|Waterlilies on the lake at Burnby Hall|
|I've never seen such a floriferous Romneya coulteri as this patch in the Victorian Garden at Burnby Hall - quite magnificent.|
|It was a great surprise to see Incarvillea olgae in the Victorian Garden - it's a very unusual plant.|
The next port of call was Mires Beck Nursery, North Cave, which grows both ornamental perennials and a very wide assortment of native wildflowers sourced from Yorkshire stock. We've had many thousands of their plugs to put in at the arboretum, but I'd never visited the nursery, and I needed to pick up some cowslips, so it was a good opportunity to look in. Mires Beck is far more than just a nursery, being a registered charity offering work and training for people with learning difficulties and other disabilities, and in addition to the usual appurtenances of a nursery there are several nicely kept garden areas and a modern building with a big hall. It's definitely a cause worthy of support and we will continue to buy our wildflowers from them.
|A planter at Mires Beck Nursery with an attractive combination of native and 'garden' plants - Euphorbia myrsinites being most conspicuous.|
|Burton Agnes Hall from the east. The globe sculpture in the pool spins round, slowly and elegantly .|
The site is intimate - no vast park here, with the walled garden close by the house, outbuildings and church not far away, and a beautiful Jacobean gatehouse at the main entrance. Adjacent to the house e are lawns and clipped topiary, with a formal pool on the east side, but the walled garden is the centrepiece. Divided into various sections, it is full of interest and diversity, and very charming, but one feels it's past its best and needs refreshing. A thorough overhaul of the large shrubs would be a good start. But the potager is actively maintained, with good vegetables coming on amongst lots of annuals.
|A fringe of hydrangeas around the skirt of the house complement the mellow brickwork.|
|The house through a fringe of hollyhocks in the walled garden.|
|There is no ornamental plant with foliage of this colour and magnificence - we need to bring red cabbages into foliage schemes.|
|It was good to see a fine patch of the old Sahin selection of Amaranthus cruentus, 'Hot Biscuits'|
|and I was delighted to see handsome specimens of Dipsacus laciniatus, having a liking for teasels...|
|The penultimate stop of the day was the chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head, still with abundant kittiwakes on their nests, and gannets flying past in files.|
|A huddle of harebells on the very edge of the cliff.|
|And finally - the Rudston monolith, the tallest (7.6 m) Neolithic standing stone in Britain, also reputed to have a dinosaur footprint visible, but this takes a bit of imagining.|