I've been meaning to post some details of gardens I got the chance to visit over the summer. I love looking around gardens and orchards, especially seeing established fruit trees and edible perennial plants. I thought other people interested in forest gardening might find some notes and photos on the plants useful too.
I stopped off at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire on the way back from Northumberland. The house and gardens are owned by the National Trust. The gardens include a set of orchards enclosed by large hedges with many different varieties of fruit tree. It was raining whilst I was there in mid August, but the trees were laden with fruit.
The trees looked as though they were of a range of ages. The Bleinheim orange below had a beautiful old and gnarled trunk.
One of the nice surprises I got was to find an avenue of mulberry trees at the far edge of the garden.
As well as the fruit trees there is a herb garden filled with hundreds of mostly perennial plants and surrounded by hazel trees. It has a detailed plan showing all the plants within it.
To finish things off, around the outside of the garden were a row of walnut trees.
There was so much to see in the garden alone, nevermind the house, that I could have spent hours there. I visited at the weekend and they were also giving talks about the garden, which I missed unfortunately. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
By the way - don't forget it's apple day this coming Thursday. See here for more.