My last visit to Dunham Massey was in winter, when the snowdrops were at their height. This time I didn’t take a single picture of snowdrops: they had either gone to seed or were looking bedraggled. A few early camellias were in bloom, but there are far more still at the tight bud stage.
Hellebores look to be mid way through their long flowering season. This was one of several labelled Helleborus x hybridus ‘Queen of the Night’. It was not as dark as I might have expected from the name but each plant had formed an attractive, floriferous clump.
Daffodils massed along paths by the entrance to the garden – a neat, short growing variety. If I was an expert on narcissus, I’d be able to name them, but sadly I’m not.
A couple of other varieties caught my eye: an elegant yellow with bold orange cups and one of the types with long snouts and go-faster petals (I did say I wasn’t an expert).
It was good to see children in the garden, enjoying the chance for a spring walk without the risk of anything more than a shower. Dunham Massey were running a Welly Challenge to help give them an extra interest and had hidden pairs of wellington boots in trees, on tree stumps and in shady corners.
Bare branches with emerging buds and blooms have the essence of spring bursting through them. This year I was too late for the witch hazel, so I was happy to spot this flowering shrub with its pink buds and pale yellow-green flowers. My iPhone captured it in a rather impressionistic way, but you’ll get the gist.
I’m sure this fallow deer would have loved the chance to nibble on some of these plants: instead it had to be content with grass in the park grounds outside the garden gates. It was a joy to see deer grazing so calmly, keeping an eye on the visitors but not unduly concerned.
For those who’d like to see more pictures of this garden, I’m linking to last year’s post on Dunham Massey. You might notice that the same camellia was in bloom. I’m not sure what to make of that as I don’t associate camellias with having a particularly long flowering season.