|Monks Walk: The carved wooden sign at the entrance.|
Been on holiday, and scheduled posts to appear while I was away (including this one), but nothing happened! Plus all my portrait photos, which are saved as such, are appearing here as landscape… the same thing has been happening on Facebook for weeks. I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I am doing everything just as I always have. Anyway, since there seems to be no way of correcting them, you have some sideways pictures in today’s Saturday Snapshot. And if anyone can tell me what I am doing wrong, and how to put it right, I’d love to know. Meanwhile I can only apologise. I find it very annoying, and very confusing, and it must be worse for anyone reading this post. I am sorry!
|One of the flower-edged walkways, with part of an old wall
Anyway, here goes. I’ve been meaning to explore the Monks Walk Garden in Lichfield for ages, but I never seem to have time on the days I’m in the Oxfam bookshop. However, the other week I arranged to meet friends for lunch, so I went over a little earlier to give myself time to take a look, and to have a play with the exposure and aperture on my posh Nikon D3100 which I’m still getting used to.
|The little dovecote looks even better the right way up.|
|Backlit alliums. There were masses of these, all grouped
together, looking really stunning, but I wanted to try a close-up.
The garden is only small – a narrow strip hidden away alongside a car park, between the city’s library and the college, and it’s kind of hidden away, so I suspect it goes unnoticed by visitors and residents alike. But it’s absolutely beautiful, with masses of old-fashioned, cottage garden type plants. There’s a little path which runs down one side, across the bottom end, and back up the other side to the entrance and exit. And there’s a dovecote, and a bench with the back carved from two huge slabs of wood.
|I love this carved wooden back of a bench.|
I assume it’s called Monks Walk because this is where the old Friary stood (until Henry VIII got rid of so many of England’s religious institutions), and it’s only a stone’s throw from the modern ‘Friary Garden’, which I wrote about herethis time last year.
|Foxgloves, or Digitalis: Perhaps the old Friars who once lived
on this site grew these lovely flowers to treat heart conditions.
When you think about it the monks, or friars as I should really call them, would certainly have had some kind of garden where they could walk and reflect, and where they grew herbs and other plants with medicinal properties, and kept bees. Probably I’ve read too much Cadfael, but I like to think the Walk might be on part of an older plot, where a Medieval Franciscan (for this was a Franciscan house) toiled on his land in all weathers and spent hours brewing up his lotions and potions to help the sick and elderly.
|The garden has a really old-fashioned feel to it, and is
I doubt the image in my mind is accurate, but it might be – after all, no-one seems to know the age of Monks Walk. Apparently it is shown on a late 19th Century map, and in the following century it was part of the Friary School, which includes the old Bishop’s Lodging (the buildings now house the library). And there are legends of a ghostly lost monk haunting the garden and vanishing through the ruined arch by the college, on the other side of the car park. But be warned, you can’t move in Lichfield without tripping over a ghost: every building in every street seems to boast a spectral visitor, and it’s hard to sift fact from fiction!
|If you look at the photo very carefully (which is jolly
difficult when it is the wrong way), you can see where a gate or
door in the wall has been bricked up.
|Not sure what this plant is – some kind of broom I think – but
it looked truly amazing with the light behind it, making the
pods translucent, so you can see the seeds inside, and all
the tiny hairs on the surface.
Kate gives a link to Staffordshire Gardens & Park Trusts, where it says Monks Walk could have been part of a larger garden on property owned by Sir Richard Cooper. His estate was on land that originally formed part of the historic Friary, and it was given to the City of Lichfield in 1920 ‘for the permanent use and benefit of the citizens’. Plants grown there today were popular in the 17th and 18th Centuries, and are laid out in what was known as ‘mingle’ planting.
|A feather caught on a leaf looked so delicate, and I like
the contrast between it’s feathery edges and the solid leaves.
This is another upright shot!
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mummy.