Spring light in the Pleasure Grounds

On Sunday we had a stunning spring day. The “thin” cold light showing everything, it felt very Scandinavian. It was not warm, so I did no gardening, but the light here is simply amazing.


I particularly wanted to look at some of the vistas that have changed drastically in the last 2-3 years because of the loss of big old trees. It really changes the view and AH, BD and I are thinking about the replanting in the arboretum. We are lucky enough to now have a volunteer who is an arboriculturist so we finally have some expert who can guide us, as we make a plan for the next 50 years. As my father said to my mother in a letter I found recently, you do not plant trees for yourself, it is for future generations. The view on the left is nice enough, but the vast Lime which split last May is very much lacking from the picture. The frightening thing is that the Pinus radiata on the right has some deep rot and I am not sure if it is about to fall. RC’s initial suggestion is the English oak because we are on heavy clay. I would like to get one in sooner rather than later as it will take a few years to grow to a size that would be significant in this particular vista.










The Rockery is looking better than it has for years. AH and MT together with our first French garden intern this year have worked very hard at the weeding, but it will soon need another go. I even noticed that the anemones have established on the bank by one of the new bridges.





Years ago JT took cuttings of our unique Rhododendron Lady Dunleath. These have established very well in many places. Some have too little shelter for the windy spot, this is a rather sensitive variety. I am proud to have created this great legacy. I mean that we managed to get quite so many cuttings to take. It was a difficult task where greater plantsmen have failed.


It is so typical of early spring light that it is always at an angle. The sun simply does not get up so high in the sky. Still it was high enough to take a photo of the brilliant display of the Rhododendron macabeanum, looking up through crown.







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