What's on this July
Celebrate the start of summer with a wander through the water gardens this July. Discover blossoming wildflowers at the Banqueting House and see them reflected in the Gazing Ball, one of the new pieces in the contemporary art project folly!
A growing garden
We’ve got some treats growing in the garden at Swanley this summer. Similar to the original monks we’ve planted Walking Stick cabbage and Trial Root parsley. Unlike the monks, the carrots we have are bright orange. Before the 17th Century, the carrots growing in the garden would have been white, yellow or purple. The colour orange itself didn’t exist and would have been recognised as a shade of red instead.
Walk on the wild side
Summer see’s Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal blossom with a colourful array of wildflowers. Dotted throughout the grounds we expect to see a variety of flora from the bright yellow hawkbits by the abbey to the bee orchids. Named for the way they attract bees to pollinate, see if you can work out how. It’s worth keeping an eye out for the lime flower, although you might have more luck using your nose. This sweet smelling flower is known for its calming properties and can be found in herbal teas used before sleep or to reduce stress. Join one of the garden tours and see how many different flowers you can spot.
You might notice the Estate seems quieter as we move from spring to summer. As the days get longer, the birds decide to give their singing voices a rest, all except the Yellowhammer. This bright yellow-headed bird is currently on the RSPB’s red list after a recent population decline but we still have them chirping away in the grounds. Feeling less eagle-eyed? Head up to Surprise View and see Polly on top of Tent Hill, she’s definitely the biggest bird we have on the Estate.
The deer at this time of year
The deer in the park are starting to give birth. It's very normal for the mother to leave her young unattended in a nice shady spot. If you spot one, keep your distance. While we know it's really tempting to try and get closer, to get a photograph or to help it, their mothers are very sensitive to smells. They are likely to abandon their young if they smell anything on them so be sure to not go near them and keep dogs on leads.
Take a stroll this summer
With the contemporary art program folly! adding 4 new follies to the water gardens, a walk along the High Ride has even more to spot than usual. Spy the Gazing Ball glinting in the sun from the existing folly Octagon Tower before strolling to Fame and Surprise View to spot Polly between the trees. Make sure you stop by The Cloud at Silverpond and learn all about 11 year old Foster Carter’s process in designing this spectacular folly.