For the last few weeks as the last of the late summer days become distinctly more autumnal we have been busy re-shaping the aspect and grounds of the North Frontage of the Hall.
In between bouts of clearing the falling leaves, cutting back herbaceous plants and mulching the product of the last year’s leaf fall, we have subtly changed some elements of what we know as the North Lawn and Moat Garden.
The area is dominated by a wonderfully mature double stemmed Silver Birch tree which was covered in an unruly mass of ‘Rhododendron Ponticum’. We have removed this and in doing so revealed not only the tree’s true beauty but also the stone arched inlet of the moat and mill pool.
To link the North Lawn to this lower area, we have built a set of steps using some of the old Cornice stones, salvaged when the West Front was remodelled in 1929. Standing on these steps and looking west up to the parkland, the view was originally blocked by overgrown Alder Coppice on the river bank. We have removed this in part, allowing a now perfect view of the parkland trees and turning the north lawn into an effective terrace.
The planting of the lower moat borders is also now in process, using the native ‘Daphne Mezereum’ (white mezereon) and ‘Lythrum Salicaria’ (purple loosestrife) and the more exotic ‘Nandina Domestica’, (sacred bamboo).