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A Walk In The Essex Countryside (at Marks Hall) On a Beautiful February Day

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As we only really seem to have had shopping type trips out recently(well, since we moved house in December), we decided to have a run out to a gardens today.We had a look online to see which ones in Essex were open and found Marks Hall near Coggeshall. We’ve never visited this one and, as it’s a few miles nearer to our new house than our previous one,it isn’t too far away.
They are open for ‘Snowdrop Sundays’ in February but, there is so much more to see even in the winter.
So, Julie and I wrapped up warm and drove there.It’s easy to find, just a few miles off the A12 and only took us around 40 minutes from home.
There were sdome really special planting combinations and some great surprises.lots of grasses were used to great effect along with Birches, Dogwoods, Eucalyptus etc..And, the incredible effect gained by the mass planting of scented shrubs really make it worth visiting at this time of year.Here are some pictures(sorry there are so many but it’s really difficult to edit it down…I left lots out as it is, but there was so much to see)

We thought that this tree could be the ‘Faraway tree’ from Enid Blyton’s book which our son absolutely loved 20 odd years ago.

I think Julie was very pleased with her flowery wellies that she got for Christmas so, she wears them at every opportunity…and today was certainly one of those!!

The Wollemi Pine which was believed , for many years, to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1994 in Australia.
These have been planted at Marks Hall since 2007.It is surprising to see these along with other pines, planted in such close proximaty to Eucalyptus and grasses(mainly Pampas) But, the effect is stunning, particularly with todays February sun shining so brightly on them. A triumph, I’d say!!

There was Mistletoe growing in the bows of many of the trees, including this comparatively small (Flowering Cherry/Prunus, I think)

This Oak is believed to be 800 years old.

All this and a bonus of a lovely tea room/cafe.They even had some gluten free cakes that I could choose from.It was, also, very reasonably priced in comparison with many gardens we’ve visited.
Well worth a visit , if you are near enough!

Entrance is only £5 per person and if, like us, you have a Gardener’s World 2 for 1 card, then it’s only £5 for two…excellent. That Gardener’s World card has saved us quite a bit again this year(2014/15).I think we’ve used it at 5 or 6 gardens.

Happy gardening
Paul

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Comments

 

You're right Paul..loads of interest. And what a lovely set of photos. My favourite is 14...with reflections of the water, but the winter birches and Cornus in number 8 are stunning as well. I was going to go to an open garden today as well. But it didn't work out in the end. However, I had a lovely day in my own garden, and the first crocus opened in one of my pots, which was quite a thrill!

8 Feb, 2015

 

I have a few crocus in a pot with a Hyacinth and couple Tete a Tete Daffs, i think.But, it'll be ages before they flower by looks of it.But, at least they will give me a little reminder of my old garden.I brought the pot with me.
Yes, the red stems of Cornus and Silver birch bark looked amazing together, even from the orpther side of the lake.

8 Feb, 2015

 

Oooops, just realised some of the photos are missing....don't know what happened there!!!

8 Feb, 2015

 

What a lovely place Paul and a tearoom too......perfect.

8 Feb, 2015

 

That's a grand garden Paul, and what an ispirred planting it is to have the red dogwood next to the silver birch.
When I have my next life as someone with money and space that's what i will do!

8 Feb, 2015

 

Yes, a nice tearoom, Linda.
And, Steragram.....in my next life, I will come and visit your expensive, spacious garden!!! As long as you have a tea room with gluten free cakes!!,

8 Feb, 2015

 

What a super place Paul. I wish I lived near. Thanks for sharing your day and your wonderful pics :)

8 Feb, 2015

 

Lovely set of pictures. Thank you for sharing.

8 Feb, 2015

 

Thanks Waddy and Klahanie.
We were very lucky with the weather........everywhere is better in the sunshine.

8 Feb, 2015

bjs
Bjs
 

Lovely blog, really enjoyed your photos looks a great place to visit

8 Feb, 2015

 

Great photos. It looks an interesting place. And you had a sunny day to go there :o) I'm glad you enjoyed ...

8 Feb, 2015

 

stunning place Paul..loved all the pics. great to see an old place doing new things. love the modern circular wall and the old red bricks. and those new pines look good were the spiky?

8 Feb, 2015

 

Thanks Brian, Hywel and Sandra.
A lovely place indeed. With some very good planting ideas.
The Wollemi pine wasn't spiky actually Sandra...the foliage/needles were more sort of like a larger and softer version of the Nordmaan type firs we have at christmas these days.
That wall you refer to is actually in the walled garden and to be honest , it's not really my cup of tea..not so close to the old wall but, it's all a matter of choice and taste, isn't it?It wouldn't do for us all to like the same things.i thought it suited the planting of grasses though.They certainly aren't afraid of trying different styles, it seems!
The old wall was full of holes, which, I assume is where Bees are boring in to it!!

8 Feb, 2015

 

A lovely day out for you and Julie,Paul..and well wrapped up against the elements..very wise !I love all Grasses in the winter,they stand out so well,don't they? I don't know your area at all,so it's nice to see these wonderful gardens..We did the same yesterday in one of our local parks..but soon headed for the tearoom :o)

9 Feb, 2015

 

Will all our grasses in pots grow as big as those Paul ?

9 Feb, 2015

 

Great blog and looks a very inspiring place to visit. Those grasses are stunning, makes me wish I had a bit more space. I like the flowery boots too :)

9 Feb, 2015

 

Thanks Bloomer,Diane and Gee......yes, I love grasses and the deciduous ones look great in winter, particualrly when frosted!!
I don't think grasses in pots will grow as big as those in the garden Diane.i've only ever grown the smaller varieties of grasses in pots.
When I finally get round to planting my new back garden, I intend having some of the larger, deciduous grasses as well as Bamboo, pampas and just a few complimentary flowering perennials.

9 Feb, 2015

 

I have split a Miscanthus Zebrina a few times,and a couple of years ago,I put a smallish clump in the largest pot I had..It's done really well,and almost as tall as the others now,but it hasn't spread too much yet,still plenty of room in the pot..I don't think it seems to mind being restricted..

10 Feb, 2015

 

I expect to see dear Franl155 popping out of that woven stick hut any second now!

10 Feb, 2015

 

Winter lighting seems perfect for photos like these and the bare trees look so beautiful against the sky.

Glad you found the tea room, there has GOT to be a tea room to make the outing complete!

It all looks very lovely.

10 Feb, 2015

 

You're right Loosetrife, I hope she sees it. She'll be off down that bank gathering sticks...

10 Feb, 2015

 

Ha ha Loosestrife(or out from the Faraway tree!!)
Yes, no cafe/tearoom.....no visit I'm afraid,Wildrose..ha ha.i agree....the Birch were stunning!
That's quite a big gras for a pot Bloomer, but, obviously doesn't mind it!!

10 Feb, 2015

 

Looks lovely even at this time of the year, I like the red showing up against the lake especially the view looking through the window. Lovely day out Paul, thankyou for sharing.....

11 Feb, 2015

 

Thanks LincsL.

11 Feb, 2015

 

Brilliant blog Paul love it, Julie at heart is a flower power girl she looks great, lovely to see you looking better what an improvement from the scare crow 😀

12 Feb, 2015

 

Ha ha Dawn...u don't forget, do u.Was that the picture from Eden Project?? I think it was...That was 2008 or 2009..

12 Feb, 2015

 

Looks lovely, feel like I've been on a nice walk from the comfort of my chair😁
I have a great fascination for trees, just love the endless ever changing colours and textures they create. I'm definitely a tree hugger😉
There's nothing nicer than getting away from it all in nature I believe.
Thanks for sharing!

14 Feb, 2015

 

Thank you, Zenor.I love trees, also, but, particualrly when bare in the winter.I don't know why but I do.the Birches in particular look stunning in the dull winter light.

14 Feb, 2015

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