Saturday, June 01, 2013

Garden envy

After Durham, Mr Life and I proceeded to North Norfolk to visit my aunt. The house where she lives is a story in itself, for another post, but this is the view from a sitting room window. The garden is huge and lovely.

This, however, is at the royal residence of Sandringham again. The only disadvantage that I can see to being married to Prince Charles ... oh well, yes, maybe there are a few others ... but anyway, the only disadvantage that I'm going to talk about just now is that there are so many royal houses that you'd be flitting from one to the other and could never enjoy a whole year of one garden. For example, the Royal Family spend Christmas and, I think, Easter at Sandringham - anyway, they weren't there when we were (otherwise they would have meanly kept us out of the garden) so they missed all this beauty.

Personally, I have a neverending fight to eradicate the Spanish bluebells in my garden (method: dig them all up every year and somehow you'll still have lots the next year) but Her Maj doesn't need to bother. She has the rolling acres that I would like but do not have, so a few thousand bluebells here or there make no difference to her. You probably can't see in the above photo but her hostas have a few holes in them, suggesting that she also has the snails that I don't want but do have.

Look at this rhododendron! Isn't it delicious?

Azalea, Japanese maple, bluebells, and I'm not sure what the green leaves are. Paeonies, maybe? I love the combination of colours; again, easier if you have lots of space to play with.

Ice cream! Each cluster of flowers is as big as Grandson's head.

A nice little winding stream, no doubt dug out by underpaid Victorian gardeners. (Something else I don't have. )

Isn't cow parsley pretty under this magnolia? With the copper beech in the background. Swoon.

Ah, the reflections on the water which I also don't have room for.

That's the main house in the distance. It's rather nice too.

Does anyone know what these wonderful blue flowers are? Her Maj has huge drifts of them. I've seen them before but can't quite think what they are. *

I'm writing this in a somewhat damp condition. I came in from my more modest plot - where I was attempting to repair the ravages of ten days' neglect (how can so many weeds grow in so short a time?) - because it started raining. It was fairly unconvincing rain and I ignored it for a while but there comes a point that you have to admit defeat even when rained on only mildly. It's kind of stopped now - ish - but I suppose Mr L will be expecting to be fed shortly. He has a cold. I hear distant coughing. Poor Mr L.

* They're camassia - thank you, Relatively Retiring. I've now looked up "How to grow camassia": heavy moist soil that doesn't get waterlogged in winter. So - not the problem bed at the front door that forms puddles in heavy rain. Pity. They're happy naturalised on the bank of a stream, it seems. And they spread. Perfect for Sandringham but maybe not so much for my little urban plot, where I spent a LONG TIME today digging out little spreading allium bulbs, to add to my bluebell woes. If only plants would grow to the size you want them and then stop. Not to say children. And oneself.


  1. Thank you for showing us some of these magnificent gardens. I have added a link from my Sandringham post to this one.

  2. Such pretty flowers....and you wouldn't swap Mr Life for any old royal would you? no....thought not
    p.s thank you for your kind offer recently...I may well come back to you on that!

  3. These gardens are magnificent for sure. Oh, the miracles that can be wrought with a lot of help and a lot of money. Thanks for sharing these wonders with us.

  4. Very pretty gardens.....thank you for taking us along on your visit!

  5. The blue flowers are Camassia, also available in white.
    Everything looks beautiful this time of year, doesn't it?

  6. Ah, thank you, RR!

  7. Beautiful! The hostas and the bluebells make good companions.

    I love that Rhodedendron in pastel, sunset colours.
    I hope Her Maj does get a chance to see her garden looking so fresh and pretty. It must be a drag having to move around the country/world ALL the time.

  8. Anonymous1:42 am

    Weeds just know when you are not at home - I am convinced of it. And the shorter the trip, the more they seem to spring up. A weekend away, and they run riot. My poor fingernails will never look lovely because I am always weeding something!

  9. How nice to be able to wander at one's leisure around the gardens of castles and palaces...sound like some kind of fairy tale existence to those who live in the Sunburnt and occasionally Flooded Country down under. One of the joys of retirement living over there. For Ken's official First Retired Day, we spent a couple of hours at the bank sorting out our finances. Not exactly fun, but very reassuring to know that we can continue to live in the style to which we are accustomed. Until the money runs out!

  10. I didn't realize until now that British peonies had an "a" in them! 8-)