On the shortest day of the year we ventured to Anglesey Abbey close to Cambridge. This National Trust property has a house , a working flour mill and a large winter garden.
It did not feel very wintery today it was very mild and there were plenty of small insects in clouds.
The winter garden is full of colour with amazing stems in colours you wouldn’t believe. They have been pruned to make dramatic shapes and lots of impact as you follow the winding path.
The path takes you into a glade of silver birch with their striking white bark.
As you follow the path the scent of these Daphne follows you, the mahonias are bright yellow and also heavily scented.
There is lots of yew planted around the grounds creating small enclosed areas with statues and lawns. I loved this corner where the wind had arranged the leaves perfectly.
As we wandered along there are snowdrops pushing through , Anglesey Abbey is famous for the snowdrop displays and has snowdrop days in February.There are also hundreds of hellebores just opening up their flowers.
A walk through the woodland paths was full of butchers broom. Butchers broom is sometimes called knee holly because of its hight and the prickly leaves and it also has red berries. Bunches of this stiff evergreen were used to brush down butchers blocks. It can live well in dense shade beneath trees and is good at competing with tree roots for water and nutrients.It is a plant found in ancient woodlands, it forms clumps and can be older than the trees around it.
In this woodland walk we spied a strange tree , almost Ent like. It has split and grown back together in the main trunk. It looks like either the pair of Ent legs or the eye of a needle, very unusual !
A good walk on the shortest day , looking forward to longer days and more exploring.