Sunday, March 6, 2011

Powis Castle, North Wales

The most striking and usual thing about the gardens at Powis Castle, was the hedges. I have heard them called the cloud hedges. These yew's have been pruned over the many years into nebulous, flowing shapes. There are no straight lines. The other interesting thing is that their insides are made to be seen. All the dead wood is pruned out and you are able to see their old, twisting trunks.

A view from the top terrace looking down to the large lawn below. Apparently, back in the day that entire lawn was a water garden. The magnolia buds are getting ready!

The castle was built on top of a hill and very steep terraces were cut into the slope. You therefore have the chance to look at each garden from above and below. Here I am looking up into the underbelly of the hedge.

A long view of a middle terrace.

The yews hug the side of the castle.

Winding paths and undulating hedges.

There was a really exciting feeling, a tension maybe, between all the very straight lines and all the crooked wandering lines.

I have no idea what this little plant is. It is like an Eranthis, but I don't think it is. Any ideas?

A totally giant tree peony. Paeonia lutea var. ludlowii

Early Rhododendrons! I really enjoyed the forested slope opposite the castle. The Rhododendron display must be amazing when it is all happening. There was an amazing collection of trees and shrubs. Pieris japonica was in full bloom as well.

Looking out under the canopy of a giant oak tree. There were very large oaks in the forest as well as a few Sequoia trees.

Grape arbors and fruit trees.

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