Seaton Delaval Hall's gardens through the seasons...
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter - there's always something to discover in the gardens...
With the herbaceous growth all cut back and most of the trees now bare, the structure of the garden shines through, highlighting the formal lines of the hedges and the geometry of the parterre. The great weeping ash seems to come alive in winter: with its long, bare branches clacking together in the wind it looks like one of Tolkein’s Ents, ready to uproot itself and march off to battle! In February, snowdrops carpet the woods and bright yellow aconites peep out from the borders.
Spring starts to gather pace now. In the parterre, newly planted mini species tulips should be making their first appearance, while the North West woodland and the arboretum in particular are full of daffodils. The purple hazel hangs with catkins.
Wildlife-wise, swallows begin to nest in May. The magnolias are in full bloom, soon to be followed by the delicate and sweet scented Ghent-hybrid azaleas. For a few weeks the laburnum arch is absolutely stunning, with masses of yellow hanging flowers, and the Rhododendrons come out in shades of red and purple. The parterre is brim-full of tulips; then the North West woodland is carpeted with bluebells.
In the parterre the lavender, agastache, and clary sage are in full flower and buzzing with insects. The buddleia are covered in butterflies, the Hydrangea Villosa show off their delicate flowers and the herbaceous borders are fully dressed with a variety of summer colours. Meanwhile, the rose garden is in full bloom with a variety of beautiful and scented roses - and down in the Community Kitchen Garden the Cutting Garden is at its showiest!
The herbaceous borders remain bursting with colour, the dahlias shining out from the D border and the rose garden still in flower. While the summer winds on into Autumn and the swallows leave us for another winter, the leaves start to turn and the beech hedge puts on its autumn colours. In the arboretum, the Rowans are full of coloured berries.
Generally, in early November the autumn colours are at their strongest. The Ginkgo biloba tree in the parterre turns a bright yet delicate yellow, contrasting with the oranges and reds of the beeches around it. Herbaceous growth is cut back and as Christmas approaches the garden takes on its simpler, winter form again - with small splashes of colour from the holly berries and from the red cornuses.