Castle Ashby Orangery — Near Northampton, UK
The orangery in Castle Ashby's gardens has long-been on our greenhouse list. It's a classic Victorian building (it was built in 1872 to a design by architect and engineer Matthew Digby Wyatt) that sits proudly the the head of a Cypress avenue - a grand flourish to the elegant Italian gardens.
As our visit took place in March the Jasmine vines were still bare and winter still had its grasp on the internal foliage but it was still green nevertheless - but perhaps a much deeper green than we might find in June or July. That being said, the limestone walls seem to drip with plant life and there is an air of some kind of 'undone' fairytale about the place... Something straight out of a fantastical Disney princess film.
Planting comes in the form of Fatsia japonica, Camellia (some just about to burst with bright pink petals) Jasmine, Magnolia Grandiflora (so-called because of it's HUGE flowers) and of course the water lilies that join the fish in the central pond.
The gardens themselves are vast and yet feel intimate as they're divided into sections; the Italian, Butterfly, and Secret gardens as well as an arboretum (that's one of our favourite words!) and generous parklands.