It’s a park we pass now and then, in Kidderminster, and it always looks so appealing from the adjacent main road, with tantalising glimpses of wonderful planting, skirting a brook. We decided it was high time we took a look.
It’s an area of 2 hectares, by the, now renovated, 13th century Broadwater Mill, on the banks of Wannerton Brook. The mill has had many identities over its 7 centuries, including that of a flour mill, a fulling mill for the cloth industry, an iron forge and latterly, as a laundry. It was originally a much larger building several stories high, now just a single storey.
A strange place for a planter!
I would say it’s less of a park – more of a lovely short walk, about a 20 minute gentle stroll by the brook. It’s punctuated by several interesting and quirky wood sculptures. (Did you spot the forge worker, by the mill?)
A totem pole at the park entrance. It has actually incorporated a carved “ball in a cage” feature – so clever!
Squirrel Nutkin – What to do with an old tree stump – enhanced by some wonderful mushroom growth.
And – How to lose a snail!
We also saw a family of carved ducks – oh, and a heron! But he was real! (The camera wasn’t quick enough!)
The main drift of planting, follows the bank of the brook, crossed by several stone bridges, running parallel to the main road.
It could be a lovely spot for a picnic, but only if you could cope with the constant hum of traffic from the nearby busy main road.
However, at the entrance to the park, there is a lovely, more secluded area, ideal for opening the hamper, with or without the travelling rug! Today, there were no picnickers. I’m afraid it was a damp, drizzly day. There were instead some children playing “Hide and Seek”. What a refreshing scene to witness!
Here, there was a “nugget” of raised beds, filled with, what appeared to be, sensory planting, full of rustling grasses, now in their prime, and colour, courtesy of bright, yellow rudbeckias and white anemones. Scented herbs, and “touchy-feely” stachys, flowed over the edges, that led you into a small herb parterre.
Sadly, by the brook,it was a case of “You should have been here last week!” The planting was going over and definitely past its peak, but there was no denying it had been a glorious spectacle.
This WAS a glorious, golden spectacle, with Rudbeckias, Crocosmias, Acanthus, Achilleas and Solidagos.
And this WAS a colourful swathe of wild flowers. I could make out the last of the field poppies and cornflowers.
All created and tended by a band of about 60 volunteers – The Friends of Broadwaters. A job well done!
Not one for a day out, unless a picnic is the plan, but definitely a much more pleasant way to walk along a main road!