|Magnolia “Kew’s Surprise”|
Wednesday February 1 2017: John Edwards, Chair of the Wentworth Castle and Stainborough Park Heritage Trust said : “It is with sadness we have decided that the gardens will have to close to the public from Spring 2017.”
The Heritage Trust behind the gardens says it has not been able to make enough money to cover the running costs and management of the site – despite a £3.74 million restoration of the garden’s Victorian conservatory back in 2013.
We visited today for the last time and here are the memories of a garden nationally famous for “Lady Lucy’s Walk” and its vast collection of azaleas and rhododendrons.
We managed to see some early rhododendrons in flower, feast our eyes on the conservatory and eat at the excellent cafe. All for the last time. This is a loss for all who love gardens and a particular one for our family for we have enjoyed many days there over the years. Do visit my Instagram pages to comment. We hope the staff find alternative employment. But most of all we hope some benefactor arrives to save the day.
|I’m no great lover of heathers though ….|
|Catkins can be as good as blossom|
|“Anna’s Red” and certainly on my newly created shopping list|
|Another of those catkins|
|Skimmia japonica “Red Diamonds”|
|The head only of the towering reed sculpture|
|Kale “Redbor” is tasty too|
|Primula allionii ‘Mrs Dyas’|
|Primula ‘Joan Hughes’|
|Primula allionii ‘ Apple Blossom’|
|Saxifraga species and my favourite today|
|Primula ‘Netta Dennis’|
|Dionysia aretioides ‘Bevere’ and spectacular|
|Cornus mas – a mass of blossom|
|We had a visitor at lunch|
|Location for lunch|
And please visit my Instagram pages via this link.
|Galanthus “Sandhill Gate”|
|Galanthus “South Hayes”|
|“Galanthus Fatty Puff”|
|Galanthus “Franz Josef”|
|Galanthus “Mrs Thompson”|
And another of those cheerful hoop petticoats, this time from the distant island of Tasmania and the breeding talents of Rod Barwick, from Glenbrook Bulb Farm, one of his hoops named after famous fictional detectives. Mickey Moto becomes ‘Mitimoto’ and has just come into bloom. There’s a hint of green that gives it a fresh quality.
The narcissus are beginning to appear all over the garden and should one think that I’ve covered too many snowdrops, you haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to narcissi. Here is a close-up of a cyclamineus daffodil, comparatively new and already established itself as a staple. Narcissus ‘Wisley’ commemorates 100 years of the RHS, a Karel van der Veek hybrid with parentage from Narcissus ‘Peeping Tom’, a favourite variety. ‘Wisley’ has a very large flower for a cyclamineus and, as illustrated, the trumpet grows a little paler as it matures. We had the plants in a pot indoors and have transplanted them to one of the few spare spaces in the garden.
The common cowslip (Primula veris) is allowed to seed itself wheresoever it likes. It is not the most showy of flowers and I’m not sure how it arrived in our garden but it is a valued friend, in flower since January.
Of course, my blog did not get its name from thin air so here are two named snowdrops. The first is one of the Galanthus nivalis Sandersii Group, the second Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’. The former being a nivalis is more dainty and forms a more tightly clustered clump, being far more upright. The yellow is the same however. Indeed, in the form I have the Sandersii has a deep colour.
Finally, an interesting specimen from our garden, one of a self-sown strain evincing a distinctive yellow tinge. At least I presume them self-sown. I have assiduously split them up over the years. They are just going over having been in flower for weeks. The colour has been more pronounced as they have matured into clumps. Yellow snowdrops can be less vigorous. Not so these. They have spread with liberal abandon, mixed with more green kin that actually prove a foil for their sunny disposition, spurred on by fish and bone meal applied in September. The flowers possess a distinctly yellow marking albeit with a green ovary. Not so different to Galanthus nivalis ‘Blonde Inge’ come to think. Considerably cheaper. As free as those cowslips. Enjoy March and should you feel the need for unusual standard size daffodils try out this new nursery in Northern Ireland – Esker Farm Daffodils.