I think the time has come to talk about walls. I expect you are thinking that I have eventually run out of things to say and I must be pretty desperate if I am writing about a wall. Well the truth is that walls are an integral part of Cliffe. We are a highly terraced garden and if it wasn’t for the walls we would slide into the sea. It is more than that though. The walls are the things that tie us to the original garden and with that the original artisans who built and tended it. Of course over the years walls have fallen and been rebuilt and every waller has a slightly different style. When you walk up the hill with the garden on your left you can identify the different craftsmen and their contributions ranging from 1920’s to 2010’s.
They also provide sanctuary for wildlife. Irritatingly they serve as 5 star snail hotels, but there are other creatures in residence, blue tits nest in gaps, as do mice. and we have even seen a newt. That is not to mention the myriads of insects and invertebrates, but we don’t dwell on these lodgers in case we put off our champion wall cleaner, Bosswoman. We continually battle with vegetation trying to grow in amongst the slates. This is a dilemma as some looks attractive but too much and they not only conceal a beautiful feature but thick roots, such as ivy, can undermine the construction and cause collapse, certainly not what we want to happen. What we want to do is to look after these rather wonderful walls which are a great asset to the garden.