The winter garden
A resolution stated, a promise made and the year begins again. The winter garden is a work of art, a tapestry stitched with faded threads of colour, an eternal chameleon, changing, developing, living and growing.
Pale yellow ochres, red and brown umbers, dusty sage green and palest faded shades of grey, with perhaps a chink of china blue sky scattered with fluffy white clouds.
Stripped bare, tidied and neat, mulched and prepared, the garden hides tiny treasures of delight, snowdrops, aconites, aenenomies, hellebores, winter sweet and witch hazel are some to look out for.
A cheery robin bobs from branch to branch and welcomes you through the gate from the moat, ancient lichens cling to gnarled and aged branches, the worn pathways of basket weave and herringbone brick frame swathes of emerald green grass. The delicate patterns of bare tree branches set starkly against the winter sky, and poignant and eerie sounds of rooks and crows and owls calling and singing at tea time as the light begins to fade, make an atmospheric memory to complete the day.
The arts and crafts influence is clear to see and admire at this time of the year, with the scrolls and curves and geometric designs of the metal work gates. The woodwork and stone are carved with motifs - a rose, a poppy seed head and faces to mention just a few, and statues that have been here a hundred years.
The grace and symmetry of this garden never fade, and 2017 is our year to celebrate the centenary of the garden plan created by three people with remarkable vision: Colonel Lyle who restored the house, garden and estate, the architect James Edwin Forbes, and the legendary Gertrude Jeykll who advised and influenced the planting. From rough farmland enclosures and paddocks they designed and created a place of true timeless beauty, a rare gift for everyone to enjoy.