Bare Bones of Barnsdale

We had a trip to Barnsdale on Tuesday on our way to (WARNING! Put your fingers in your ears if you don’t want to hear this!) pick up some artificial turf from LazyLawn, which is based nearby. The decision on the turf was not taken lightly but nor is it irreversible, although there will many among you who think we are off our heads for going down this route. However it is only an area of 4.6 sqm which is very approximately  o.34% of the total area and in that respect is neither here nor there, so will not impact on wildlife. The newest artificial turf looks and feels incredibly realistic and we would not have entertained the change if this wasn’t the case, so let’s all just see how it works out.

We don’t intend to lay it yet, but wanted to take advantage of a ‘Black Friday’ discount and balking at the carriage charge we were happy to drive the 60 miles or so to pick it up, particularly with its proximity  to Barnsdale. We seem to end up at Barnsdale at least once a year, in various seasons, and as well as the lunch there is always something to enjoy. This time I was particularly struck by the structure of the garden, its bones laid bare by the onset of wintry weather and a hardworking team of diligent gardeners. Shapely seedheads of rudbeckia, verbena, verbascum and others were left standing for the benefit of the birdlife and the few visitors that pop in during the off-season (there had been about a dozen on Wednesday, including ourselves, but some had only come for lunch). I seem to have missed taking photos of the seedheads, but have a look at these others and appreciate how the underlying structure of a garden can bring interest in every month of the year:

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25 Responses to Bare Bones of Barnsdale

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Ha…the Golfer is probably all for the artificial turf. All he has to do it put a hole in it and have a small putting green in the garden. I will be curious to find out how you like this. When we did a garden tour in Key West, Florida there were many spaces with artificial turf. They have trouble having any “lawn” with the sandy soil and tropical weather. I must say it was shocked at the thought of artificial turf in a private garden but the more I have thought about it the more I believe a gardener does what a gardener thinks is right for their garden. Besides not my place to say something is wrong but I might still think it is weird. 😉
    Barnsdale looks fabulous even in it’s winter attire.

    • Cathy says:

      Had to smile at your comment about the Golfer! 😀 Thanks for your objective comments, Lisa – I have surprised myself with this decision!

  2. Pauline says:

    You can’t beat good structure at this time of year and Barnsdale has plenty!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes it does, and with Geoff Hamilton’s different gardens within the overall site the scale is more relevant to the average gardener

  3. tonytomeo says:

    I wrote about artificial turf quite blatantly. I am a horticulturist, and I love horticulture, but I HATE unused home lawns, especially here where they require more water than everything else combined. There is really no excuse for lawn in front gardens where neither children nor dogs live. I know that they have their place, such as athletic fields, parks, public gardens and some fancier gardens that really want that look of real grass (although I also believe that proper maintenance and responsible IRRIGATION is very important!) I kept a real lawn for many years because it conformed to the neighborhood, but I really hated taking care of it when it got no use.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, there are so many different issues involved, Tony and you have clearly been both practical and objective in your thoughts and practises

  4. johnvic8 says:

    The grand thing about artificial turf is that it is often used as a putting green. Perhaps you have someone in your household who would find that of interest.

  5. Christina says:

    I’ve only been to Barnsdale once and I loved it. I do think anyone wanting to design a small garden or garden rooms can find so much to be inspired by. I’m all for the artificial turf; even Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons had some areas under trees with artificial turf and it did look very realistic; so much so I wondered how they had such good grass under huge trees. I look forward to hearing how it goes. I’d consider it here for a small lawn to have a green space but it might be hot to walk on.

    • Cathy says:

      I am glad you have been to Barnsdale, Christina. It is not in the any way pretentious and I don’t think I would ever tire of visiting. I shall keep you posted on the temperature of our new turf in due course but it certainly won’t be too hot to walk on for at least a number of months, and certainly not while it is still rolled up in the house!

  6. Brian Skeys says:

    We have visited Barnsdale once and was very impressed. We were thinking of laying a small area of artificial turf where the foot traffic is high, which leaves it well worn. I was put of when I read what was involved in laying it correctly. I will be interested in seeing how you get on.

    • Cathy says:

      I know what you mean about the preparation, Brian, but for a small area it is far less onerous than a large lawn – we will keep you posted

  7. Alison C says:

    Well that’s interesting, we’ll see how the turf works out. I can see advantages in your situation. Lovely to see photos of Barnsdale. I’ve never been but it’s on my list of places to go one day having watched Geoff Hamilton for years on GW, even before I had a garden. I’m happy to say the book arrived safely on Wednesday. It looks beautiful and just right for browsing through in the chilly weather though it may result in a long shopping list for spring. Thank you. x

    • Cathy says:

      Oh you are welcome, Alison. Sadly I was not into watching GW when Geoff was on – it was probably Peter Seabrook back then and then there was a long gap until the tail end of Alan T – but do go to Barnsdale when you get the chance; it’s definitely worth your while

  8. Cathy the gardens of Barnsdale are magnificent, I like them a lot. The artificial turf has its pros and cons as the natural céspes. It is a question of needs and tastes. Greetings from Margarita.

  9. Barnsdale is gorgeous, thank you for taking the photos and sharing them. Turfgrass is such a touchy subject, my husband wanted some artificial turf, but it was 14$ a square foot! Nothing sets off a perennial border better than a sweeping green lawn, real or not.

  10. Anna says:

    Our one and only visit to Barnsdale was on one of those days when it’s too hot for anything even garden visiting. We will have to return. It certainly looks as if there would still be much to see even in cooler months. Each to their own when it comes to artificial turf Cathy – it’s whatever suits you and as you say it’s not an irreversible choice. Will be interested to see how it goes once in place.

    • Cathy says:

      Do try to get to Barnsdale again, Anna; it’s definitely worth a return visit. Look forward to hearing what you think about the grass when you see it!

  11. Barnsdale looks lovely in your pictures and hey why not have artificial lawn – sounds like a jolly good idea to me. We don’t have lawn at all and most people I know have a grotty patch of brown squished stuff they call a lawn. Ghastly things I think!

    • Cathy says:

      The grotty patches of brown are ghastly…? And yes, this tiny bit of real grass that we wil be replacing was never much to write home about, although admittedly it did thank us when we cut down an old plum tree that shaded it 😉

  12. hb says:

    We have had a small area of artificial lawn for our dogs now for six years, perhaps three square meters. It has worked very well for them and very well for us. In the right place, to fulfill a specific function, artificial lawn can work even in an otherwise plant-intensive property. We do not have a grass lawn, as it is just too dry here.

    Barnsdale looks beautiful. How a garden changes through the seasons is part of the magic.

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