Saturday, 31 March 2012


A volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean. We stayed on the north side of the island which is greener and cooler and not particularly developed for tourism. Our Hotel (the Tagaida) stands above the old town, with a steep hill down to the port. Our room had a view of Teide to the left and the sea to the right.

In 1706 there was an eruption during which lava poured out and down the hill to a place called Garachico, which was an important port. The town was burnt and the harbour filled with lava.

We visited the village of Orotava. It was here that floral carpets at Corpus Christi started. We started at the top of the village, in Casa de los Balconas.

This is a typical Canarian house and full of local crafts. Out the back was this boat, full of shells.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Summer Holidays 2011

Summer Holiday

We crossed the North Sea from Hull to Zeebruger in a gale, but we slept through it! We drove to Giverny and where we had reserved a room in the only Hotel. It was only s few mintutes walk from Montet's garden.

Next morning we walked along to see the magiic place.

After walking through the house and admiring the strong colours that Money had used,, we walked through the garden's in front of the house.. They are laid out in strips, with a path down the centre of each strip and organised colour bordering it. Being early autumn, there were many dahlias and other autumn flowerers. Not easy to photograph. The path in front of the above picture was lined on either side by nasturtiums - quite a sight. - as they had spread right across and nearly joined in the middle of the path. It must look very different in May - the most popular time to visit - but they get several thousand a day then, so I would rather visit when we went.
After walking up an down the paths that you are allowed to use, we went into the tunnel under the main road and come out in the water garden.
This was magic. A different world. The garden that Monet had made. There were masses of weeping willows, now mature, and all the water, with water lilies in it. The Japanese bridges, painted green. The feeling of great peace, despite all the visitors,




We wandered round at our leisure, and in the afternoon, while G was resting, I returned and went round again. It is a magic place. Peaceful and beautiful. You are not too aware of the other people, though I fear that if you go in May, it might be far too full.
Back in the house garden, we found the naked ladies.


Next day we went on to Chenonceaux. It will follow when I get round to adding it!!

Monday, 13 September 2010

My garden, pictures taken on 2nd Sept.

Not a lot to see this September, but I took a few pictures.

First we have this years picture of the lilies from which my avatar came.

A couple of years ago I scattered some poppy seed from a friend in the lily bed. This year these lovely double red offspring appeared in the cleared bed by the arbour

The herbaceous border looks thoroughly over grown and lacking in colour.

The bed with the lilies, seen from a different direction. The Smoke bush is really misty this year - it has not flowered like this before.
Lastly we have the current view from the arbour, where I sit when ever I can find an excuse and often when I can't

Monday, 6 September 2010

A Welsh Birthday

I recently had a magic 4 day 80th birthday.

The day itself was spent travelling from Chester to Brecon and a magic self-catering barn conversion. We took our time and it was a lovely drive.
Shortly after we got there A, V, C and M plus a grandson and his friend arrived. It was a pleasant surprise when my eldest brother and wife turned up, bringing "the friend's" grandmother who was to stay with us - a brilliant surprise for her as she did not know that H was to be there.

The next day was my niece's wedding - a very happy celebration. Bless them, during speeches they congratulated me on my birthday and gave me a bouquet. On Sunday, my youngest brother (Father of the Bride) gave a lunch party for his brothers, sister (me) children, grandchild, numerous nephews and nieces and some friends. Later most of us drove off to a place on the River Usk that is a known swimming place. After a bit of a hike along the bank amongst the trees, we reached the place and most people swam while the rest watched. Later still we went back to the house for a peaceful end to the day.
Monday, the intention was for us to climb Pen y fan, the highest of the Brecon Beacons, so although it can be reached from the house, by a route to the right of the picture, we went off by car to the Story Arms, where we met up with more of the family. And so we started up the first bit of the climb. It was pretty testing to those over 70 - not just me! At about half way, we stopped to eat our sarnies, sitting among the blaeberries in the sun. By then I had come to the conclusion that even if I could make the top, I would not be able to get down again!! This was some relief to the 70 and overs, who didn't think they could either.

On the way down we saw these Welsh ponies. When I was a child I had one which I loved dearly.

We all ended up at the house - the climbers came down the direct way and the first to arrive was the 9 year old, followed by my 16 year old grandson who was very peeved to have been beaten by G. After tea and more gossip, we said our farewells to all who were not staying. I did not notice the winks and nudges that were going on. Shortly before we were to have dinner, cooked by C, I turned round and there were 2 brothers and their wives - a complete surprise. A happy evening was spent by all.

I thought you might like to see some of my cards

especially the one below - the creation of my Dil. They had to google to get cruciverbalist.

To end, here is a picture of the third peak, taken as I was out for a walk. The other is the view from the barn, towards the Black Mountains.

It was not the end of the holiday. My lot left on Tuesday and the step family arrived (not enough beds to have them all at the same time) We had a happy 3 more days, which would make another story, before coming home.

Friday, 6 August 2010

August again

The garden is looking pretty rough and ready just now but there is still some colour about.

This corner border is not that old but the shrubs are a good size now. I am still developing the back and you will see a picture of any progress in the Autumn/Winter.

Potentillas grow like weeds and self-seed in Northumberland. At this time of the year they seem to take over as they grow fast. I will be cutting them back in the autumn.

One of the many Hostas, with very few slug holes. Is this due to so many birds? Or the hedgehogs? Or both?

This particular rose has taken off this year and has been marvellous. It is past its best now, though. Isfahan was amazing in late June, with its lovely scent, but there are only very few flowers left now

The herbaceous borders are fairly colourful just now

The Astilbe is showing no sign of drought as I watered it earlier, and we have had plenty of rain lately

The wander round comes to an end, sitting in peace, listening to the birds and enjoying the part of the garden to be seen from here. I am waiting to see if the Clematis will flower again. It is certainly growing well

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Flowers mostly - July

Today, I have done a tour of the garden, only altering the order of the pictures so that you could compare the view of the arbour with May's

The variegated cornus lights up a dark corner. It looks a little odd here - the sun has produced a very white colour.The reason I went out with my camera was the Kolkwitzia, which is more solidly covered than it has ever been. Unfortunately, the Seneccio has suffered somewhat in the middle - I think there must have been damage from the weight of the snow that is only now becoming obvious.

Did someone mention slugs? I think that the hedgehogs and the birds must be keeping them under control. No copper is used at all and only organic slug pellets in the kitchen garden. This is one of a large number of Hostas in the garden and they are all clear, so far.

Here is Isfahan, looking as good as it is likely to. It goes a bit scrappy later. I wish I could add scent to the blog.

The Primular is doing very well this year by the pond, though I seem to have lost the rest of them.

I planted the 'ball' hedgeling to mark the end of the shrub bed, above steps leading down to the door onto the Village Green. At last they are joining up and beginning to make a mark .
Penelope arrived early in my time here, and she still pleases me. After losing a large, taller piece last year, she is flowering well.

One of my many pleasures as I walk round the garden, or when I need a rest from working, is to sit in the arbour, listen to and watch the birds and enjoy this view.

The Pyracantha, that fell flat on its face a few years ago, has never had so much blossom. I look forward to the mass of orange berries that should come in the autumn.

There used to be a columnier conifer planted in front of the down-comer and the rose. I only managed to get it removed when there was a leak and it needed to dry out! The rose is very ancient, but it survived and this year, what there is of it is flowering bravely.

The roses the other side of the door are old too and nearly had their come-uppence a few years ago. I decided to try cutting them back almost to the ground and now look at them!

So here, at the end of the walk, I turn back to look at the arbour. You can see the same picture at the beginning of the pevious blog - things have grown a bit!

Monday, 3 May 2010

May Garden

My May garden is a little short of colour, but there have been developments that have not appeared on my blog. We have bought an Arbour and have placed it as an exclamation point at the end of the path through the herbaceous borders.
I have just planted a Clematis Josaphine on one side and a Rose Lavinia on the other. I am hoping that they will climb over and flower and generally cheer us up.
I am already sitting on the seat and enjoying the silence, or bird song and just 'chilling out'
Nearby is this Osmanthus delavayi. It is covered in flowers and has a lovely scent. There is another small one, which is flowering nicely, but I need it to grow.In the path is this Saxifrage. I have reduced the clums enormously, as it spreads and spreads. It had taken over the path, but now I want a bit of order!

This is a lovely patch of yellow by the pond. I found a frog, while cleaning the pond a few days ago. I do not know where the toad is that appeared in the middle of the dining room and which I put by the pond.

I like the brightness of this shrub in front of the Ribes.

Here is the Old English Rose border, that you meet as you enter the garden, with geraniums and aubretia growing below. I hope that I shall be able to post picture later, with roses out.
And to finish, this is Withy's joke. A Salix grafted onto presumably a Salix wand. The shoots have to be cut hard back after the catkins die. Is it a tree, with giant daffs or the other way round?