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Last weekend, whilst staying in Chester, we took a little trip out to Wales, specifically to the elegant house and gardens at Erdigg, near Wrexham. It was well worth the effort as we found a beautiful formal garden stemming from the 18th  century and showing evidence of later period garden design fashions.

Erddig was owned by the Yorke family for 240 years. Each of them was called either Simon or Philip. The first Simon Yorke inherited the house in 1733 from his uncle, John Meller. Erddig’s garden was begun in 1685. Each of Erddig’s owners has altered and added to it, but each has respected their predessors work. Today you can still see evidence of the gardens of the past. Erddig’s walled garden is one of the most important surviving 18th century formal gardens in Britain.

The gardens contain rare fruit trees, a canal, a pond, a Victorian era  parterre and are home to the NCCPG  National Plant Collection of Hedera (ivy). The arrangement of alcoves in the yew hedges in the formal gardens may be a form of bee bole – a cavity or alcove in a wall or a separate free-standing structure set against a wall (the Scots word ‘bole’ means a recess in a wall). A skep is placed inside the bee bole. Before the development of modern bee hives, bee boles were a practical way of keeping bees in some parts of Britain, although most beekeepers kept their skeps in the open covered by, for example, old pots, or sacking. The bee bole helped to keep the wind and rain away from the skep and the bees living inside.

Further information:

National Trust Website

Wikipedia

Old School Gardener

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