Packwood House.

Sunny Saturday morning: a little lazy wind, but good prospects. Good day to go to the allotments, but fancied something a little different. So … a trip to Packwood House. Making that National Trust membership pay.
We pulled in here before, but it didn’t open for half an hour so we jogged on to Baddesley Clinton. Relaxed stroll around the gardens then an introduction to the house from a volunteer with a Scots accent. Very informative, great background and history. In a way quintessentially English and definitely National Trust:. A farm leased after the Reformation by the Fetherston (sic.) family. Bought and improved, passed through the ever-expanding family. Heirless neglect. Bought by a rich industrialist for his fifteen year old son, Graham Baron Ash, who re-invented it (and massively added to it) as a “Tudor manor”. Replaced the Georgian windows with Tudor-contemporary glass, some from Belgium. The cow barn converted into a great hall and a “Tudor long gallery” built between it and the house proper in faithful-to-the–period style, with authentic furniture saved/rescued/salvaged” from other properties during the Depression. Queen Mary taking tea there.
      
There are yew trees (apparently in danger because of poor recent weather over the past two years) in the ornamental garden and an orchard being re-stocked but I was fascinated by the kitchen walled garden. It brought back memories for me of Little Wyrley Halls’ walled garden, though was nowhere near as large or as well planted as I can remember . The one at Little Wyrley hall has been turned over to grass – and, last thing I knew was a paddock for a pony.

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The plans for the development are well made and the glasshouse section shut off to visitors today looks well stocked. Loved the little features The Bug Barn, the well feathered “spud hawk” and the wooden block faced with mirrors bird-scarer and the little mound of clay pots stocked with pine cones.

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The mole repelling machine looked Heath-Robinson good. Depending I guess on the notion that moles do not like vibrations. No many vegetables planted yet, but that’s simple wisdom. We have lettuce seeds sprouting in our greenhouse, but nothing planted in the allotment ground yet.
Beef stew was served in a bowl, cappuccino later was delicious. A short walk down the avenue and in the Gorse Wood.

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