Saturday 14 March 2020

Barnsdale in Spring and Summer

Hello lovelies,
how are you doing? What a week we have had here, with the escalation in Corona virus cases and the introduction of some restrictions. I'm sure we will have many more to come and I know the whole world is reeling at this new menace. 

 People are looking tense in the supermarket isles, as they load their trolleys with non-perishables, hand wash, paracetamol and toilet rolls. I do admit to ensuring we have a supply of these items, but I don't think I've gone overboard. 

On Thursday, before the ramping up of numbers and concern, I took mum to a family reunion, a lunch with all her cousins. I told her not to go kissing them and left her at the restaurant while I went off to visit the nearby Barnsdale Gardens.  It's a bit early in the year for garden visiting, but it seemed a good way to pass the time. I Took loads of photos and decided to write a blog post.

Thinking about my blog, I presumed I had shared my previous visit with you. That was in June of 2016. I searched my archive in vain. Odd? In the end I found a draft post, half written.

So I've decided to combine the two visits into one post. A spring and summer comparison of this special place. The garden where Geoff Hamilton was filmed for Gardener's World in my formative gardening years, the late 80's and 90's.

Sadly Geoff died in 1996 but the gardens have been well looked after by his family

You can see from this sweet map that this place is largely a series of small spaces, which Geoff designed to inspire those of us with an average sized plot. 

Thursday was a windy day and pretty chilly, with scudding  clouds but quiet a lot of sunshine. This first garden I viewed was a seaside retreat. It's actually not one of Geoff's , but designed by the also lovely, Adam Frost.

Here it is in June....quiet a contrast. I am so looking forward to all the new growth in my own garden.

But spring is still pretty. This yellow bush caught my eye. 

Thankfully the plants are really well labelled at Barnsdale . Cornus Mass, one to remember....if I come up with a space :0)

Here's how the Cottage garden looked this week.

And a June view for comparison.....full of flowers.

Roses, Peonies and Geranium .

In June you can smell the Roses.

In March you can admire the way they have been trained over the arch.

A beautiful summer corner of Delphiniums and Lupins

Leads to the classic greenhouse.

Full of Pelargoniums 

March view, showing the plant supports already placed,  to support those tall flowers.

 inside the greenhouse it's pretty similar, but today it's a lovely warm shelter from the chilly wind.

The scent of this dainty beauty caught my attention.

Tulbaghia Fragrans Alba. A new plant
 to me.

This is the Plantsman's garden in Summer.

and early spring. Interesting to see the "bones" of the garden

Here's an area that has really lovely bones. The four quarters of this space are each examples of small courtyard gardens.

The pebble flooring is stunning here.

Here's summer for contrast

This is my favourite corner.

 Mum sketching here, back in 2016

The view from that bench.

And mum's sketch.

Here's another summer view. This time it's of the Town Paradise Garden

This is the same space in March

Oooh, another warm up spot.

Almost 26 degrees C. Lovely.

Onto another space. This is the lovely Rose garden. No roses yet

But plenty in summer

And for the final comparison...phew, I hear you say. The Japanese garden in summer.

And spring. This is one space I really do prefer with less foliage.

Time to head back to the cafe for a hot drink, past the peacock by the eucalyptus tree.

Did you spot him?

and the daffodil bed.

The Ornamental Kitchen Garden.

Through the woodland.

To the cafe, which is almost deserted. So I make a bee line for the table by the bird feeders.

There doesn't look many in this shot, but it was honestly so busy.

There was even a bird identification guide on the table.

90 % of the birds I saw this week were Blue Tits, which made me very happy.

They are usually  shy and tricky to photograph.

But through the window I had a great view and they were quite bold.

And fast moving. But I still managed some decent zoomed images through the glass.

This quiet visit, with sunshine and loads of bird life was just perfect 

There, that took quiet a bit of writing, and that's ok. I certainly took my mind of you know what for a while. I hope reading it did they same for you.

Stay safe lovelies, and remember, this storm too shall pass.

Jacquie xxx


  1. Your wonderful garden and bird photos did indeed take my mind off of "it" for a lovely visit with you. I loved where your mum sat to sketch and her drawing is wonderful as always. Does she eve sell her watercolors? I'd love to buy one! One of hers with a thatched roof cottage. I'm glad to see you post again! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Lovely photos as always Jacquie. My gardening group has Barnsdale on its list of trips this year, and you have made my mind up that I am definitely going to go. Take care. Jan x

    1. Hope you get to go Jan. Maybe next year if the virus gets bad xx

  3. Barnsdale Gardens looks lovely and may have to go on the visiting list. Your photographs are wonderful too. I hope your mum enjoyed catching up with her family. Lets hope the virus situation calms down soon. So many businesses are going to be in trouble if things don't.


  4. Thanks for wonderful garden photos. We have 0 degrees at night and the sun is shining in the day and the first spring flowers are :-)) Nice walks in the forest.
    The schools are closed and the borders too... we communicate with friends and families using cell phones and computers.
    Reading and knitting and I set up my sewing machine... many projects in mind...
    greetings to you. Viola

  5. Such a beautiful post! You could make this into a lovely book! I really enjoyed the comparison shots - really just terrific! And the closeup of the sweet birds - wonderful! Thanks so much, this post was a lot of work for you but really worth it to me!

    1. Thank you so much Ellen, for your time and kind comment. That means a lot to me xx

  6. Hi Jacquie
    WHat a lovely blog post. I love how you've mixed spring and summer pics to compare and that sketch made by your Mum, so lovely. I saw you popped in to give me a virtual hug so I thought I would do the same. Didn't know you work at a hospital. You must be greatly challenged these days. I wish you good luck at work tomorrow, strength, courage and focus. I admire each and every one working at the hospitals these days under such enormous stress and pressure. Without all of you we would be terribly lost in all this. Lots of love. And Thank you.

  7. What lovely photographs. We may not get to lovely gardens this summer if the over 70s self isolation comes into force so will have to make do with our garden. It's nothing like those but it has a decent size lawn so lots of green.
    Best wishes to you our NHS staff are always under pressure but are amazing. Take care and thank you for all you do. xxx

  8. What a joy to read! I check daily to see if you've added a new post - totally understand that it isn't always possible but these photos and descriptions have lifted my spirits! In my small town in the US we have two confirmed cases; since I'm "older" and have an auto-immune disease, I am self-isolating. I'm good at keeping myself busy and have family near enough to drop off things I might need. I'm sure I'll revisit this post again to take a "virtual walk" through this beautiful garden!

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment LizaEllen. It lifted my spirits.
      Jacquie x

  9. That was an epic post and very enjoyable. Your bird photos were exceptional. Stay safe and kind. Jo x

  10. Thanks a lot for your post!! I miss your walks so I enjoy the gardens and birds today!!! Stay safe and enjoy Spring!

  11. Gorgeous post Jacquie thoroughhly enjoyed here.

  12. So good to see your latest posting Jacquie. I haven't been reading your blog for long and you words and beautiful photos have been so inspiring. Particularly loved the contrast pictures of Barnsdale which I have visited on several occasions over the years. Best wishes from Bev

  13. Lovely to see Barnsdale Gardens in spring and summer. That was a great idea to show it like this! We visiting Barnsdale last June and wrote a post about it in December. We really enjoyed our visit there and to remember the wonderful projects Geoff undertook. We didn't notice the pebble path in the summer. Those are fantastic images of the blue tits. Sarah x

  14. What a lovely post, I loved the greenhouse full of dream greenhouse!
    I have never been to Barnsdale but I like you did love Geoff, a real down to earth gardener.
    Keep Safe xxx

  15. I love your photos so there is never too many for me!! Thanks for the post and photos as it's good to see beauty in our crazy life right now. I always love your mother's sketches and she is so talented!! Take care and be safe in this scary time.

  16. I really enjoyed reading this post, what a wonderful garden to explore, definitely somewhere I'd like to visit one day.

  17. Time flies and now the lilac begins to bloom in the garden ... just wonderful. Greetings to you. Viola
    And thank you for your nice pictures.

  18. Beautiful pictures. I really love the pond with the stepping stones.

  19. Hi Jacquie, it's been long since I got a post from you in my Feedly. Hope you are okay. Just checking in on one of my favourite bloggers. Do post at least once to say that you are all right! Sreekala, a reader from India who loves your garden trips, sketches and crochet.

  20. Lovely post!! Whau! Lovely birds you got there.


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