Wednesday, 12 April 2017
A Visit to Calke Abbey
I had a day out with a friend yesterday and we decided to visit Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. We've been quite a few times before and there is always something to see and do there. When you enter this National Trust property you drive along the most beautiful Lime Avenue - 82 saplings were planted in 1846 to commemorate the birth of Sir Vauncey Harpur. I saw my first lambs of the year along this stretch - unfortunately, it is not very easy to stop and take photos.
We started off by having an early lunch of pea soup and a roll (I was good for once and resisted the temptation of cake!). The soup was the best I have ever had in a NT tea-room.
Calke Abbey is described by the National Trust as an "un-stately home". It tells the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate. The house and stables have had little restoration and you can see peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards.
We didn't go in the house this time although at some stage I would really like to have another look round as it is stuffed with treasure and curiosities. The grassland either side of the path that leads to the gardens was covered in Cowslips and Dandelions.
Lesser Celandine and Primroses still flowering outside the walled gardens.
"Plants in Walls" - this time a Foxglove has taken root.
The present walled kitchen, physic and flower gardens were built and developed b Sir Harry Harpur.
The flower garden was full of tulips and wallflowers.
The Auricula Theatre was built in 1830 and contains different flower displays depending on the season. At present it contains pots of violas, daffodils, hellebores and grape hyacinths.
I am not sure what plant this is - it was climbing all over a wall with the clematis - but it smelt delightful.
The Vegetable and Physic Garden
"Plants in Walls" - the inevitable Ivy-leaved Toadflax.
It was a lovely day out and thanks to J for her company.