As part of the preparation for our 20 years celebrations, our Chinese Bronzes and Women’s Library collections will be closed from Monday 26 February, reopening with the rest of our new season on Thursday 21 March.

Spring Flowers at Compton Verney

With so much to do in spring, text heavy blog posts can sometimes be few and far between. What a great opportunity therefore to share some simple images that show off some of the spring flora at Compton Verney. You might have to wander the grounds to see them all, but here’s proof of their presence, at least for the month of April when these images were taken – treasures indeed!


Ornithogalum nutans, or Nodding star-of-Bethlehem, naturalised beneath the Lime trees. (c) Compton Verney / Gary Webb

Just before the Lime leaves sprout forth, and long after the yellow carpet of aconites have subsided, the delicate looking Ornithogalum shine; their ‘nodding stars’ hanging just above the lush undergrowth. Elsewhere, and pictured below is an old favourite, a Crown Imperial. Although newly introduced to this part of the grounds, they were used back in the 18thCentury to bring an exotic touch to garden planting, and could well have featured in a garden area such as this.


Crown Imperial (c) Compton Verney /Gary Webb 2014

Full of character, presence, and more than a few April Flowers are the trees of Compton Verney, which are placed around the grounds with much thought for design and scale. The London Plane pictured below for example is believed to date from the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown period of landscaping, it was a favourite of his for planting near water.


Gracefully arching down to kiss the water, this London Plane, one of three planted in the same period, marks the lake crossing point. (c) Compton Verney/Gary Webb 2014

Beneath the London Plane is a scrubby remnant of mahonia, with its tight golden yellow flower clusters. Descending lower, there are daffodils, then lower still, amongst the grassy blades there is celandine; three yellows together in the spring sunshine…


Tulipa sylvestris, naturalised beneath the shade of tall lime trees… (c) Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

Wild tulips are a delight, and although these specimens have been established a long time, they are no trouble at all, simply popping up to say hello for a few weeks each spring. I would liken them to the old Model-T Ford car, except these tulips come in any colour you like – as long as it’s yellow!


Wild Cherry (c) Compton Verney / Gary Webb

A young wild cherry tree adds a dash of white to the ice house coppice, and in time some dappled shade to once again favour the woodland wildflowers beneath. Below, on the sun baked banks near the chapel, is another recent planting called red hot poker, seen here with the blue flowering rosemary.


Kniphofia flowering before the chapel, with a touch of Rosemary for company. (c) Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

All in all an eclectic group of plants for this post, but I hope a window on the present grounds of Compton Verney, and a hint towards an ever more colourful future. I do hope you will have opportunity to visit and see some of those plants featured, and many more that will come and go throughout the season.