Tag Archive: woodland


We were very lucky to have a morning to spare before travelling home from seeing friends in Cheshire, recently. Tatton Park was a half hour drive away, so we headed off. I was eager to see this garden which is a prominent National Trust property (though run by the local Council) and features in the annual round of RHS Flower Shows. I wasn’t disappointed…

Our friends took us straight to the most talked about area here, the Japanese Garden. WOW! It was a delight, especially as the various Maples were newly in leaf. The sun was out and the garden, with its changing levels, water and Japanese feature buildings and monuments, was breathtaking.

After this we had an hour to get round as much of the rest of this beautifully kept estate, including fernery and palm houses, bothy, walled garden, tower garden and wider woodland areas with some superb early Rhododendrons. You could easily spend a day or two here exploring the wider parkland as well as the 50 acres of richly varied gardens…enjoy the pics!

Further information:

National Trust website

Tatton Park website

Old School Gardener

Advertisements

beech tree clumber park woodland trust

Beech Tree, Clumber Park via Woodland Trust

moss floor

IMG_8203

So, this is it, the final stop on our final day in Portugal (well, at least this visit). The Quinta da Regaleira is one a group of grand palaces with grand gardens and estates in the mountain top resort of Sintra, a few miles from Lisbon, and famous as the retreat of the royals and the rich.

It consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park featuring lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The palace is also known as “Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire”, from the nickname of its first owner, Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. The estate has had many owners through time, but in 1892 it was purchased by Carvalho Monteiro who then set about creating a place where he could gather symbols that would reflect his interests and ideologies. With the assistance of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, he installed in the 4-hectare estate a range of enigmatic buildings, believed to hide symbols related to Alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians. The architecture is an eclectic mix of styles, constructed in the first few years of the 1900’s and completed in 1910.

After a number of other owners, and a period in which it fell into disrepair, the estate was bought by Sintra Council in 1997. Extensive restoration was undertaken, and the palace and surroundings were opened to the public one year later.

Most of the estate consists of a dense woodland park crossed by many roads and footpaths. The woods are neatly arranged in the lower parts of the estate, but left wild and disorganized in the upper parts, reflecting Carvalho Monteiro’s belief in primitivism. Decorative, symbolic and leisure structures are dotted aorund the park and there is also a mysterious system of tunnels, which have multiple accesses including via grottoes, Chapel, Waterfall Lake, and “Leda’s Cave” beneath the Regaleira Tower. Their symbolism has been interpreted as a trip between darkness and light, death and resurrection.

The “Initiation Well” or “Initiatic Well” (sometimes referred to as the “Inverted Tower”) is a 27 metre staircase that leads straight down underground and connects with other tunnels via underground walkways.Water is a frequent element with two artificial lakes and several fountains and the Aquarium, built as if it were naturally embedded in a rock.

I loved the playfulness of the park and children of course love its quirky touches, secret passages and tall towers. Quite a place and a fitting end to our latest Portuguese trip.

Source: Wikipedia

Old School Gardener

PicPost: Step This Way

holly with berriesSo it’s coming up to Christmas and those traditional displays of greenery in the house like Mistletoe, Ivy and of course Holly are being assembled as I write. But someone in Cumbria has a problem. George Alloway in Cockermouth asks:

‘My holly bush never seems to have any berries, but my neighbour’s has loads. What’s wrong?’

George, it sounds like a classic case of ‘not the right holly’, or rather that you probably have a male bush and your neighbours a female- only the female will produce fruit (berries) and this plant is probably being pollinated by yours!

Formally clipped Hollies at Kew Gardens

Formally clipped Hollies at Kew Gardens

Hollies (Ilex) mainly come in male and female varieties and so you need both to ensure that you have berries. Hollies, apart from their decorative value around the house at Christmas, are a wonderful small tree or shrub to have in your garden, especially in a border that runs into woodland (as is the case in Old School Garden) – they are a classic ‘understorey’ or edge of woodland plant.

So, if you want berries, make sure you have a mix of male and female plants or go for a self fertile variety like ‘J.C. van Tol’ which is a regular fruiter, has oval-elliptical leaves and grows into a conical shape up to 6m. It also can be grown as a standard tree (i.e. having a bare stem of at least 1 metre length).

You could also buy a female variety to sit alongside your other, probably male, bush. A good variety is ‘Golden King’- despite the name, this is a female! Just to confuse matters further there’s a lovely male variety called ‘Silver Queen’ – variegated with broad and irregular white-yellowish margins and dark olive-green centres, this one grows to 4-6 metres high. It has the added feature of new leaves being tinged light pink.

I guess in these days of tolerance on sexual orientation, we shouldn’t get too het up about these naming confusions!

Old School Gardener

PiocPost: Look out

iLandscape.com

PicPost: Swedish Reserve

Image via Grow veg

Picpost: Red wood

184678_592051297488798_843991790_niLandscape.com.au

Time Gents

Australian Pub Project

Vanha Talo Suomi

a harrowing journey of home improvement

How I Killed Betty!

The Diary and blog on How to Tackle Depression and Anxiety!

Bits & Tidbits

RANDOM BITS & MORE TIDBITS

Rambling in the Garden

.....and nurturing my soul

The Interpretation Game

Cultural Heritage and the Digital Economy

pbmGarden

Sense of place, purpose, rejuvenation and joy

SISSINGHURST GARDEN

Notes from the Gardeners...

Deep Green Permaculture

Connecting People to Nature, Empowering People to Live Sustainably

BloominBootiful

A girl and her garden :)

gwenniesworld

ABOUT MY GARDEN, MY TRAVELS AND ART

Salt of Portugal

all that is glorious about Portugal

The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

Cooking, gardening, fishing, living, laughing.

aristonorganic

"The Best of the Best"

PetalPushin

Thoughts from a professional Petal Pusher

Free Spirit Publishing Blog

An idea exchange for kids' education

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Wild Plants & Animals Advocate

%d bloggers like this: