Burton Agnes-Spell Stones

Today we went to visit Burton Agnes for the Halloween trail. We have visited twice before for the snowdrop festival so it was a chance to see the site in a slightly different season.

We did a little bit of pre-visit crafting. I had a little idea inspired by the promise, the lost words and the more than weeds project. The ‘more than weeds’ project has involved people chalking the names of wildflowers next to where they are found. Chalking the name on walls or pavements to raise awareness of the beauty of many of these plants. The lost words was a book that came out of the decision to remove many ‘nature’ words from the Oxford children’s dictionary. I had little idea that we could make spell stones to mark the trees we see. I thought we would start with the oak after our earlier exploration of the story ‘the promise‘. I decorated my stone with the Ogham symbol for oak.

Then on the reverse I made a little acrostic poem in the style of the lost words. Not an award winning poem but for a quick job it will do.

Alice was more creative with hers drawing an acorn with the tree growing out of it. Then further acorns on her tree. I thought it was a pretty good piece of symbolism. You can see later where we found to place them.

Burton Agnes is a short drive from us. It’s only about 20 minutes away from us making it one of our closest gardens to visit. It was a day where my RHS membership actually applied so I got free entry along with Alice. Social distancing is being encouraged. They are limiting numbers. Tickets are still available at the gate but they are starting to do more online bookings. We arrived for opening and it was still peaceful but it was getting busy when we left. The hall is currently closed but I’m not that interested in the inside the hall. We wanted to do the Halloween trail.

Around the grounds and the woodland they have set up Halloween scenes. As you first come in they had a witch’s cottage set up.

We weren’t sure what Alice would make of the displays but she loved it.

A few of the scenes around the grounds.

Walking along the woodland trail with Amy and granny.

We found an oak to place our spell songs under. Hopefully they will keep it growing for another 100 years at least. And we read the oak poem from the spell songs book. A little bit of genuine magic amongst the Halloween displays.

Alice with grandparents.

The woodland walk wooden sculptures seem to move each time we visit. I have a suspicion someone is casting spells on these too.

They have a nice collection of fairy doors around the play park area.

As part of the trail there are sacks. You have to guess what’s in each.

We had a little burst of rain while Alice had a play in the park. It’s a decent play area with equipment for the younger kids and older.

The walled gardens are pretty bare currently. Someday we’ll visit in summer and see it in full bloom.

Still a few roses in bloom.

And a few dahlias.

And a last photo opportunity on the way out.

They have quite a lot plants for sale in the grounds but today it was a lot things which seed freely for us. There was lots of Lychnis and Heuchera purple palace which we have plenty of and more seedlings coming through. If they were cheap I might have considered a purchase but they were a bit steep for what they were. We did however discover a little nursery down the road which was selling many plants at bargain prices. I got 2 pots of Iris Joyce which is a nice dark blue iris and 2 pots of Galanthus elwesii which is a nice long stemmed snowdrop.

It’s been a lovely day out. It’s good to get out amongst woodland and dust off the cobwebs. Alice said it was spooktacular fantastic or should that be fangtastic. It felt like a nice follow up to our activities around the promise. I’d like to do a few more spell stones around the local park so Alice can continue learning the names of the trees and being able to recognise them. It feels important this knowledge that once would have been commonplace isn’t lost. We have an excellent Autumn planter six on Saturday coming up tomorrow so check back tomorrow.

Find me on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Burton Agnes-Spell Stones”

    1. We didn’t go in the game area this visit and the maze is closed as can’t really social distance. But it’s good to see they have thought of different things to keep attracting visitors in. You can see people are wanting outdoor attractions where they feel safe so hopefully gardens have done well after the first lockdown.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a wonderful family outing! The displays are cleverly done, and the wooden sculptures are great! The spell-stones idea is very clever, and I agree it seems to be a great way of reinforcing knowledge about the trees.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s