The South Shubbery
Twice in the last 120 years have plans been drawn up for the development of this area to the south of Mount Stuart house; firstly by the 3rd Marquess in the late 1880’s and secondly by the 6th Marquess in the 1990’s, although sadly both men died before implementing their schemes.
Looking to the three arched windows on the gable end of the house there can be seen a line of red brick through the sandstone. This is where the house was to have been extended. In the archives are several schemes drawn up for the 3rd Marquess, including a large library and several for glass conservatories – some for covered swimming pools, others for large glass corridors leading to a Taj Mahal styled structure.
The 6th Marquess’s design was slightly more modest but would have been highly impressive consisting of a small Gothic style conservatory with a grand staircase leading down to an Italianesque garden with an orangery and statues.
Today the shrubbery is home to a wonderful collection of trees and shrubs from around the world, several of which are champion plants like the Rhododendron decorum and Sorbus sargentiana.
Welcome to the Wee Garden!
This garden was designed and created by Maria North, wife of the 2nd Marquess, in 1823. Her drawings of the garden are in the archives and show that the layout of the garden remains much the same as it did then, indeed some of the original plants like Quercus suber (Cork oak) still survive today.
The gateway into the Wee Garden is shaped to fit inside the marble over-mantle situated in the house’s Drawing Room. Eileen Bute, wife of the 5th Marquess, wasn’t fond of things Victorian and had the over-mantle removed and placed in the garden however it was returned to its rightful place in the house in the 1980’s.
The Wee Garden is approximately five acres in size and is the most sheltered garden on the grounds, giving home to many tender southern hemisphere plants like Gevuina avellana (Chilean hazel). A must see in August and September when the seed from the previous year ripens, the hazels turn red and eventually black at the same time the current year’s panicles of spidery white flowers are produced.
In April the dinner plate sized pink flowers of the Magnolia campbelli are on display covering the plant from top to bottom. There are several champion trees and shrubs in this area (Olearia, Pittosporum and Persea), look out for our Champion Tree Trail labels to discover more.