When I last visited Cranborne Manor, in 2016, it was a warm June day and the roses were at their finest (see earlier post). We had walked along mown paths, through long, grassy meadows where the wild flowers had mostly finished and had hoped to return one day, to see them in bloom.
May is the best time for wild flowers here, so we made the journey again through narrow Dorset lanes awash with cow parsley ( Queen Anne`s Lace), red campion , comfrey, wood avens and hawthorn blossom . Woods were in young leaf of so many vivid greens and hawthorn blossomed pale cream in the hedgerows.
At Cranborne, the Manor Gardens were quite different without their roses. There was a sense of waiting for the main event, yet the wild flower meadows beyond were blooming in profusion.
A Giant`s Chair sculpture in a hay meadow full of flowers.
Wild flower meadows in afternoon sun.
A little weir, a pond and the clear stream that runs through them. I sat on the bank in cool grass, under a weeping willow, and watched moorhen chicks swimming and a pair of grey wagtails catching insects by the running water.
Wild flower meadows of buttercup, yellow rattle, red clover, germander speedwell, vetch and salad burnet. Cow parsley fringed the steam.
In the peaceful walled garden behind the Manor, a colour palette of pale mauves, white, silver and shades of green softened the wide borders.
We found a long, formal garden between high walls, where herbaceous perennials were spaced with room to grow into their summer finery. A garden to return to when the wall-climbing roses flower again.