Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tatton Park (It's a sin - No. 4 - a little bit of envy)

I've only ever visited Tatton Park before for the RHS flower Show and for the Cancer Research UK Run 10K, so a visit from SomeBeans' mum was an ideal opportunity to go and visit the gardens.
They have a walled vegetable garden (sin number 4 - envy!), but there was a certain amount of schadenfreude, as we viewed the giant slugs that they were breeding, and the rather ineffective scarecrows.

Giant slug!

One of many scarecrows

Brassicas showing efficacy of the scarecrows

As I get older, I'm starting to see the importance of structure in the garden. Our garden currently is a riot of herbaceous perennials, absolutely buzzing with foggie-toddlers and currently elegantly peppered with a range of butterflies. What it doesn't have (despite some evergreen shrubs such as Pittosporums) is a good year round structure. So, I have started to see the attraction of a more formal evergreen structure.

The Italian Garden, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton

The Tower Garden

Echinops against yew hedge

What Tatton Park is really well known for is its Japanese Garden. It is only open to enter occasionally, to reduce wear and tear, but you can get a good general view from the outside of the garden. It is beautiful.

The leaves of the acers were jusr starting to turn - in a few weeks time, the colours will be so rich.

Stepping stones leading you from the dark into the light

The tea house, the window of which faces eastwards, towards the Shinto shrine.

A pair of cranes. apparently they represent age, and add 1000 years to a garden, as well as to anyone gazing upon them.

The almond eye bridge

An Inari Fox - the fox is the messenger of Inari, the god of rice and food. The fox wears a red bib to protect against evil forces.


Unknown said...

Gorgeous post! I too find that I am requiring more structure in the garden. As a herbaceous perennial man at heart my borders are becoming increasingly mixed and ordered.

But seriously, what the hell is up with those scarecrows?! They are hideous and perform no function whatsoever, except for winding me up of course!

And who doesn't net Brassicas?! You would think that if you know you have bird problems (scarecrows imply this) and you grow Brassicas, you net them!

Rant over . . . carry on! :)


easygardener said...

That slug is showing off! I must say that the scarecrow looks like (an artistic) pile of flower pots which is probably why the pigeons took no notice.
The Japanese garden looks superb.

Dawn said...

Do you get the 1000 years if you view cranes via a blog? Am hoping so.

I fear I am a shallow soul as I really only employ scarecrows as an aesthetic treat in the garden. Then again, my veg crop is rubbish this year so that should teach me something.

Great shots - as I can't imagine my getting to visit it anytime soon, good to have a virtual tour.

Rothschild Orchid said...

Great post and wonderful photos as always. I love the acers just changing colour, so pretty.

Frances said...

Oh Happy, the Japanese garden is breathtaking! I can imagine the leaves having turned, a vision to inspire the deepest more sinful kind of envy. Don't envy the slugs though, yuck! Love the evergreens, and want to know what you will be adding in the way of structure to your garden as a result of this nice trip with Mother Beans. :-)

Gail said...

Schadenfreude~~is one of my favorite, but 'never get a chance to use in a real sentence' words! Wonderful to see it here and how apt!

The Japanese Garden is beautiful. I admire the disciplined grooming they take and the serene feeling that comes from visiting one.

Love the fox and his red bib!


HappyMouffetard said...

Ryan - seem to have touched a sore point there! Perhaps if they had made scarepigeons instead of scarecrows, they may have been more successful. we have to net our brassicas for them to last more than five minutes after we have left the plot.

EG - I have several more photos of huge slugs from there. I was getting some strange looks.

Dawn - that would be good, wouldn't it? Perhaps that accounts for the number of Japanese who live to a ripe old age.

RO - yes, the acer colours were mesmerising and no doubt are even better now.

Frances - we'll have to see. When we bought this house the front garden was full of overgrown shrubs which we removed completely. I then filled it with herbaceous perennials and some small shrubs for some quick colour. Perhaps now it is time to look at it again...

Gail, yes. I know it's a cliche, but the garden did seem very peaceful, and there were so many different views designed into it. I took loads of photos and could have taken loads more.

Shirley said...

Hi there Happy! Thanks so much for the trip down that 'Japanese' Memory Lane... my favourite part of this garden.

To be honest out of the few visits I've had there I don't recall much else except for the stunning fernery in the glasshouse... although it is a few years since my last visit.

Ah... structure has always been something I've considered with our colder Winters of the past. I can't imagine gardening without it. Have fun with it :-D

Juliet said...

That's a good slug, I think.

I must get to Tatton some time - have never been there, and I keep hearing good things about it.

HappyMouffetard said...

Shirl - yes, I felt that the best bits were the Japanese garden and the fernery, too.

Juliet. Ooops - I better stop feeding them to the chickens on the plot next door then. They do love them though!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hmm, slugs that big end up as two slugs in my garden I'm afraid! :)

Wow - I'd heard about the Tatton Park Japanese Garden before, but I've still never managed to get to see it - so your photos were a joy!

I can dream that, one day, my Japanese Garden may be finished and be even vaugely as serene as that one appears to be ....... well a girl can hope can't she?!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I love structure in a garden. Even if a garden is messy and weedy, if it has strong "bones", it looks good. The great thing about the use of evergreens, is the visual interest they add to your winter garden. Where my garden is, winter seems to last for 4 or 5 months.
I would rather have that, then some of those slugs in my garden.

Anna said...

Enjoyed your post and excellent photos - it's been a while since we have been to Tatton and it's only down the road. I know how you feel about that walled vegetable garden - I wanted to take it home with me :)

Bay Area Tendrils said...

An OMG moment turning to your post and seeing the first image! Once, during my graduate studies I saw a banana slug in San Francisco (even longer!). I believe they're endangered now.
btw, I turned the same corner, to crave/appreciate structure in my garden. This aspect is in-progress, but I actually ripped out plants where I'd been working to create loamy soil; in order to alter the layout by creating more negative space & flow.

I hadn't been aware of Japanese gardens in Britain - though I thought they must exist. Enjoyed the illuminating visit to Tatton Park.

JamesA-S said...

Japanese Gardens outside Japan are usually a bit awful. The one at Tatton is an exception: mostly, I think, because they tend to keep visitors away.
Good pictures.
Scrarecrows are usually pretty useless: unless they wave their arms around and shout like Wurzel Gummidge.

HappyMouffetard said...

NG - you'll get there, and it'll be worth the effort.
Deborah - absolutely agree, it's just taken me a while to realise it!
Anna - we can dream!
Alice - thanks for your comments. I've just googled 'banana slug' - OMG!
James - I was amazed to discover today that Worzel Gummidge was written by Keith waterhouse.

Wendy said...

This is a beautiful garden, as is the one a few posts back. I love the clean simplicity of a Japanese style garden. Your photographs are great.

HappyMouffetard said...

Wendy - thank you for your comments.

Lucy Corrander said...

The bit of this post I enjoyed the most was the sentence

"As I get older, I'm starting to see the importance of structure in the garden."

coming almost immediately after the photograph of the brassicas.