Thursday, 26 November 2015

Harlow Carr in November

Just had time for a whistle stop walk around the gardens to blow away the cobwebs.  It gets dark so early at this time of year. Very few notable plants and shrubs apart from some early hellebores, dogwoods and viburnum blossom.
However, there was seasonal decoration

 Plenty of interest and colour in the Alpine House




Beautiful bark on the Winter Walk

Colour by the pond

Attractive pot planting for this season

.... and garden features

 On balance, a pleasant couple of hours.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday morning gardening

It’s been ages since I’ve had the luxury of spending a morning on the garden at my house.  I can’t show you the pots I’ve planted up for spring as they’re mostly bulbs but hopefully they will resemble these illustrations on the packets.

I was trying to emulate Monty Don’s ideas but the Cornus and Mahonia he suggested for the centre of the pots were too large and expensive at the nursery I visited.    I used cuttings I had of Hebe and Euonymus for my centre pieces and planted various bulbs around them.   I planted the wallflowers in a trough with some miniature daffies.  These were mixed colours.  I prefer them bare-rooted and one colour but I had to purchase them in a hurry last week. 
I also tarted up some other pots, wall and borders with what I had left over plus some bellis daisies and ivy.  One of my resolutions this year was to extend the season in my garden and I definitely have more interest at the end of October.  The display table at my gardening club had a whole array of flowers and foliage which our members brought in from their gardens gave me plenty of inspiration for next year
as did Angie on her blog

My quandary was whether to cut down some of the plants for the winter or leave for the wildlife and as protection against this severe winter which the media are forecasting, so I compromised.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Visit to Burnby Hall Garden and Museum, Pocklington

We had an enjoyable visit to Burnby Hall in Pocklington in the Yorkshire Wolds,   The gardens have been on my “to see” list for ages.  The museum houses hundreds of interesting exhibits, collected by the previous owner of Burnby Hall, Major Percy Stewart, during his travels to every continent in the early 1900s, often accompanied by his wife.
There was still plenty of colour at the end of the Summer plus other delightful touches, although I thought that some of the contemporary sculptures were rather out of place especially in the Victorian Garden.

 The Secret Garden opened out into this lovely open area with statue.

The Upper and Lower Lakes are home to a National Collection of over 100 varieties of Hardy Water Lily.
 The Hall is now used as council offices


The cafe didn’t offer much for vegetarians but I found this in the gift shop reduced from £2.95 to 50p – who else would want post-its with a Yiddish phrase!

While not my favourite garden, it is well worth seeing for the surprises which are revealed around every corner

Monday, 21 September 2015

Annual visit to Northumberland 2015

Blog followers may remember that we have been visiting the area each Autumn for decades and still finding new places to see.
 View of the Farne Islands from opposite the hotel with Tumbler Rocks in the foreground

Walking from Seahouses towards Bamburgh along the beach gave us the opportunity to view the front of the wonderfully positioned Monks House, a building I have long coveted.
 This house, formerly known as Brocksmouth is found in a charter of 1257 which gave land to the Monks of Farne to build a granary, being the nearest point to the Farne Islands.  The main building, now Grade II listed, was built in 1495 and renovated in 1949.
 Shoreston Rocks

During the 1950s artist Eric and his wife Dorothy ran their own Bird Observatory and Field Centre here at Monks House and well known ornithologists including Bill Oddie stayed here.
We looked for the tail fin of a Lancaster bomber which can sometimes be seen here at low tide, but to no avail.

The walk was to take us back to Seahouses past the Arts and Crafts style Shoreston House and Hall which date back to 1913 and a walk along the disused railway line which is now a haven for wildlife.  However, we didn’t manage to find the footpath although we did return by car and locate them .......there’s always next year!

Another “first” was Bolam Lake Country Park, about 9 miles from Morpeth.  The park was constructed about 1817 by Lord Decies of Bolam and bought by Northumberland County Council in 1972. With its many paths, woodland walks and wildlife it is a great space to explore and free to visit and park.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the red squirrels, roe deer or great spotted woodpecker advertised ...... but there’s always next year!
 Bolam Lake


Of course we dropped in at some old haunts along the way           


 Bamburgh Castle taken from Golf Club
 New retail outlets and fish market at Amble