A Mid-Summer Treat…..


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.


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


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


Tw’s only a hiccup…….

P is for Poppy

Summers Poppies….

Summer is back….yesterday was merely a plip in the weather.

Lush is the phrase used to describe to meadows flower, they also prove that white is as bright as any colour in the floral spectrum..


even the pond is lush with growth whilst sporting a ‘gem’ of a Lilly…



So far its not been a bad year for the flowers both in the wild or our garden.  Last year we seem to stagger through in uncertainty….this year everything seems to have happened with a flourish.  We just hope they aren’t all going to fizzle out.

19th June

(C) David Oakes 2018


Summers Here…..


Wild Cow Parsley..

Many of our meadows and hedgerows are full of Cow Parsley…it may be wild and considered by many a weed but the delicate fleurettes would grace any garden…as would the flowers of the Elder Flower Tree’s which seem to be having a bonanza year…so with luck lots of autumn berries to harvest.

_DOI7340qqaEven the common wild brambles have mounted a special display of blossom this summer…

_DOI7433qqIt has been a strange year so far, as we are partway through June, maybe it will continue to create more surprises for us.  A wet but overall mild Winter which was followed by a cold snap that delayed  Spring, caused confusion for plants and birds alike.  Everything was late… then bang Spring exploded in woods, meadows and gardens, foliage of every description  just packed so full of life, seeds, blossom and flowers


So it is now early Summer and despite a late start to Spring everything now seems in a rush.  Each year in August I take you so see the National Hydrangea Collection, that’s when the collection is open and the plants at there best. This year the opening date is the 10th August.  Until then they are locked safely away in the walled garden at Darley.  To tempt us there are a few plants outside the garden but perhaps someone needs to tell them that it is a little early to flower as many are already showing signs of blooming soon…


Nor is our garden a slouch in coming into bloom. Peony, Roses, Cosmos, Begonia and Honeysuckle are all adding welcome colour…



Wild or Tame…they are all just little miracles of nature.

14th July

(C) David Oakes 2018

Here Today… Gone Tomorrow



The Day Lilly

It produces lots of tall green leaves, then even longer stems on the top of which are tightly wrapped flower buds….then one morning you find a big brash flower.  Crinkle edges to the petals, long stamen and just demanding that you admire it.

But the name says it all…one day of glory then the petals drop and that’s it.  The only positive is that the plants do seem to be prolific and for a week or so we will keep getting a repeat performance on top of one of the many stems….then its all over till this time next year.


11th June

(C) David Oakes 2018

June is not “Flaming June”…. but it ain’t too bad.


All Calm over Allestree Lake

I guess you could say the weather of late was much more typical of early summer in England.  Not exactly wall to wall sunshine but more cloudy skies with occasional sunny breaks.  Still warm and humid which certainly has  encouraged an abundance of growth in the flora….


Burley Brook lost beneath a Fern and  extravagances of Wild Flowers 


Wild and left to grow where they will…and in my view as good as any Flower Show Garden.

Weather outlook for the rest of June…much the same again but with the occasional wet day

7th June

(C) David Oakes