I wasn’t expecting to see very much on a visit to the Godolphin estate at the beginning of August. Many of the NT gardens have been closed since lockdown and staff, many voluntary, laid off so a lot of the planting that usually takes place and the regular maintenance of the gardens have not been done. But it is one of the closest gardens to us and being tired of staying close to home, but not wanting to go anywhere that would be busy (i.e. beaches) we booked tickets for a day that was supposed to be sunny and bright with the intention of a quick stroll around the garden and then a longer walk up Goldolphin Hill.
It is one of my favourite gardens, though not as popular with tourists as it is very small and doesn’t take very long to walk around, unlike the big estates where you can spend half a day. I like it though because it has the sort of borders I could replicate at home with many plants that appear more natural and where hummocks of sprawling low-growing perennials like hardy geraniums and lavender and sedum intermingle with taller spires and spikes of purple loosestrife and hollyhocks and unshackled roses left to meander where they liked giving an artist’s impression of a soft and romantic look.