Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday Flowers

Hello, I hope you're all well and enjoying the tennis. It doesn't really feel like Pimms weather today but here's some flowers to brighten your day!  The gorgeous pink peonies didn't flower last year due to the awful wet weather, so it was lovely to see them again.

 The greenhouse is filling up with flowers at last and I'm loving pottering around in there moving plants around and potting things on.  The fuchsias aren't growing very quickly, but the few that I trained into mini standards are flowering well.   The streptocarpus are slow too, but some are flowering.

The chives in the garden seem to be alive with bees from nearby hives on sunny days.  I wonder if the honey will taste "oniony" !

And here's Lottie trying to find her toys which seem to have all gone missing in the wild area.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Vyne - Part 2

Following on from the last post, there's plenty more to explore at The Vyne, from walks round the lake, and longer routes through woodland and wild garden areas, as well as a new children's play area.  I didn't have the energy for all that this time, but took a short stroll and enjoyed the beautiful old fashioned roses and interesting trees.

The house from the lake.

The visitor entrance at the side is surrounded by herbaceous borders.

The house is a curious mix of  styles due to it's history.  There's a good summary Here which I found after being too mean to buy the guide book!  Originally Tudor, it was transformed into a more classical style, but many of the rooms still have the dark panelling and heavy furniture from earlier times. These contrast with the stunning staircase hall and more feminine print room and bedrooms.  

18th century tapestries

The Long Gallery would have looked the same when King Henry VIII visited.

Pretty Victorian bedroom

I had to include this because of the amazing amount of tiny hand quilting (covered with netting for protection)

Bells in the servant's area.

Finally, a look at the front,

The family chapel

And a visit to the tea room for a lovely pot of tea and piece of carrot cake.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and are still awake!
I'm off to find my jumper, it's so flippin' cold:(
Have a good week :)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A Visit to The Vyne - Part 1

Yesterday, despite the weather,  I decided to visit The Vyne, a local National Trust property.  I haven't been for years, isn't it always the way when things are on your doorstep!, but there was an art exhibition by The Society of Floral Painters and it seemed a shame to miss it ( last day today).  Anyway, the art was wonderful, though no photos were allowed, but I took dozens of the gardens and house and managed to whittle them down a bit.  
The best bit for me is the Walled Garden.  This has recently been restored and is run by a team including volunteers and members of the charity Thrive that uses horticultural therapy to help people with disabilities.  A great idea.

The whole garden has a relaxed friendly feel.  Not overly "designed", with plenty of grass for families to relax on.

In one corner is a lovely chicken run with some happy looking Cotswold Black Tail hens.
We used to have the same ark and although they look nice I think it's a bad design if you have a dodgy back like me.  The whole other side lifts off for cleaning, but because of the shape you have to bend over while lifting, and it's not that light.  Just a tip in case you're looking for one.

Wonderful woven willow hen.

The beautiful glasshouse has been restored with the help of donations and plant sales and is home to a huge collection of pelargoniums and exotics.  Heaven!

Not far from the Walled Garden is the 17th century summerhouse.  Originally used as a banqueting house in the early 1600s where guest would have enjoyed the final course of the meal while admiring the gardens.  In the 1700s it became a place to take tea and finally in the 1800s it was adapted to become a pigeon loft, providing the household with eggs and meat.

Now missing it's 1st floor and quite spooky, but think of all the gossip that must have gone on in here!

I'll leave the rest of the gardens and house for the next post.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Away With the Fairies!

No, not me. Not yet anyway!

Do you ever get the feeling that it would be nice to escape "real life" for a while and live in a different world.  I suppose that's the appeal of all those computer games and so on, though they've never appealed to me.  Dolls houses and miniatures are much more my cup of tea and I loved decorating mine and imagining how the people would live in it if it were real. 

It can be an expensive hobby though, and takes up a fair bit of room, so while pottering in the greenhouse a few days ago I decided to make a miniature garden, inspired by some of the amazing ones I'd found on Pinterest.  

Using a terracotta pot half filled with crocks and gritty compost and planted with a few alpines from the garden centre, I added a dwarf conifer and an odd succulent.  Some twigs made a tree and I raided the garden for some moss and lichen to fill in the gaps. The little bird house decoration looks just right and the wooden mushrooms were pinched from hubby's stash of turned "objects" that he didn't know what to do with :)  The path is gravel left over from our fish tank.  

I had great fun making this little fairy garden and am already planning another one with the plants that are left over.  You don't need to spend much. Nothing if you've got some suitable plants already. The fun is making things out of bits and pieces like twigs, nuts, bark, stones etc.  It adds to the charm if the scale is all wrong!  I might have a go at making a proper little house next and some tiny bunting.   Yes, I know I'm 50 not 5 but we all need a bit of escapism now and then!

What's going on with the weather? it was boiling this morning, but just trying to take some photos and the light's gone all weird!  Hope we get a storm, I love a bit of thunder and lightning  :)