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Climate and Terrain

Sunset Over The Dee

The Gardens are situated on the Wirral Peninsula, which lies between the Dee and Mersey estuaries.

The climate
The western edge of Wirral lies in the path of moist, south-westerly winds, but it is also in the lee of the North Wales mountains. This reduces the amount of annual rainfall it receives to about 75cm (30 inches). Although wetter than the east coast of England, it is still one of the driest districts on the west coast. The area also experiences fewer and less severe frosts than the Cheshire Plain because of its proximity to the coast. Prevailing winds tend to spare Ness from industrial haze, so plants are not seriously affected by pollution.

The terrain
The Gardens are situated on and around a sandstone promontory with variable soils. The higher areas of the Gardens on the sandstone ridges have thin, acid, well-drained sandy soils, whereas the lower areas are on lime-rich clays.

Changing the landscape
When Arthur Bulley first bought the site, it was open and windswept. However, the Gardens are now quite sheltered by Bulley's plantings of Lombardy Poplars, Holm Oaks, Scots and Black Pines. More recently planted Leyland Cypress, Italian Alder and Common Holly on the perimeter, and the growth of trees and shrubs within the Gardens, have created some very sheltered areas. The terraces in particular, located on a south-facing slope, sit in a sun trap where plants grow that would not survive in other parts of the Gardens.

 Mickwell Brow