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Where I've been this week

Making the most of Sheffield Park Garden

To make the most of Sheffield Park Garden right on Uckfield’s doorstep you really need to be a member of the National Trust.

Because then you can visit as often as you like, for as long as you like, at different times of year, and particularly when seasons are changing, writes Cathy Watson.

It’s fasinating to go along in February when some of the vegetation, glorious during the summer months, has broken, folded stems and withering leaves, but buds are forming on rhododendrons and carpets of snowdrops are emerging.

In a few months this broken vegetation will have revived with massive leaves towering overhead.

Here’s a picture from May 2016 when the same leaves are unfurling.

My favourite time of the year at Sheffield Park Garden is in August when water lilies spread across the lakes and greenery is at its height.

I remember that on one visit years ago we spent all our time taking pictures comparing the size of hands next to gigantic leaves.

August, when the water lilies are are at their best at Sheffield Park Garden.

Another August water lilies scene at Sheffield Park.

Of course Sheffield Park Garden is famous for its autumn colours but choose your time to visit carefully then because it gets packed.

Yesterday it felt as if spring had arrived – amazing when it was so cold last weekend – and so a trip to Sheffield Park was essential. Here are some of the pictures taken then.

Snowdrops spread at Sheffield Park Garden.

The Grand Cascade at Sheffield Park which was restored by Uckfield firm CJ Thorne which won an award for the work in 2005.

A Swamp Cyprus, Taxodium distachum, with protruding aerial roots. Thank you Jean Weddell for identifying both tree and knobbly roots.

Gnarly trunks and curly branches always attract attention.

Sheffield Park House from the cricket ground.

A black-headed gull in winter plumage potters around the bank of one of the lakes at Sheffield Park. Thanks to Jean Weddell for identifying the bird.

There’s an interesting history of Sheffield Park on the Historic England website.

Read more about CJ Thorne and some of its unusual engineering projects on the Uckfield News website.

A Great British Dog Walk is coming up at Sheffield Park. Read more here.

Tips on where to go and what to do if you live in Uckfield

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