Visit to Renishaw Gardens, April 2017

Nearly three weeks ago, the Welsh rose and I, plus other friends, visited the gardens at Renishaw Hall, a few miles south-east of Sheffield. Gwenfar was among them, and she’s already done her own writeup, but I thought I might add my own thoughts.

Renishaw Hall was built in the 17th century by one George Sitwell, with largely Italianate gardens designed by another around the turn of the 19th century; all of the above is still in the Sitwell family. Influences of the formal Italianate style (with its emphasis on perspectives, symmetries and vistas, and inclusion of water and statuary) are evident throughout:

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You can occasionally even see echoes of long-gone Regency buck Sitwell Sitwell, such as in the “SS” cast into this lead tank:

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As with any good Italianate style, it’s super-formal up to a point, and then informality burgeons behind it, barely kept in check:

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including a rather silly sense of humour: that cloister houses a dog cemetery; and I imagine that, when it’s Christmas and not Easter, the ribbon passes from one piece of topiary to the other.

More burgeoning; Acer pensylvanicum “Erythrocladum”, Pulsatilla, Azalea, and a Rheum (?):

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The warm varnished-pine bark of that Acer pensylvanicum “Erythrocladum” was especially fine.

Beyond the main gardens, there were informal bluebell slopes:

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Edged with dozens of different camellias:

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and spilling out into a woodland of many different magnolias, including:

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“Vulcan”

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“Tina Durio”

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M. x loebneri “Leonard Messel”

In some of the beds were wonderful tulips and other spring flowers, beginning with this Tulipa “Silver Parrot”:

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The scent from this Viburnum x burkwoodii was divine:

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and has made me realise I probably want one of these, rather than V. bodnantense “Dawn”!

The path had many inviting, interesting and picturesque twists and turns:

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Leading us slowly back to where we started from.

Renishaw Gardens are a great day out: all of the above notwithstanding; they were very kind when one of our party had accessibility problems and needed a mobility scooter; the food in their cafe is very tasty; and they are participating in the Gardener’s World 2-for-1 scheme. So you should get this month’s GW magazine, and then get yourself over to Renishaw Gardens!

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