The cut flower garden at Wyndcliffe Court is certainly coming along well, with an abundance of bright blooms giving the entire section of the walled kitchen garden a wild flower meadow feeling! The bees are certainly happy too!
We have been busy in the garden the past week making preparations for the Summer opening. Wyndcliffe Court was originally built with a series of connecting water ways in a continuous loop. Over time this system has disintegrated. Work has started to reconnect and rejuvenate this ancient water system, whilst carefully preserving the wonderful array of pond and wildlife. The sun came out for a short time this afternoon, just long enough for a stroll around the garden and take some pictures of the progress!
The linking ponds start on the top terrace. A water system which flows from a natural spring enters the circular stone pool through a stone dolphins mouth. The water trickles into the pool, and flows through an underground network of pipes to feed the other ponds.
The second pond is in the western sunken garden, this deep stone oblong pond is sunk into the central lawn and provides a focal point for the formal garden surroundings.
From this ,the pipes lead southwards towards the Woodland Dell, where the main pond network extends. We have uncovered a series of pathways, pools and pond systems. We believe this lower system comprises of 8 interconnecting ponds, which feed into a large pond at the very bottom of the shrubbery at the end of the Yew Hedge Lawn. This final pond feeds the water back into the ground spring via an overspill. Work has been completed to restore the first pond in the woodland, as it was damaged and leaking. It was emptied, given a good clear out as well as having its cracks repaired ready to be filled again in Spring. This is the top pond in the wooded area, which funnels down to further lower ponds which have since been overgrown and lost. We hope to receiver them all, one by one!
Uncovering hidden pathways, pool and the extended pond network..
The gardens at Wyncliffe Court have proven to be not just a beautiful backdrop not just for artistic sculptures, but also for photography and filming assignments. Each area of the garden has a unique feel and atmosphere, from the cool stone walls of the summer house, and leafy foliage of the woodland dell to the rusting ornate metal gates connecting the gravelled pathways. In the past year of opening we have had great interest from local photographers looking for an exclusive, beautiful spot to shoot in.
A photoshoot which took place late last year, saw the gardens bustling with activity as creations from The Headmistress were showcased by three glamorous models. The Headmistress is a bespoke design label, specialising in glorious, hand crafted headwear, including bridal and occasion wear. From fascinators and felt to sequins and soft metallic leather - The Headmistress' designs are innovative new concepts that are taking the millinery industry by storm.
London based creative director Samantha Cousins (aka the headmistress!) has a keen eye for detail and a creative edge. She has stepped outside the box-hat and is bringing a creative edge to the world of headwear. Her last collection saw the implementation of a variety of everyday objects, including dominos, candy canes, toy soldiers and shuttlecocks to name a few. The quirky ideas and humorous embellishments are paired with intricate technical skill and flawless execution to create high-fashion headwear for an expanding market.
Wyndcliffe Court Gardens were selected to showcase the season's new pieces and the models, headpieces and locations flowed together seamlessly to create an abundance of fantastic images. Photography by Fernando, hair and make-up by Rosie & Mary, modelled by Kiara, Ellie & Claire. (There was a variety of images to choose from, but we have selected our favourites- that also happen to show off the features of the gardens!)
Sam's latest collection is now online, and is a kaleidoscope of colour and detail, using metallic leathers to create intricate geometric shapes evoking "the nostalgia of childhood memories, conjuring up playfulness of the young imagination." All her pieces are perfect for a day at Chepstow Races, and any special occasion. You can view her website here.