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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A year at Wallington in pictures - March 2011, Part 4.

March was to be another busy month for all of the volunteers and resident gardening team here at Wallington. As usual I came for one day every week, and over the month we were to work in many different areas of the grounds and Walled Garden. In early March, we were still getting some ground frosts and this gave way to very bright, but cold days.

Griffin Heads on East Lawn - 02/03/2011.

I normally get to Wallington about 9.00 a.m. and take the bulk of my photographs as I am walking through the grounds and path to the Walled Garden. My small digital camera is always in my pocket, so I can take other photographs throughout the day depending on where I am working.

In the Walled Garden some flowers were providing early colour and the following photograph was taken mid morning, following a hard frost.

After the frost.

Signs of Spring were starting to appear all over the grounds and Walled Garden, on the most direct route path to the Walled Garden, the Rhododendron bushes were starting to bud.

Rhododendron buds.

In the middle of March, the Walled Garden started to become greener and burst into colour with different plants coming into flower, such as Bluebells, Daffodils and Primroses. As with any garden, as well as the flowers came the weeds. This will keep everybody busy over the next few months.

Bluebells in the Walled Garden.

Daffodils in the Walled Garden.

Primrose in the Walled Garden.

Most of the work during March concentrated on the Walled Garden; it would not be long before grass cutting in the courtyard, around the House and on East and West Lawn would have to start for this year.

House Entrance from East Lawn - 23/03/2011.

My last visit to Wallington in March was to be on a damp and drizzly day. Waterproofs were an essential piece of kit as we worked in the Walled Garden. Our main task for the day was to work on the grass edging around the borders. The garden was definitely starting to show signs of Spring, the grass was getting greener and plants were shooting up around the borders and paths. 

Walled Garden 30/03/2011.

In the three months I have been coming to Wallington this year, there have been many seasonal changes to observe, the colours of spring have started and I am really looking forward to working in the Walled Garden during the Summer months.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Views around the Grounds and Walled Garden - 25/05/11

Gale force winds on Monday 23rd May caused a great deal of damage to the trees in the grounds and gardens. The gardening team and foresters have been out with their chainsaws yet again. Our job today was to pick up the fallen branches on the Courtyard and East Lawn. The grass will be cut tomorrow.

Storm damaged tree on East Lawn.

East Lawn.


House from East Lawn.

View of Walled Garden.

Conservatory and 'Hot Border'.

Conservatory and 'Hot Border'.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A year at Wallington in pictures - February 2011, Part 3

It was to be the start of a new month volunteering in the Walled Garden and grounds at Wallington, with the gardening team. The hard frosts experienced in January continued and this seemed to keep the visitors away.

Clock Tower

Work continued clearing away the snow damaged trees and shrubs. On East Lawn, two cherry trees had to be completely removed. The blossom and colour will be a miss this year outside of the House.

The blocked path to the Walled Garden was opened up. The tree trunk was cut and the roots put back into their original site. The bulk of the oak tree remained in Garden Pond, with the cut sections beside the path. Suitable signage and a fence were placed to deter anybody climbing on the section of tree in the water. Did anybody try?

Unblocked path beside Garden Pond.

Around the Walled Garden small areas started to burst into colour. In the Orchard, hundreds of snowdrops came out and provided the first spectacle of the gardening year.

Snowdrops in the orchard.

At this time of year, in a property of this scale there was always work to be done on the borders around the House. With the frost, the ground was hard and a lot of effort was required when working. During February, there was very little colour to see around the House, even without this, the House and property are always an impressive site for the first time visitor.

House looking towards West Lawn.

The Walled Garden was being slowly prepared for the next seasons of the gardening year. January and February was a very busy time for all of the people involved in the grounds and gardens. During my time here at Wallington I get to talk to a large number of visitors. They are always complimentary about the site, in particular, the Walled Garden. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction helping here at this National Trust property. It is good to see that what you do, albeit in a small way is helping to maintain such an important part of Northumberland’s history.

Walled Garden.

Friday, 20 May 2011

A year at Wallington in pictures - January 2011, Part 2.

It was to be January 5th 2011, when I again returned to Wallington for my weekly visits. The snow was starting to go, but we were still getting very hard frosts. It was on my way to the Walled Garden when I came across the major casualty of the harsh winter weather. A 200 year old oak tree had fallen and completely blocked the path beside Garden Pond.

Blocked Path beside Garden Pond.

For any visitors wanting to reach the Walled Garden, the fallen tree meant a slight detour around Garden Pond which was completely frozen.

Frozen Garden Pond.

In the Walled Garden, snow and ice had caused a few problems with the shrubs and trees. Volunteers and the resident gardeners were kept busy for a few weeks, removing the damaged shrubs and trees. In shaded areas of the Garden snow and ice lingered for some time.


Frosts continued in January and on some of my visits lasted until late morning.

Lawns beside cut flower borders.

Eventually the ice on Garden Pond melted, the work carried out during January left some open areas and gaps around the Grounds and Walled Garden, due to the removal of shrubs and trees. One fallen tree, near to West Lawn was even raised, roped and staked to see if it could be saved. Time will tell!

Garden Pond thaws.

The harsh winter weather ravaged the Grounds and Walled Garden here at Wallington. January was a month of hard work for the National Trust gardening team and all of the volunteers. In the following parts, I hope to show how the Grounds and Walled Garden recovered and burst into Spring colour.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Views around the Grounds and Walled Garden - 18/05/11

Early morning showers soon cleared to leave a dry and bright day in the Walled Garden. This morning was spent weeding the schools' vegetable patch and weeding the strawberry patch.
After lunch it was weeding the 'Railway border'.

Quite a few visitors in the Walled Garden today, when the sun came out it was very pleasant, sheltered from the gusty wind.

The 200 year old oak tree that fell during the winter was removed from Garden Pond last weekend. Foresters have made a seat from part of the trunk.

House Entrance.

House viewed from East Lawn.

Rhododendron - path to Walled Garden.

Garden Pond.

Walled Garden.

Edwardian Conservatory.

Walled Garden.

Site of fallen Oak tree - now removed from Garden Pond.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A year at Wallington in pictures - Part 1

My last visit to Wallington in 2010 to help in the Grounds and Walled Garden was on the 24th November. Overnight frost and some light snow covered the ground. The day was to be spent raking and clearing up the fallen leaves in the Courtyard.

Griffin Heads on East Lawn - morning of 24 th November 2010.

It was to be my last visit to Wallington in 2010, as this was the day the snow came to the property and the surrounding area.

Our morning was spent in the Courtyard, after lunch the work continued until at about 2.00 p.m. the first snow started to fall. It was not long before everything was white and the snow became very heavy. This was our cue to start to tidy up and make my way home!

The roads from Wallington were covered and very slippy in places. A heavy goods vehicle was unable to get up the hill at Kirkharle, this was the only time in my journey home that I had to stop.

I finally reached the A68 road, surprisingly this was clear and there was no sign of snow. Due to the large amounts of snow we experienced last Winter, I was not able to continue my volunteering at Wallington until early January 2011.

As well as helping in the Grounds and Walled Garden, I always carry my digital camera and I have continued to take photographs on all of my days here.

The Winter of 2010 caused a great deal of damage around the property, grounds and gardens at Wallington. In these pieces, I want to show in photographs, the way the Walled Garden and Grounds change and develop throughout 2011.

Garden Pond - morning of 24th November 2010.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Views around the Grounds and Walled Garden - 11/05/11

Another day volunteering in the Walled Garden at Wallington. Started by weeding the cut flower border and finished off the day after lunch weeding the paths beside the Edwardian Conservatory and 'Hot Border'.

Had to dodge quite a heavy shower at about 11.00 a.m. after that the sun came out again and it became quite warm. Not many visitors in the Garden p.m.

Had time to take the following pictures before I started work in the Garden:

East Wood Colour.

Path to Walled Garden in East Wood.

Green in the rain!

Between the showers!

Colour in East Wood.

Walled Garden.

Walled Garden.

View through to the Conservatory.

Walled Garden.

Edwardian Conservatory and 'Hot Border'.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Views around the Grounds and Walled Garden - 04/05/11

Grounds and gardens much quieter this week. Schools have opened after Easter and Bank holidays. Hard frost this morning, but sun came out yet again to ensure all visitors had a good day out around the property.

Spent the day weeding borders and clearing up leaves around the Builder's yard. Visitors are not allowed in this area; so did not get to talk to anyone about the property, or answer any questions.

Took the following pictures:

Clock Tower from the Courtyard.

House from East Lawn.

Griffin Heads.

House Entrance.

How did I get here?

Lone flower in a Walled Garden border

Path to Walled Garden in East Wood.