I have lived in Birmingham all my life. That’s 40 and a bit years. With the exception of a couple of years when I defected to the east side in my mid twenties (it was all I could afford – tiny, no heating, not the most salubrious of areas, but all mine, mine, mine), I’ve always been based on the north side of Brum, yet I had no idea that Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens existed until I googled ‘gardens near me’ a couple of weeks ago looking for something to do. This becomes even more incredulous given that I drive within a mile or so of the gardens every day on my way to work. Either I am driving part of my journey with blinkers on or the gardens could really benefit from some signage and advertising!
We decided we should make the most of one of the last days of summer by being outside so we trundled off down there today. We got there and parked up and then nearly turned round and went straight back home because the heavens opened just as we arrived, and I mean really opened!
This was the view through my sunroof! Not a single spot of blue sky! We decided to have a car picnic and see if it would pass, and it did (typical British summer eh?) I’m so glad it did because the gardens were just lovely. They’re not perfectly manicured or coiffured at all, but this somehow adds to their charm.
There are lots of straight lines in the formal gardens making various paths and walkways through the gardens.
Can you see the blue sky starting to win the battle with the grey clouds? Yay!
There’s no shortage of beautiful blooms to make you smile and perk up a slightly grey day. Don’t they look refreshing with the raindrops nestling on them?
There are ponds that are designed specifically for attracting wildlife …..
…. and ponds which are more for aesthetic pleasure. This one is called the Mirror Pond and it was covered in water boatmen.
A huge amount of effort has been made to encourage wildlife of all sorts. Round almost every corner you find an insect hotel or a bird feeding station or a hedgehog house.
If you look closely at the bottom rightish of the next pic you should see a little rat. There were loads of them scurrying around pinching the seed that the birds had dropped from the feeders. I’m not sure the trust is actively trying to encourage rats, but they were very cute.
Children are very well catered for and there’s evidence around of the craft sessions that have been run through the holidays.
Doesn’t that last one look like Eeyore’s house? Someone must’ve rebuilt it after Pooh and Piglet knocked it down in the blustery day – happy windsday Eeyore.
There were delightful Lego animals dotted around.
There’s a little shop with a tea room and they sell vegetables which have been grown in their own fruit and vegetable garden …
…. and a few plants which they’ve propagated in the gardens. I couldn’t resist this little Oxalis.
Such a lovely way to pass a few hours and all for just £5 each. I foresee that this will become a regular summer haunt. If we’re lucky enough to go on a dry day next time we’ll eat our picnic in the gardens surrounded by the flowers and wildlife. It’s just so beneficial to spend time outdoors.