“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. ”
― Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals(1)
I love looking around other peoples gardens ~ so when the chance came to visit a whole village of I naturally took my camera along 🙂
The village of Eccleston borders the estate of Eaton, home to the Duke of Westminster. While many of the gardens where open to the public, sadly, this one wasn’t ~ but no matter there were some gems awaiting the crows that turned up in the sunshine, on what was a typical June lazy hazy Sunday.
I love quirky places, full of their owners personalities ~ both past and present owners that is… layers of personal history, visible in the green and growing gardens of the homes, haunt each place in their own particular ways, giving rise to what I coin as garden personalities… evident in subtle ways.
Nothing quite like an old wall with ivy left to climb it ~ this speaks of hands that dug the footings, back bent, cap on, jacket off. A break for a cup of tea from a flask, and a smoke of (pre filter) baccy. Did he have a young ‘un with him to help? Did he, on completion tell his young apprentice, “There, that’s done! ‘Twill last longer than you or I boy…” with a sniff, as they cleared away the tools and stood looking at their handy work.
Yes, I love others gardens – the casual way weeds and flowers marry to give a casual look – wisteria entwining over the doorway, shaded from the hot summer sun. Wise hands that planted it to keep the house cool – who needs air conditioning and it’s damaging emissions?
A little thought, goes along way.
See the yew to the right of this ^ picture?
This is what I found inside it! How fab for the children to play in here! 🙂
I love wooden five-bar gates! They remind me of my childhood on the farm, and still beg to be climbed, swung on and sat atop! The freshly mowed hay filled the air with quite wonderful scents. Can you see the thatched barn in the distance?
There was another one in the other field! A pair. How unusual…
So on to the village for more friendly people and their sunshine filled gardens 🙂
And the Church… did I mention the Church?
Grand isn’t it?
It replaced a much older Church of a very old age – of course the Victorians loved to ‘improve’ their surroundings, so down it came to be replaced with this shining example.
It’s situated on the flat, just before the landscape dips down towards the river Dee, and just a little further along a lane comes to an end, where once there was a ferry crossing. All pointing to the ancient-ness of this place ~ which is tangible in the air if you care to stop for a while and sense it…
So the Church is relatively modern, built on the grounds of a much older Church – so where are the graves?
All that’s at the front is that nice, impressive avenue of Lime trees, known to the common folk as Lyndon trees, they do have an Occult significance.
No graves at the back either… yet they are here… they can be sensed in the still air-y-ness of the Church.
Ah…… a clue!
They’re here, yet not here ~ there are only modern head stones around the East side (see in the distance to the right, under the trees…?)
The bank is evidence of many burials, and I suspect someone on the Parish council decided, back in the 1970’s to take up all the headstones for ease of mowing… I hate it when this happens – it destroys the history of the place and frankly, is disrespectful to the shades of those who have gone before. They live again when their names are spoken – here they have no voices singing their phrases, or telling their tales – no lips to utter heart brake at a babies death, no tears are shed over the sadness of the Mother and Father now played besides their lost children, no heart strings pulled … no headstones to be read, no memories to be awoken.
Grand as the Church might be, it feels barren. Alone. Empty.
Where the Four Apostles watch from one lonely window.
My other photo’s of the inside came out burry and undefined.
I deleted them as easily as the headstones and their memories have been deleted from the land.
So back to the warmth of the sun, the gardens and the happy people milling about enjoying them.
Back to the quirkiness…
The nooks and corners…
Back yards full of pots.
Snshine and shadows.
Thoughts of uses for outbuildings if we could… what could we do here?
Old sinks full of flowers delineate the boundaries.
Their sweet scents filling the air – so much nicer than the plastic pots and tubs – would you believe the plants grow better in them too?
Places to sit in the sun and enjoy the wildlife, watch the birds and children play ~ so many idea’s to take home with us!
…and look up …
…you never know WHAT you might see!
No… that’s not a bus along a road, nor a boat in a field, but the ‘Lady Diana’ sailing along the river Dee 🙂
Then there are the plants…
…hostas and ferns like I’ve not seen for years! (must get some!)
Lady’s Mantle just coming up to flower and what’s this? Could this be a remnant of the old Church but a stones throw away?
The rough hewn stone did not come from these buildings – that is for sure!
Nor here… from this delightful ‘Bee House’.
Best to keep an eye out for more I think; onwards with that in mind…
Picking up ideas…
(these are knitted oranges!)
Hints and tips…
and inspiration as we go.
Another door way ~ bared to us this day, but around the corner…
What delights will we find?
A place to dine el fresco, with wine, good friends and much cheer!
Boders for poison and food to grow side by side…
Chimney’s and potatoes – now we know, this is the quintessential English cottage garden!
Where flowers and food, in harmony grow 🙂
Where water, makes the harmony complete – if there is just one addition a garden should have, then it’s a wildlife pond – with Iris to clean the water, lilies’ to shade it, water weeds to oxygenate it and the wildlife will come ~ frogs to eat slugs; birds to drink; dragon and damsel flies to lay their eggs and delight the senses 🙂
of all the gardens I visited this day – this one was the best – the most beautiful – the most calm…
the most…. honoured!
If that makes sense?
Not a large garden by any chance, but so many little paths…
leading here and there…
and then back again! I loved it! 🙂
…and so did everyone else by the looks of it 🙂
So back to the car we went – a day well spent – but wait… what is this?
This one is open too? Oh wow – lets look – what will we find?
Not here but around the corner – ok – lets go – come on!
Quick! Follow those people incase we get lost we can cry, but we’re with them!
Stunned silence at the opulence – my how the other half live!
Good idea – for plants to grow through for support.
Gnarly old apple trees where once an orchard stood.
Over the hedge …
…inside the door..
…what do we have here…
…are these corbels evidence of the old Church?
which is just over the hedge?
Hmmm… perhaps so!
..but through that gate, today, we cannot go – thus this concludes the visit to Eccleston Village gardens this first time.
Already, I have ideas a plenty and not just for the garden…
I hope you enjoyed the visit too ~ shall we go again, next year?
Or to the Hall next time, when the estate gardens are open?
What do you think?
What will we find there… who knows!