Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Laced Flowering Cherry

It was raining earlier but despite the dull weather I thought I could see a glimpse of sunshine breaking through the clouds. With a bit of luck, we will be able to drink our iced lemon tea on the table under the parasol. "Hi, Virginia, so lovely to see you!  Hope you found your way - without much trouble.  I thought we might have iced lemon tea at the table with the parasol. Is that all right with you? Do help yourself to some home-made fresh cream scones and the cookies in the jar. Feel free to have a wander, I'll be with you in a short while." 


"I am so pleased you phoned to say you would come. You look wonderful in your long floating dress, it's very pretty. Silk is it?"..." I thought so! Pink suits you so well. Your sandals are very smart, such an unusual colour but Virginia they look fabulous with your dress! I hope you will excuse me in my casuals but when it is hot and I'm at home, I prefer shorts, vest and sand-shoes. "How is your iced lemon tea?"..."It is so refreshing on a day like today."... "I beg your pardon?"..." Oh, of course, I will take you for a walk around the garden. (I do hope she has something flat to put on her feet. I wouldn't like her to spoil those beautiful sandals.) ... "Sorry, you were saying?"..."  Oh, you thought you could hear music!"

The rustle of leaves, blow so gently in the breeze,
The sun shines down, from high above,
It sends its dappled rays, between the branches and the haze, 
As the limbs sway to and fro,
 And the water from the fountain sprays below.

"I often sit and listen to the sound of my garden.  It is amazing what one hears when one’s mind is
calm. Would you like another biscuit before we go?  They're quite yummy, Please help yourself! I believe you entered the secret garden from the south entrance, last time.  I thought perhaps we could walk by the North Gate from the court-yard. Then we would go immediately into herb garden and later into the rose garden.  Both gardens are quite unique in their own way but the herb garden is full of colour and delights! Would you like to take a look?"..." Good!!

"I'm so glad you have brought some flat shoes with you, I thought you might fall and twist your ankle." Now let me see, cast your eyes to the right and along the walls, we have the most delicious Espalier Pears and Victoria Plums." Apparently, it is a little early for the fruit but there is plenty blossom so hopefully the bees will be busy. Along the borders edge we have the traditional Buxus sempervirens hedging. Can you smell curry? That is Helichrysum Italicum, it has a strong aroma but I love its foliage! In the centre of the garden surrounded by the small hedging we have the usual herbs Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Fennel, Basil and other herbs.  I planted Rocket and Sorrel on the edge here. Don't you just love the radish taste of the Rocket and the lemon taste of the Sorrel? I believe the citrus flavour of the Sorrel improves the taste of the salad. Well I think so!  You will see fennel in other areas of our herbaceous borders too, it blends nicely among other flowers. 

This gate on the right leads to the main garden but I would like you to see this garden first and then the rose garden. If we have time I'll take you into the main area."..."  Yes! As you say, there are indeed, so many different textures and colours. Let us continue round to the other side and you will smell the fragrance of mixed herbs."..." Yes, that is honeysuckle over the arch seat."..." Oh, thank you your so kind,... I do love my garden.  Let us go through this gateway covered with the Hops and continue into the rose garden."... "Yes, they can be made into beer but I doubt if we'll manage to get enough to make our own!"  

"There are some very old roses here, some of which range back to well before we arrived. They were in a poor condition and it is only in the last two years that we have cultivated them to standard  they are today. This one is Gertrude Jekyll, it's small buds look like scrolls which open into large pink rosette shaped flowers and have the sweetest fragrance. It is a climber and a lovely colour cerise pink. You will come across some rose shrubs like it throughout the garden.  The one on your right is Rosa Albertine, This climber like Gertrude Jekyll is much paler pink in comparison with a strong perfume. We have Felipe Kiftsgate which is a very robust rambler and a very prickly rose. Due to its prolific growth the one we have is growing through an old established Japanese Prunus serrulata (Flowering Cherry). It is a spectacular sight to see with its trusses of creamy white flowers cascading down through the branches and a delicate perfume filling the air on a summers evening.. It also means we have flowers from the tree twice a year instead of once in the springtime. The small roses in the centre are Hybrid Tea roses with standard roses in between which are also very pretty. I much prefer the Old English varieties but it is always good to keep up-to-date with the roses on the market."

"I am afraid I have run out of time. I am so sorry!  Perhaps you would  like to come by another time? When we can have a glass of Elderflower water and I'll show you a little more of the garden!"


  1. Hi Jenni ... look forward to Victoria's next visit ... love gardens .. and when I get another one - I'll have to learn all the names - I recognise them!! Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary... I'm pleased you enjoyed Victoria's visit. We hope to see you soon - Cheers Jenni