On the Bank Holiday Monday we ventured just a few miles from the holiday cottage and visited two gardens – the first was Kingston Maurward, where there’s a college and animal park as well.
There’s a lovely house (though we didn’t go in) and formal gardens laid out in a series of rooms. For the more adventurous there’s a woodland walk and (at a short distance, and fairly well hidden) a walled demonstration garden – we made it round both, you’ll be pleased to hear.
Starting with the formal gardens, we found ourselves in the Red Garden:
Hedges of copper beech, and beds planted with a pom-pom flowered red bellis perennis and red-leaved berberis. There’s also a pool with red-leaved water lilies, and a path through shrubs up to a little round temple:
Behind me as I took that photo was a little summerhouse covered in wisteria that was just about to come into flower.
From the Red Garden a path led us through topiary hedges
past the end of the croquet lawn
to a little circular garden (note husband for scale)
with niches in the hedges containing statues – on permanent loan from the Houses of Parliament.
King Charles II
King Henry III
But I’m not convinced this is really Richard III. Sorry.
From the circular garden we approached the house
along a path flanked by beds of blue and pink forget-me-nots.
Near the house was an area called the Rainbow Beds but pretty much the only thing flowering was centaurea
And next to the house was a little walled garden with a pool, and stone urns covered with more wisteria.
From the house there’s a view down to the lake
And on the way to the lake we walked through a little Japanese garden surrounded by hedges.
We could just glimpse the house through the trees.
There are striking acers
and moss, and a little stream. But the bright sunshine and deep shadow made it harder to get good photos.
Getting near to the lake (and dodging the Canada geese) we came upon a little neo-Classical summerhouse (the influence of Capability Brown is strong here, though he didn’t design the garden himself).
Past the lake, we came to part of the village which we had to cross to get to the walled garden. It took a bit of finding but we managed it.
If it looks wonky that’s because it’s sloping.
Told you it was sloping!
Husband for scale again
It’s a demonstration garden, so there are beds of plants for all sorts of conditions, plus a lovely overgrown greenhouse.
Beds of perennials
And here’s a bed of shrubs for acid soil – including a magnolia, and a gorgeous pieris in full flower.
By the gate a ceanothus was flowering.
And it was getting a lot of attention from bees.
Leaving the walled garden we made our way to the lake again, to take the woodland walk. We passed an impressively big tree – no idea what it was but it was huge.
And we got a great view of the house from across the water.
As well as seeing this:
“Strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government!”
Also, with it being woodland, there were azaleas, magnolias and of course some bluebells.
After the woodland walk we caught up with the last bits of formal garden that we hadn’t seen already – the Crown Garden is so called because of the topiary:
And it was nice to see there are some genuinely wild bits amongst the formality.
Part 3 still to come – I’d have done both of Monday’s garden visits as one post but I didn’t realise how many photos there were!