Thought it was about time we visited Batsford Arboretum. An arboretum is all about the trees; it is a little early for the trees to look at their best but when the trees are leafless, you can see the beautiful silhouette of the trees and there is the promise of lots to come with buds fattening up.
Even in the car park, there was a hint of what was to come with a selection of dogwoods with their different coloured stems and just inside the entrance there was a beautiful border full of snowdrops, hellebores and other Spring flowering plants.
The route around the Arboretum starts with a good path, with interesting diversions. The first diversion we took headed off through the woods to a small waterfall you can walk under. The track rejoined the main path which takes you past the mansion house. The house isn’t open to the public but makes a good focal point for the gardens. In the field at the back of the mansion we saw a herd of deer. We then headed towards the church; there is a small village which presumably housed the estate workers and a typically quaint church.
The remains of the old ice house are still present and it is slowly turning itself into a fernery.
Heading up the Arboretum, there is a japanese style house which contains a history of the site and the Japanese connection. There is a collection of japanese plants in this area including quite a few bamboos and acers.
There is a little stream running down the hill which should look delightful later in the year. There are a number of statues around the site including Daphne (the greek nymph associated with streams), Buddha, a dragon and deer.
Visiting so early in the year, the magnolias and other flowering trees will have to wait for another visit, but the hellebores were abundant together with other
spring flowers such as cyclamen, snowdrops and daffodils.
Batsford Arboretum is about 9 miles from Apple Tree House so makes only a short journey away. The Cotswold Falconry Centre is on the same site so you could visit that as well for something completely different.
Further information about Apple Tree House and details on availability can be found at www.appletreebroadway.co.uk