Cholmondeley Castle gardens

The lovely thing about gardens is that they change each year, dependant on the weather patterns and human alterations. Before stately homes had their own gardens in the Tudor period, it was the monasteries that provided gardens. These originally were designed for growing foods, medicinal plants and apple orchards.

The Castle

Beneath the late spring sky,
Bathing in warm sunlight
A fairytale castle sits on high.

Arched windows look out
Over gardens laid before it.
A magical edifice guarding
Keeping all inside secret.

Around the side

This has all the romance of magical stories.

How Rapunzel could have thrown her hair
Down to her saviour on this stair.
Beeston Castle

A May Day

Wondering through this wonderland
Cherry pink azaleas in line to greet
Down pathways meandering along
Plants so large and some petite.  

Buds are yet to come.
Some have blossomed and gone.
Still enough to fill the senses
Each colour a special one.

There is nothing more beautiful than the numerous colours of just one plant, dappled in the afternoon sun.
Beeston Castle

The Pond

Strolling over a wooden bridge
Hostas hugging the waterside.
Their large grained greenery
Where no doubt insects hide.

Lily pads lie as though sleeping
Residing upon the pond's surface.
Soon their flowers will appear
Emerging like an oriental chalice.

For this is the last day of spring
Soon summer blossom will sing.

In Early May

A garden with mystical temples
And pools that are tranquil to see
Capturing ethereal reflections
Of a blossom or neighbouring tree

Leaves unfurl on this giant rhubarb plant
Primeval in nature, I stopped to stare.
Lining the water's edge; huge flower spikes
As though they've always been there.

How does a plant with such ugliness capture the imagination so much? This one in the foreground did exactly that to me. The Giant Rhubarb plant I discovered is also referred to as Dinosaur Food. When a leaf is fully open I can see why - many are over 150cm (5ft 11 inches) in width!
Although its huge brownish flower spike have been compared to an enormous bottle brush, to me it brings images of primeval swamps and giant insects feeding off their seed.
Beeston Castle
Beeston Castle

Umbrella Plant

It's flowers reaching over
Bathed in a mystical light.
With centres of yellow and pink
And petals appearing so white.

These are of the umbrella plant
Another of prehistoric appearance
Soon its huge leaves grow - shading
And we will keep our distance.

Striking in its beauty; the colour of the sun. This dazzlingly bright species of azalea brings joy to my heart.
Being drawn to the vitality of a plant inspires me with poetic words.
Getting close in with my camera gives everyone a view into another world that is amazing beyond belief.

Take a peek at some insects close up in the 'Tales' section, they together with fungi are my other fascinations. I could (and do) spend days photographing and writing about these bewitching fundamentals of our countryside and gardens.

Beeston Castle
A bluebell walk

What nicer way of finishing than a tranquil walk amongst the bluebells - nothing better to soothe the mind.