A winter picnic in a fine garden

Even though it is rather cold it is good garden visiting weather.  The other day when wandering around the garden we mused that this year there should be more picnics.  Now I do enjoy a good picnic, even a not so good picnic, though I do not enjoy wasps.  Wasps are the spoiling of a picnic unfortunately.  Anyhoo, no wasps this time of year and we determined that the next garden we visited would involve a picnic.

A nice Saturday arrived, a bit chilly, a bit cloudy, but nice all the same so we wandered off to a NGS opening of the Dower House, Melbourne.
I had never visited this garden before though I have been to Melbourne Hall which is virtually next door.  The arrival at a fine doorway is usually a good sign that the garden will be good.
The garden overlooks Melbourne Pool.  I read that it overlooked the pool but in my head I thought village green pond, not the rather large and very fine lake that it overlooks.  The pool is fed by a stream and leads down to a mill.
Back to the garden, we stopped to admire this rockery.  Now we all know that rockeries are outdated don't we?  I see nothing outdated here, I rather liked it.  The spring planting in it was just charming.
The garden has some good hardscaping.  These herb wheels by the house are a great detail.
This semicircular beech hedge is also another good detail.
As is this pergola. You will notice the white shrouded ghost in the distance, there was a sharp cold wind coming in from the pool, the fleece might not be decorative but it was much needed.
We went to look at snowdrops, and there are many, but there was a lot more to see. This area is probably rather shady when the trees have their leaves.  The bench you can see in the background....
... overlooks this view.  How great is this?  It is perfectly framed by the flowering cherry.  So this was the spot where we had our picnic (with the very kind permission of the owner).
It was a good picnic.
Back to the garden wandering, from our vantage point we could see down to this small piece of Italy, these cypress trees made a really quite small, but fairly big impact area of the garden.  There is a ghost at the end of the path, well I can see a ghost.....
We stood under this magnolia tree and admired the house, the lawn and the rather fine bank that leads up to the house.

We then wandered off to explore further.  We found the path that goes along the far side of pool.  This path takes you alongside the back of Melbourne Hall where we stood and marvelled at this fantastically bumpy yew hedge.
I do love a good bumpy yew hedge.

We also wandered into the local church,
and admired the cat carvings.  I can't think of many (any) other churches I have visited with cat carvings.

When we had set out in the morning I had expected us to spend an hour or so at the house and then wander off to somewhere near by.  As it was we were there and in the vicinity most of the day.  Days that surpass expectations are always good ones.

and there will be more picnics.


  1. Wow, you're clearly a very hardy picnicker!

    1. Ha - not really, it was quite pleasant at the time, but it did turn very chilly later.

  2. Fab post, thank you for sharing your visit. There are some lovely structural features in this garden by the look of it. Though must confess I was drawn to the photo of the picnic!

    1. Thanks:) the garden has a superb underlying structure, it hangs on good bones! It has been very well designed at some point and it's clear that there's a lot of work going on to restore it.


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