Saturday, 19 February 2011

More Snowdrops in Kingston Lacy`s Woods


Out beyond the aconites and through the woodland gate. Between the avenue of trees, along the straight wide path, people walked in the grey shade. Everywhere around our feet, as far as the eye could see, showers of snowdrops shone white above wet grass.





Winter trees laced the sky above our heads....


...while brown, last-summer`s leaves and spiky chestnut husks littered the ground beneath.


Tall pines stretched skywards.......



....but the greatest fun came with the squish and splash of patterned mud where wide and heavy tyres had been..




Red barked young acers shone against dark green ......



....and everywhere the snowdrops shone, on banks, across the grass and under trees.



The Japanese Tea Garden, sheltered in a valley, waited for cherry blossom and the softness of spring.



Into the woods we walked, past rotting tree stumps and young saplings.



Green bamboo shone tall and nearly golden in the sun.




Hazel trees shook out their lambs tail catkins.....


...and we had found a mouse hole in the grass.




By the gate into the lane, wild clematis, the Old Man`s Beard, climbed with grey feathered seed into a hazel tree.



Red bricked Estate Cottages lined the quiet lane.......



....and through another gate, the Kitchen Garden waited for another year of growth. Raised beds, well manured, lay ready for sowing and planting on warmer days.


Kuhn Kuhn pigs rooted up old grassland in readiness for planting, and a family of Gloucester Old Spot Pigs were working another field.

This year, the National Trust is converting this land into eighty new allotments, so that keen local gardeners can grow their own fruit and vegetables here, where food for the "Big House" at Kingston Lacy was once grown.

So many people now want to grow food on allotments that the waiting list for established plots, in local towns and villages, can be years long. Enabling more people to use the Kingston Lacy land is sure to be popular. It would be good to return to see how well the new allotments grow.



The Victorian cold frames wait to be used again.


A terrace of workers cottages where the estate gardeners once lived.


Sam, a dear old dog with deep brown eyes, made friends.


In the dipping sun, glass and tangled vines showed the promise of a grand old glass house that could grow food again when renovation is complete.


We crossed the lane, back into the woods, and walked around until we reached the old house once again.



Past the shepherd`s hut in the landscaped pasture.........



....to the fine front entrance of the house, where visitors had made their entrances for several hundred years.


It was time to leave. The last photograph shows the view from the front door of Kingston Lacy, down across wooded pasture and out along the straight gravel drive. It was almost evening when we drove away, out towards the Wimborne Road and home.


12 comments:

elizabethm said...

Gorgeous! I feel a bit embarrassed about counting my snowdrops in the face of such largesse, one day maybe!

Karen said...

Wow. I am so amazed and astounded by all those snowdrops. It is a plant that I've not seen here in North Carolina in quantities like there at Kingston Lacy although I know that our local garden centers offer them. Daffodils, tulips and hyacinths rule here.

WOL said...

How glorious to see the snowdrops run rampant like that. Just magical. I would bet that a little curly haired lady in a purple parka slept quite soundly that night after such a long and exciting "explore."

Rowan said...

Those snowdrops are wonderful, I've never seen them growing in those quantities in real life - only in photographs. The whole Estate looks lovely, I especially like the shepherd's hut - and Sam the dog:)

ChrisJ said...

Good gracious! I have never seen so many snowdrops!! It's almost worth the cost -- and inconvenience -- of a flight across the Atlantic to see them! Were the buds sticky buds? Couldn't quite see the horse shoe leaf scar.
A most beautiful blog.

Kath said...

2 lovely posts! I just adored the tea garden. Do you think Sam is a distant cousin of our dogs? he looks just like Roobarb :-D

Angie said...

What a great day in photos....I have NEVER seen so many snowdrops together ...absolutely beautiful.

hart said...

This brought back such wonderful memories of visiting there some years back. The gardens were such a pleasure. What I remember most about the inside of the house was the bunch keys over the mantle. The keys to Korfe Castle, where we just been, it was deviously taken by the Roundheads after being defended by the lady of the house. They were so impressed that they allowed her to keep the keys. To see them hanging there gave history such continuity.--Hart

Bovey Belle said...

What a lovely stroll around - I am sure the Banks family would have taken great pleasure from this immense planting too. Your GD is growing apace and what a mop of curls! I wish my kitchen garden was as tidy as the one in the photo!

Dartford Warbler said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments. We are pleased that we went to KL on a dry day. Today is one of torrential rain, yet again....

Kath - Yes, as soon as I saw Sam I thought he must be a cousin of your Roobarb! Sam is thirteen years old and , according to his retired owners, he still enjoys a good walk every day, but is getting deafer by the day.

Hart - The inside of the house is very interesting. Every time we go, we find something that we had not noticed before. The Bankes family were great collectors of the arts and of antiquities. I particularly love all the wooden carvings of flowers and fruit which adorn some of the rooms.

ChrisJ - You were right. The branches against the sky were those of horse chestnut, with the sticky buds almost ready to swell.

BB - You will have to meet little GD when you come this way again. The curls are quite wild when the wind blows!

Goosey said...

We haven't been in the grounds yet this year but walked on the other side of the road last week and saw lots of snowdrops growing in the hedgerows near the cottages, lovely. It's a nice place to walk, in or outside the grounds.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely post, such wonderful fields of snowdrops! Excellent that the National Trust are converting that garden into allotments