Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nunnington Hall Gardens, UK

The gardens of Nunnington Hall are quite evocative if not expansive. Elements of formal gardens and kitchen gardens and orchards are combined to provide a taste of everything.

The path from the parking leads across a small bridge. The bridge has a tub next to it with a sign explaining the sticks in it were poohsticks for racing on the river. Since that's one of the 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4, we had a go.

Bridge to the house

Running out of poohsticks!

Idyllic looking bridge

We did a race and L's stick was a bit faster on the waters of the River Rye (from which Ryedale gets its name). We then broke out our picnic lunch which we soon had to share with the local peacocks.

J protects his lunch box!

We who are about to eat salute you!

Why did the peacock cross the road? To get my lunch!!

Peacocks first came to Nunnington Hall with Susan and Peter Clive, who moved to the house in 1955. They haven't been able to get rid of them, probably because visitors keep sharing their lunches with the birds.

After touring the house, we went on a little walk through the gardens. The house staff helpfully provided a treasure hunt sheet for the children, so we were able to walk through all of the gardens and look for little signs.

Our first stop was the South Lawn. The lawn is sunken, which allowed the Clive family to flood it and create an ice skating rink in the winters. In the summers they used it for tennis and croquet.

View of the house from the South Lawn

The lawn is flanked by orchards which mostly have apple and pear trees.

L runs through the orchard looking for signs

#4 is a kangaroo!

The orchard wall had grapes growing when we visited!

One unusual tree in the orchard is the Wishing Tree, which has a small poem posted nearby:
In our orchard where apples grow,
and blossom blooms when Spring is here,
A Golden Pippin stands below
the open sky throughout the year.
As well as apples growing there,
There's something else that's twice as rare.

The ribbons tied upon the tree,
are hopes and dreams still yet to be.
If there's a wish you'd like to make,
find a ribbon that's free to take,
tie it here; make a wish or two,
and one day soon it may come true.

The Wishing Tree

Some formal gardens make for nice strolling.

The Iris Garden

Pretty flowers

An explosion of pink!

Roses in the Rose Garden

Further back is the Cutting Garden, where they are now growing fruit and vegetables for the Hall's tea shop as well as flowers to decorate the hall. The gardens are watched over by a scarecrow and his companion...or maybe wife?


Mrs. Scarecrow?

One experiment they are trying is an Apothecary Bed, featuring various medicinal plants used before the advent of synthetic drugs.

Apothecary garden

More medicinal herbs

Nearby is a sign leading the children into the "mud pie kitchen," which was quite well stocked. J was able to make pies in a variety of flavors. He offered me vanilla, chocolate chip, and mixed (vanilla and chocolate, I think). I accepted them all.

A sign!

L mixes ingredients

L and J work together

On our way out of the garden we came across a lion! Luckily, L is good with animals and was able to tame him enough that she could ride him. Unfortunately, he was too tame and didn't go anywhere! Maybe next time...

L Lion-rider

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