Elvaston - In The
w/e 30 August 2009
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Previous visits to Elvaston have seen us look at
Harrington's Castle in 2003 and Around The Village in 2006. This time when
we returned to Elvaston Castle we divided our time between the
grounds of the Country Park and the walled garden.
In 2006 when we passed one of the locked gates to the walled
garden I commented that it was "in need of some serious
attention" but on this occasion, we found the garden gate
open and that indeed someone had given a lot of attention to
the majority of the garden. Lawns had been neatly trimmed and
borders were resplendent with vibrant colours.
The walls of the garden I would estimate to be about ten feet
high so this small plantation of sunflowers must measure at least
eight feet. To the right of the picture a ramp leads up to another
smaller walled area within one corner of the walled garden.
The raised area surrounds what best can be described as a sunken
garden and this is one area still in need of some attention.
Off shot to the left though two men were hard at work pruning
and tidying the area so it will soon be ideal to take advantage
of the seats provided to sit and enjoy the views.
And it would be foolish not to pause and enjoy views such as
this. With a huge variety of plants in all the colours of the
rainbow, the walled garden has been renamed the Old English Garden
and as well as the herbaceous borders, it also contains a herb
garden and several exotic trees.
Leaving the garden we entered the adjacent wooded area which
is bisected by one of the wide grassy avenues that lead up the
After crossing the avenue we reached this small brook and turned
to follow it upstream towards the lake. In the opposite direction
it eventually feeds into the River Derwent at Ambaston. As the
schools are still closed for the summer, there were a lot of
children running about between the trees and near the water with
many an anxious parent following on behind.
Around the lake are a number of tufa and granite rock follies
and grottoes and these too prove to be irresistible magnets for
youngsters who love to climb on and over them. Yes I had to look
it up too but tufa is described as "a terrestrial sedimentary
rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from
ambient temperature water bodies." So now you know!
On the lake we found a flotilla of waterfowl including the usual
suspects of Canada geese, swans and ducks. The gardens and the
lake at Elvaston were created between 1830 and 1851 for the 4th
Earl of Harrington by the Scottish landscape designer William
Barron. An interesting point in the history of Elvaston is that
the famous landscape gardener Capability Brown had earlier refused
a commission to develop the estate by the 3rd Earl because of
the flatness of the grounds.
Not all the birds were on the lake though as this fine example
of the art of topiary for which Elvaston is famous shows. In
2003 I wrote that the many attractions at Elvaston "beckon
the visitor to return a second - and third - time" but as
this marks the third visit, I'm thinking that there is still
more of the Country Park to be seen and future return visits
could well be on the cards.