Summer has arrived, so earlier in the week we took an afternoon stroll in a very old Walled Garden.
We talk about sustainability as if the idea has just been invented. But for centuries people have gardened sustainably. True, in a garden like this it was used to serve the needs of a large Country House and its staff, but it is still a lesson in cultivating over a wide spectrum.
Part of the Garden is created as a Leisure Garden for relaxing. Whilst another part is used for food cultivation.
The Leisure Garden is at its best in late Summer and Autumn. Right now the herbaceous plants are just starting to flourish whilst the Bedding and Dahlias have just been set out ready for a hopefully long summer.
Moving through to the Orchard and Vegetable gardens you pass through a Fernery, Vinery, Orangery and Palm House. It is here that the exotic fruits from warmer climes were grown. No doubt also offering a place to sit and relax in less clement weather.
Walk down a Lavender pathway into the vegetable garden and discover the traditional layout of vegetable beds. Vegetables are also grown alongside Herbs and other plants that were cultivated for ‘medicinal’ use. It is also home to some of the best dressed Scarecrows in Derbyshire.
The engine room, so to speak, from where these gardens were maintained by a team of gardeners, are the ‘potting sheds’… a definite glimpse into the past….
The Lifestyle of Stately Homes and their families was certainly a privileged life, often with feudal ways. Frowned upon by many in todays more liberated times. But not all was bad. The Estate employed a large number of staff both in the ‘Big House’ and across the estate. There were Farms for animals and crops. A Deer Park, Brew House, Slaughterhouse, Stables, Blacksmith, Fire Station and Church.
Just a brief glimpse, so much more to see, so maybe a visit would be in order
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
At Home gardening, or just relaxing this weekend, the message is the same…
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2022