Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Arlington Bluebell Walk - East Sussex

Ok, so it's not strictly a garden but the the Bluebells were so beautiful I had to share them with you. Seeing this month's picture of a tranquil Bluebell wood on my Countryfile calendar inspired me to hunt out a local woodland that is famous for its display of Bluebells.

The Bluebells have a magical quality when covering the forest floor like a delicate carpet and in this particular wood they are enhanced by a hazy white backdrop of Wood Anemones.

Although the main spectacle is due to the loveliness of the wood and the sheer number of the Bluebells it is worth taking a closer look every now and then. Once down at ground level you can see it's not just humans enjoying the local flora but some interesting insects as well. You may also note that not all plants are made equal; there was lots of variation in the Anemones, some tinged with reds and pinks.

I can imagine that this woodland would look beautiful at different times of day and in different lights but I was lucky enough to have sun occasionally appearing from behind a cloud to light up the space like a scene from a fairytale.

One thing to note; this is a private woodland so you have to pay to get in and due to the fact it was a bank holiday when I went it was rather busy. The upside being that you are quarantined a good display.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Garden Museum - Central London, Lambeth

Tucked away opposite the Houses of Parliament is a magical place with the feeling of a secret garden. This garden had a warmth and spirituality to it that many places try to replicate but was inherent in this space due to its history and setting.

The Garden Museum is set in an old church that gives the space a sense of antiquity and creates a dramatic backdrop for a garden. The reason it is set here is because this church houses the tomb of one of the first famous British gardeners John Tradescant and his equally horticulturally minded son. The tomb itself is a carved masterpiece and was re-carved in 1853 although the tomb has been in this place since 1662.

The garden in the old grave yard is laid out in the style of a 17th century knot garden so as to reflect the style of gardens that the Tradescants would have created and collected plants for from around the world. The plants inside the knots are species that the Tradescants introduced and discovered. You may have heard of a plant called Tradescantia that was named after them.

One plant that was looking elegant and beautiful in an otherwise still wintery garden was the Amelanchier. It was covered in delicate blossoms and I think it is a great tree for a small garden.

It is not normal when visiting gardens that I would come away with so many pictures of the indoors but this place was as magical inside as it was outside. While some of the displays of old garden tools may not inspire all but the hardiest of horticulturalists; the space as a whole looked quirky and interesting within its gothic setting.