Every now and again it’s good to get out and discover the wider treasures of the National Trust. With over 300 such gems there are plenty of surprises to uncover and immerse ones self in our wonderfully rich heritage.
A visit to Dyrham Park – (A Spectacular 17th century mansion, garden and deer park.)
Author: Frank Huxtable ~ House volunteer.
The gardens and estate are some 270 acres with many walks to various parts including fallow deer spotting and an Iron Age fort. The formal gardens themselves are well laid out and easy walking with spacious lawns and well-tended herbaceous borders.
Close by the Church of St Peter’s is very old and probably pre-dates the original house by some years. It is not part of the Trust’s estate but is well worth a visit. There is a fine brass which is over 400 years old of Sir Morys and his wife. Behind the altar is a fine triptych on loan from the National Trust.
Thanks goodness for the shuttle bus which avoided the grind up “thrombosis hill” a 20 minute walk to and from the house. Nobody was late and we set off home after what was a great day. Even the weather treated us well.
The restaurant was of particular note. The food and service were first rate. Well done guys.
Our thanks go to the coach driver Louise from Morton’s coaches. She knows how to squeeze a coach into tight spaces as encountered during our negotiation of the gates to Dyrham Park. We literally had inches to spare.
On the 19th September 30 of our colleagues from Heelis – (Head office) based in Swindon joined hands with various departments here at The Vyne. Activities from garden renovation and maintenance to working with our house stewards team were undertaken. Some had the chance to get involved with the delicate conservation of our house collection. The cleaning of books and china is a time consuming job and as you can see below Heelis staff were ably guided by Dominique Shembry one of our conservationists.
Though the day wasn’t the best in terms of weather everyone piled in enthusiastically and enjoyed the challenges and the fun team work outside in various areas of the garden estate. I have know doubt our guests burnt off a good few calories working alongside our rangers and gardeners as this is always a busy time of year for us with hedges and borders needing attention and preparations needed for our autumn harvest which will be upon us soon enough.
Many thanks to all the team from Heelis for all your hard work. We hope you enjoyed your time with us.
The school holidays may be over but there is always something interesting to discover here within the beautiful gardens, expansive woodlands and the wetlands reserve full of migratory birds throughout the year.
Among the Morgaston woods meander various circular trails allowing you to discover the many species of fauna and flora which change over the seasons. You may spy Muntjac dear if you are very stealthy or Woodpeckers and Jays going about their foraging forays.
For those of you wanting a little adventure and to test your navigating and map skills, well, the woods hide treasure too within four geocaches. Your challenge is to use your skills to uncover there secret locations. Sounds fun? Well it is I can tell you having ventured out with my two godchildren earlier this year.
Want some family fun? Then a trip to see us at The Vyne is just the ticket. Our friendly visitor centre staff and volunteers are on hand to answer your questions and get you on your way.
Click to here to discover Geocaching for yourself.
During the months of August and September is the time when you’ll be rewarded with the best of the herbaceous border displays in this part of the gardens. The Yew hedges having recently been cut add a perfect backdrop frame to the summer planting.
This year we have the three central beds planted with annuals; Ricinus Carmencita ‘Bright Red’, Salvia ‘Victoria Mix’, Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’, Geranium ‘Maverick Pink’ and Ageratum ‘High Tide’.
Credit is due to the dedicated garden team of volunteers and staff for their hard work creating this years gorgeous display.
Throughout the season we carry out inspections of our trees across the entire estate for a host of reasons ranging from health of specimens to ensuring the safety of our visitors. Within the orchard casual inspections are made to see how our fruiting trees are performing generally and also to inspect the overall health of individual specimens.
Unfortunately this time round it has thrown up a couple of problems with our Victoria plum trees, namely Silver leaf disease. Silver leaf is a fungal disease caused by Chondrostereum purpureum. It generally infects through wounds, mainly caused by pruning. Leaf silvering occurs during summer and fruiting fungal bodies form from late summer.
Pruning out the infected wood and burning the cuttings is one possible approach to dealing with these infections. However it appears that a considerable proportion of our two plum trees are infected. One thing we don’t want is for the fungus spores to spread to other trees, such as for example apple and cherry. Even roses can be susceptible too.
At this stage we are still weighing up our options but it looks like we have little choice than to completely remove the two identified plum trees as a measure to contain the fungus and protect the health of the rest of our orchard.
You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that new plum saplings will be planted in the orchard in due course to ensure we have fruit for future harvests.
If you should happen to meander your way around the tranquil and picturesque lake between July and October, well, you may just catch a glimpse of blue-green streaking across your line of sight.
What you may have seen is one of our most acrobatic masters of the air as it darts about hunting it’s prey which ranges from tadpoles, small fish and other small flying insects. It is (Aeshna cyanea) the Hawker dragonfly. They take between one and three years to develop from nymph to dragonfly and emerge as fully formed adults in early July or August.
Although the life cycle of the nymph is measured in years the adults live perhaps just 2 or 3 months. The compound eyes of dragonflies give them 360 degree vision and their wings enable them to hover and fly backwards. Fossil records from around the world tell us that dragonflies existed as far back as the Permian-Triassic period some 250 million years ago. At this time they were considerably larger than today due in part to the higher oxygen content of the atmosphere at that stage of the earth’s history.
The dandelion is considered by some to be a reliable barometer. When the blooms have seeded and are in their feathery condition is when their weather prophet facilities come into their own. In fine weather the ball extends to the full however when rain approaches it shuts like an umbrella. In showery conditions it keeps shut all the time only opening when the danger from the wet is past.