For many of the sellers, the funds go towards the purchase of the ever growing number of cultivars one simply can’t do without. They mostly arrive fresh and, through a variety of means, they are intact to such a degree that I can unpack them, pot them up and the flower is unblemished.
|Of course, the best things in life are free! (Nostell Priory)|
The Harlow Car hybrid primulas (they spell it like that!) are a showy hybridisation of Primula bulleyana, P. beesiana, P. japonica and P. pulverulenta that occurred naturally in the boggy soil some years ago.
The wisteria, hostas, Matteuccia and maple catch the eye plus the perfect blue of assorted Meconopsis. The gardens hosted the national trials of the latter some years ago and one is in in poppy heaven either side of the stream. There are colours here other than blues.
There comes a time when we all need a little support and the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest requires more than most. Mind you, the old fellow, if such he is, has a broad waistline of some 33 feet, weighs in at 22 tons and spreads his impressive arms to embrace 92 feet and thereby exclude all competitors. And one further statistic. He is no less than 1150 years of venerable age. If there was a Robin Hood, and Nottinghamshire’s tourist trade fervently believes there was, he stood under these very limbs.
Here’s another ancient specimen, windswept today, spreading his girth to match. There are many old trees in the forest, some having given up the ghost, others somewhat impossibly sprouting live branches from seemingly dead material. There are also young, lively specimens in one of England’s most impressive ancient forests.
The forest is constantly reinvigorating itself. When the silvery birch have been and gone, the acorns and squirrels do their work.
Anthony Caro’s “Promenade” (1996) looked stunning in the autumn light and set amongst the trees.
The view from the balcony was also lovely. On the stairs to the cafe was an exhibition by Ed Kluz: “Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain”. All the works were for sale and it passed my mind for a split second to … I settled for a photograph of “The Dunmore Pineaple”.
Tony Cragg’s work crazily complemented the Yorkshire landscape.
However Joan Miró’s 1974 piece, “Tête”, would be my choice to grace the front lawn.
Or Barbara Hepworth’s “Square with Two Circles”(1963).
Lynn Chadwick’s “Little Girl” (1987) looks pretty grown up to me. She seemed a little lonely. An angular beauty.
The parkland itself is one of the sights of Britain.
Believe it or not, this is an exhibit. David Nash, “Seventy One Steps”. We saw it seven years ago when it was being constructed. Very fitting for a sculpture park in inspiring surroundings.
We’ve got to have a Henry Moore. Or three. “Upright Motives No 1” and “Glenkiln Cross No 2” & “7” (1955-6).
And finally a Garden Centre, Alfredo Jaar’s “The Garden of Good and Evil”. I resisted the temptation to get out the secateurs.
Clumber Park looked a delight in the pale sunshine. Four miles, or thereabouts, and my Sony A6300 at hand. We ended by popping into the Walled Garden and Conservatory, hence the chrysanthemums and odd scrap of colour. To rephrase Miranda: “O brave new world, That has such plants in it!”
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.
|The Rose Garden was originally designed by Thomas Mawson in 1926 and completely renovated in 2006|
|David Austen Roses make up the main planting though Autumn perennials were conspicuous|
|The Historic Art Deco café is worth the visit on its own|
|The bandstand is in the distance and the benches are just as we remember them|
|Stanley Park Lion
The following images show the care taken of the bowling greens where the grass had been properly spiked but the gardeners not quite having finished sweeping up the plugs of earth.