Monday, 11 April 2016
Winterbourne House Gardens and Edgbaston NR
Last week I managed to persuade B to pay a visit to the beautiful Winterbourne House Gardens. The botanical gardens cover 7 acres and are a fine example of an Arts and Crafts suburban garden.
John Sutton Nettlefold (from Guest Keen and Nettlefold) commissioned JL Ball (a local Architect) in the early 1900's to design a house in Edgbaston Birmingham in the Arts and Crafts style. John's wife, Margaret, designed the garden taking inspiration from the garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. The family lived in the house but sold it in 1919 when Margaret moved to Gloucestershire to be closer to John. His health had deteriorated and he was in hospital from 1914 - 1930.
The Wheelock family purchased the property and then in 1925 John Macdonald Nicholson bought the house. He introduced a few changes in the garden by adding the Japanese Bridge and, as a result of his interest in alpine plants, he constructed a scree garden. John decided to bequeath the house and gardens to the University of Birmingham.
The Visitor Centre and Walled Garden
The Scree Garden
The Glasshouses contain plant collections from around the Globe.
The Carnivorous Plant House
The Orchid House - as you can see the camera lens steamed up as soon as I entered!
The Arid House
The Alpine House
Beautiful displays of daffodils around the gardens.
Those of you who have read my posts on previous visits will remember that I have never had chance to enter the woods and walk to Edgbaston Pool. On this occasion with more time to spare we managed it. The woodland and pool are an SSSI (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) presently leased by Edgbaston Golf Club.
Bird species seen on the pool included Coot, Canada Geese, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe.
Bluebells are starting to flower.
Sandstone Rock Garden
Woodland Walk - birds seen included a Blackcap (my first this year) and a Chiffchaff.
There were hundreds of this yellow flower (looking like something out of "Day of the Triffids"). Apparently they are Yellow Skunk Cabbage.
A few Marsh Marigolds along a stream.
Cowslips and Snakeshead Fritillaries lining the stream and
more Marsh Marigolds. Other names for this species include May-blobs, Kingcup, May Flower, Water Bubbles, Molly-blobs, Water-blobs, Polly-blobs,Golden Knobs, Water Goggles, May Bubbles and Bulls'eyes!
The Herb Circle is very pretty in summer with all the flowering herbs.
Some of the beehives were very active with quite a few honey bees coming and going.
Flower Clock by Dave Barnes based on the original by C.Linnaeus. The idea is that plants will open their flowers at various times during the day acting like a clock. I am trying to persuade B to make a circular bed in our large main lawn to try out the idea. So far without success!
We briefly visited the Courtyard, Scullery and Kitchen but didn't have time to look round the rest of the house. I am hoping we can return in the summer.
B spent a lot of time chatting to volunteers in the Print Room. It was interesting to learn how things were done before the days of computers.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this sculpture - I am not really over keen on most modern work.
Daffodils and blossom by the car park.
Sorry for the large amount of photos - I appear to have gone a little OTT! :)
Looking at the preview some of the photos don't seem to have loaded. I have had huge problems with this post as when I came to add the text a few hours after uploading the photos blogger appeared to be playing up. I would type just one word and it would take about a minute to appear on the screen! Hence there are fewer words than I intended!!