Blithewold received its second snowfall of the year earlier this week, and unlike after the first, I knew I had to go on a short walk around to take it all in before it washed away with Friday’s rain. I threw on my coat, put on my boots, grabbed my camera and headed on my way. As I step into the garden, a branch of a perennial jolted upward, throwing some snow, and a startled squirrel quickly scampered off into the bamboo.
I passed by the cement pond, which had a thin layer of clear ice covering browned aquatic plants. Slices of orange could be seen 3 or 4 inches down, the famous gold fish that overwinter and seem to multiply each year. The sun has melted most of the snow off the tall trees, but smaller trees and shrubs in the shade still had plenty of icy coverage. The row of Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) has ample amounts of snow weighing down their branches. It reminds me of spending time up north in the winter, and seeing countless spruce and fir graced with soft powdery fluff.
As I enter the Enclosed Garden, snow still covers most plants, as the December sun cannot get high enough over the Bosquet’s towering trees provide adequate heat for any length of time. The rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.) are heavily weighed down, and their leaves have folded in, as they do under freezing temperatures. Over on the shrub walk, the sun’s reflection off the snow lights up the yellow foliage of the golden thread-leaf false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’). It’s so bright that I can’t look at it for more than a few seconds.
This is certainly not the last snow we’ll see here in Bristol. While the winter weather requires some extra fuss, it certainly creates some beautiful scenery. The different perspective of the Blithewold landscape is always an exciting experience