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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Views around the grounds and Walled Garden - 21/02/2012.

Changed day for volunteering at Wallington this week. Normally I get here on a Wednesday. Leaving home in some sunshine travelling north; the sky became cloudy and overcast. The rain did appear late in the afternoon, the cold temperatures and hard frosts have left us for the time being.

Our job for today was to tidy up one of the borders beside the main car park and entrance to the property. I was to try and get the leaves from under the beech hedges and the trees and rose bushes. There was a steady stream of cars coming into the car park and visitors coming to explore the grounds and Walled Garden. The House was only open last week for the half-term holidays.

As I walked down to the Walled Garden before starting work there was small signs of colour and shoots of bulbs appearing in the borders. We could still get cold weather and snow but the warmer temperatures are certainly making the plants grow.

Selection of pictures taken today:

Snowdrops and Aconites in the Courtyard.

View of Courtyard and Clock Tower

House entrance.

Rhododendron buds in East Wood.

Ice gone from Garden Pond.

Lower Terrace of Walled Garden.

Mary Pool

Mary Burn looking towards Mary Pool.

Mary Burn.

View towards Conservatory.

Colour in the Winter Garden.

Winter Garden.

Goldfish Pond in the Walled Garden.

Lichen on a tree in Plum Border.

Snowdrops in the Orchard.

Colour in th Plum Border.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Views around the Grounds and Walled Garden - 16/02/2012.

The severe frosts of last week have left us and for half term holiday week here at Wallington we have seen some higher temperatures. The better weather has seen a large amount of visitors coming to Wallington to visit the House go around the Grounds and for children, to take part in the art and craft activities. One of the popular activities was to make a bird box. The large amount of visitors were also benefiting from free admission to this National Trust property.

This was the first activity of the new year here at Wallington. A wide variety of events are planned every year and this has been a major factor in Wallington, becoming the most visited property in Northumberland.

Garden Pond was still covered with ice and some children had dragged branches out of the woods to throw onto the frozen surface. The Walled Garden continues to develop as the year progresses. I was sent down to an  East Lawn border in the Walled Garden, my task was to clear all of the leaves and dead growth that had collected. 

Before lunch I had cleared and tidied up about three quarters of the border. It meant a large number of trips with the wheelbarrow to the compost heap and the fire that other volunteers started. After lunch the raked over area had a series of small footprints from one side to the other. Even when I was working small children came through the hedge and onto the border!!!!!!!! One of the disadvantages of school holidays. After all of the work, the border is now ready for spring with some bulbs sending through their shoots.

I took the following photographs before starting work this morning:

Paines Bridge beside River Walk.

Paines Bridge

Snowdrops beside River Walk

River Walk looking towards the Walled  Garden Conservatory.

Courtyard and rear of House.

Clock Tower.

Clock Tower.

House Entrance.

House Entrance and East Lawn.

Snowdrops in East Wood.

Ice on China Pond.

Walled Garden looking towards Mary Pond.

Snowdrops in Orchard and Nuttery of the Walled Garden.

Lower Terrace of Walled Garden.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Views around the grounds and Walled Garden - 08/02/2012.

The weather at home remained cold and frosty. On the way North to Wallington the temperature stayed below 0 oC and it had been snowing at some point during the night. It looked as though snowploughs had been out at sometime with piles of snow pushed against the roadside verges. On reaching Wallington the car park had been cleared and snow pushed into piles. The snow had come last Saturday and Sunday and since then the temperatures had been well below freezing.

On my way to the Walled Garden there was the remnants of snow on East Lawn and as I passed Garden Pond, it was nearly completely frozen over. The ground temperature at the Wallington weather station was recorded as -8oC for overnight. I was the only volunteer today in the Walled Garden and ice on the steep paths made walking difficult - it was easier when pushing and being able to hold onto a wheel barrow.

My job for today was to clear away frozen leaves on the East Garden border and cut back last years planting. The ground remained frozen solid and it was impossible to remove any weeds. The sun shone virtually all day and there were a few visitors who braved the cold. It was not a day to stay still for long and five trips to the compost heap helped me to stay warm.

I took the following photographs as I walked to the Walled Garden and some were taken later in the day:

House entrance from East Lawn.

Griffin Heads on East Lawn.

Griffin Heads on East Lawn.

Griffin Heads and House.

Lichen on gate.

Tree on Four Beeches Walk.

Signs of Spring in East Wood.

Frozen Garden Pond looking through to Portico Walk.

Frozen Garden Pond.

Upper Terrace of Walled Garden.

Snowdrops in the Orchard and Nuttery.

Crocus in the Orchard and Nuttery.

Aconites in the Plum Border.

Aconites in the Plum Border.

Lower Terrace of the Walled Garden.

Garden Pond taken on way out.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Views around the grounds and Walled Garden - 01/02/2012.

A new month begins and another day volunteering at Northumberland's  most popular National Trust property. The weather forecast was for ice and frost but it was a dry cold day with the temperature not dropping below 1oC.

Our first job was to put a coat of wood preservative onto four seats/benches in the Conservatory. We completed this and moved into the peach houses to tie up some fuscias which will be destined for the Walled Garden in the not to distant  future.

After  lunch it was back into the Walled Garden to work on the rose border beside Neptune's Gate, the entrance to the garden. Our main job was to clear away the last of the leaves that have collected in the plants. Once cleared there was evidence of bulb shoots appearing. 

For the first of February there was a steady stream of visitors coming into the Walled Garden.

The following photographs were taken this morning:

Clocktower and Courtyard

House from West Lawn

House entrance from East Lawn

Snowdrops in the Orchard




Lower Terrace Walled Garden

Inside the Peach Houses

Mary Pool

View towards Paines Bridge

Looking towards Paines Bridge from River Walk steps

Scaramouche - one of the Upper Terrace Statues

Lower Terrace of the Walled Garden.