OCTOBER is the month to share your favourite gardens.

(This month share with us what is special about your favourite garden. Why do you like it? When is it at its best? And how do we get there. Of course you may wish to share your own garden in which case unless you open it to the public, keep the actual location private. )

My next showcase garden is in the north-east of England, in the fabulous county of Northumberland. If you have never been to this part of the UK then you are missing a trick. Combine the beaches and castles along the coast with the sublime countryside and history of Hadrian’s Wall and you will have a wonderful holiday. A place I didn’t manage to visit on my holiday in the north some years ago was Alnwick. Famous for its castle and gardens and as we were going to be driving right past the town on the way to Edinburgh on the A1, it seemed daft not to stop over. So we did. Unfortunately this was when the weather decided to change. From hot and humid days with bright sunshine to dull, grey and misty. And the castle was closed for filming.  Not knowing whether we would return to this part of the country again we took our chances and headed to the garden after spending a couple of hours avoiding the rain by perusing the books in the equally famous Barter Books – a second-hand book store and café in a former railway station. More of that on Travel Words eventually.

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On entering the garden you are automatically confronted by the water feature. Cascades lead up to a walled garden and every 15 minutes the fountains erupt. You can see from the background how misty it was, but fortunately for us the light rain stopped after half an hour so the camera could come out. Although it was September we headed for the rose garden, not expecting much, but we were pleasantly surprised.

A beautiful, slightly odd (fox and monkeys?) sculpture sits under a lovely metal arbour covered with climbing roses.

The roses were covered in rain drops, but most of them held their heads high.

And we came across the beautiful gate that I have used as the header image. Climbing roses complete with thorns and buds and lovely glass irises at the base. Don’t you want one like this? I know I do.

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Heading up the cascades, peeling off sideways every now and then to discover other fountains, raindrops and views, we finally reached the Ornamental walled garden.

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Again I wasn’t expecting to see much in the way of colour, but I was very mistaken. All the colours of the rainbow – and more – were present. Pinks, purples, reds, oranges, yellows, blues, whites and greens. The garden is laid out formally with a centre block where there is a pond crossed by a rill which leads to two other smaller ponds and fountains. The rest of the garden is laid out in beds, often bordered by Box, with pleached trees, obelisks, pergolas and sculptured slate pots adding height.

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The formal beds lead you to explore
Decisions!

Plenty of colour and plenty of benches too. Which was good because it took a long time to explore this part of the garden. Around every corner was a surprise and pops of colour beckoned.

Quirky little sculptures from fairy tales are hidden in the planting. But the fairy tale attic was closed.

And a final look at the Cascades

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If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it October: A Garden Portrait
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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47 thoughts on “garden photography: a water garden

    1. I wasn’t expecting much on such a dull day, but we managed to spend 4 hours here! The fountains were very difficult to photograph, maybe better when the sun is shining through them. Jo might know, she has probably been here. I loved that blue door, it leads through to a path which then leads down to the ‘Fairy Tale Attic’.

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    1. Not so many years ago gardens were very much over by October. Some asters and hydrangea maybe, never roses, but really it was the turn of the trees to provide colour. Now we have asters, rudbeckias, helenium, autumn crocuses, canna lilies and all sorts of wonderful late flowering beauties.

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  1. When we visited Alnwick in April we saw the castle but didn’t have time for the gardens, so this is a lovely substitute! We could peer through the main gate at the cascades and I remember the iris gate, but that’s all we saw. Next time!

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  2. You’ve proven that even a dull rainy day can be full of lovely discoveries. Clearly it was worth the stop! I would imagine that if you were there on a beautiful summer’s day, it would be packed with visitors so I think you did very well!!

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    1. I imagine it is packed in the summer so that was a bonus. It also stopped raining so I could use my camera and when you see the bookshop you will know a second reason for our visit 🙂

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  3. What wonderful gardens! Your photos made me desperate to visit. The ornate gate was marvellous and I loved the sculptures, especially the frog prince, although the monkeys and the fox were enchanting as well. . What plant was it that was covered in raindrops? The roses were magnificent too. Not enough superlatives for this one.

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    1. I had heard of this garden so glad to have to opportunity to visit it even though the weather wasn’t really suitable for a garden visit. But often this greyness suits flower photography as long as it isn’t actually raining. I think the leaf is Alchemilla mollis / “Lady’s Mantle.” The roses were a bonus – we saw so many in September.

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  4. Now you know this is right up my street, though it’s a few years now since I was there. You’ve done it proud, Jude. At some point I hope to catch up with your trip but the clans are gathering here and tonight we’re driving down to Doncaster Sheffield to pick Adam up. Just trying to stop the stomach churning before another long day begins. Sending hugs 🙂

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    1. I feel for you Jo. It won’t be easy, but I hope you have a day of celebration and good memories – I’ll catch up with you after Barca – hugs (( )) to you too, you probably need them more than me :/

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  5. Oh dear, now I have a very hard decision to make … Alnwick looks so amazing and beautiful through your camera! The English weather is fine. 🙂
    We are going up north in May and so far we have two days planned for the Farn Islands and Bamburg. I had already decided against a stop at Alnwick, because we are quite eager to spend half a day in Barter Books around corner. Now the girls have seen your lovely shots of the fairy door and course the say, it’s a must for us!! Jude made this photo especially for us to go there, so we are!
    Are you familiar with Barter Books, Jude?

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    1. I shall be writing a post about Barter Books soon Dina, we spent a couple of hours inside waiting for the rain to ease off before visiting the garden. The garden is about 1/2 mile from the bookshop. Easy to do both in one day. I am glad the girls love their fairy door 🙂

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      1. They love it! ❤
        We're looking forward to your report on Barter Books, Jude. Please give us a shout, we're packing for Norway and we miss so many posts being on the road. 😦

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