Monday, 25 May 2015

Bedecked with flowers

The cliffs around us are currently carpeted in a sea of pink thrift ......

We returned to River Cottage this weekend for an evening concert. Last time we were there, in March, we visited the vegetable garden and were keen to see how things had changed since then,  unfortunately our daughter was working a late shift, so we only had time to see it from a distance.  However, the pathway to the marquee was so pretty with the alliums and lights.

The sunset looked impressive especially against a field of bluebells,,,,,,,

A different view of River Cottage looking back towards the barn.

Every weekend we discover new highlights of the area  - this weekend we came across this wonderful field of buttercups it was quite a sight......

Can't remember if I was bending down for Tavi or looking for the best angle for a picture!

Tavi thought it was wonderful too, he ran around in big circles!

Old habits are hard to break and I had to return to the nursery that  I always visit at this time of year to buy some plants to put in pots. It is one of those old fashioned nurseries that grow the majority of plants that they sell. For me it is just like being instantly transported into a sweet shop as a child, and seeing so many good things that I take ages to decide what to buy!

 This time I visited there on my own and got a bit carried away......

My husband did remark as I opened the boot that is almost looked too good to move the plants out! Phew!!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments in the last  post. It gave me such pleasure reading of your simple pleasures too, they mirrored all the things I love doing. I'm sorry that I am struggling at the moment to get around to visiting everyone. I haven't forgotten you all, I just don't have as much time on the computer.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Simple pleasures

There are so many simple pleasures to enjoy at this time of year- from a walk down towards the sea enjoying the changing colours of the sea against the abundance of blossom.....

The flowering of the sea kale

Views along the sea shore

Stopping at the local farm shops and buying good local food from the people who produce it.

Driving along lanes edged with cow parsley...........

 Enjoying watching our pets having fun......

Admiring the flowers in the garden......

NB the wisteria wasn't in our garden unfortunately!

 and the wildflowers growing closeby......

Taking in the views of the landscape drowned in the evening light....

What simple pleasures are you enjoying at the moment?
Sarah x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Brimming with new growth

The garden is brimming with new growth....


 and it is such a delight for us to look out of the window and see so much green all around. How I love this time of year! What is the highlight in your garden at the moment? It is difficult to choose mine!

Blackcurrant bush

Perennial wallflower


I treated us to a collection of Sarah Raven tulips back in the autumn and they have given us a lovely big boost of colour to our new garden, they were well worth the money! We now have two apples trees- one we are growing in a container and the other one is a step-over tree. It will be interesting to watch it develop it looks just like a branch on a bamboo stick at the moment!. Has any one tried growing step-over trees?

The vegetable and cutting garden are also emerging from their winter slumber. We discovered that we had a crop of wild garlic (see white flowers above). We have also seen plants of this for sale in the local garden centre. It might take over the border, so it will need watching! We have been enjoying using the leaves and flowers in salads and I made a simple omelette with garlic leaves, which was so tasty.We have also had our first picking of rhubarb. The greenhouse is filling up with lots of  flower and vegetable seeds too.

 The pelargoniums have been over-wintering in the conservatory. They have been really enjoying the conditions. This one has been flowering so well, I don't know the variety, I originally picked it up for 50p at a local plant sale.

It has been quite cold and windy here this weekend. To find a more sheltered spot to walk Tavi we visited Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens, where we have recently bought another season ticket. We try to visit there at least once a month and regular readers will have seen it in previous posts. As usual I took too many pictures, but there is always something different to admire especially at this time of year!

The gardens are celebrating their 250th Anniversary this year, some of the magnificent trees and camillias are so huge and tower way above you.  Amazing to think that some of these plants or their ancestors would have been bought back to England by those first plant hunters so long ago.

They have just built a Burma rope bridge at over the Jurrasic pond. It fits in so well in this jungle like area. My husband walked across it with the camera, so I didn't get a picture! Tavi was extremely keen to join in - so I had to hold on tight!

The bridge made me think about the novel I recently bought for my kindle it was The Elephant Moon  by John Sweeney. The novel is about an English teacher and orphan children escaping from Burma during the second world war through the jungle with the help of elephants. It was one of those books I couldn't put down, which was just as well on my train journey to London last week. It takes 3 hours each way! I was attending a conference near Tower Bridge, so during the lunch hour I managed to escape for a short while and enjoy the views of the Thames. The last time I visited this area was when I was 10 and visited the Tower of London with my sister to see the crown jewels! I was impressed with the area and will have to make a return visit as a tourist.

Although it was lovely by the Thames and the conference was useful,  I would still have preferred to have been with my husband, who was enjoying this scenery on a walk !

Thank you for all your comments on the last post, especially about Nepal. I did update it with news that the village that my daughter had visited had escaped major damage with only one building damaged.

Hope you have had a good weekend too and are enjoying the delights of the season, wherever you live.
Sarah x

Monday, 27 April 2015

The buildings of West Bay and signs of Spring.

The beginning and end of the day are for me the best times to be down by the sea, when the day trippers have returned home and only the residents remain -some of which included the feathered variety......

Most of the fishing boats are safely back in harbour.....

The buildings around the harbour area are all very different in style. My favourites include the old thatch cottages and the arts and craft style of  the Pier terrace which was designed by Edward Schroeder Prior (see below.) The Pier Terrace was originally built to attract the tourists to a new resort. West Bay in the early 20th century didn't become as popular holiday destination as they hoped.

On the opposite side of the harbour the buildings and architecture are more modern...

There are also buildings that were used for the port trade and have now been recycled. This warehouse is now an art gallery and cafe......

Or the more classical style of this building and the 19th century church

the top of which is a popular look out point!

But the star of the show always has to be the natural landscape......

Each day more flowers are reappearing along the coast path here captured here are white bells, sea spinach  mallow. We are going to Sorrento on holiday in early summer I was reading that they used the mallow leaves to wrap the local cheese before transporting it to Naples. Some of the leaves look huge already.

These seed heads look so beautiful at this time of year!

There are signs of spring appearing all around. Walking on the Ridgeway yesterday, we noticed the pattern of the falling blossom in the garden on this old manor house which is now a Nursing home for the Elderly.

The lambs in the field are frisky and full of curiousity.

 Tennis was originally only played inside, the long building below is a real tennis court it was built in 1885 and was one of many similar buildings built throughout the country. Lawn tennis became more popular and many of these buildings fell into disrepair. It is good to see this one has been restored and is still be used for the purpose that was intended.

 The blossom is slowly appearing on the trees....

and the leaves on the beech tree are just emerging.

Over the weekend we were shocked to hear about the massive earthquake that has caused such a huge loss of life in Nepal. Our daughter visited Nepal five years ago and helped in projects to improve schooling and also viewed the water projects to provide easy access to water in the mountain villages. It is this same area unfortunately that was the epicentre of the earthquake. We hope that these small remote communities far away from the main cities will receive urgent assistance as soon as possible.


Update on Nepal - as the news has worsened over the past few days, with the death toll rising and the weather not helping the situation we were relieved to hear that the village that my daughter visited only had one building damaged, they seem to be have been more fortunate than others.

 Sarah x


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