Sunday, 29 May 2011

Two gardens

Two gardens in two days and what a contrast.Today we visited Eaton Hall garden just outside Chester.Eaton Hall is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster.He used to be regarded as the richest man in England and this is his place.They open the gardens three times a year for charity.This is the courtyard.

The chapel.

This is the view back to the house.It isn't the nicest looking house but has been improved by putting a pitched roof on replacing the original flat one.

There were smaller lakes and in the distance a huge lake.Just look at these sculptures!

This is the Dragon Garden and pond.

The building on the left hosts the Camellia Walk but it was past its best.How about this in your garden?

Beautiful flowers.Many varieties of iris.

Superb peonies.

There is a fab exhibition of carriages.You can just imagine getting into these in a novel.

This is a magnificent state carriage.

So that was Eaton Hall today.I forgot to mention the walled kitchen garden.really interesting.It was £5 to go in,all going to charity.It is well worth a visit.It is open again on 24th July and the 28th August.

In contrast yesterday we visited a garden open under the NGS scheme.A private garden on a housing estate.Such a surprise to go through the side gate and see all this.

This is a hen house.

Looking down the garden.

A little hut for the children to play in.

This was the owner's piece de resistance.His own Bothy at the bottom of the garden.A log fire was burning,a stained glass window installed,two armchairs and a selection of beers.What else could a man/woman want.

Another garden tomorrow?Maybe.I love looking round gardens.

Friday, 27 May 2011


I am having problems posting comments on some blogs.It just keeps returning me to signing in,I sign in ,type my message,press post comment and it goes back to signing in again and so it goes on.I can't find any help on blogger.Has anyone else had this problem and what do I do?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

message for Kathy

Kathy-I have tried five times to leave a comment on your blog but I can't make it work so I hope you read this.Regarding your last post I think you have been amazing over the last year.I have followed your blog and you have been so positive.Not long until half term and then a summer holiday without daily visits to Clatterbridge.Enjoy.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

What a relief

Mike had his appointment yesterday and it was good news.They had thought the tumour was attached to his carotic artery but the detailed scan has shown it is is around it but not attached.Also they don't think it is growing because it is not releasing hormones.So they are not doing anything just monitoring.We are so relieved because surgery would have been risky.I got up this morning feeling such a load had been lifted.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Today's distraction-Conway

We had a trip to Conway today.Conway Castle was built for English King Edward 1 between 1283 and 1287 and is now a World Heritage site.It has 8 towers and is very impressive.

look the other way from the castle and this is the view.

A huge sculpture of mussells!!

We then went and had a pub lunch.We need distracting this weekend as our son in law has his appointment at Christies on Monday when they will discuss what they are going to do about his brain tumour.It is crunch time.We are all very anxious and he has only been given 3 days notice of the appointment suggesting an air of urgency.I am so worried.We will go over and look after 3yr old Ruby so Sarah can go with him..They are due to go on holiday next weekend.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Spriteling shawl

It's finished!At long last.It wasn't the easiest thing I have ever done but I did enjoy the mystery

I can't believe that I went to an exhibition at The Lowry in Salford(Greater Manchester) yesterday and didn't take any photographs.There were 400 paintings,sketches,pencil drawings,water colours etc all by L.S.Lowry.They have gathered things from private collections which have never been seen in public was brilliant.Too much to take in really.We went on our way back from visiting my stepmother in Bolton who starts radiotherapy today .I also dropped in on a friend I hadn't seen for 15 years.She nearly had a heart attack seeing me on her doorstep.We exchange xmas cards and news.It was just as thought I had seen her last week.Lovely.We plan to meet up again soon now she has retired.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

She's bereft.I'm bereft!

A few weeks ago C decided he would cut down the ivy which relentlessly was always racing towards the guttering at the back of the house.He sawed the bottom main stems off and then noticed he was being watched.A blackbird sat on a nest.She was unpeturbed by all the sawing and shaking.Work was stopped.We decided she was a single mother because there was no sign of Mr Blackbird.She sat and sat and sat.Eventually the eggs hatched and Mr Blackbird returned and they shared the feeding between them.It has been fascinating watching,seeing three little beaks getting bigger and higher in the nest.And then this morning they were gone.She has spent all day walking up and down the lawn, stopping and listening.We presume they have just flown the nest.Does anyone know if she will come back to the same nest again and have another brood?Our interest now shifts to another nest in the ivy round the corner of the house.There we have a wren's nest which is very exciting.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Hmm-that's interesting!

Our daughter and granddaughter were over today for hair cutting.The lovely Rachel comes to our house and deals with the three of us.After lunch we popped out and on coming back onto the drive a little voice (Ruby aged 3) was heard to say " hmm-that's interesting",her very words!She thought the three flowers above were all the same plant.I think that is quite good for three.We had to explain about the different plants and they had different leavesShe doesn't start school until Sept 2012 which is such a shame.She can already read a dozen words,write her name ,do one to one counting to ten and hold very adult conversations.We think she is very bright but we might be biased!.Unfortunately since then the flowers have been battered by rain.I should have taken the photo at the time.Such a shame.
On Saturday Ruby was presented with a certificate and a £10 Hobbycraft voucher for coming a runner up in an art competition held in Cheshire.650pictures were entered and Ruby came in the top 15.Her photo is going to be in Cheshire Life magazine.On Sunday Emily,6,was presented with her medal and certificate for passing her ballet exam.We went along to this-3 hours of little ones doing their exam pieces with some Zumba thrown in.Em was in her element doing ballet and two lots of Zumba.Sarah was a very proud Mum this weekend(and we were proud grandparents).Yesterday saw us going to our Social History group to hear the county Archeologist (that doesn't look right)talk about hill forts in our area.Very interesting.The afternoon saw me having coffee with a friend and C going to his French Conversation group.
Craft wise-I am up to date with my Spriteling Shawl KAL-its not perfect',my Debbie Abraham Blanket project and myJane Crowfoot Crochet Blanket.I have knitted about 12" of a cashmere scarf which will be Xmas present for a close friend and am part way through a pair of socks.I have treated myself to Jane Brocket's new book-The Gentle Art of Knitting,hoping there will be some interesting things to make.her books are always lovely.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

can anyone help me?

Can anyone help me and tell me how to upload photos in one go and not individually?Also (see my latest blog) how to stop huge gaps between photos.It looks so silly.Apologies!!

What a beautiful garden!

Yesterday we decided we would risk the traffic and visit Bodnant Gardens near Conway in N.Wales,about a 45 minute drive from our house.It is a 5o acre garden with views towards Snowdonia.Bodnant was only the second garden to be given to the National Trust(Hidcote was first)without a house.It was donated in 1949 by Henry McLaren and is still managed by the Aberconways.

A new Head Gardener was appointed six years ago and has done lots of new planting like the tulips and cherries above.

The herbaceous border to the right has also had lots of new plants.

BUT this what Bodnant is famous for-its azaleas and rhodedendrons.They are magnificent and have to be seen at this time of year.The azaleas in our garden are just coming out so we knew we had to go soon.We are so glad we did.

The Aberconways house can be seen in the background.

Yellow paeonies.

You go down into a narrow valley with a stream running through and enormously tall trees and of course azaleas and rhodos.

It truly is wonderful.

here I am taking a rest and taking it all in with huge orange euphorbias in front of me.

I can well recommend a visit if you are in the time I'll photograph more areas of the garden because there is lots more to see!!