Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Gardening Review – February 7th 2012 Compton Verney

What a fascinating week for gardeners! The weather forecast for last weekend was a confident one for south Warwickshire and much of the UK, therefore last Friday we dispensed a mean amount of salt along the main access routes onto the property, in preparation. The snow
thankfully arrived on time and we arrived back to Compton on Monday morning to a much easier clear up session than expected. Having said that, it did take two of us nearly all day to clean the drives to a decent standard...

Compton Verney Snow, February 2012.

There wasn't a great depth of snow to be honest, and the temperature, at around 3 degrees helped us with a gradual thaw, but on this occasion we did miss the physical support of our Massey, which was away being spruced up. On the whole we enjoyed the peace, with only the occasional vehicle crawling by. As if we need to remind people, but we do know that the snow will melt in the end, and our efforts, as with every other gardening snow clearer, are to ensure those who can't control their vehicles on the slippy stuff stay on the drive and don't veer onto the grass - which is trying to enjoy its winters rest beneath the snow!

"It'll all be gone tomorrow!" said one passer by - "Yes, we haven't heard that one before!" said the weary snow clearer as he lifted his snow shovel in temptation! 

Seriously, the atmosphere was quite special during the snow clearing, and we worked away with our heads down most all the time, the fog lifting a little by lunchtime only to descend even heavier during the afternoon. Whilst many of the staff were far away and tucked up in the warm mansion, the tweeting birds were always close by and constantly reminded each other of our intrusion to their space. A comical scene was the footprint evidence of their earlier morning wanderings around the grounds.

Compton Verney Snow Birds, February 2012.

 The footprints sprinkled around the ice house coppice were a real treat, and a good demonstration of the fauna that was busy when all on the surface seemed quite. What diversity we have in such a small area.

Compton Verney Badger Print, February 2012.

Compton Verney Bunny Belly Print, February 2012.
Yes, it looks like this winter bunny stopped for a while to rest his warm belly!

As we worked back towards the mansion, my reward as ever was the bridge and lake view, and what a stunning view it is indeed - whatever the weather. Photographed by so many visitors during the long open season, it is rarely snapped whilst we are closed in winter, when it takes on a whole new look. 

Compton Verney Sphinx Bridge, February 2012.

Naturally, if I'd have realised it was the anniversary of 'Capability' Brown's death, maybe I'd have taken a minute to salute his genius. But I hope the photo of the grounds, enjoying such tranquillity is enough to put his mind at rest that we are doing our best to keep this touch of Brownian heaven alive.

Compton Verney, Thawing Lake, February 2012.

It was a calming if heavy days work all told, and after all is said and done, it is amusing to see other folks wrapped up from head to foot, hunched over and hurrying to get from a warm car to the warm indoors; whilst we work hard to keep our temperature down with all shovelling! We did eventually clear all the way to the mansion, and the thaw continues today, two days on, but with another dose being predicted for this coming Thursday, maybe we'll start all over again before the weekend. It isn't so bad really - its quite a refreshing change!

If you'd like to keep up with our progress, you can Follow Me On Twitter!

Enjoy your gardening!


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