Belsay bursts into life

Belsay Hall is in bloom thanks to an upturn in weather_
Belsay Hall is in bloom thanks to an upturn in weather_

AFTER the wettest summer for a century, the September sun is shining and the glorious gardens at Belsay Hall are in full bloom.

And English Heritage is inviting visitors to enjoy one of the last few days of warm sunshine this year at the property and its Grade One listed gardens.

Whilst taking a stroll, take a look at the Pink Border on Belsay’s Magnolia Terrace and the striking dusty-pink flowers of the Eupatorium Purpureum plant – more commonly known as the Joe Pye Weed – which has sprung to life, attracting many varieties of butterflies and insects.

Head gardener at Belsay Hall, Jo Harrigan, pictured right, said: “We haven’t had much to shout about weather-wise this summer and the terrible rains in June and July really did not help the plant life as many of the gorgeous blooms were damaged, but now that things are brightening up and our September flowers and foliage are at their best, we want to encourage people to make the most of it by paying a visit.

“The Joe Pye Weed has thrived and has burst into blossom this week, attracting many stunning varieties of butterfly to its flowers.

“Plant-lovers have lots to look forward to if they pay a visit to the gardens – there’s so much to see around the whole site.

“The Quarry Garden is an exotic paradise right now and the Winter Gardens and Terraces are awash with colourful plant varieties.”

September is also Bands at Belsay season and the latest performance is on Sunday when the renowned Jayess Newbiggin Brass Band takes to the stage.

The live music starts at 2.30pm. Normal admission charges apply.