Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 - Grounds at Compton Verney

Part one of my two part yearly review, is but a quick whizz through the months of January to June in the grounds at Compton Verney. Snapped while out and about in the grounds, some are composed, yet most were grabbed on the mobile. They open up such a small window on a world I love to be in, a world full of colour, texture and substance. Needless to say it's been a very busy and challenging year, but, the last thing you need right now is another blow-by-blow account, so I'll stick with my plan of photographs and descriptions. Enjoy!

Starting the year off with a splash of colour are our Winter Aconites. 2013 will see some Sunday opening days in February for members so do check out the Compton Verney website for details. 

January saw some long overdue coppicing work along the wave-wall. Needed as part of the bank maintenance, this work also opened the view towards the stunning 5 arch Capability Brown bridge.

One of a dozen bird boxes erected back in January - all were occupied by the summer. Older bird boxes were removed, along with trunk strangling wire ties.

A cluster of old Mahonia shrubs were discovered in undergrowth beneath the London Plane, they are now being nurtured once again.

Well, the Wellingtonia Avenue doesn't clean itself! Adam doing a fine job raking the lawn.

After enjoying their time in the sun, the artworks from the grounds at Compton Verney hopped onto a low loader and tootled of down the motorway - I bet that looked interesting!

A selection of wildlife prints in the snow at Compton Verney - even the boot could be considered wildlife!

Well there couldn't be a review without at least one shot of our hallmark Cedar... A Brown special!

After a winter feeding session by the local deer, a few springtime repairs were in order.

Plum Blossom in the Ice House Coppice.

Scilla slowly spreading through the grass beneath the Lime trees.

Typical scene throughout the year - rainy days... (Still worth the walk though!)

The play area was so popular, but many visitors wanted to 'go-native' and build dens. Despite some amazing constructions, this unfortunately encouraged people into unmanaged areas of woodland - hence the rapid erection of fencing. Watch this space though, as we're looking to encourage more natural play as we move through 2013 :)

A long season of spring flowers were enjoyed as always, we planted more bulbs in the coppice however and spring 2013 is eagerly anticipated!

Spotted amongst the grass blades, beneath the front lawn Cedar were a huge batch of Cedar seedlings. Of course this was to hard too ignore, and here we're lifting a few to try and grow on.

A number of new trees were 'dropped' into the ground to keep the continuity going, many chosen for their wildlife enhancing qualities.  

The Lucombe Oak on the west lawn losing its foliage following winter frosts. Considered evergreen, this tree seems to hold its leaves through to the spring before letting go.

Anemone blanda, amongst other flowers basking in the early season sunshine.

A 'little' re-working of the ground surface gave opportunity for levelling and more planting, naturally...

Pinks and Whites - all introduced during the last ten years of grounds and garden restoration at Compton Verney.

Many shapes appear in the world of plants, but some just grab your attention - if you know where to look ;-)

Another misty morning in the grounds at Compton Verney.

And when the mist clears.... Amazing!

New (English) Bluebells are establishing amongst old ones, planted with the help of Warwickshire College students.

Some ferns establishing for the first time in the Ice House Coppice.

Yellow flowers at Compton Verney.

The wilder locations at Compton Verney hide simple but beautifully formed treats - always worth seeking them out.

The Plane Tree by the 3 arch bridge enjoyed focused attention - being newly adopted in 2012. You can read my most recent Plane Tree update via this link.
Repairs to lawn areas seem to be par for the course, this area having previously supported Jem Finer's Spiegelei in 2011.

Casting a watchful eye over the cattle..

Geranium macrorrhizum - another new introduction to the Ice House Coppice.

Last image up for now, is the newly laid path to the Chapel. Earlier path material existed, which had been topped over with soil that drained poorly. This new path has facilitated chapel restoration works and some early fund raising events. The restoration continues, and more information can be found via this link.

Well, that's it for the first half of the review. It has been a rapid fly through a very full year I can tell you, and 2013 looks to be even busier! I hope to have the second half up within the week. If you want to find us on Twitter and keep up with progress during 2013, look towards @ComptonVerney We'll accompany tweets with #CVGrounds so you'll be able to locate us easily. For now, Goodbye and Happy New Year! 

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