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.
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