Saturday, 1 March 2014

Snowdrops (and moss) at Austwick Hall

Snowdrops (mostly single and double G. nivalis) in the wood at Austwick Hall
I took the opportunity today to visit my friends Michael Person and Eric Culley at Austwick Hall, on the other side of North Yorkshire. In addition to running the place as a fabulous boutique hotel, they work hard on the gardens, and in the wood above the house they have developed a snowdrops and sculpture trail that I had been keen to see. Last year the weather on the appointed day was uncertain, so I didn't go - a great benefit in fact, as today was beautiful and lovely to be outside in. The snowdrops looked lovely, and are just hanging on for the last day of the opening season tomorrow, but I also greatly enjoyed the verdure of the luxuriant moss covering the woodland floor, and wished I could identify the different species. The wood lies over a limestone pavement and is rich in native species as well as survivors from a Victorian wild garden made here by the Clapham family: sheets of wild daffodils are days away from opening..

Galanthus woronowii flourishing in damp conditions.

Verdant moss over the surface of a now hidden limestone pavement, evidently making the most of a mild wet winter.

There is an extensive patch of the European Petasites albus in the upper part of the wood, a remnant of Victorian planting. Vigorous but nicer than P. japonicus.

Austwick is 85 miles from here by the shortest route. This, however, was not a fast route, and very tedious round the edge of Leeds, so I returned through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales in late afternoon sunshine, which was utterly delightful.

Ingleborough, with a band of snow on the northern face. This is how I like to see snow: distantly, at the top of a high mountain.

A serendipitous finale: Scots Guardsman pulling an excursion train over Ribblehead Viaduct, shortly after I stopped to take a picture of this magnificent structure, built in the 1870s.

3 comments:

  1. I love the carpet of snowdrops and the moss looks like pictures from a fairytale. Kind regards Laleh

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  2. Lovely scen with all the snowdrops. Regards Marika

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  3. Spring is a wonderful time of the year. My favorit! I have to be patient, Its not here for about a month.

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