A sign of things to come in walled garden?

  May 2017

 

 

 

 

 

This tree can be seen in the Nantwich Walled Garden in Byron Walk, Nantwich. It's an unusual sight here as it's surrounded by what is otherwise a "jungle". Could it be seen in the walled garden once it is restored?

I SPOTTED this tree just inside the small entrance in the east wall of the Nantwich Walled Garden (no trespassing was needed) and wondered if it could be a hint of how the Elizabethan garden will look when it is restored. 

   I hadn't seen it there previously - just the "jungle" of overgrown plants.

   It did strike me as a little odd that the tree appeared to be in a clear space in the "jungle" rather than it being part of that "jungle".

    Has it been planted by someone with the idea of giving a better aspect from the Byron Walk homes? Or did it just grow there?

   I asked Nantwich landscape gardener and plants expert Alderman Doug Butterill what it was and he told me it's an Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum.  

   

 

   According to my book of plant names that's an evergreen tree with hand-like leaves. There are a number of different varieties of Acer Palmatums

   But best of all, when I checked a book based on John Gerard's "Herball", I saw that the Nantwich-born herbalist lists the Acer (the Latin name) or Maple (the English name), as he wrote, as one of the plants that were growing in gardens in his days and that of the Townsend House walled garden.

   A website search confirmed that the walled garden plant was a Japanese Maple, some of which grow up to eight metres high with a spread of 10 metres.

   I'm not for one minute suggesting the Nantwich tree is a descendant of a tree that once grew in the Townsend House walled garden! But it makes it a good contender for the restored garden.      

 

An amazing co-incidence

I DON'T have a garden and so there was no reason why I should be watching  the BBC Television "Gardeners' World" programme. Apart from having written this article that day, perhaps. Or that there was nothing else to watch!

    Presenter Alan Power was talking about a tree that had had the most influence on gardeners in the past 50 years. He was choosing the Acer Palmatum group or Japanese Maples no less.

   Even if that isn't an omen, it has to be an amazing co-incidence which, I hope, augurs well for the plants to be seen in the walled garden in future.

   Visit the Gardeners' World website and read more about the acer.

  

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