Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Garden Visiting In September

I've visited some lovely gardens this year and been really surprised by some of them, I've found some hidden gems. Unfortunately, the garden I visited this month was a bit of a disappointment.

I'd read about Thornes Park in Wakefield on the internet. Supposedly featuring a beautiful walled rose garden, conservatory and secret garden, it sounded perfect for a visit.

As we walked through the gate we could see the walled garden and conservatory ahead of us.


The borders to the side were well kept and well stocked.


Such a gorgeous house.


The flower garden outside the walled garden was beautiful. We had high hopes for what lie beyond those gates.


I was expecting to see an abundance of roses in this walled garden but as I entered, my heart sank. It all looked rather barren and bare.


I wondered if it was a little late in the year to see roses at their best, but as I looked further, this is what I found.


The sign is asking for sponsors, either for a rose or a whole rose bed.


I do hope they get some takers as this could be a beautiful garden. It's such a shame when old, walled gardens are allowed to fall in to disrepair. The garden already has a backbone, plants trained against the wonderful brick wall, it just needs some tlc to bring it back to life again.


How about this fabulous arbour?


It would look stunning covered in blooms.


It was nice to see some roses flowering, especially my favourite colour, yellow.


Some of the beds were filled, but not especially looked after.


Never mind, I thought, there's still the conservatory to see. I'd read that it holds plant collections from three distinct regions of the world, Temperate and Tropical, Rainforest and Desert.


Unfortunately, we couldn't get anywhere near. These signs were posted along the barriers barring our entrance. It's no longer safe to enter the conservatory due to structural problems with the roof.


Looking from the conservatory back towards the entrance you can see how lovely this garden could be.


Some work has definitely been done already, it just needs a little more. It seems as though the work has started but has been held up due to lack of funds, such a shame.

Some leeks have been planted along the far wall but weeds are creeping in amongst them.


There's been an attempt to fill a border along the far wall with a combination of plants. I'm sure this will look better once the plants have had time to fill out a little.


The bees and butterflies were enjoying the blooms of the verbena bonariensis.



Looking back as we were leaving the garden, you can see how beautiful it could look with full, flowering beds.


More effort has been put in outside the walled garden and it shows. Look how beautiful this border is.


The flower garden has certainly has more work put in to it than the walled garden.


With thoughts of the Frances Hodgson Burnett book I read as a child, we headed off to seek out the Secret Garden. Another disappointment.


Even the nursery to the side of the park was closed, which was a shame, as I could see some lovely plants for sale.

This garden and conservatory could be a gem but I suppose it's decline is down to funding.

I wouldn't say that this month's garden visit was all that successful, let's hope for better luck in October.

38 comments:

  1. Such a shame. The trouble is that keeping a big garden in good condition costs a lot of money, and money is in short supply almost everywhere. Perhaps they ought to go to some of the big banks and supermarkets to proactively seek sponsorship as "conscience money" for all the evils they have inflicted upon our society!

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    1. I think you're right, these big companies do make huge profits and some of them should definitely be ploughed back in to the community.

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  2. Its a shame about parts of the garden. I think we forget just how much the upkeep must cost.

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    1. It's a shame that it all comes down to money. Walled gardens are so beautiful, it would be lovely to see it restored to its former glory.

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  3. It looks like it would be quite beautiful if restored.

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    1. It definitely would. I don't think there's lots of work to do in the garden itself, it just needs to be taken better care of and the beds need to be restocked. The conservatory is another matter.

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  4. What a shame, It could be spectacular. It's still beautiful though x

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    1. It is, but the flower beds let it down. Let's hope they can get some sponsorship.

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  5. What I would do for a walled garden....I would love to get my hands on that one, I am sure somewhere deep inside me I have another garden waiting to escape :)

    You can see where they are going with this garden but there is an awful lot of work involved.

    Interesting post

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    1. I think many of us would love a walled garden of our own. There's lots of work involved with this garden, but it's good to see that some of that work has already been undertaken. It would be great if they got some large companies to sponsor them.

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  6. What a disappointment even though there was plenty to photograph.
    It's sad that places like this get in this state. Sponsorship is all well and good but inevitably there are often drawbacks. Flighty xx

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    1. Some of the areas were good to see but it was disappointing that so much of it was a let down. I'd been looking forward to visiting another garden this month, it's such a shame that it didn't meet expectations but it would be great if they could get it back up to scratch.

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  7. This is quite close to whre we live and I've never thought of it as a show garden to visit. people tend to walk their dogs in the park.

    Wakefield Council don't spend money on this sort of thing at present. Maybe the should sign iy over to Incredible Edible Wakefield and let them use it.

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    1. We saw plenty of people walking their dogs, the park itself seems very well utilised, but looking on the internet, the gardens themselves are billed as a beautiful walled rose garden, conservatory and secret garden. I know that council funds are in short supply, but as you say, it would be good if the gardens were handed over, or at least loaned out, to community groups which could use them. I know that the nursery running alongside the gardens are a community resource and offer vocational training to people with mental health and learning disability conditions. Perhaps they could do the same with the gardens and then they could be restored whilst giving benefit to community groups.

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  8. Such a pity when a garden disappoints! We are going to England in two weeks and I hope to visit some gardens too. So far West Dean is on my list - we visited it about 6 years ago and the kitchen garden was splendid. Do you maybe have recommendations for Kent, Sussex or Surrey?

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    1. The garden could look so much better with a little tlc, I do hope they manage to restore it, it's such a shame when these beautiful walled gardens fall in to disrepair. I'm afraid I'm quite a way from Kent, Sussex or Surrey and have never visited any of these counties, apart from going to Kent as a child to see my brother's army passing out parade. I hope you manage to find some lovely gardens to visit and have a fab time in England.

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    2. Growntocook have a look at the Great British Gardens website http://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk

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    3. I don't know that website so I'll take a look myself.

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  9. Wakefield Council should also work on checking the spelling on their posters.
    xx

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    1. Ha ha, I wondered who else would spot that.

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  10. Oh dear, such a shame as you have seen some lovely places this year. It could be and will I hope at some point be beautiful, the bits they have worked on are great, it just all needs the same attention, but it does cost so much doesn't it. Perhaps another year! xx

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    1. I think it would be worth going back to see if they manage to restore it to its former glory. It's such a shame when gardens don't meet their full potential, especially such a beautiful walled garden such as this.

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  11. Such a shame - let's hope that they find some funding soon.

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    1. It is a shame. As you can see, other areas of the park look very well kept so it would be great if they could get the walled garden back to its former glory.

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  12. Wow... beautiful arbor, and the flower beds look so striking. Love this garden. Thank you for sharing

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    1. The arbour is a beautiful structure. It would look fabulous dripping with flowers.

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  13. It is a shame that in this economic climate things like parks have taken a back seat. There is not enough emphasis in people's general well being and the importance that something like a beautiful garden can make xxx

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    1. That's very true. It seems that the nursery is being utilised in this way, it's a shame that they can't incorporate the garden in to the schemes they're running in the same way then everyone gains.

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  14. What a shame that so much of it was closed - it looks a big garden to take care of - where are all the volunteers?

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    1. We didn't see any volunteers while we were there, though it was Sunday morning so I'll allow them a day off. To be fair, it does look as though some parts have been tackled, but perhaps there just aren't enough volunteers involved to take care of such a large garden.

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  15. Oh Jo, what a shame you had two disappointments. It's always sad to see gardens left like this. Like you say though, it has the structure, it just needs a little bit of TLC.

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    1. I suppose the they've already overcome the biggest hurdle and that's getting people interested in restoring the garden. There's already some volunteers involved and I'm sure, in time, and with some sponsorship, it will be beautiful once again.

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  16. What a shame, I guess it is easy to take money from this budget as less people will notice it.

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    1. Money is in such short supply that it's a case of priorities, I guess they don't put garden restoration towards the top of the list. It's great that they've got some volunteers working towards getting it back to full glory again though.

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  17. Oh it looks like a garden with great potential Jo so fingers crossed that funding is secured. Do you plan to return in the future to have a peek?

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    1. It would be nice to return and see the garden and conservatory restored to its former glory but I don't think it will be happening for a long time so I don't think we'll return any time soon. As you say, it's got great potential so I do hope they manage to secure some funding.

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  18. Awwww, what a shame, it is always so sad to see these old gardens fall into ruin. I do hope people rally around and dig deep in their pockets, as you say that could be a beautiful rose garden.xxx

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    1. I can tell that a lot of work has been put in already, it's just a shame that funds aren't available to give it the attention it really needs.

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