Garden wedding photography throughout the year
When considering a date for your wedding, you will want to know how the season affects the appearance of our gardens and grounds at Layer Marney Tower for those all important wedding photos. Our gardener Vanessa works hard to maintain a year round interest, so that you can be sure there is always colour and variety whichever way you turn.
The garden at Layer Marney Tower is totally surrounded by wonderful countryside, and boasts one of the most fabulous views across to the Blackwater Estuary, in the whole of Essex. Even on the dullest of mid-Winter days, there are highlights in the garden that will inspire and form a backdrop to the most beautiful of wedding photos. The south facing garden, big Essex skies and warm terracotta brickwork of the tower and buildings create a special space that photographers love to work in.
Although Layer Marney Tower is a Tudor building, the gardens here today were created in the latter part of the 19th Century. The Peache family, who lived here in Victorian times, created the layout as you see it today, adding the terracing and impressive steps in front of the tower. Following on from the Peache family, Edwardian owner Walter de Zoete developed the garden further. Interestingly, he had 14 gardeners and reputedly the smoothest lawns in Essex in order to enable his servant to push the tea trolley towards the Tea House!
You may automatically think of the warmer Summer months as being the best displays of flowers but with a strong backbone of shrubs and trees, it is possible to see beautiful early Spring blossom right through to colourful Autumn foliage. Perennials that are cut back to produce more flowers give a longer season of colour.
From as early as February, we have beds filled with an array of fabulous daffodils, with the lovely sunny yellow of Narcissus “February Gold”, followed by further daffodil splendour all the way into April. With all the shades of gold, yellow and white amongst the garden borders, it is the start of the garden highlights.
March, April and May will bring the tulips in a variety of colours. In recent years there has been an intensive period of planting bulbs to maximise the display in Spring.
Behind the Long Gallery is a particularly warm area of the garden, which during the Summer can be baked in sun all day long. The large border here is planted with “hot” colours, from vibrant tulips in the Spring, followed by the stunning multi coloured flag iris, huge red poppies and climbing roses along the brick walls.
During May and June, you will also see the rose border starting to look its best, and many other perennial plants beginning to come into full bloom, which will then continue throughout the Summer months. The tall, majestic hollyhocks of almost every colour carry on through the Summer and into Autumn throughout the garden.
A colour that is taken for granted in the garden is green! But it gives important structure, like the yew topiary bushes which are now developing their individual topiary shapes. The box knot garden which is adjacent to the steps and the majestic cedar, a focal point behind the Long Gallery, are interesting features. These evergreens stay constant throughout the year and form the basis of the ever changing scenery of colours.
Winter at Layer Marney Tower is magical; the garden and views remain so too. There may be less sunlight but the shorter, sunny days create a different dimension in the garden. Your wedding photos might encompass the wonderful colourful dogwoods towards the bottom of the garden, which create amazing colours of deep crimson, claret and orange. Or possibly around the lime tree on the lawn, which in the early party of the year we see surrounded by snowdrops.
Away from the main garden, the boardwalk around the pond provides a tranquil space for photos of the wedding couple alone together, set amongst a pretty weeping willow tree and in the Summer months, a lovely display of massive waterlilies.
Whether you use the steps in front of the tower, or wander to a more secluded area of the garden, you can be sure to find a background that will enhance your beautiful wedding photos. Why not take a look at this selection of pictures showing different areas of the garden, throughout the year.
by Karen Brand – Wedding Coordinator and Vanessa Hart – Head Gardener