Saturday 3 September 2011

Yew may regret this...

On the way back from our trip to the Marches, we stopped off at Westbury-on-Severn, to visit a National Trust garden, Westbury Court.

This restored water garden in the Dutch style is the only remaining example in England from the early 1700s, as many estate gardens were later reworked by the aficionados of the landscape movement.

Sadly, now, it is under threat once more. Winter flooding leaves the ground water-logged, providing perfect conditions for a fungus, Phytophthora, that attacks the roots of the Yew hedges. In order to maintain the planting in the style of the time, the National Trust will have to come up with a radical solution to this problem. I was so tempted to write "radicle solution", there!

Despite the sunshine, there were very few odes about in this water garden, possibly due to the amount of fish in the ponds and canals. However, by a stream that borders the property, we came across several Common Darters, Sympetrum striolatum. The males were competing for territory and alighting on perches in the sun.

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