Monday, 13 January 2014

Garden Visiting In January

I don't often visit gardens, Daniel and Eleanor were never keen to traipse around looking at flowers so it's something we've rarely done. Now that Mick and I have time to do things on our own, I've decided that I'm going to try and visit a garden each month this year.

Whilst looking on the internet for somewhere to visit in January, I came across Wentworth Garden Centre. It's set in sixteen acres of walled and landscaped gardens, built in the 18th century by the Fitzwilliams of Wentworth Woodhouse.

The gardens are now being restored by the garden centre, and after our visit there yesterday, I have to say that they're doing a fantastic job.


We haven't had many frosts this year, but I would say that yesterday was our frostiest day of the year. It hung around all day.


The garden centre charge £1.50 per adult admission to the historic gardens and as you walk through the gate, the first thing to greet you is the maze. The replanting of the maze is one of the recent projects to be completed after it was grubbed out shortly after the Second World War.


We weren't very successful in getting round the maze, we ended up exiting the same way we went in. I should think that this would be a firm favourite with children.


The creation of a deer paddock is another project which has recently been undertaken. I should imagine that children would enjoy this area of the garden too.


As we walked further round, we came to a place where you could stand right next to the fence and one or two of the deer were very inquisitive and came to see us. One even waited for her nose to be stroked.



Some of the walls in the garden are hot walls and once contained heated flues. Fruit such as pineapples, peaches and apricots were grown in glasshouses which were erected next to these heated walls.

There's different areas to the garden, all with a different feel to them.






I didn't know what this was until I read up on it. It's a bear pit and the chamber has contained bears within living memory.


There's stairs to climb inside the pit and then you exit in an elevated part of the garden.


I also had to look up what these openings were. Any Ideas?


Here's a closer look. They're actually duck houses which date back to the Victorian period. They housed ornamental varieties including Pintail, Widgeon, Teal and Black Swans.


There's a few odd looking statues dotted about the garden.



I like this one though, sheltering under a tree at the end of a rill.



Wildlife habitats and feeding stations were evident throughout the gardens. Log piles had been left and plenty of bird houses and seed and nut holders were scattered about. They're obviously paying off as there was beautiful birdsong to accompany us on our walk.


We saw three squirrels chasing each other along the ground until they climbed a tree, swirling and twirling as they went. I was too slow with my camera to catch them in the act.

It was a lovely place for a visit and we'll definitely return later in the year to see the gardens again in a different season. I can tell that spring will bring plenty of colour, there were already lots of bulbs beginning to show themselves.


After visiting the gardens, we headed for the garden centre. There's plenty to see here too and it was very busy. In the grounds are a restaurant, a deli, an ice cream parlour and a farm shop. There's craft units in the courtyard and even an adventure playground, among other things.

There was a farmer's market in the car park. It's there on the second Sunday of the month and has stalls which include local venison, ostrich, kangaroo, honey, preserves, artisan cheeses and organic vegetables.

After we'd visited the historic gardens and garden centre, we made our way in to Wentworth village. You can read about that on my Through The Keyhole blog.


All in all, a lovely, but chilly, day out.


34 comments:

  1. What an unusual garden. Lots to see and do. I'm not too impressed with the bear pit but all the other areas look very interesting.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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    1. I know what you mean about the bear pit. It's an interesting structure and would be a quirky feature in a garden was it not for its actual purpose.

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  2. That looks to be a great place to visit. I'd love to grow pineapples! Terrific pictures.
    I get the feeling that you'll be visiting there again, perhaps during the summer.
    Visiting a garden every month sounds like a nice idea. Flighty xx

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    1. Thank you. There was so much to see, even out of season, it's definitely worth another trip to see what the garden's like in summer. I'm hoping to visit a garden every month this year, that should make up for missing out up to now.

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  3. Looks like a super place to visit, we're going to England this year and I'm hoping to visit some gardens.
    Love mazes!

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    1. I look forward to hearing which parts of England you'll be visiting. I'd definitely recommend this garden if you're in the area, although it's not huge, there's some interesting features. I have to say that this was one of the better mazes I've seen, lots of dead ends and we didn't find the right way out.

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  4. It looks like a lovely place for a visit, and nice to see it "out of season" and to then be able to return and compare how it looks in the summer. Thank you for taking us on a lovely walk! xx

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. There was so much to see here, even out of season so we really must return to see what delights are in store for us in summer.

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  5. I often go down to Barnsley from York. Must make a detour this Spring!

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    1. I found this garden really interesting, quite quirky in places. I'd definitely recommend a detour.

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  6. That looks a lovely garden and what a good idea to visit a different garden each month. There was something recently on a TV program about a garden that had a bear chamber, but I can't remember what or where it was! I love the slightly 'jaded' looking statues, what stories they could tell :-)

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    1. It's a really lovely garden. I hope the other gardens I visit this year will be equally delightful. The statues look very old, I'm sure you're right, they could tell lots of stories.

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  7. What a wonderful garden, and what a bargain at £1.50. So many different, unusual and interesting things to see. Your photos are beautiful. Glad you had a nice visit.

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    1. Thank you. We enjoyed visiting this garden very much, there was so much to see. I'm sure there will be even more interest in summer.

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  8. Looks a fascinating place to visit Jo with some idiosyncratic features. I like garden visiting in the winter when you are not distracted by all the flowers. I imagine that it's the sort of garden that your children would have enjoyed visiting when they were younger :)

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    1. Here I am saying that we didn't visit gardens as the kids weren't keen, yet you're right, I'm sure they'd have enjoyed this garden. I think there's something for everyone here with all the interesting features. I think you can really see the bare bones of a garden in winter, if it's enjoyable then it's surely going to be even better in summer.

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  9. That looks like a fascinating garden. Love the sound of the hot walls! And aren't those deer gorgeous. The snowdrops are at about the same stage as mine. It's a great idea to visit a garden a month.

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    1. It would have been great to see the garden how it used to be with the hot walls in use and pineapples growing, fascinating. We didn't know there were deer there so they were a surprise. I couldn't find any evidence of my snowdrops the last time I looked, I think it's time for another snoop around.

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  10. Wow... a very wonderful garden with the green environment. Thanks for this tour!

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    1. You're welcome. It may be winter but there were lots of everygreen shrubs in the garden, it certainly keeps things interesting in the winter months.

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  11. Looks lovely, Jo definitely one for our list. I thought it was the Wentworth Castle where we saw the deer over Christmas at first

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    1. It's only a small garden but there's plenty of interesting features so certainly worth a ride out. I can recommend a trip in to Wentworth village too, especialy the old church. I want to go back again in summer to investigate a little more. We were surprised when we saw the deer, I hadn't read there were any there.

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  12. It looks so weird and different seeing these photos on someone elses blog - you captured it so very well. The Garden Centre is a very dangerous place for your wallet!! xxxx

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    1. It's really funny seeing familiar places through the eyes of someone else, though you can sometimes see things you've missed yourself. I enjoyed looking round the garden centre, and the other businesses in the courtyard.

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  13. PS The huge parkland that belongs to the big house (Wentworth Woodhouse) is full of deer - and follies! xxxx

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    1. I've read so much about it on your blog, so I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself.

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  14. Bear pits, duck holes and heated walls?????goodness....whatever next! What a fascinating place, I absolutely loved it. The deer are so sweet and the grounds are amazing, I'm so glad it's being restored. A well spent £1.50 is what I say.xxx

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    1. It's a smallish garden but there's certainly plenty to see. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes in summer, we'll definitely return.

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  15. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place! I like the idea of fitting in a visit to somewhere like that each month. It fits well with your plant-acquisition plan too, so maybe you'll visit some places that have a Plant Shop too?

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    1. Thank you. I'm hoping that we manage to visit a garden each month, there's certainly plenty to see. I think we picked a great one to start off with. This garden is attached to Wentworth Garden Centre, we had a look round but I managed to resist, the only thing I bought was some bird food.

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  16. Another great idea, make sure you visit York Gate when it opens again in April. I love it there.

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    1. York Gate is on my list, I've wanted to visit for a long time.

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  17. What a brilliant place, Jo and so good that the gardens are being restored. Hope you get to visit lots of places this year. I don't know if Dove Cottage near Halifax is too far for you but it's gorgeous if you can get there. August and September are the best time to visit because it's all grasses and herbaceous perennials.

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    1. It's a wonderful place to visit. Halifax isn't too far away so I've popped Dove Cottage on my list, I've got some good ideas for gardens to visit, I may have to make this an ongoing project.

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