Sunday 19 February 2012

Candlemas Bells

Sharp, blue skies and the promise of flowers brought me out of hibernation today. Finally we got to go off on our snowdrop walk and it was the perfect day. Cold, brisk and bright.

I've not been here for many years and it was lovely to return. There were more snowdrops in the woodlands than I remembered and fewer on the walk to the lake, but the display was just beautiful.

They were everywhere; carpeting bank sides, drifting through the trees, crowding together in pots and dotted singly here and there. The stiff breeze made their little heads nod and dance making the whole garden seem alive.
A short stroll through the trees brings you to a mile long lake, full of waterfowl and with an ancient boathouse. They're lovely things I think, but a bit sinister. In all those country house books and programmes, something terrible always happens in the boathouse!
The boys enjoyed a run about, collecting sticks as ever and Woody (although absolutely not a gardening fan) loved the gentle surroundings and being out in the fresh air.
Me - I just loved the flowers. Oodles of them, so early in the year was a joy. I'm getting fonder of cyclamen as I get older. There were some minuscule varieties dotted about that could have been bouquets for fairies.
Isn't this a clever trick? In amongst the borders are little mirrors so that you can see the delicacy and beauty of the inside of these little beauties. Genius.
And then, past this lovely private walk to the estate church, is the kitchen garden that one year I will definitely visit in July when it'll be fit to bursting with crops.
The Gardener's Cottage is still lived in and today smoke curled from the chimney across the fallow, turned beds. I find walled kitchen gardens fascinating, full of memories all those gardeners been and gone. Here there are espaliered fruit trees, Victorian greenhouses and traditional terracotta rhubarb forcers. One day I shall get to have a proper look around and not a two minute sprint, chasing small boys!
A truly lovely afternoon to remind you that winter is on the wane. There might still be plenty of time left for the frost, the snow and the cold but those weeks are numbered now. Spring is creeping up to the surface and even though we'll still be muffled up for ages, the flowers will flow. Crocus next then the narcissi and before too long the glorious bluebells. Bring it all on I say!
P.S. I've been faffing around with my blog again! You can choose to view it in which ever way suits you by selecting from the menu on the left - I rather like "magazine" but have fun choosing. Just select the picture in the top left hand corner for the latest post and I think commenting is the same as usual. Xxx


...Nina Nixon... said...

This has to be my favourite post of the week Steph and such gorgeous pictures.

The only flowers we managed to see in such huge quantities this weekend was at the garden centre this morning, but it was ever so lovely to see a lot of spring flowers in.

Nina xxxx

Katy Noelle said...

Our spring is a whole six weeks early but not a drop of anything growing, yet. But, the sun is relatively warm and the clouds high and puffy, not dark and low. And, I could swear - although, technically, I can't see anything growing - that I can see an odd green film glinting off of the field. Definitely still "bundle up good" weather but isn't it all wonderful?

I would just love to explore an English country garden like this. Your mention of the winter kitchen gardens - actually, this whole post - reminds me of "The Secret Garden".

I love the moss in that pot, too, btw. ;)


Louise said...

Gorgeous photos! Much better than the ones I blogged! I was there with an 80 year old friend on Tuesday when it was cold, windy and grey and my photos were not so good! I was a bit disappointed as I felt there were not so many snowdrops, but I thought it looked as if there were some still on their way. I might go back in a few weeks with my OH when it's warmer and a few more spring flowers have appeared.

I've been hoping to photograph wild snowdrops locally while I was off for half term but the weather hasn't been very nice! I think snowdrops look far better against a blue sky or in a bit of sunlight!

Dan said...

What a fantastic place. I'll have to pay a visit, as it's not that far away, and yet I've never heard of it!
I agree the mirrors are a great idea for looking at those beautiful snowdrops.

The Fairy Glade said...

Such beautiful snowdrops, ours are just starting to open up along with the crocuses. The witch hazel is also very pretty and has such a sweet smell when the sun warms the flowers. Mind you it was minus 4 when I got up this morning, so maybe not today! Dev x

Country Rabbit said...

I love the way your blog is now set out! wow! your photo's are so eye catching!...I just sat down with my coffee after the school mad run and have to dash out again in hour!,so how blissful to catch up on this post- I love snow drops!- you have so many there, we only have a few around the shady tree's in the park...and few daff's. But your walk around the land, garden looked so heavenly- Such a beautiful day out. I agree when you return in the spring and summer months it will be bustling with blooms and colour! what a beautiful sight to look forward too. Nature is the best place to be x and i bet your boys loved a good adventure and run around ;0)x

Cait O'Connor said...

I did somehow catch on to a page with all your photos on which was a feast for the eyes.
I blogged about snowdrops today, several folk have funnily enough but it is that time of year. I have yet to photograph mine. The garden is fantastic, well worth a visit.

pinkgreen said...

It looks like a fabulous place to visit. Isn't it lovely to finally see proper signs that Spring is on its way?! XX

Barri-Jayne said...

Such a lovely post! Your photos are lovely as always! I love the new style of your blog. I've thought about doing it this way myself, I think it makes it a lot easier to browse around.

Have a lovely week!

Barrina xx

Tea with Prudence said...

Your photos, are as usual, magnificent, inspiring and beautiful.

I was on that walk with you, imagining the July visit to the vegetable garden, an Agathie Christie murder taking place in the boathouse, and Col. Mustard in the conservatory with professor Plum.

I just want you to know tho, that I 'own' snowdrops. Have done since I was a child, as my birthday is in January, and the snowdrop is the flower of January, so I just always felt that it was 'mine' - but you can borrow them....... : )


Marina said...

What beautiful photos, sounds a wonderful day, and you certainly picked a good one to go, the snowdrops are lovely! Makes me happy to think that Spring is just around the corner xx

Ruth said...

Lovely photos and I like the new layout. All the photos together look fabulous - like some fabulous magazine layout.

Jill said...

Hi I finally found your post, but I had great fun getting there!! Lovely photos and love the new design.

Rosie said...

I like the changes you have made but did choose to read your post in classic mode. It was lovely to see the snowdrops at Rode Hall again through your photos. It has been a few years since we last visited. I too find boathouses very eerie and can't go too near them, same too with boats up out of the water in a dry dock - I have no idea why!:)

Emma Herian said...

Gorgeous photos. Rode Hall looks so similar to I had to double take! I visited Nymans the other day and was mesmerized by their snowdrops, wished Id taken some pics now!

Miss Holly said...

I have never seen so many snowdrops in my life!!!! They are so so beautiful!!!!

abercrombie Outlet said...

So glad you are having fun - those colours of sinery are just amazing!would just love to explore an English country garden like this. Your mention of the winter kitchen gardens - actually, this whole post - reminds me of "The Secret Garden".thank you for sharing article! I will continue noticing your blog!

newblogger said...

The person who created this post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected.Thanks for sharing this with us.

brittney&&derrick said...

Those flowers are so pretty