Thursday, 11 July 2013
Day tripping: Hanbury Hall pt.1
We escaped out of the house on Monday - away from the loud bangs and fumes of the woodworm spray, into the green, sunny surroundings of our local National Trust property. Despite it being less than half an hour away from our house, we haven't visited Hanbury Hall much. I think we've previously always mistimed our visits which hasn't made us keen to visit again - we've arrived on grey days when the gardens are looking gloomy. Not the case this week! Plenty of sunshine, gardens full of flowers and all things edible, and so much space! I haven't really been to NT places during the week, just me and the little un, but I definitely need to do it more - at times we had much of the gardens to ourselves, bar the odd retired couple with their dog.
Hanbury has a huge walled garden full of amazing fruit and veg. Their polytunnels produce over 22,000 plants that they grow there, and in neighbouring NT gardens. Woah! That's a lot of green-fingered busy-ness. I had immense gardening envy - every type of vegetable you can imagine seems to be grown there, including the most beautiful variety of pea I've ever seen (Ezethas Krombek Blauwschok - violet and pink flowers that are similar to a sweet pea bloom, plus dark purple pea pods with a cobalt sheen to them. Just gorgeous. They're definitely going on my 'must-plant' list for next year). The bantams wandering around their cage were giving me great chicken-owning envy, and they also have their own beehives. Pretty self sufficient really!
The range of brassicas growing was amazing - from cabbages, to sea kale, and everything in between. I also don't think I've ever seen artichokes growing before - no wonder they're so expensive! So much plant for such little vegetable!
The bean strings reminded me of ones I'd seen here - the wooden frame and hanging lines of string arrangement looks perfect if you're going to be growing them in quantity. I think I'd be attempting it on a much smaller scale though as there are only 2 bean eaters in our house, and one of those is a toddler!
There was a pretty impressive herb patch full of all the regulars plus borage, lovage and a few others. A large section of the garden was dedicated to potatoes - I'm a potato growing novice, having always meant to get some in the soil and then never getting round to it. I never knew the flowers of the potato plant could be so many different colours! I obviously still have a huge amount to learn about growing-your-own!
It turned out I was rather snap happy (no change there...) so I'll be back next week to share some photos of the house and the rest of the gardens...