A return to Parham House and Gardens

It turns out it is five years since I last visited Parham House and Gardens, admittedly we all lost about three years through the pandemic, but that it was five years ago feels a very long time.  When the opportunity came to visit again I was not going to miss it.  This year Parham was the venue for the Garden Museum Literary Festival, an event I do not like to miss.  I think I have only missed one of these in its nine year history, which I think is not bad going.

As ever when I return from this event I have a lot to think about.  The talks as ever were good and for me it is important down time when I can actually relax and just be for a couple of days.  Parham is a bit of a schlep from home, so I drove down the evening before and had somewhere to stay about 30 minutes away.  The drive down was a bit hairy as it was very hot and there was a torrential thunderstorm, not a joy to drive through.  Anyhoo, I took my time and I got there..... eventually.
The gardens were looking amazing.  At the start of the festival there is always an introduction from the Garden Museum Director, Christopher Woodward and then from the venue's host, who this year is Lady Emma Barnard.  Lady Emma talked about the house and gardens being a place of quiet and reflection and having a real sense of peace and calm.  I can only agree, walking the gardens gives wonderful head-space to let your mind focus on the gardens and just be in the moment.
What I love about revisiting gardens I am fond of is to see the things that have not changed, the constants.  I remember being inspired by this labrynth the first time I visited, and it is still something I would love to incorporate into my garden if I had the right space.  If it did it would be on a much smaller scale, but it is the idea that matters and how it can be interpreted.
I had a real 'wow' moment as I walked into what had been the Rose Garden.  Currently it is a poppy garden filled with so many rich jewel coloured annual poppies.  It was such a change and truly wonderful.  There is a very practical reason why this change has happened, I know from when I visited previously that parts of the garden had a constant perennial weed/bindweed problem and over several years attempts have been made to remove the problems.  Apparently in the lockdown whilst the gardens were closed they decided to really try and remove this problem by clearing several beds completely.  This is hard to do when the public are visiting as they do not want to see empty borders.  The Rose Garden has been cleared for this reason and the poppies add colour whilst the gardening team are ensuring that the perennial weeds are gone.
I nodded hello to the man sunbathing on the lawn.
and I enjoyed being led towards views,
and being drawn from one part of the garden into the next.
I popped my head into the magnificent Wendy House, such a wonderful feature.
and I enjoyed the calm and shade by the lake.

I had a wonderful couple of days reaquainting myself with the gardens, enjoying the Literary Festival and catching up with friends.

I wonder where we will be next year for the festival.....

Take care and be kind

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