Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Arley Hall and Gardens

A day off work, so, expecting the worst of weather having listened to the forecast, I decided on a trip to Arley Hall gardens, near Northwich in Cheshire. The rain mostly stayed away, and I managed to lower the average age of the garden visitors this afternoon by a few years. The gardens have been developed over 250 years and are made up of several discrete gardens as well as parkland and an arboretum. I've not visited that many gardens, so it was a real "Eureka" moment, standing at the end of an avenue or between a gate and seeing what people mean by creating a view in a garden.
The Fish Garden

The sundial circle, with view leading through the Ilex avenue to the walled garden
And I finally understand what a fantastic idea the ha-ha was.

Plants, of course, make a garden:
An artichoke in the kitchen garden. This garden area was full of cutting flowers as well as fruit and veg. It was nice to see that their kale had a bit of pigeon damage too.

A view down one herbaceous border

The shrub roses had mostly gone over, but the hips were round and red and nearly ripe.

Aeonium 'Zwartkop' complete with a few raindrops - luckily the rain stayed off.
Clematis heads in the Flag garden
Sculpture is something that I would like more of in our garden...

'Bulb' - a sculpture by Rachel Ramchurch. I enjoyed looking at different views through the hole in the sculpture.

This strange looking chap was in the walled garden, guarding the waterlily fountain with three colleagues.

The waterlily fountain in the walled garden.

Along with all the big views, and obvious statuary, it was also good to search out small and interesting details...

Not a very good photo but the cast iron pipework in the Vinery was good to see - proper engineering.

Moss on stone in the Rootree

Moss on one of the urns in the walled garden.

At the end of the Fish Garden were headstones in memories of pets, mostly horses. The originals were in faded stone but had been transcribed onto plaques.
Some were quite twee...
Others rather more graphic...
This devilish chap has an amazing view over the herbaceous border from the top of the Alcove. I couldn't get a decent photo of the whole of the herbaceous borders as there were quite a few people admiring the borders, but I did manage a few photos of flowers and beds.

Oh, there's a house there as well.

The plant sales area is very good - lots of interesting plants.

I'll have to visit more gardens - it has really given me a different perspective on views and on features. I may not have 8 acres, but even so, there are some ideas I can use.


Nutty Gnome said...

Phew HM, you've been busy whilst I've been pootling round France (and visiting Rob!) on my jollies - looks like we got better weather then you've had though!
Great photos ...I'm really going to have to get my act together this month and go visit some gardens :)

Unknown said...

Looks like a pretty interesting place to visit!!

I generally pull down the average visitor age and I always get treated with a look of suspicion when I visit gardens due to me generally being at least 30 years younger than most. I think they think I'm either lost or trying to steal something!

Glad you shared it!


Northern Shade said...

I enjoyed seeing your garden tour. I found the moss on the stone and urns very appealing. Your two long views of the fish garden and through the sundial circle do show how an axis leads your eye through the view. I kept looking back and forth between the two of them. Everything looks at peak bloom in that herbaceous border. Did you pick up anything at the plant sales area?

HappyMouffetard said...

NG - welcome back!

Ryan - you must bring down the average age hugely. I'm starting to get to the age where I blend in more, but not reached saga age yet!

Norhtern Shade- yes, the views down the axes were very interesting, and also as you moved across, different views would open up. I may have bought a couple of plants - the nursery was very good value compared to the average garden centre and had a much more interesting range of plants. The herbaceous borders were slightly over.

EB said...

I really enjoyed looking at those, thank you. Nicely taken shots too.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

What great pictures. I love the sculpture. It adds so much to a garden doesn't it. I have tried to make a long view in my garden. It is 210 feet long and I tried to make sure that you could see right through each "garden room" to the next. At least that is the plan when I have actual "garden rooms". Now they are more like spaces with knee high hedges. Oh well, give me 10 years!

Wendy said...

I love that walled garden - how majestic.