Monday 13 May 2024

Athelhampton

On Sunday there was a rare plant sale at Athelhampton Hall. Flask made, sunhats on, off we went to take a look around.
Our first glimpse of the yew trees was enticing and the plant sale was put on hold until after we had explored the gardens.
An aerial view of the yew tree garden showing the central pool and fountain.
There are many pathways and arches that give tempting glimses of the house and other areas of the garden.
Here we are framed before one of them.
The various 'rooms' of the garden all have a pool or water feature of some kind. The water is sourced from the River Piddle, a shallow but fast flowing river that runs through the Athelhampton property.
As we watched we saw a grass snake swim from one side of the river to the opposite bank.
We made our way in leisurely fashion to the plant sale. Nothing there to tempt me. Himself was shocked, it is the first time I've come away from a plant sale empty handed!
We admired the beautiful dovecote and some of the planting near to the house.
We drove home through Puddletown, stopping to take a photo of one or two of the many thatch cottages in the village.
That's what I call a great day out!

A perfect weekend.

The sun shone, it did not rain, and it is open season for the National Gardens Scheme, when people open their private gardens in aid of charity. I've made a note in the booklet of the places that I want to visit. First stop was in nearby Forest Road where I hoped to get advice and inspiration about planting in deep shade.
I had forgotten that one of the most pleasurable things about these visits is in meeting the owners and creators of the gardens. It was certainly the case at Forest Road, where we were the first to arrive and received such a warm welcome and enthusiastic information about the planting. The careful labelling was much appreciated as well!
This was the plant that I wanted to buy. Although there were plenty of healthy little plants that had been propagated to sell unfortunately this wasn't one of them.
In the afternoon we went for a barbeque at our daughter's house. In between playing croquet, shuttlecock and flying cardboard aeroplanes we sat in the sunshine and watched the tits flying in and out of the bird boxes. Nest building completed I think they must now be feeding their young.
The Boy was full of energy and eager to be toasting marshmallows once a few pieces of wood were lit in the fire pit. He introduced me to the delights of melted marshmallow squashed between two milk chocolate digestives.
The Boy was right, they do taste good!