Northants – Castle Ashby’s green and pleasant gardens
A walled garden tea room. A butterfly garden. The home of a 7th Marquess.
You couldn’t get much more typically English than Castle Ashby Gardens.
Set on the Old Bedford Road on the outskirts of Northamptonshire, Castle Ashby is the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton.
It boasts 25 acres of extensive garden, containing a number of small nuggets of gardening gold.
These include the pretty Italian Gardens, the Butterfly Garden which plays host to plants specifically chosen to attract butterflies and bees, the Secret Garden – so neatly tucked away that Michelle and I nearly missed it on our visit today, and the leafy Arboretum – Latin for a collection of trees.
The relaxing and leafy grounds are perfect for a slow walk, with dogs encouraged and children happy to play in The Farmyard, where visitors can see everything from pigs and goats to rather more exotic meerkats.
And talking about animals the gardens also hold The Orangery. Designed by architect Matthew Digby in 1872 it houses a seven foot deep central pond that is home to around 150 goldfish.
Castle Ashby Gardens is an array of greens, reds, yellows and blues that can only be found in a place where rain is seen as much as sunlight, it is cream teas in a walled garden and butterflies fluttering in their own environment, and it is the home of an English lord and all the history that entails.
In short, Castle Ashby Gardens is this green and pleasant land. It is England.