First published on my previous blog – May 2013
It might be running a few weeks late, but spring has finally arrived in this corner of the UK. My challenge in late April and early May has been to capture the blossom, the daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers in all their freshness, before early summer takes over with its lushness and greenery.
One obvious destination was Cholmondeley Castle Gardens in Cheshire. The Temple Garden there is beautiful at any time of year, but in spring it is particularly picturesque. Visitors can enjoy swathes of daffodils beside the lake and cherries, with blossom of the faintest pink, reflected in the still water.
This part of the gardens at Cholmondeley Castle, was neglected during the Second World War, when the castle was used as a hospital. It was the 6th Marquess and his wife, the current Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who transformed the Temple Garden into what we see today, by clearing the lake, removing vegetation and carefully replanting.
There are two temples, one with an ironwork dome dates from Victorian times, while the structure on a small island in the lake was built by the 1st Marquess, using stone columns salvaged from the old hall that stood nearby.
I visited the gardens twice over a period of two weeks, the second time with fellow garden photographer Julia Stanley. I enjoyed introducing Cholmondeley to her and we both took our time capturing the details of the garden, including the blossom of the flowering cherry, Prunus yedoensis, with its arching branches reflected in the lake – and individual blooms set against the blue spring sky.