I learned a new word as we walked through the woods to the stone garden to the greenhouse and the lawn that looked down on the village of Rothbury.
Pinetum (pI-NEAT-um) - a plantation of pine trees or other conifers planted for scientific or ornamental purposes.
Suffice it to say they had a few confirs dotted around the place.
The next surprise was that some mad gardening lady (Bill's term) was working at planting designs outside the greenhouse to match designs inside the house.
We spoke to one of the volunteers who explained the plan. As with a lady inside the house, once he got started talking it was hard to escape. I had the impression they all study quite hard to be well informed about the house or grounds and it must be frustrating to not have more opportunities to impart that knowledge. So I tried to be patient and to ask questions.
Actually, it was interesting (and a bit crazy) that they play with the designs in this garden all the time, planting different shapes in keeping with various themes; for example, planting the Olympic rings the year the games were in London.
In the greenhouse I spotted some lovely soft fern that turned out to be fennel. I don't care for it as food, but I do love fern in a floral arrangement.
Mom used to have a bed of what she called asparagus fern.
There was never any food, sadly, but plenty of beautiful, soft, feathery fronds.
I snapped this photo of an iris also because Mom grew loads of them at the house where I grew up.
Bill and I were both taken with this strange coloured rose.
We had a wander around the sweet little bell tower, then headed for the car. I bet we walked several miles that day!