Thursday, 12 December 2013

Winter coats

You would think that a garden in winter would be bland and uninteresting.  Far from it!  Instead she takes off her summer dress and shows her true shape to the world.  Now that all the leaves have dropped we can see the evergreen beauties standing tall.

The Dell changes beyond recognition in the winter. The Gunnera has caught the first frosts and withered into the ground...a heap of alien like pods!  With the enormous Gunnera out of the way the stream has seen the light of day and the cascading water sparkles in the winter sunshine.  The removal of the Gunnera also exposes the sides of the Dell and so you can see the true form of this little valley.  It looks so much steeper than you expect.

The evergreens show off a blast of deep rich colour against this wintery backdrop. The Giant Sequoia dominates the middle of the Dell.  The second tallest Giant Sequoia in England, she stands regally in the spot chosen by the Duke of Bedford.  For a lady who is 180 years old, she is looking good!

At the top of the Dell, the Nordmann Fir is a million miles away from the little Christmas trees that everyone has at this time of year.  Stretching 160 feet into the sky, we would need at least 10 sets of fairy lights on this one.  But seeing this enormous tree in a natural setting, gives you a sense of awe at the amazing living plant that is so much more than a Christmas bauble.

Also at the top of the Dell, amongst the Silver Fir trees is a group of Giant Sequoia which include the tallest tree in England but the slope of the land and the distance involved in viewing the tree make it look strangely smaller than its brother half way down the Dell.

The beauty of Repton's garden is that she shows her strengths at all times of the year.  The hardest question we get, on a regular basis,  is 'when is the best time to see the garden?'.  We have to say 'All the time'!

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