard situated in this area.

Fox and Cubs

Yellow Rattle

Yellow Rattle, Oxeye Daisies and Ragged Robin

Ragged Robin

I've seen the occasional Chimney Sweeper moth in this area of the gardens before but this year there were dozens. They are very lively and difficult to photograph - there is one hidden in the flowers in the photo below.

Heavily cropped photo.

The larvae feed on Pignut and there were lots of these plants around the orchard.

Part of the Batty Langley Vegetable Garden

Honeysuckle scrambling over a wall.

Dog Roses are starting to flower

Golden Chain (or Laburnum)

More alliums

Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens form the beginning (or end) of the Solihull Green Man Trail


amanda peters said...

Another lovely place and post you have visited, It's great how all these places have wild flowers and provisions for wild life. As some years back not all people would not have liked the "un-tidiness" of wild flowers. I also like the fact they have information boards.
I visited Golden Acre park yesterday the gardens and all the planting were stunning too, I do get a bit overwhelmed with it all sometimes when there is so much to see and so many people...need to go stand in a empty field !
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda - its good news that so many places and Councils are starting to plant (or allow) wildflowers. An urban meadow I spotted last year is starting to come into flower so will visit with camera soon.

I totally sympathise with you over crowded places - I just loathe them. One of the beauties of CBHG is that it is so quiet. We only saw the gardeners and a volunteer when we were walking around. Much as I love National Trust gardens they are always so busy. Enjoy myself far more if there is no-one else in sight!!!

Countryside Tales said...

It's such a lovely time of year with everything in bloom. These were such beautiful gardens and flowers. Very pleased to see the fox and cubs as I've never seen one in the wild before and would like to. Have a lovely weekend :o)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

certainly is lovely there! Hopefully I'll be seeing some nice places on my next four off. Assuming this rain ever stops.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much. I've seen Fox and Cubs in local churchyards (the more wildlife friendly ones) so may be worth looking there. Have a great weekend too :)

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks. Enjoy your next four days off and I do hope it stops raining for you. Here at the moment its finally eased off today!

Toffeeapple said...

I am just catching up on my blog reading from about a month ago!

It looks like you had a lovely visit; I had never even heard of the Chimney Sweeper moth, but I can see why it is so named...

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - You have my sympathies I know how difficult it is after a few days let alone a longer holiday. Hope you catch up soon :)

Its a pretty little moth but never stays still!