Wednesday, 18 June 2014

'Falling for Constance'

We have been working really hard for the last couple of months and even though at the start of the year we promised ourselves we would take more days off, things cropped up and our plans went out of the window. 

Yesterday was the first planned day off this year and we had such a good day we drove home with the promise that more of the same must be taken, and soon.

Burton Agnes Gatehouse
Burton Agnes Hall - with it's topiary yew avenue

We took the opportunity of a 'two for one' pass we received with 'Gardeners' World Magazine. Chose to take a look around Burton Agnes Hall which nestles in the gentle folds of the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds. The sky didn't look very promising as we meandered our way through the country lanes. They were at their 'blousie' best, a tapestry of foxgloves, lace headed cow parsley and the occasional field poppy. Thankfully the fine rain didn't last long and we were able to enjoy the grounds of the Elizabethan Hall, for the most part on our own. We were firstly drawn to the classical pond, not for the structure itself but because of the aerial acrobatics of the Swallows. They swooped down to the water and took elegant dips, some rising and falling two or three times like skimming stones across the tension of the water surface. Cameras in hand we both positioned ourselves low on the lawn edge to try and get a shot of them but they teased us by flying low in and around us and when they did dive for the pool they were just too quick for us.

The Classical Pond - the globe sculpture slowly revolves

The woodland walk was quiet and lush apart from when we discovered one of the outdoor sculptures, a wind chime of giant proportions set high in the tree canopy which we could just about reach with the point of our umbrella.

We saved the best area of the grounds until last, the walled garden. For the most part an exuberant blend of flowers and vegetables, with the many roses stealing the show. Have to say we have seen better walled gardens and weren't so excited with the inclusion of the maze and over sized board games, to us the flowers and veggie plants are the real stars. 

One rose in particular caught my eye, it's rich pink blooms, dense with petals gave off a fragrance to match it's beauty. Reading the label I discovered it was 'Constance Spry' a rose I hadn't really given any consideration to in the past. I will be making amends for that oversight, it will be the rose of choice going into our new floral border.

Constance Spry - even it's glossy leaves are fabulous!

The hall has put it's courtyard area to good use by converting the space into a gallery, shop and tearoom. There is also a small nursery area which the gardening team keep well stocked with plants they have raised from the gardens. Obviously we couldn't come away empty handed, purchases included Sisyrinchium striatum, Echinacea Primadona Rose, a couple of Leucantherums called Crazy Daisy and finally a Eryngium agavifolium which the label states grows to a height of 1.5 metres, as it's very prickly and going to get very large it's new home will be at the back of the border!

The floral 'spoils' of our day out.

So it's back to work today, full of inspiration and new ideas. Had a nice surprise when we checked out Folksy this morning, our Pinterest board, titled 'The Cat's Meow' is the featured board, it's always great to get onto the front page.

Screenshot of our Folksy front page feature

Gary has added another dog to our online shops this week.The print is of a Chocolate Labrador and what a handsome fella he is!

New dog in our online shops  - Chocolate Labrador

'What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade'. - Gertrude Jekyll


  1. This looks a wonderful place to visit and I imagine there are a few lovely gardens there too. I have just recently learned about linocuts, yours are delightful, we've two black cats so that one up on the right hand side is a favourite.

  2. What a wonderful spot to visit -- very beautiful. And those roses and others -- wow. I do love England, its age, its history. I should like this very much!