Tuesday, 3 June 2014

BOLTON PERCY - SECRET SACRED GARDEN

 
There is a small village quite near to us, close to major roads and large conurbations, yet oddly remote and hard to reach, down narrow winding lanes. It's name, Bolton Percy, for some reason makes Mr N laugh. Something to do with tools, I think. Tittering aside (which could be the name of another sleepy English hamlet) Bolton Percy is worth finding for All Saints Church ...


 
...and the neighbouring 15th century gatehouse, now an idyllic holiday let ("for the hard of hearing," said Mr N. The bells chime on the hour, every hour.)
 
 
The church is in the Perpendicular Gothic style and was consecrated in 1424, but inside the prevailing atmosphere is solidly Jacobean, simple and puritanical, with stark, unsentimental stones commemorating the children of the local gentry. 
 
 
 
 
 
But Bolton Percy's secret treasure is its churchyard garden.
 
 
Through the lychgate and across the lane is the unique creation of horticulturalist Roger Brook. Mr Brook, a down-to-earth sort of gardener (excuse the pun) was initially asked only to rid the graveyard of weeds, but he was inspired to plant shrubs and perennials of a hardy, undemanding kind thus providing a peaceful place for all to enjoy, throughout the seasons.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It might all be a little too natural and informal for some, but I think it would be perfectly fine to lie here for eternity pushing up daisies, roses, alchemilla, Solomon's seal, nigella, forget-me-nots...
 
Roger Brook writes a very good gardening blog here and blogger Barbara has also written about Bolton Percy here.


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14 comments:

  1. I love to look around ancient graveyards. Some of the inscriptions are weighty and intriguing, 'whom death made heir and no heir'.

    Jean x

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    1. I liked that one too but a bit slow to work out the meaning then along came Mr N, "Presumably young Thomas's older brother died making him heir - then he died making him 'no heir'."
      Think on, as we say up here!

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  2. The churchyard grounds are positively spilling over with flowers - now I understand where I am going wrong - I should become a no-dig gardener, and make life easier.

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    1. I recommended this to my friend who is coping with both her allotment and that of a friend -
      she says it is impossible because the whole area has been invaded by New Zealand flatworms. It seems they've wiped out the native burrowing earthworms and you need these for "no-dig" to succeed.

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  3. That's my kind of garden! Full of surprises, lots of colour and textures. I think it's a great to celebrate the lives of the people who are buried in the churchyard.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it seems so comforting to watch the seasons come and go in the graveyard garden, with a succession of plants blooming. Life going on.

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  4. Graves and gardens. Beautiful photos. I love your blog.

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    Replies
    1. A beautiful combination - and very inspiring.

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  5. My idea of heaven on earth.

    LLX

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  6. What a beautiful churchyard. So much nicer than just mown grass around gravestones.
    I can't believe quiet, unassuming Mr N could even think such things. I now see him in a completely different light....
    Julie x

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    Replies
    1. I'm afraid all the men I know are naughty schoolboys at heart!

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  7. What a lovely place to be laid to rest - all graveyards should have plants like this. It would make visiting a grave a more real experience

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    ReplyDelete