After days of heavy rain and strong winds we had forgotten what it’s like to feel the sun shine down and warm you up.
But the sun made a welcome appearance yesterday so a trip to our beautiful gardens was in order.
Our Head Gardener, Steve, told us to look out for the new auriculas in the flower garden.
Standing in the north-west corner is the country’s only surviving Auricula Theatre, built in 1830 – pretty impressive hey? The wooden alcove not only gives the plants protection from the elements, but allows a whole collection to be admired en masse and at eye level, where they create maximum impact. The plants need to be kept out of the rain, and watered very carefully and cotton blinds are rolled down to protect them from the intensity of the midday sun.
It’s no surprise that the only survivng auricula theatre is here at Calke: the Harpur Crewe family had a habit of hanging on to things when other great houses had moved on to the next style. But we’re glad they did because now we have a unique historical garden feature to boast about!
There is a floral display throughout the year, so, depending upon the season of your visit, you will see rows of violas or Polyanthus. After the auricula show, a collection of Pelargoniums is brought in. The auriculas grace the stage from mid April – May and as of last Friday there are now 120 auriculas in situ.