Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring in my step

I say spring, but it has been more like summer in the Cotswolds this past fortnight! There is a golden time at the beginning of the season at Hidcote, when the whole place suddenly comes to life. In the glory days of yore Major Johnston traipsed across to the south of France with his dogs and staff, seeing out the chilly English winter from the comfort and mild sea breezes of his other garden at Menton. With this in mind Hidcote has grown up being rather restrained during the winter months, and it’s only once spring begins to edge in from the shadows that things really get going again! This new beginning heralds the onset of a glorious moment in time, with the absolute pleasure of all the blooms and buds right now, and the promise of the floriferous months ahead!
The Red Borders are a late-season garden, but early on in the year purple-leaved cherries brighten the place up. The lawn is currently closed due to a series of turf repairs that have been taking place here and all over the garden

Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’ lighting up the gazebo

Recently I have become fixated by the clean lines of the cut hedges, here the Hornbeams in the Stilt Garden and the Beech / Holly tapestry blocks seen in the distance

The Cowslip, Primula veris, making a welcome appearance in the Orchard

This is quite probably my favourite tulip, T. sylvestris, flowering now in Mrs Winthrop’s Garden!

A quick stop in the Glasshouse for some seed sowing, here we have Ricinus communis, the Castor Oil plant. One of the other gardeners recently discovered that this plant was used in ye olden times to treat pretty much every ailment going. An interesting turn up for the books, as it has infamously been used as a poison to kill spies!

Two gems that like to have their feet wet, a white version of the common but beautiful Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris var. alba, surrounded by the frilly heads of Soldanella ‘Spring Symphony’

The incredible bell-blooms of the yellow Crown Imperial, Fritillaria imperialis ‘Lutea’, seen here in the Stilt Garden. What a plant!

In Camellia Corner, a carpet of Anemone blanda

In the Maple Garden the sweetly-scented Hyacinths are well underway, here two varieties H. ‘Amethyst’ and H. ‘Woodstock’. In the foreground is Leucojum aestivum, and these white blooms are reflected opposite by the small Magnolia stellata

This is the Hummingbird Hawk-moth I was prattling about last year (please see here). Incredible joy to see this migrant in September, flabbergasting to see it on March 27th up the Rose Walk and feeding on Pulmonaria! What the blazes are you doing here now old bean?


Elephant's Eye said...

Bertie - it would be interesting to see the gardeners at work, pruning the hornbeam. How do they achieve that perfect corner?

Helen O'Donnell said...

Great caltha/soldanella combo- amazing! T. slyvestris is blooming here at Dixter and is on the top of the list! Happy Spring!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Dear Bertie - Thank you for sharing these photos. I know you, like the rest of us, are buried in garden chores this time of year. So delightful to see the awakening of one of my favorite gardens! Digging away in Washington, DC - Loi

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

What a light and airy look for the Red Border at this time of year; very befitting of spring! T. sylvestris has a nice easy look to it.

Thanks for the photos of Hidcote! Looking lovely- keep up the good work!! Julie

Rosemary said...

One of my flower highlights was once discovering Soldanella growing wild on the mountains in Italy.
Love your photos of Hidcote.

Oxonian Gardener said...

Very very envious of your beautifully pruned Hornbeam blocks. So straight and tight on the lines. Very impressive. Shudder to think what mine would look like, if we had any that is...!

Bertie Bainbridge said...

Evening all! Diana I really must get around to a full post on the Hidcote hedge cutting, please see the latest post for some brief notes.

gardenenvy said...

It is one of my dreams to see Hidcote some day!

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

Bertie, I find your blog fascinating, I have learnt so many things. Great fun too.

Unknown said...
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Sarah Gruver said...

John, that photo taken from the Stilt's is absolutely breathtaking. Fantastic.

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