Last week it really felt like Spring had arrived. The sun was shining and tiny green buds were at last beginning to appear almost as you watched, on trees and shrubs.
We took the opportunity to pop into Myddleton House Gardens to enjoy their wonderful displays of Spring bulbs and Hellebores. Just along the road from Forty Hall, it is the perfect place to pop in for a stroll after a visit to Clockhouse and Glebe Nurseries.
Myddleton House is the historic home of E A Bowles, one of the great 20th Century Plantsmen. The garden is now part of the Lea Valley Regional Park.
We really are so lucky to have such a wonderful place right on our doorstep. I have a personal attachment to it as, for many years, I helped as a volunteer. I spent many happy hours weeding and pruning, using the opportunity to learn about the wide range of unusual plants that have survived and have multiplied since Mr Bowles brought them back from his travels.
More recently, I enjoyed watching the gardens being restored to they're former glory, thanks to Lottery Funding.
The kitchen garden now looks immaculate, with impressive glasshouses containing a collection of interesting, tender exotics collected over many years, by the garden staff.
When I first spent time in the garden this was my favourite place, full of wild self-seeded treasures and rampant climbers. Swathes of Snowdrops appearing, as if by magic, in early Spring. It felt like a secret garden, where the ruins of the old building peeked through the foliage.
Now, it is still my favourite area. In Summer the vegetables grow abundant and healthy, edged with neatly,clipped hedges of Teucrium lucidrys replacing the old box ones.
At this time of year, the wildflower meadow is at its best. Over the next few weeks the bluebells and Narcissus will be in full flower.
If you follow the path past the meadow you will reach the remains of the old rockery garden, here Mr Bowles used to grow such unlikely plants as Opuntias, commonly known as “Prickly Pear”. (under glass protection in the winter!). I like to try and imagine what this area looked like at that time, full of delicate little treasures that he had collected .
Don't miss looking in the glasshouse and fernery which are attached to the house. They have been lovingly replanted recently and look splendid.
We can recommend a visit the tearoom too. The cakes are really good!