A Mid-Summer Treat…..

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Broomfield Hall Gardens, Derbyshire

Yesterday was Mid-Summer and the weather was about as perfect as one could wish for. But we were also in for a treat…our Grandson Matthew, who is a student at Broomfield Hall, a part of Derby College, invited us to take a tour of part of the Walled Garden that have recently been restored.  Bromfield was once a ‘gentleman’s residence’  built in the 1870’s and the Scottish Garden designer William Barron was commissioned in 1880 to landscape the gardens on the 425 acre estate.

Over the centuries the Hall has had a mixed heritage.  Shortly after WW2 the Estate became an Agricultural College and now has a broad remit of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care.  As for the extensive gardens they had become neglected but slowly but surely they are being restored by both volunteers and students. I am told that despite the passage of time the garden layout and indeed the whole estate boundaries and field structure is the same today as in the 1880’s.

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Many of the plants are raised in the gardens nursery by the Horticultural Students.

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It is still work in progress so we will have to return at intervals to see just what they have instore for us.

It should also be mentioned that the Head Gardener was invited with the College to create a Long Border at the recent RHS Chatsworth Garden Show.  It was the first time they had taken part and to the teams credit they were awarded a Silver Medal…not bad!

22nd June

(C) David Oakes 2018

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Two Seasonal Firsts…in the Garden

 

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Edelweiss…

Edelweiss more at home on a summer Alpine meadow in Switzerland than a little corner of our Derbyshire garden.  The sunny spell has encouraged it into is first showing this year….apart from its diminutive size it is difficult to photograph as it only opens its petals in bright sunshine and as we know white and sun don’t easily go together well.

We also have our first Rose bloom this season and again it may be only small (about 1inch across but it is out bright and beautiful the first on what we hope will be many more to come…

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Early summer Clematis and rich Blue Ceanothus also make an appearance…

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We are not precious gardeners….our philosophy has always been if it likes our garden it will grow if not we will try something different but more importantly if strangers self seed from the wild we don’t discourage them….they never last for long but they bring some different and welcome colour and texture whilst visiting us, and they must like the welcome as they often return..

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But we will leave you today with perhaps memories of “The Sound of Music”   que Julie Andrews

Edelweiss.. Oh, Edelweiss…

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21st May

(C) David Oakes 2018

Last of our Dahlias……

Dahlia

The last of our Dahlia’s…… usually the Dahlia  is a flower that lingers long until the first frost of autumn.  This year, despite some very heavy rains, has  also been the very opposite , very dry and record high temperatures.  Whilst this combination gave us lots of magnificent blooms they are now fading and ragged round their edges with just the odd one sparkling fresh like only a Dahlia ever can.

9th September

(C) David Oakes 2017

Back to Work….

Back-to-work

Back to Work….

It is back to work after a long weekend….but for some there was no let up, jobs to do, places to BEE….and for the Bee’s and many other insects it bonanza time for nectar and pollen.  Late summer could be the last opportunity to stock up for the winter.

29th August

(C) David Oakes 2017

Hydrangea Season again……

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National Hydrangea Collection, Darley, Derby

The new season for Hydrangea’s is upon us….the blooms are just starting to produce the rich cushions of petals above the dark green foliage.  The weather over the past few weeks has been far from kind, so in a gap in the rains and whilst the clouds broke just a little, I thought I would see how this years blooms were doing.

The National Hydrangea Collection is hidden within an old walled garden.  Located at Darley Abbey Park, Derby and is perhaps one of Derby’s best kept secrets. One time Derby was a mass of flowers across the summer but sadly our council, in its so called wisdom, has cut the Parks and Gardens budget to near zero.  Truth is if it wasn’t for a dedicated bunch of volunteers this collection would have vanished….it is sad as Derby was the location for the first ever Public Park and has until recently an enviable record on maintain some great parks and open spaces.

The best Blooms are yet to come ……so with luck and some good weather I will try and pop back, just hoping that this spell of bad weather does not cause too much damage.

6th August

(C) David Oakes 2017