Thursday 1 September 2016

Barnard Castle Sensory Garden

When we were driving back from Northumberland a couple of weeks ago I couldn't resist the temptation to make a slight diversion to the market town of Barnard Castle. In the middle of the town is a ruined castle from which the town takes its name. What I didn't expect when we walked was the added bonus of a sensory garden.
The set up of sensory gardens are pretty much the same with easy assess paths and a range of tactile objects and highly scented plants. As soon as I walked in I could smell the curry plant. I looked around and then saw the yellow flowers contrasting against the light grey of the plant.
Just around from here is one of the semi-circular beds. At the top more fragrance can be found with the lavender wafting gently in the breeze.
The bees were loving the marjoram flowers. This has been a popular herb since the castle was originally built. After we left the garden I noticed it growing wild around the castle grounds. In the 14th century herbalists used it was a treatment for sore throats and to aid digestion.
The raised beds allow visitors to rest against them but there are also some other seating areas. One of the nicest is the carved three fishes seat. It was made by Keith Alexander from local stone – other works of his can be found around the town and throughout the North East. The image of the three leaping fishes is inspired by the fact that this part of the castle used to be fish ponds.

Along with us the butterflies were enjoying the garden and in particular the buddleia. The castle has seen many changes over the centuries but the garden shows how it can continue to evolve keep making history.

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