Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A Garden Idea.

One of the places we went to in Northumberland was Howick Hall.   There is such a lot to see and the gardens are just beautiful.
The approach to the house has such a good idea that I thought I would pass it on to you.

It is planted with grass and amongst the grass, for Spring, is a variety of bulbs, narcissi, tulips, daffodils, bluebells.   The tulips are in a variety of colours and all the bulbs are randomly planted.   To follow on there are various wild flowers amongst the grass, so that it is not cut until the wild flower seed has set and the bulbs have died down.   This can make for a rather dull approach in June, but it is a small price to pay.

When we went in mid=May the bulbs were almost over but it was possible to see what the effect had been - I am sure you will agree when you look at the photographs.   The lady who planted the garden calls it her Botticelli garden and anyone who has seen and fallen in love with Botticelli's painting 'Primavera' will know exactly why she gave it that name.
 In our fields the Hawthorn blossom is coming out and the Crab Apple blossom is fully out.   The honeysuckle is in bud and the Cow Parsley lines the road sides with its white froth.   The grass is growing well and it will soon be time to begin silage cutting; some of our neighbouring farmers have already started.   Our paddock is closed to all animals because the farmer likes to cut that for hay if there is a nice warm spell.

Tomorrow I will try to put on photographs of these, although the weather forecast is for heavy rain.  I haven't had time today as it has been our Poetry day - eight of us and, as usual, some lovely poetry to pass a relaxed and enjoyable afternoon.   Perhaps my favourite poem of the afternoon was Sylvia Plath's 'Tulips' - she really was such an inspirational poet.  Later on I read Ted Hughes's poem 'A Pink Wool Knitted Dress' - the poem about his wedding day to Sylvia Plath.   A doomed relationship from the start; the fact that we know this now makes the poems all the more heart-rending.

To finish today here is a short John Clare poem from his Shepherd.s Calendar.  It is called June but it aptly describes the countryside here at the moment.

Now Summer is in flower and nature's hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom,
Insects as small as dust have never done
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun,
And greenwood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody.
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine,
Large bindweed bells, wild hop and streaked woodbine
That life athirst their slender throated flowers,
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers;
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun,
Where its silk netting lace on twigs and leaves
The mottled spider at eve's leisure weaves,
That every morning meet the poet's eye
Like fairies; dew-wet dresses hung to dry.


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Well done you for finding Howick - I stumbled on it accidentally some years ago - I remember the bog garden also being rather special.

Mary said...

Sylvia and Ted, you hit the nail on the head when you said "doomed from the start". I was enamoured with Plath and her life after reading "The Bell Jar" which was of course semi-autobiographical. I met her mother at a book promotion in the early 70's in New Hampshire - she also read a couple of poems that evening. Reading later of Sylvia's life while in England with Ted and the two babies was so upsetting to me - it was probably my first real comprehension of mental illness. Little did I know that years later I would work in a psychiatric facility with people who had similar problems! Sylvia's suicide was awfully sad, she had such amazing talent and wrote so many astounding poems. I was also greatly saddened to hear that their son Nicholas also committed suicide in 2009.

Your visit to the Howick Hall gardens, lovely - only the English do gardens so perfectly! I've often thought of planting bulbs in our lawn, DH does not like the idea due to having to leave them to die back! I did sneak some bluebells in the grassy strip along the driveway - we just now mowed their dying leaves down!

Happy days on the farm dear Pat -

Heather said...

I am not allowed to plant things in the lawn as my husband likes to keep it short and well manicured and our garden is small, but in large areas of grass, plantings of flowers and bulbs look wonderful.
John Clare's lovely poem perfectly expresses this time of year.

John Gray said...

I always wanted my field to look like that photo Patricia
One day!

Cloudia said...

How sweet the wild flowers!

ALOHA from Honolulu

Cro Magnon said...

With your Hawthorn (May) now out; you'll be able to cast that clout. Ours finished some while back, but the shorts did come out for a week or so.

A Heron's View said...

Every two years I allow the grasses around our cottage to mature and drop their seeds. I know my friends & neighbours think me eccentric in this regard. It does though allow the wild flowers to blossom forth and give shelter the insect life.

Arija said...

The Island of Mainau in the Bodensee in Germany and belonging to the Swedish Royal family used to be planted like this in the sixties, now it has the most incredible tulip displays and other wonders.
I have always wished for a wildflower meadow underplanted with bulbs. Just not possible in so dry a place as we live in.
Lovely to see your green and contemplate you making silage while we are hand feeding our cattle.

Elizabeth said...

What a paen to springtime!
John Clare, poor chap, like Plath, had a very unhappy life.
But what a poet he was!

The meadow with bulbs is bliss and a beautiful photo.

Dartford Warbler said...

Such a beautiful wildflower meadow!

The Plath/Hughes relationship, spun out through their poetry, is a fascinating one. On a school trip to London, years ago. our English teacher showed us the flat where Sylvia Plath had died. WB Yeats had lived there many years previously. I remember how moved we were at the waste of Plath`s young life.

Pondside said...

A wildflower meadow, or one planted to look wild is such a treat to come upon. I tried it here, but the deer ate absolutely everything!

Crafty Green Poet said...

That's a beautiful wildflower meadow

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you liked the John Clare poem - he really does bring the English countryside alive doesn't he? Thanks for the visit.