We have now entered the last week of Autumn. By Friday it is officially winter. Here at Ballywalter Park we have new additions to our team and the grounds are looking very good. Our mowing contractor has done an excellent job, but is now on his Winter holidays, because we have had so much rain we can barely walk over the lawns, let alone send a mower to pick of the fallen leaves. In the Walled Garden JR has been joined permanently by AH. We have also got a volunteer whose initials are DH. With this new team the Pleasure Grounds are looking better than ever.

In the Rockery – actually I should tell you about the Rockery….. It was created by my husband’s great-grandmother, Nora, known in the family as Go-go. She loved her garden and the gardeners. She also loved birds and animals. We have lots of photographs of the construction of this Rockery, but they need to be restored if I am going to use them. This little – rather poor shot – is from an old magazine. You can see Go-go in her beautiful Edwardian suit feeding her various fowl. You can also see the pigeon house in the Stable Yard behind her.

JR and DH have been working in the Rockery as the weeds had grown almost out of control. It is a very time consuming place to weed and mow for that matter. The stream that run through it needs to be dug out as it is fed by a gravel pit beyond the Walls.

The light in the Pleasure Grounds is really lovely, especially when the sun is just about to set. There is a “golden” hour before and after sunset when the light is particularly beautiful and still good enough to pick up details. I have been using this to record how lovely everything is looking. One of the goals I have been striving for, it to get the definition our specimen trees. So they are better distinguishable. I feel this is right in park land. In the photo below you can, on the  left, see the beginnings of a new ‘lake/pond’. I planted some willows there a few years ago as it has always been wet there, but it does not really seem to have had the desired effect. Still, it gives us an opportunity to look for another specimen that likes wet feet.

Despite the volume of rain we have had some really brilliant autumn days. I have been looking at my old photographs from previous years and this has been an extra colourful fall. Last year JR had been doing some clearing in the Rockery and there is an Acer in it that can be seen from the kitchen, well, actually it can be seen from many other rooms in the house, but it was particularly noticeable from my kitchen. This year with the weeding and the general tidy up in the Rockery, I have taken some lovely photos. I hope you enjoy them!