On arrival at Cloudehill Gardens in Olinda (just 4kms or a five minute drive from Villa d’Amour) you will find yourself wandering around beautifully kept garden rooms surrounded by a maze of stone walls. There are a host of species to view from 80 year old European Beech trees, to a collection of stunning Himalayan Tree Rhododendrons. The gardens are accented by glorious herbaceous borders and amongst the gardens, visitors can find two of the finest examples of Japanese Weeping Maples in the world.
During the spring, Bluebells take the baton from the Grape Hyacinths in the meadows, their haze of mid-blue is interspersed with drifts of Daffodils. Maple leaves burst out in clouds of brilliant colour and the early hybrid Rhododendrons announce themselves with pretty displays of blossom.
Once summer arrives the perennials in the herbaceous borders of the garden give a very fresh, silvery look with an interweaving tapestry of colour. The Tulip Tree is just finishing flowering while the Chinese Dogwoods and the Japanese Silver Bells commence their summer display.
The big ornamental grasses are at their finest during autumn displaying beige and tawny crimson, while the Weeping Maples turn to the colour of the setting sun. The peaceful temple pool fills with lemon and pink leaves. Beeches throughout the gardens fill with russet and gold and the last of the Maples flush silk pink and crimson.
As the days shorten and the nights grow longer, Cyclamens nose their way into the thin sunshine, whilst Hellebores produce their sombre blooms out of fallen leaves. The Beech hedges hang tightly to their warm copper dry leaves with only the occasional rustle with the wintry air. If you are really lucky, you may even be witness to snowflakes drifting through the garden. The air is brisk and the ridgeline subject to dramatic cloud effects; a glorious time for strolling with mist swirling through the bare trees and leaves crackling underfoot.
Cloudehill Gardens in Olinda is also the home of Seasons Restaurant and Diggers Garden Shop, a lovely nursery to wander through and find a special specimen or two to take home with you. Stop by the Seasons Restaurant for lunch or perhaps a coffee and cake for your morning or afternoon break. If you are lucky enough to be seated at a table by the big picture windows, you will be able to view the stunning gardens whilst you enjoy a light meal.