The garden at Gresgarth opens once each month and I was lucky enough to visit last Sunday. Spring is a magical time at Gresgarth. The formal gardens close to the house are lovely but best of all right now in my view is the woodland that surrounds them. Woodland gardens are at their very best in spring before the tree canopies cover the ground with shade. May is a great month to see some fantastic plants for shady spots in your garden if you fancy a spot of garden visiting.
Some of the late flowering daffodils were still in bloom and a grove of white blossomed cherry trees lined the grassy path up into the wood. I think these trees are the flat topped Great White Cherry Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ which has single white flowers.
Further along a group of Silver Birch with pure white trunks shone out in the sunlight.
The English Bluebells were in full bloom. Their slender bell shaped flowers are a lovely deep blue colour.
A bridge crosses the Artle Beck then there are two paths to choose. The lower path runs along the side of the stream and the other runs uphill to the Magnolias and Azaleas through swaths of Bluebells again. It was a hot day and the cool streamside path was very tempting. I chose to go up into the shade of the tall trees on the hillside. Which path would you take?
The grassy path was steep in places through Bluebells and groves of Acers with fresh young lime green leaves. The short climb was well worth the effort to see these amazing Magnolias in full bloom. This little group were all shades of pink from the palest blush pink of Magnolia stellata rosea to the deep pink buds of Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ ‘Burncoose’. That’s quite a long name but so well worth remembering as it has to be one of the most glamorous Magnolias I have ever seen. (4th photo below)
A couple of beautiful Rhododendrons caught my eye too. Sticking with the pink theme here’s a gorgeous pale pink Rhododendron and the lilac/blue plant below is Rhododendron ‘Blue Ribbon’.
If you have a garden that is shady in summer like mine then some of these spring flowering plants could work very well for you too. Of course I now have a long list of plants to add to my wish list!
I’m finishing with a shot of the mature trees on the hill behind the lake just to give you a sense of scale.
Have you visited any gardens recently that are at their best in spring? Recommendations most welcome!
Here’s the link for the Gresgarth opening times.
I hope you are enjoying your garden this month. Happy Gardening! Gillian 🙂