at the castle – with the roses
June 5, 2015
And a return visit – always a pleasure after doing a little work in a garden nearby – and 2 months on. Seeing the shadows on the grass – just a casual pause before hitting the glamour of the garden rooms. Roses in full bloom – it’s that time of the year after all. My interest here is how the rose works against/with the background and as part of the composition – not many idents for the plantaholics, sorry – so below the soft coppery/pink tones of this rose at the entrance that work so so well with the old brick facade.
On the wall that divides the front courtyard and the rose garden – a Clematis – C. montana ‘Marjorie’ and time for a pause to remember a much loved aunt – a lady so confident, elegant and happy with herself and so interested in the younger generation.
From the rose garden, the eye slides easily to the slim towers. The planting here in this garden room appears to have lost its way a little. Once upon a time at the end of ’60’s and into ’70’s, the theme was simple: roses and shrubs with some underplanting and quite a bit of soil showed – this was fine. But now with the custodianship of the National Trust there appears to be a need to provide a continuous show of anything and everything – a fruit salad look has evolved with any old thing popped in to ‘please the punters’. Big organisations taking the individuality out of their product and, in this situation, not the head gardener or gardeners fault. Happily the planting in the Cottage Garden has maintained the original clear ethos – planting with a predominance of hot colours.
Within the nuttery, Dionysus stands calm and thoughtful as he has for years – a quiet interface between the Spring Garden (now in quiet post season mode) and the Cottage Garden. A delightful detail was on show low down – Tulip sprengeri around the peeling trunk of Acer griseum . . .
. . . . here too a specimen Rosa ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ climbing skywards against the cottage walls.
Overhanging the walls of the Moat Walk are a couple of splendid Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba” . . .
. . . and a single Wisteris venusta with larger fleshier foliage. A more restrained, intriguing and, therefore, perhaps sought after plant.
Near the herb garden, back with the norm – a pair of mauve flowered wisteria standards – old and gnarled and exotic
And at half past five, just the right time to enter the White Garden – another Rosa ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ clothes a wall. The light starts to fade. A custodian arrives – someone delightful, a Gilbert and Sullivan character and part of the final act – to announce the closing of the garden . . . exit centre stage under a Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ on the tower.
All her youth is gone, her beautiful youth outworn,
Daughter of tarn and tor, the moors that were once her home
No longer know her step on the upland tracks forlorn
Where she was wont to roam.
All her hounds are dead, her beautiful hounds are dead,
That paced beside the hoofs of her high and nimble horse,
Or streaked in lean pursuit of the tawny hare that fled
Out of the yellow gorse.
All her lovers have passed, her beautiful lovers have passed,
The young and eager men that fought for her arrogant hand,
And the only voice which endures to mourn for her at the last
Is the voice of the lonely land. Vita Sackville-West Mariana in the North