There was a bit of a false start to my garden visit for December. Knowing there wouldn't be many plants around at this time of year, I'd decided that I'd cheat and visit Tropical World where the greenhouses hold the UK's largest collection of tropical plants outside of Kew Gardens. What I didn't bargain for was that Tropical World was going to close in December for refurbishment.
With that idea shelved, I had a scout about on the internet and came up with The Red House Museum. The house itself is an 1830's cloth merchant's home with Bronte connections but it was the gardens I was interested in. Apparently, they're restored to the 1830's period with scented old roses, borders of old fashioned flowers, an ornamental rose pillar, flower basket beds and a serpentine walk. It sounds lovely, doesn't it? In reality, there's one smallish area with not very much to see at this time of year.
I had to come up with something else, so it was to my trusted old friend, Temple Newsam, that I turned. I showed you around the walled garden in my Garden Visiting In July - Part One and Garden Visiting In July - Part Two posts, so this time, I'd like to show you around the gardens in the grounds.
It's not the best time of year to visit gardens if you're expecting to see an abundance of plants at their best, but there's still plenty of interest of other sorts. Take trees, for example, some are still clothed in their vibrant green leaves, whereas the shape which is usually hidden can now be seen from the ones which have shed their leaves. I think this particular one would look lovely at this time of year with a few lights twinkling amongst the leaves.
This one too.
This tree reminds me of a huge bonsai, a contradiction in terms.
Look how twisted this tree has grown, it has such a dramatic effect as it overhangs the lake.
The grass is still looking very green but it has a backdrop of bare plants and trees.
The borders are looking very bare.
There are lots of signs of life waiting to burst forth though. Temple Newsam has a beautiful rhododendron walk, it's a riot of colour in May and June. The buds are formed already and are sure to give an outstanding display next year.
There's a small grass garden by the side of the lake.
Most of the grasses have now been cut down.
There's different types of bamboo planted here, I stood and listened to the wind swishing through it.
Not all the grasses have been cut down, some are very tall indeed.
I love how the sun catches the plumes of this pampas grass.
We paused for a while by the side of the lake to watch a couple of Jays. You might just be able to make one out in the centre of this photo, I could have done with my longer lens with me.
The lake looks beautiful summer or winter. The gardens in Temple Newsam were landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and I think the lakes and the planting around them are striking.
The willow has just about dropped all of its leaves now. The few it has held on to will, no doubt, have been shed in the wind we've experienced over the last few days.
I'm sure you'll agree that there's plenty of enjoyment to get from visiting a garden, even this late in the year. There may not be lots of flowering plants around but there's still so much interest.
I thought it was going to be challenging finding a garden with enough interest in it to visit in December but I was wrong. An added bonus was that Archie got a walk in his favourite place.
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