Tag Archives: Sheffield gardens

  • Sheffield - EU funded gardens

    I have written about the EU funded gardens before, but being unable to make it up the hill to the Botanic Gardens, I photographed these again in their winter cloaks. There is a newer area that is still unfinished, which appears to be using recycled materials and is quite interesting, but not yet planted up. In fact work seems to have stopped, and I hope this has not been abandoned owing to loss of EU funds.

    In the rest of the planting, the grasses are shining. Yucca filamentosa was looking strong too, the greenest plant in the garden. The tree trunks, still extremely slender, are showing interesting colour. The Artemisia should come with a warning sign and I fear it might take over the garden, some of the plants planted in April 2016, are already 60cm (2ft) or more across. Its feathery foliage is, however, to be admired. Buds are beginning to appear and although it is still cold, there are signs that spring is on its way.  The spring Primula are doing their thing. I still cannot believe that flower on the Phlomis, it has been there at least two weeks now. We can always depend upon the garden to give us something unexpected.

    The EU funded gardens are outside the Magistrates Court in Sheffield.

    Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2017

  • Sheffield Devonshire Green

    Some years ago, in 2007 Devonshire Green was given a makeover, as part of the City Council's Regeneration Project at a cost of 1.6 million. They made new paths, re-seeded the lawns and planted 22 new trees. As part of the project, they created a new garden, 340 square metres, obviously inspired by Guell Park and Gaudi's work. But there is no massive mosaic lizard, instead tribute is paid to the Spanish architect with mosaics set into a white, curvy wall. I love the way some of the planting mimics the walls' waves in a sort of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' way.

    The planting is modern and rich - lush Euphorbia with its chartreuse green, vivid purple Alliums and golden Carex. With blue Ceanothus, it all has a very Mediterranean feel. It's a lovely space for Devonshire Street workers to come and have lunch and enjoy the green living. At 9000 square metres, it is the largest green area in Sheffield city centre. It once belonged to the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse, lord of the manor, but was heavily bombed during WWII.

    Last year, developers submitted plans to bulldoze the independent shops that line this green space. In March 2015, the Council voted by 7 votes to 3, 1 abstaining, to demolish part of the independent shops and let the developers in. I believe strongly that all cities, towns and villages need to retain their independent retailers, retain their identity and to preserve the past. The Council said their hands were tied by the government! Over 20,000 signed the petition to stop the demolition. Well known people such as Jarvis Cocker and the Arctic Monkeys spoke out against demolition. I signed the petition. The Council offices were packed with people against the demolition, but it was passed. Another chunk of Sheffield sadly disappears. How many people have to protest to be heard???

    Words and images copyright 2015 Karen Platt

  • Mother Nature Makes Her Own Art

    I visited the NT Longshaw Estate, near Sheffield. It is well worth a visit, but even when 17C is forecast, if you set off early, as I did, wrap up well. The glades are cool.

    I went for a walk, to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and take a few plant pics. As I started on my walk, opposite the Visitor Centre (too early for it to be open), I was struck by the lichen on stones. It's not the first time I have photographed lichen ecstatically. I kept looking up to photograph the tracery of tree branches against the sky. Tree stumps were emerging on the pathways, echoing the tracery against the blue skies. Of course, there is bark and plenty of it offering great pattern and texture. Graceful leaves shivered in the cool wind. Decaying wood laid on the ground, making its own art. Trees were bowed by the wind, warmed by the sun, spattered by rain the previous day. I enjoyed the moss. It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours. I trundled back to the Visitor Centre but the queue was too long to wait for tea and cake and decided to return home instead. My photos are my memories. I find nature so interesting and inspirational. Mother Nature makes her own art with the elements, plants and trees. It informs my art, I have digitally manipulated a couple of photos, more of my art - painting, textiles and digitally manipulated work can be seen here

    Words, images and work copyright Karen Platt 2015

  • Chatsworth Sculpture

    Don't miss this years Sotheby's Sculpture Exhibition at Chastworth. Beyond Limits starts on the 8th September and runs until 26 October. For garden lovers, the dahlias are usually still looking very good in September. This selling exhibition is not to be missed. For more details see




    Photographs from previous exhibitions

  • Sheffield Botanic Garden

    It's quite a while since I went to the Sheffield Botanic Garden and my timing was perfect this morning for all the fabulous Rhododendron and Azalea. Lots more to see too. The Magnolia were just finishing flowering; most of the roses haven't started but it is only mid May; there were some fab black Iris; Primula labelled as denticulata but I thought they were florindae; the blue Ceanothus were looking wonderful and the bees were enjoying this plant more than any other; Euphorbia mellifera was giving off such a wonderful scent I almost swooned. The blue Meconopsis were stealing the show single handedly but the black Fritillary also was top of my list. Melianthus major was proving why it is one of the best foliage plants and even the hostas looked good. I took almost 600 photos even battling the sunshine and wind.

    I shall miss my English gardens so much when I move to Tunisia soon; but I shall discover more and more wonderful Tunisian plants.

    Words and images copyright Karen 2014

  • Gardens to Visit - The Winter Garden

    The Winter Gardens in Sheffield opened to much acclaim in 2003. The building itself has been an award winner, six times to date. The glasshouse is the largest to have been built in the UK in the last hundred years. It is the size of 5,000 domestic greenhouses. It is a city centre garden with a difference. Its huge glass and wooden structure houses 2,000 plants from around the world, although I must say it never looks like that many. It is a beautiful structure, owned by the City Council, but kept in good condition.

    I often walk through this garden. There are 150 species of palms. Plants have been adapted to lower temperatures and light levels, they were acclimatized in southern England before being moved to their northern home. It is a pleasant green space in the city centre. There are plenty of seats and a cafe plus the Millennium Galleries are next door.

    The following images were taken in March 2010, copyright Karen Platt. If you love gardens, get a copy of Lifestyle Gardening here.

  • Gardens to Visit - Wortley Hall

    Wortley Hall gardens are situated in the north west of Sheffield in the small village of Wortley. Wortley Hall had connections with the Labour party in the past and is now used for conferencing and as a hotel. The front of the Hall has a Palladian facade.

    The 26 acre gardens are Italianate in style on an eastward facing slope that enjoys magnificent views of the surrounding coutryside. The formal gardens are just under half the acreage. What was once a parterre is now laid to lawn. There are summer bedding displays, the 100 metre long Peace walk, a sunken garden and much more to discover. There are 15 acres of pleasure grounds with plantings from the 17th and 18th centuries, including a hollow Sessile Oak that is 500 years old and measures 24 feet in girth.

    The Wortley Walled Garden is being renovated, having received lottery funding. It is being restored as a three acre walled kitchen garden by Heeley City Farm.

    It isn't a garden where you would spend hours, but it is a pleasant place to visit and there is another garden nearby that I shall be covering next week.

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    If you love gardening, visit our garden book page for unique gardening books here. Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2013

  • Gardens to Visit - Renishaw Hall Gardens

    This beautiful garden is situated in North Derbyshire, within striking distance of Sheffield and is accessible by public transport, with a very short walk. It is an Italianate garden that is one of my favourites. The Hall and gardens have been owned by the Sitwells for almost 400 years. I have never been round the house - entrance is restricted to tours on one day throughout the season and weekends in August.

    However, I have visited the gardens more than once. The formal garden was laid out by Sir George Sitwell in 1895. Lady Sitwell and the late Sir Reresby restored the gardens and further enhanced the geometric structure. To the side of the main avenue, the plantings become more relaxed and informal, mature woodland leads to the lakes. In the grounds are a dog cemetery and a collection of Agave.

    There are abundant plantings alleviating the formal green of the taxus 'walls' of the garden. They include herbaceous borders with plants in all colours. There are some marvellous urns dotted about too. It is a garden that remans in the memory, particularly the fountain and the view back towards the magnificent Hall. The estate has a plant shop, gift shop and a very good cafe.

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    Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2013

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