"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

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

We went along to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens yesterday afternoon to collect our new membership cards and while we were there had a wander round.

The gardens are a unique example of an English Baroque garden. For many decades the gardens were neglected but in 1985 a Trust was established with the aim of restoring the gardens to their former glory.

Daffodils still flowering in a border near the entrance.

Lady Bridgeman's Garden - the planting arrangement varies with each season.

Crown Imperial - I really do like this plant.

Auriculas - I think the Gardens have an Auricula event in the near future.

The fruit trees in the North Orchard seem to have had a rather drastic "hair cut"!

Fruit blossom (apple and pear) starting to appear.

The Green House was built around 1729. The gardens were at their peak between 1680 and 1760 and today a collection of around 600 species of plants from that period have been planted.

We then went into the less formal part of the gardens known as the "Extra Grounds".

Green Alkanet beginning to flower.

White Dead Nettle sprouting in a wall

Recently restored Mirror Pool with a pair of Mallard and Marsh Marigolds.

In the past I have seen lots of Snakeshead Fritillaries around this pool but they all seem to have disappeared - not sure why unless the Red Lily Beetle has invaded the area :(

Blossom in the New Orchard - trees have been pruned in this area too.

There is going to be a good display of Yellow Rattle in the wild flower area soon.

Garlic Mustard

Returning to the main walled garden

Pulmonaria and

Primroses on a grassy bank

View along Holly Walk towards the Green House

The Lower Wilderness is much more open as there has been more tree pruning/chopping.

The Upper Wilderness with St Mary and St Margarets in the distance.

Castle Bromwich Hall has been renovated and is now run as a hotel (a separate enterprise and ownership to the Gardens)

Still working on the id of this hoverfly


amanda peters said...

Lovely RR, nice post and photo's. All the flowers are lovely. Noticed today out walking the dog how much the hedges have greened up and the blossom is out. I really must get out with my camera, it's all passing me by !

Bovey Belle said...

What lovely photos - I felt I was walking round with you. Beautiful gardens, and I have a new name for the top of our stable yard (sounds grand don't it?!) - the Upper Wilderness!!! Ah well, all the nettles and weeds up there are beloved of wildlife, so it can't be all negative.

I have just discovered I have a branch of my family coming from Knowle, Solihull back in the late 1700s. The wonderfully-named Benedicta Boddington! In a couple of the censuses, Knowle is put in Staffordshire - did the county borders change?

Pam said...

What a lovely place to visit, quite peaceful too if you hit it at the right time I should imagine! :)

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda. Yes, so much greenery is now appearing. Do hope you get time to get out with your camera soon. I think April and May are the loveliest of months for wild flowers :)

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much - so pleased you enjoyed the walk!! lol re: the top of your stable yard - yes it is a great name and I assume it comes from the gardens they created at the time :) Always good to have a wild part of the garden for insects and birds :)

That is so interesting re: Knowle and Benedicta Boddington!!! (love the name!). I think there have been changes to county boundaries over the years. I do know they got rid of the old Vice Counties so lots of places that used to be in Warwickshire became part of West Midlands. I thought Knowle used to be in Warwickshire (it is a lovely town not far from Solihull) Go there sometimes and Edith Holden lived there/Dorridge for a while. There again it could be have been in Staffs in the 1770's??? The Vice Counties thing is confusing as a lot of wildlife organisations still use the Vice County system for records submitted - even more confusingly some don't!!! If I found out anymore re: Knowle and Staffs will let you know. I have old OS Maps of the area but only from late 19th century. Even going back to Edith's time Knowle was quite small but in the last 100 years there has been massive housing and other development in the area :(

Pam - Thank you Pam. Yes, it is incredibly quite and peaceful there - I used to go a lot to get away from it all at the time my mum had to go into a nursing home. It does get busy though on "Event Days" and they have a lot of family activities in the holidays and school term time visits. So timing is the key! :)

Rosie said...

Such a lovely post. The gardens look a wonderful place to visit and if you have a membership card you can visit in all seasons. I love the terms 'extra ground' and 'lower wilderness.' Its a shame the fritillaries have diappeared by the pond. You saw a wonderful selection of plants and flowers and it certainly seems to have been a good year for primroses, pulmonaria and hellebores. On our travels the other day we saw so many trees and hedges covered in blossom, this time of year is so beautiful isn't it?:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. It is a lovely place to visit - a few years ago I used to visit at least once a month and it was so tranquil. When I next go and spot a gardener I will tried and find out what happened to the fritillaries.

We are planning to do part of the Blossom Trail near Evesham and visit a few villages en route but trying to find a day when we can all go is proving difficult! Yes I love April, May and June - my favourite months :)