Sunday, 18 September 2016

Holbrook Gardens

When we were redesigning our front garden in our previous home we came across Holbrook Gardens in Devon. Their style of naturalistic planting appealed to us and after visiting them we came home full of inspiration and plants. It is extremely remiss on our part therefore for it to take over 10 years before we visited this amazing garden again!


As you can see the colours particularly at this time of year are spectacular! They really are a feast to the eyes, in every direction.






Heleniums

Needless to say we came away again with great plans and inspiration to change our new front garden. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some of these lovely bright flowers brightening the view from the inside, instead of the gravel?

New front garden

And something more like we created previously ? What do you think? Is your front garden a feast for the eyes too?

Old front garden
Thank you for all your recent comments. It was fun to read about your filming experiences too, especially Vagabond's encounter with Clint Eastwood.

 Enjoy your week, until next time,
Sarah x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Lights, Camera, Action!

Throughout the summer the outside scenes for the third and final series of Broadchurch have been filmed in West Bay.



One evening last week I went down to the Bay to enjoy the sunset, which was quite magnificent as you can see...




The film company were also around, preparing for some night time filming.


When we moved here almost two years ago, they were competing the filming of the second series, so we didn't have time to observe what was going on.  This year I have occasionally been around the harbour when they have been filming and have stood and watched. It is surprising how long it takes to set up and record a scene that will be shown for a minute or two. There are also so many people involved in the production.



The rain and dark doesn't stop the filming....


As the sun set earlier in the week, the huge spot lights came on and showed West Bay in a completely different light. 








West Bay is no stranger to filming -' Harbour Lights' which featured Nick Berry as the harbour master was filmed here in the 1980's and in the 1970's the opening scene of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. This location has always been one of the stars!

Have you ever watched anything being filmed for television or a film?

Sarah x

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Through the Garden Gate August

Another glimpse of the garden unfortunately posted a few days after the end of the month...


 We have many insects visiting the garden this month, it is lovely to hear the hum of the bees as they collect pollen from the flowers.


The caterpillars of the white butterfly haven't been such a welcome sight they have devastated the nasturtiums


The garden can look so different in different shades of light the one above and below was taken when the sensor lights came on.


 Whereas the early morning sunlight gave the neighbouring hedgerow a golden glow especially against the darker vegetable garden and cutting patch.


The cosmos and verbena are the stars of this month in the flowering garden,


I bought a mixed selection of Cosmos seeds from Sarah Raven this year. Although they are lovely I think I prefer the double variety I had last year. What do you think?

 
The roses are producing a second bloom. This one is called Burgundy Ice.



I always enjoy having flowers with more autumnal colours in the garden at this time of year .

 We have had a huge crop of tomatoes with four different varieties, they all have a unique taste, which prevents us feeling overloaded with them.



Thank you so much for all the suggestions you gave me of what to do with the courgettes. We have had some delicious dishes. We only had two plants one green and one yellow one. I'm just so glad the yellow one isn't quite so vigorous!


In another corner of the garden the grape vine on the pergola has been producing so many bunches of grapes. We have enjoyed sitting under the shade but we probably should have reduced the leaf canopy more thoroughly to allow the grapes to develop more. Oh well there is always next year!



What has been the best thing in your garden in August?

Please visit the other gardens who are joining me in through the Garden Gate. If you wish to join us please mention in the comments below.

Others taking part in through the garden gate are:-
Coastal ripples
Margaret's patch
Vintage Sheet Addict
Elephant's Eye on False Bay

Thank you for all your recent comments it was interesting to read about how life saving at sea operates in other countries. I have been struggling to get around to visiting everyone lately, I thought I was going to have so much spare time after giving up work!

Sarah x

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute - saving lives at sea.

The Headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is in Poole in Dorset. Back in the Spring I visited it and have been meaning to write a post about it ever since. With the recent sad deaths along our coastline, which have continued this week, it is an appropriate moment to appreciate the many people in the RNLI and emergency services who are willing to put their lives at risk to save others.

The lifeboats at RNLI Headquarters Poole
The islands of Britain and Ireland have always been at the mercy of the sea. In the early 19th century there were 1,800 shipwrecks a year.  It almost became an accepted occurrence and some coastal communities would try their best to help the survivors reach shore. In 1824 Sir William Hillary who had been involved in various rescues formed a  charity for the national institute for the preservation of life and property from shipwrecks. In 1854 this was renamed the National Lifeboat Institute.

Lifeboat at Weymouth Harbour
 In neighbouring Lyme Regis in 1825 a Coastguard Captain named Richard Spence altered a boat by adding airtight compartments and cork fending so that it could be used as a lifeboat.  In 1838 Grace Darling was a lighthouse keepers daughter, who at the age of 22 persuaded her father to row out in raging seas to rescue the survivors of the  wrecked paddle steamer SS Forfareshire. They managed to rescue nine survivors. For a detailed account of the rescue see here. The Darlings were both awarded the RNLI Silver medal for their gallantry.

Grace Darling rescuing the survivors.
In  February 1861 200 ships were wrecked off the East coast. The Whitby lifeboat launched five times to rescue stricken vessels. On the sixth launch a freak wave hit the lifeboat and the sole survivor was Henry Freeman. He was the only one wearing a cork life jacket, that had been recently issued by the RNLI. The design of life jackets has changed considerably since then, this one was so heavy it's not surprising that the other men on that lifeboat choose not to wear it.


 Henry Blogg (1876-1954) was the RNLI's more decorated lifeboatman. He served on the Cromer lifeboats for 53 years. He was awarded three gold medals, four silver medals and the George Cross and the British Empire Medal. During his time at Cromer lifeboats 893 lives were saved, what an amazing achievement!
'

In the past the majority of the lifeboat men came were those who worked on boats, as the number of fishermen and sailors have declined it became apparent that there was a need to train those working on the lifeboats. In 2004 the RNLI college opened in Poole and has excellent training facilities. These facilities can be viewed by visitors.


 There is a lifeboat simulator which allows the trainees to experience real life experiences.  It felt very realistic as we headed out of Dover harbour and went to the aid of a stricken oil tanker. It was challenging manouvering the lifeboat in difficult sea conditions. There were many other vessels in the area which added to the difficulties of getting close to people in the water. It really made you appreciate the hazards involved and the conditions they have to work in.



We also were able to watch a practice on learning how to deal with a lifeboat that capsizes in the water. This is likely to be the only chance the trainees will have to experience this, unless it happens for real.


The lifeboat was hitched up out of the water, and then dropped back in upside down. It seem to take an age before they reappeared and managed to turn the boat back over. We had been told that there was an air pocket under the boat, but it still felt scary just watching it. The last lifeboat to be lost was the Solomon Brown in 1981 with all hands on deck, see this moving video.



I came away with so much admiration for the lifeboat men and women. It is amazing that this service is still a funded completely through charity and they receive so much support to keep the service going. They also supply over 1,000 lifeguards who patrol around 200 beaches in the UK during the summer. Some of the cost of the lifeguards is funded by local authorities and beach owners. With the cut backs in public spending over the last few years some of the service has been reduced.


RNLI at Holes Bay

A tour around the RNLI college can only be booked in advance. Their restaurant/cafe here is very popular especially for Sunday roasts and breakfast and it overlooks Holes Bay. You can also stay here (when the accommodation is not been used by the trainees) see here.

How does life saving at sea operate in other countries? There are RNLI museums for Grace Darling and Henry Blogg have you visited them?
Stay safe, until next time.
Sarah x

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