The Terraces & Lily Pond
A series of terraces at various elevations surround the Castle and offer stunning views of the Parkland and Estate. The best views can be seen from the top terrace, although most of this area is kept private for family use part of the terrace, to the top of the steps, is open to the public to enjoy these magnificant views and also allows access via a short flight of steps down to the Silver Garden and beyond.
Below this a long border stretches the length of the wall and is filled with an interesting mix of shrubs and herbaceous plants with spring bulbs showing the way early in the season. Following this border along the terrace wall leads you to a large steel arch (under renovation) which stands atop the Fuchsia beds. These beds are filled with the long flowering Fuchsia ‘Mrs Popple’, and they also flank the Camellia Walk which is home to many choice cultivars including C. ’Inspiration’, C. ‘Donation’ and C. ‘Magnoliiflora’. This vantage point also offers good views of the Chapel Mere.
Another short flight of stairs from the top terrace takes you down to the Silver Garden. This area was originally planted in a silver theme in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, and also contains the lead figure of a huntsman by Van Nost, and ironwork by Robert Bakewell. The south facing aspect, coupled with the sandstone walls and protective Yew hedging mean that this garden offers the possibilities of growing borderline hardy plants that would otherwise struggle in this part of the country. The garden was redesigned and planted in April 2014 to freshen up the planting and experiment with new species. Mounds of scented silver foliage are punctuated by the flowering spikes of Salvia aethiopis, Eryngium giganteum ‘Silver Ghost’ and a host of beautiful seasonal bulbs.
Dropping down further still from the Silver Garden you arrive at the Lily Pond which enjoys the protection of the surrounding terrace walls to make it a real sun trap. Over one of these terrace walls are two roses in the form of ‘Max Graf’ and ‘Alberic Barbier’ which provide excellent summer colour. The planting in the borders here is kept very simple with Penstemons in variety, red valerian, and the beautiful pink blooms of autumn flowering Nerine bowdenii. The Lily Pond itself is home to many ornamental fish and several varieties of water lily. Behind the Lily Pond on the Castle wall is a selection of interesting shrubs most notably two large evergreen Magnolia "grandiflora" in the form of ‘Exbury’ and ‘Goliath’, which in mid-summer are a marvel to behold.
Behind the low yew hedge are two small beds which were re-planted for the spring of 2017. Nepeta 'Walkers Low' edges the front of both beds, which are infilled behind with Rosemary's for scent and two varieties of Agapanthus for continual flowering through July and August. Alliums provide a similar form in late spring alongside the hanging blooms of the four heavily scented standard Wisterias, which give these beds such presence. In one corner stands an old Camellia 'Mary Christian' which flowers from January through to April, and is a highly recommended plant.