Kirtling Tower. (17)

There was plenty of space to park the car at Kirtling Tower, near Newmarket (in the county of Cambridgeshire, rather than Suffolk). This is a fine shooting estate and there was a friendly welcome from the helpers sitting in the gun bus at the entrance.

It is such a bonus to be given a history of this ancient site which we were handed as we arrived. This incidentally, included a list of food and drink from the household accounts for the three day visit of the Queen in 1578.

First we walk through a meadow planted with thousands and thousands of daffodils. A living memorial to the eldest son who died in 2000; it is a beautiful way to remember him.

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The Himalayan Birch Betula utilis var. jacquemontii  is striking as you enter the Secret Garden; a hallmark of the great Richard Ayers who created the famous winter garden at Anglesey Abbey, the previous home of the Fairhaven family.
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They look handsome either as a single or in a ghostly group.

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and it is good to see someone has a sense of humour!

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The silver theme is echoed round the corner in the stems of the white bramble rubus cockburnianus:

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who have the small species tulips growing at their feet.

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Stems of the alba ‘Sibirica’ glow golden,

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and naked branches of Willow are bent over to form an archway.

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It is a quiet garden devoid of the noise of traffic or urban sprawl, and it is the gentle sounds of birds and water which you hear.

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The hellebores remind me of a bunch of gleeful schoolgirls.

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The white bergenia brightens the base of a tree.

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Turning left out of the secret garden we walk down the pleached Hornbeam drive.

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The closed iron gates, appear to be more of  a ‘clairevoie’ rather than an access route.

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Just a little further on we find the gate is open into the walled garden:

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This border now seemingly dormant, will look at its best in the summer months. Meanwhile sheltered from the March winds the herbaceous plants are beginning to forge ahead.

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These foxtail lilies are going to be huge and stunning.

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Edges are neat and the grass is mown.  Diagonal paths cut across and meet in the middle; a central focus with a circular frame to the planting.

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Clipped ornamental hawthorn Crateageaus orientalis line the paths.

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Vast terracotta pots filled with topiary and the scented shrub of Osmanthus x burkwoodii provide interest in the Victorian garden. There is a large variety coming through in the paeony beds.

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This graceful antique statue will enjoy their rich blooms, but at the moment she has to be content with the evergreens.

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Across the lawn there are more statues, animated and so very white against the yew hedge

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Heading away to the informal part of the garden this chap grins at us from the bridge.

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More signs of Spring along the Tudor walk beside the shallow moat.

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The snake heads fritillary fritillaria meleagris is irresistible with its double head.

 

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Further round this side of the garden the moat is deeper and full of water.

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In the middle a fountain sprays upwards in the breeze.

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While on the other side there is another show of yellow.

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The farm buildings have been restored recently to a high standard.

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More giant pots, this time filled with tulips.

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and these three cherubs play and watch

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the water flow silently down this metal obelisk.

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Home-made refreshments are available in the church, but we have no time to dawdle for another garden beckons. A glance down the iris borders,

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and a thoughtful photo is a reminder of what is yet to come.

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——-17——-

 

5 thoughts on “Kirtling Tower. (17)

  1. What a fantastic garden, I love the silver birches, a great contrast to all the green, and can only try to imagine what the Iris walk will look like in full flower- spectacular!

    Like

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