"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

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Stroll around Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens - Part 1

I went a quick stroll around Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Solihull at lunchtime today. I rediscovered these gardens early this year and have tried to visit at least once a month to keep a record of the gardens as they develop through the year. The gardens are usually lovely and quiet and its like wandering around my very own "secret garden".

The gardens were discovered in 1982 totally overgrown and derelict but retaining the basic structure of how the gardens would have appeared in the early eighteenth century. They are a rare example of an English Baroque garden and since 1988 Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust has been aiming to restore the gardens to the period 1680 - 1762.

The walled gardens extend over 10 acres with over 600 species of plants from the period together with a holly maze, orchards, wilderness and vegetable garden.

I began my walk in the less formal part of the gardens which include ponds, New Orchard (pictured below) and a wildflower meadow.

Cow parsley and speedwell grow along the wall

I walked to North Pond which used to house fish to feed people living in the main house but which is today home to the great crested newt

and walked through the Nut Ground back into the main gardens

Looking back into Nut Ground

Lupins flowering in the main garden

The Green House was originally built around 1729 and the Coat of arms seen at the top of the building belonged to Sir John Bridgeman II and his wife Ursula Matthews (1672-1720), the then owners of Castle Bromwich Hall

This would have been a nice place to sit if I had rememberd my book!

The gardens are not too tidy or over manicured as can be seen from the photo below of an ornamental shrub with foxgloves, forget me nots and garlic mustard nearby.

The stroll around the gardens will be continued in Part 2 soon.

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