Marks Hall: bright barks and ancient trees

Araucaria in Gondwanaland, Marks Hall, Essex
Gondwanaland, a piece of ancestral Oceania in Essex

February 2019 — A sharp breeze sweeps across the hill, ruffling the silver-green eucalyptus grove in the distance. It forcefully combs the grasses and buffers the young monkey-puzzle trees that are dotted around the meadow. The air is crisp and the sky is clear. Apart from the hissing of the wind in the branches, there is barely a sound. Gondwanaland, on the western fringe of the Marks Hall estate, feels a bit otherworldly.

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Anglesey Abbey: kingdom of stems and scents

The main path at Anglesey Abbey, lined with Cornus, grasses, Prunus serrula, Sarcococca and Rubus
The main path, lined with cornus, prunus serrula, hamamelis, sarcococca and other winter favourites

February 2019 — Search for ‘Betula jacquemontii’ on the internet and the chances are the first page of results will include several pictures of the white birch grove at Anglesey Abbey. It’s a testament to the garden design team that, despite the internet’s ability to warp our perception and unrealistically heighten our expectations, this should still be a striking sight when you eventually see it in real life. Continue reading “Anglesey Abbey: kingdom of stems and scents”