It felt a couple of degrees warmer inside the mellow red brick walls of the kitchen garden belonging to Sugnall Hall. The garden can be found just off the road which runs between Eccleshall and Loggerheads in Staffordshire. We used to travel along this road quite often when we first moved to this part of the country back in the mid 1990s because we rented a house in a village nearby until we bought our house up here in the city.
For the last three years the present owners have been trying to reinstate the garden by following its original layout from when it was first established in 1738 by Lord Glenorchy the then owner of the estate
Apparently in 1737 local brick makers set up a brick making site in a field close to the old hall and made over 250,000 bricks to build the walls.
The walls are now home to many espaliered fruits trees of amazing variety and as you walk around you get a sense of what a hive of industry it must have been in its heyday producing food for the estate.
I was amazed at the huge variety of apple and pear trees around the garden some of them with lovely old names, long forgotten, but now growing here again. Everywhere inside you get a sense of a very special work in progress
Of course with Spring being tardy this year the garden was waiting for the warmer weather so it could burst into action, soon there will be blossom on the fruit trees
Followed by signs of the first fruits and the purple of the lavender edging all the central beds. We are going to return to see it then as it's going to look wonderful.
We had a cup of coffee in the little tea shop which uses produce from the garden and estate and browsed the lovely things the shop has on sale. You can call in there without going into the garden and there is an honesty box for donations of £2 per person which is money well spent. There is a car park at the business park across the road. After our visit we set off to a nearby nature reserve for another walk. I'll post about that later.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!