The historic house and gardens at Milntown, Lezayre, may have been closed because of Covid-19 but, behind the scenes, there has been plenty of activity. Adam Quayle, garden and facilities manager, tells us the changes we'll see:
The mill pond, a central feature of the historic gardens, has undergone a much-needed facelift. The concept is to create meandering pathways that are brimming with interesting leaf forms, textures, colours and varying canopy heights. The planting will hang over the waters edge, providing reflections throughout the water.
Ground levels around the mill pond will vary, giving you different perspectives of the water, with the pond itself being planted with small groups of water lilies and water Hawthorn that will spread gradually over time.
The mill pond
The Milntown team uncovered some hidden treasures while clearing the area. Several species of Rhododendron, one more than 15 feet tall, were hidden in amongst the ponticum.
This project like so many others is about looking ahead and, to use an Ancient Greek proverb, 'we are planting trees whose shade we shall never sit under'.
We have been busy working on a new addition to the woodland area, creating two bog-style gardens.
The two pools are fed by the existing leat that is taken from the Auldyn River.
Prior to this creation, this area was gloomy, with little interest. However, it is now brimming with foliage. The planting that has taken place around the edges of the two pools of water complements the silver stems of the mature Beech trees beyond this area.
The bog gardens
Over the coming years, the bog gardens will eventually lead to a stumpery with the addition of low level 'waterfalls' within the adjacent leat providing the area with the subtle sound of running water.
This area is now full of the glorious sound of the birdsong and calling ducks, with the hope that it will soon be teeming with wildlife.
Another development at the estate is a new, purpose-built, garden room. This will be used as the entrance to the garden, a shop and information area.
The larch-clad building sits within a new sandstone path that starts at the front of the house and travels through the entire walled garden. A new entrance has been made in the existing wall and the addition of new metal intricate gates will guide you into the walled garden.
The Manx Lottery Trust awarded us a grant that has helped towards this new and exciting development.
Now we are re-open and welcoming visitors, we hope you will come to see us again soon.
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