A Garden Odyssey

November is the time when all the magnificent Open Gardens are on display. I visited one such garden this morning in its splendour. Set on eleven acres and around one hundred and forty years old, Dreamthorpe, is a woodland wonderland with unique garden architecture and, my favourite, the wistful, wisteria walk!

Of course, my interest is stone walls, as I described in my last blog on the Edna Walling cottage garden. As I entered the property, a magnificent stone wall welcomed me beside manicured green paths.

20131104-093151.jpg
A unique garden also displays unique garden architecture. This garden was no exception: terracotta urns, classical statues, wildlife habitat and some modern pieces.

20131104-093628.jpg

20131104-093651.jpg

20131104-093716.jpg
This one is reminiscent of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and good times. This garden revels in its own beauty!

20131104-094157.jpg

20131104-094216.jpg
Fancy a new home for your bird life?

20131104-094406.jpg
Yes, I did promise some modern garden pieces – which do you prefer?

20131104-094546.jpg

20131104-094610.jpg
However, it was the design layout and the plants themselves which stole the show. Here are but a mere snapshot of their breathtaking beauty….

20131104-094901.jpg
A wall of pink rhododendrons.

20131104-094959.jpg
a hedged narrow path – leading where?

To a lake, of course!

20131104-095157.jpg
My favourite was this spectacular lavender wisteria walk – magical, secluded and other worldly!

20131104-095440.jpg

20131104-095552.jpg
This property is more notably recognised by its row of gothic ancient cedars which, on a cold, foggy night, are eerie sentinels watching over the garden.

href=”https://crabandfish.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/20131104-100047.jpg”>20131104-100047.jpg

20131104-100103.jpg
Dreamthorpeis a must see in autumn and in spring. Open gardens give us inspiration and preserve the magnificence of nature in all its variety and possibilities – an odyssey any garden lover would like to undertake.

<a

20131104-100333.jpg

Garden Gratitude Theme: Pink

No, not the popular female singer but the crimson colours of the camelias! On this unusually sunny morning and the walkways strewn with pink petals, it never ceases to amaze me how these trees push forth their abundance.

20130917-192707.jpg

In our decade here on the Mount, we have experienced drought conditions, heat waves, strong, hot northern winds and torrential rains. As a consequence, we have lost our fair share of important trees – a weeping cherry, the year we went to Italy; an established magnolia, the year of the drought and along with it, a magnificent pale pink rhododendron, odorata. With these significant losses we have tried to keep our mainstay trees alive during summer. Perhaps our lovely neighbours’ example of abundant watering makes sense! Our rewards are many.

20130917-193555.jpg

20130917-194026.jpg
If you look carefully you can make out our rooster’s tail feathers in the background!

My gratitude really must go to the previous own of this property. She was a remarkable woman. Raising her four children alone and working as a nurse by night, she had a grand vision of the colours in a garden. Painstakingly planting camelias, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs and magnolias she created an English garden beneath a canopy of gum trees. In this season, however, it is the camelia which takes pride of place.

20130917-194805.jpg
Some of them only briefly make their appearance.

20130917-194859.jpg
Others linger to create carpets of petals.

20130917-195214.jpg
At least one of our weeping cherries survived!

20130917-195313.jpg
With this vision of abundance we marvel at nature itself: its glory, its veritable magnificence which reaffirms our own existence.

20130917-195731.jpg

20130917-195818.jpg
Are you “pinked” out yet?

20130917-200418.jpg
The English poets knew their landscapes. William Wordsworth wrote of paths and country meanderings. John Milton wrote about “those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world”. For me these are all found in a garden.

20130917-200720.jpg
One last flourish before I go (pardon the pun) – happy gardening, contemplating and appreciating!