"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

Monday, 10 August 2015

Packwood House and Gardens - Part 2: Yew Gardens, Orchard, Woodland and Lake Walk and the Kitchen Garden

We finally dragged ourselves away from the Carolean Garden to visit the famous Yew Garden

I've always loved these bee boles in the wall.

Ivy-leafed Toadflax in the wall along with a rather stunning Clematis.

Sad to say that at least five groups of people had ignored the sign above and were picnicking in among the yews :(

Packwood's Yew Garden is one of Britain's major topiary gardens which is said to represent the Sermon on the Mount. Over 350 years it has gradually evolved to its present form. The area was originally an orchard and the biggest yews and the box hedging were planted in the 1600's. The "Multitude Yews" were planted in the mid-nineteenth century and it was during the Victorian period that the story of Packwood's yews representing the Sermon on the Mount came into being.

In the early 1900's Alfred Ash removed the last of the fruit trees from the area.

Looking after the yew trees is a priority for the National Trust and it takes three months to trim 100 trees each year commencing in August. Soil conditions at Packwood are not ideal for yews as there are pockets of clay resulting in water logging which puts the trees under stress and at risk from disease. Extremes of weather and the compaction of soil caused by visitors add to the problem.

In 2008 it was discovered that many of the trees were showing signs of decline such as stunted growth, bronze foliage and dieback. Remedial work by digging new drains around the worst affected trees and then a major project in 2010 to drain the entire area has meant that some of the yews last summer were showing signs of new growth. Following a tree survey and to safeguard the yew garden for the future, a phased project has begun and last winter some of the worst affected trees were cut back to the main truck to encourage regrowth - yews are able to regenerate from old wood.

We didn't linger long in the yew garden as it was very busy so not too many photos.

The Packwood Follies

The first three photos were taken in the Yew Garden, the fourth in the parkland and the last two in the woodland.

The Orchard

To escape the crowds we went a walk through the parkland, around the lake and back through the woods.

I know many of you are fans of Edith Holden's "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" and she often walked through parkland at Packwood

Back then into the Carolean Garden for a last look at the Raised Terrace

and then a visit to the Kitchen Garden - a lovely mix of flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Sadly, no visit to the tearooms for cake :( B took one look at the prices - sorry queues and said it was time to go home!


Countryside Tales said...

How sad that people ignored the signs. It looks a very interesting estate.

Margaret Adamson said...

it is lovely to see the many divese ways people have planted gardens up so thanks for sharing these shots with us.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks CT. Would be interesting to know how many hadn't seen the sign (although it was pretty prominent!) and how many had seen but ignored!

Margaret Adamson -Thanks Margaret. We are lucky that there are so many beautiful gardens to visit :)

Caroline Gill said...

What a beautiful and interesting place. I am intrigued by the Sermon on the Mount ... I suppose a bit like a kind of outdoor flower (foliage!) festival, only a long-lasting one! And yes, we have made several visits to Welney. It was beautifully peaceful on Saturday (but not so many birds about, either), though we also enjoy the evening swan feeds in the winter. These ar lovely thing to do in the run-up to Christmas, but you would need to check times and dates first.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks very much. Wish I'd taken more pictures now of the Topiary Garden. There is a mount at the far end with a winding (spiral) path between a box hedge to the top where there is a huge yew known as The Master of Pinnacle of the Temple giving good views of the gardens.

Thanks so much for the tip re: the evening swan feeds in Winter - will check the dates and times later in the year :)

Toffeeapple said...

That was lovely, thank you. I do wish people would pay heed to polite requests.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thank you. So agree with you about the polite request.

Deb said...

What a lovely place to visit. It is a shame that people ignore the signs. I love the teddy bear's picnic. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thank you - its good to see that the National Trust seems to be doing a lot to appeal to children :)

David said...

Lovely pictures of yet another beautiful house and gardens Caroline, you are certainly spoilt for choice in your neck of the woods when it comes to historic properties!

The raised terrace and its hot flowers (including some more of those lovely chocolate scabious) was a delight to behold, whilst the kitchen garden looked rather nice. The Yews were mighty impressive too though it is a shame that part of the garden was ruined by a few inconsiderate visitors.

All in all lovely stuff as always & thoroughly enjoyable reading :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David - Many thanks for your very kind comment. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

We are lucky to have Packwood and Baddesley so close and the other lovely properties all about an hour away. Would dearly love to revisit the gardens at Hidcote - haven't been for years (last visit was before my blogging and dslr days).

Chocolate Scabious (or Black Knight) is really delightful. The plant in our garden is covered in flowers and seems popular with the bees!

Cathy said...

What a charming place! And you've just given me the name of the little wild plant that grows between the bricks and in the gravel along my walkways: Ivy-leafed Toadflax. I just love this little plant.

Ragged Robin said...

Cathy - Thanks so very much for leaving a comment. So glad I was able to help with plant id. You've given me an idea - we have quite a few stone walls in the garden but no ivy-leafed toadflax, I might try and gather some seeds and put them in the walls :)