All the latest news & events from the garden and the National Trust in Bath

Trees & Plants

Spring Flowers and a World audience

We have recently published a delightful little leaflet all about the Spring Flowers that can been seen here in the Park. It is well worth picking up when you next come to the Garden and then using it to identify some of the many wonderful spring flowers we have dotted about the place.

This is one of 10 wonderful drawings of Spring Flowers(Common Dog Violet) done especially for Prior Park by Jan Robertson. She is now working on a Summer version.

On a totally different note just to give you an idea of the World wide audience we have. In the past week we have had people from 18 different countries access the blog. These are;

UK, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, Pakistan, Vietnam, Hungary, Australia, Tunisia, Japan, Croatia, Leichenstein, Iceland, Thailand, Germany, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

It would be really great if you were able to get in touch and tell us what you think of the gardens.


Oh! the mundaneness of it all

Whenever I write one of these blogs it always seems to be about the more interesting things that go on throughout the Garden. Today I thought I would champion the ordinary. So much of the work that goes on in  the  Park is everyday sort of stuff, grass cutting, pruning, clearing, raking, picking up litter, moving things from one place to another. And of course there is weeding, from now on for the next six months or so we will be weeding and strimming almost constantly. Luckily we have very dedicated volunteers who are very willing to spend all day pulling out nettles, brambles, goose grass, buttercups, bind weed…….it’s none stop.

So I would like to thank Michelle, Ron, John and Martin (who has come all the way from France to help us out, more about him in later blogs), who have spent the day making the garden look as good as it does.

Ron and Martin doing some vital weeding

John and Michelle doing equally important wood splitting

On another note we have had Tree surgeons in again today making safe some unsafe trees, so thanks to them as well!


Wild about Garlic

This coming Sunday (22 April) we are having some cooking demonstations on how to cook and use Wild Garlic. These will be at 12pm, 1[m, 2pm, 3pm. The 3pm slot is an additional one by the Thoughtful Bread Co. who are going to show how to make Artisan Wild Garlic Bread, Griddled crackers adn Blue Cheese Muffins. You can almost smell the delights already. Oh and do not worry if it rains we will have shelters.

Our Wild Garlic flowers are bursting out all over the garden at present. Well worth a special visit. Picture taken last year!


Snake’s Head Fritillary

Some of the Fritillary in the Summerhouse Glade

Now is the time to come and see our wondrous display of Snake’s Head Fritillary found in the Summerhouse Glade. They are a rather special site which seems to get better every year. The ones with the chequered purple heads really are a treat.


Gorgeous Garlic

Here is a little bit of publicity for our ‘Gorgeous Garlic’ event

We are haveing a series of wild garlic cooking demonstrations by the lake showing you how to use this delicious and abundant plant. Gather it from the slopes as you walk through the park, then watch wild garlic go from picked to plate before your very eyes!

Take home recipe cards and experiment at home or enter your own Wild Garlic recipe into our competition for your chance to win a £45 voucher for the Vegetarian Cookery School. All demos and tastings are completely free and shelter will be on hand in case of rain.

Sunday 22nd April
(World Heritage Day – free entry to the garden)

12 noon – Simi’s Kitchen.
Local chef and organic food advocate Simi Rezai introduces us to wild garlic and shows us how to cook up two mouth-watering dishes. Her stunning wild garlic saag aloo will be served all fortnight at Prior Park’s tea kiosk.

1pm – Lemon’s and Honey Children’s Workshop
Julia Handel of Lemon’s and Honey Cookery School in Wellow specialises in cooking for children. At the moment she is getting youngsters excited about local and wild foods. Her hands-on workshop is for kids of all ages so come prepared to get messy!

2pm – Bath Soup Co.
Social entrepreneur Dominic Povey of Bath Soup Company and his head chef will demonstrate how to make a delicious and hearty wild garlic soup. Tasting sessions with wholesome wild garlic bread from The Thoughtful Bread Company.

Sunday 29th April
(Normal garden entry rates apply)

12 noon – Tyntesfield Estate Chefs
Talented chef James Blakemoor from National Trust’s Tyntesfield Estate will share his tips and tricks, whipping up a rack of lamb with wild garlic crust among other delights

2pm – Bath FoodCycle
FoodCycle is a charity dedicated to reducing food waste and redistributing edible food surplus to those in need. Volunteers will demonstrate ways to turn your leftovers into yummy meals – using wild garlic as the secret ingredient!

Why not come along and enjoy the garlic in all its forms.

The Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in the green.


Spring Daffodils

Spring is always a really great time to visit Prior Park with its myriad of greens and subtle hues it becomes a truly a wondrous place. One of the great signs of spring is the humble Daffodil, which this year can be seen at their best in the Summerhouse Glade. Most of our daffs. are the nearest thing to wild natural daffodils that you can get. They are small and subtle but when seen in their thousands are a spectacular sight. Look out in a couple of weeks for our pasture display which tends to bloom a little later.

The Daffodils in the Summerhouse Glade


The Great Leap Forward

As today only comes around once every 4 years The National Trust decided to make the most of it. We have had members of staff doing tasks they wouldn’t normally do around the local community. So out on the Bath Skyline, very close to Prior Park, we have had staff from all departments and sites working very hard removing encroaching scrub and thus exposing our rather splendid Yellow meadow ant hills. this way everyone benefits, the general public, the staff and the ants.

Some of the team that did all the hard work

Some of the scrub before we got to it

The Hawthorn after the team had got to it


Champion

Last week I told you about our Champion tree. A Champion tree is one that is either the tallest of its species or largest in girth. Ours is a Norway Maple  Acer platanoides and stands at the dizzy height of 36 metres, beating the previous record tree, which can be found in Scotland,  by a good couple of metres.

The Tallest Norway Maple in the land, and it can be found here at Prior Park


Big Bird Day

Don’t forget tomorrow, Wednesday 15th February, is our big bird day. Come and see and learn about the birds we have at Prior Park. You will be able to walk around the park with members of the RSPB spotting a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. Also why not adopt one of our many a nesting boxes around the gardens. While you are at it,

One of the many birds you might see here on Wednesday

you will be able to see our newly crowned champion tree, a Norway Maple that is now officially the tallest Norway Maple in the country.


Snowdrops and a Blue tit

Just a reminder that our Snowdrops should be looking pretty good this next week, once we have got over the cold snap. They were looking a little sad in the deep frost this morning but soon perked up in the sun. The cold weather has also meant that our bird feeders have been over run with birds. In five minutes we had numerous Great and Blue tits visiting together with Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Robin and Coal tits.

One of our many visitors

Snowdrops basking in the sun