Wednesday 29 April 2015

Coughton Court

Coughton Court has many delights to offer visitors, from priests' holes to wonderful gardens but at this time of year the main attraction for us is the Wild Wood of Arden and this is the first place we headed towards last Monday.

The wood is disappointingly small but a real delight. It may be a surviving area of the ancient Forest of Arden which Shakespeare used for the setting of As You Like It. The forest was first documented in the 11th century. Large sections were cleared through time to provide fuel, building materials and grazing land. The nature of the local soils meant that once the original oak and birch woodland was removed, heath land developed. Heath was preferable to the wild wood, which was viewed by people with fear and suspicion.

The bluebells cover most of the floor of the wood and they're the first thing you see once you go through the gate

Thick carpets of bluebells like here, take hundreds of years to form. They divide gradually underground. The flowers also disperse seeds, but they are too heavy to be scattered by the wind so the bluebells spread only very slowly.


The bluebells in this wood are mostly native, English bluebells, which have smaller flowers growing on only one side of a floppy stem as opposed to Spanish bluebells that have larger flowers growing on both sides of a vertical stem.

The wood is situated on a small hill so up the steps we went

lovely path snaking through the bluebells.

 A real joy.

Leaving the woods we walked across the field, crossed the little bridge

and reached the river walk

it's a very shallow river

the wild garlic is just starting to flower - it's mostly buds

this is an exception

so we'll have to come in a while to see it in its full glory.

The bog garden is at the end of the path

everything has been cut low, so we noticed something we had never seen before

this statue sitting comfortably in the middle of all the plants

we walked around to have a better look

another one has been revealed too.

Next, the tulip field. Last year we were able to buy some tulips, but there's only very few left now

but they're real beauties



The walled garden was our next stop

which consists of a series of 'rooms'

we moved from one to the next

the wisteria trees have a long way to go

we reached the lake

great reflections

we then turned left and continued walking round the walled garden

lots of tulips here too




with dew on the petals even though by then it was midday
and then we'd come full circle and reached the house.

Monday 27 April 2015

A riot of colour


Lush. Lush and luxuriant. Such pleasure in taking all of this in. Greece was green too, always is in spring, with gorgeous wild flowers, but this is totally different. Wonderful.

I am in the Mill Gardens looking across the river.

I then cross the bridge and enter Jephson Gardens. This small wall is new and the flowers look lovely.

I then reach the gate on Wills Road, where the rockery looks glorious

and oh! the tulips standing erect and proud.

Tai chi in the park

so much colour....

This is another new section. They were working on it when we left, and it's still work in progress

such wonderful contrast of colours.

More tulips further down the path

looking closer at the glorious red

This is the central display of the Gardens. Very colourful, not so much to my liking, too formal, but the colours are magnificent nevertheless

but I do like the less 'intense' beds

particularly these white ones.

An abundance of tulips

my favourite flowers

lots of hellebores

cherry blossom

looking closer

and I have reached the gates that are opposite the Pump Rooms

with a riot of colour

on either side.