Sunday, 21 February 2016

Spring is in the air

 It's so good to welcome the lighter mornings and hear the dawn chorus again....


Looking towards Bridport

Some mornings the frost and mist covers the landscape, but it quickly disappears and one or two fields are already missing out on a white coating. Have you noticed changes in the season too?


This week I celebrated my birthday, and as it was a beautiful day we headed off to Forde Abbey to search for signs of spring. It was such a contrast to the February I was born, when England experienced the coldest winter for 200 years and the country was covered in snow for 2 months!




There was an abundance of snow drops, but we were slightly too early for the magnificent display of crocus, which covered the edges of so many paths.





The witch hazel, hellebores and early daffodils were, however, a wonderful sight to behold!





A Cistercian abbey was built here between 1141 and 1148.  The monastery flourished for 400 hundred years, until the dissolution of the monasteries.  It was eventually converted into a home and the beautiful landscaped gardens were designed in the 18th century. Recently I have been researching the history of treating the sick. Monasteries played an important part in healing the sick by providing bed rest, cleanliness,warmth, food, music and prayers. Many also contained a herb garden and were also areas of medical learning.



The beautiful roof of the circular temple looked fantastic, reflected in the pool below it. I noticed that Forde Abbey are having a Tulip and Sweet pea festivals later in the year, so we will be returning to enjoy these special weeks.


Returning home I could only dream of crocus flowers, as I looked out into the garden. Last week in the market I saw some crocuses just coming into bloom. They looked so lovely that I couldn't resist buying them. Unfortunately I wasn't the only one who admired them, the day after I had planted the two pots only one remained! You can see the broken flowers and stems to the right of the picture and a trail of broken flowers leading towards the fence. I obviously supplied a good dinner to some neighbouring mice or rats! They were so tasty that the following night the other plant followed the same demise. At least I managed to save some of the flowers to enjoy inside!



I also had an accident when I was trying to take a picture of my Valentine bunch of tulips, I dropped the camera and the lens wouldn't shut! I have had numerous accidents with cameras over the years and so the last time I took out extra insurance to cover breakdowns and accidental damage. I was amazed when I took it to Argos to be repaired, to be given a brand new camera instead! They no longer had the original model, so we ended up with a better camera that had been reduced in price! The pictures seem so much sharper too.

Wishing you a happy week! Next week I will be doing another of my Through the garden gate series", so if anyone wants to join in maybe you can start thinking about your post.
Sarah x


41 comments:

  1. Well, as I missed it at the time, here's wishing you a belated Happy Birthday Sarah.

    Love this blog post with your wonderful photos and Forde Abbey looks a great place to visit. We've never been there, but is on our list now thanks to your pictures.

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    1. Hi Ann, It is definitely worth visiting and they allow dogs in the grounds! Sarah x

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  2. Your photos are beautiful (that was lucky with the new camera!) and Forde Abbey looks like somewhere I'd definitely enjoy visiting at any time of year! The song thrush is now one of the first things I hear when I wake up in the morning and the lighter evenings are welcome!

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  3. Such a beautiful place with incredible history. Love this post! Great pictures. How wise to have insurance on your camera. Wish I had done that when I washed mine in the laundry.

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    1. Oh dear I haven't managed to do that to mine yet! Sarah x

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  4. Happy Birthday, Sarah! I have been celebrating my birthday this last week, too. Your flowers are a bit ahead of mine...so sorry some of your flowers got munched...although some critter was blessed. I have gone through two cameras in the last few years, and never thought of camera insurance, but your testament encourages me to consider it! Your through the garden gate series has me intrigued. xx

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  5. Delighted that you had such great weather for your birthday treat Sarah - happy belated day to you.
    Not only is the sap rising in nature, but I feel a certain lifting of spirits in myself too now that the weather is slowly on the change.
    The reflection of the circular temple in the pond is lovely.
    Your misfortunate with the camera turned out well for you - I am so pleased.

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  6. Happy birthday. What a gorgeous walk and pictures.

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  7. What a gorgeous sunny day, the abbey is in a really beautiful spot. I like to think of ancient herb gardens for curing people. A bit of luck about the camera! CJ xx

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  8. Happy Birthday Sarah... What a beautiful sight this is... And the roof on the Temple is amazing.. Thank you so much for sharing this story and photos.
    blessings,
    Penny

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  9. Happy birthday Sarah. I bought some crocus pots recently and planted them at the allotment. I hope the allotment mice don't get them!

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  10. Happy Birthday!! and thank you for the touch of spring :)

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  11. Happy Birthday Sarah. What a magnificent sight the bank of daffodils and helebore is, just delightful. I love your crocus in the vase, so pretty. I guess that was a happy accident with your camera and I hope you enjoy using your new one. xx

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  12. I can't think of a better way of celebrating your birthday than welcoming in Spring! Sorry about the crocuses though. I think I have about five in total this year, from the many that used to be here.

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    1. I did think of your garden when I saw the broken flowers! Sarah x

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  13. What a lovely way to spend your birthday. Beautiful photos.
    Glad the camera accident turned out so well!
    M x

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  14. Hope you enjoyed your birthday - looks like a wonderful trip out and about. My snowdrops are in full bloom, one little crocus venturing out between the skip and builder's stuff and lots of daffs in bud. The winter-flowering cherry is almost in full bloom and the collie girls are in flirtatious mood (Spring must be in the air)!

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  15. I was out walking one of my usual routes this morning and most definitely noticed the sounds. The peepers and frogs were SO loud in one of the ponds! I wished I had my iPhone to do an audio recording… will have to go back tomorrow. It's been almost drizzling, so the ground is wet, and we had fog: perfect combination for early morning spring sounds!

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  16. Wow, such stunning pictures! I hope you had a lovely birthday! I love this time of year as we begin to see signs of spring with the snow drops and daffodils starting to make an appearance. The abbey and landscaped gardens looks like a lovely day out in the South West, and thanks for the touch of history too!

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  17. When it comes to choosing where to live my main criteria are that I must be able to hear the birds singing and I must be able to picture Christmas in the house. Living by the sea is probably the next on my list, but not yet achieved so I shall have to rely on your photos!

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  18. Many happy returns! Thank you for the great photos. I love especially the one with the reflection in the pool. Magical!

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  19. Happy birthday, Sarah! Look like you enjoyed a lovely day. Amazing pic of the reflection in the pond.

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  20. Happy Birthday! I love the bird in the first photo. Then again all the photos are so lovely. I do feel a slight change in the season, only so far as the birds are singing in the morning as though they know warmer weather is around the corner. Sorry for the loss of the crocus, but the blooms you saved are lovely indeed. Best, Kim

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  21. Happy birthday dearest Sarah! YES! Spring is coming early this year even for us! What a beautiful land and sea scape you have to look forward to, dressed in the garments of spring. BIG HUGS!

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  22. Happy birthday! It is lovely to see so much spring colour so early. I love crocuses, such a sign of coming spring...

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  23. Happy Birthday! I love the snowdrops! Enjoy your new camera.

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  24. Glad you had a good birthday. Forde Abbey is another place to add to my ever growing list of 'must sees'. How annoying about the mice. I have always blamed slugs and snails for plant destruction. But maybe I have a mouse problem too.I know we have tiny field mice that live in the hollows of the granite wall. Good news about your camera. Enjoy snapping. Barbara x

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  25. All those flowers for your birthday--wonderful!

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  26. A very happy birthday, my dear Sarah. I wish you all the best, may all your dreams and wishes come true also a lot of energy for the new garden year. Your photos really look like spring. I can smell the crocuses. Here we´ve got "english weather" ha,ha!!!!I cannot hear songs like Supertramps´"It´s raining again.." or Annie Lennox "Here comes the rain again..." anymore!!!!
    Wish you all the best and NO rainy days over there.
    Barbara xx

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  27. Happy birthday Sarah! You had a glorious day for your birthday outing. Those blue skies.....The abbey looks beautiful with all those spring flowers. A place to put on my 'to visit' list.

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

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  28. Hello Sarah, I was told about your blog by Ann at Studio Hyde - my husband and I (oh dear, now I sound like the Queen) are moving to Bridport soon, probably by the end of March. I have enjoyed strolling through your blog, getting to know Bridport and it's environs better!

    Jo
    ps Belated Happy Birthday wishes!

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    1. Hi Joanna, It's nice to meet you and it's so exciting to hear you are moving to Bridport. I'm sure you will love it as much as we do. The blog only features a small element of some out the great things about living around here! If you need any help with anything let me know. Sarah x

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  29. Greetings! Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday! Lovely photos and you are so blessed with a brand new camera. I am following you and invite you to follow me too. Thank you.

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  30. Happy belated birthday Sarah.. lovely photos.. enjoy your new camera :o) x

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  31. Happy Birthday, Sarah! The days are growing longer here as well and the flowers are coming out. Spring must indeed be coming.
    Amalia
    xo

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  32. Belated happy birthday Sarah. Forde Abbey looks a lovely place to celebrate. Gorgeous photos, especially the one of the reflection in the pool. How exciting to have a new camera. I look forward to seeing loads more great photos. Sam x

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  33. Happy Birthday! Oh your lovely pictures, I just love them...
    Have a great weekend, take care!
    Titti

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  34. Hello dear Sarah, you always visit such interesting places, makes me realise I need to get out more! You can definitely tell that spring is in the air, love this time of year. Enjoy the weekend. Sharon x

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  35. Happy belated Birthday. Lovely photos as ever - we are heading down your way shortly to visit our fried in Lyme Regis

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  36. There is no place as lovely as England. Such history.
    I'd love to visit that Abby. yvonne

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  37. Absolutely beautiful! Reading your post was so peaceful. I love how many places you have near you where you can walk around in gardens maintained and open for the public to enjoy. That's not common here. The only thing close to that is some Catholic retreat centers and grounds that are sprinkled throughout the country that are really pretty and peaceful.
    Which one is the witch hazel plant?

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