Buscot Park – July 2016

Last week I had a trip to Buscot Park with my lovely friend Lindsay. In my opinion the house isn’t anything special (although there’s some amazing art), but the garden is lovely.

The old kitchen gardens have been set out in a more formal way…

…with a few vegetables left in the borders…

…and some statues peeking out through the flowers.

Sweet peas always remind me of my Grandma Gertie, and m-in-law, Lin. They both loved them.

This rose, Ferdinand Pichard, absolutely blew me away, fabulous.

Now if I had a swimming pool like this…

…I’d have some nice murals too.

I hope they restore them.

There are also lovely formal gardens…

…(anyone know what tree this is?)…

…and water gardens…

…I’ve never seen a dark red waterlily like this before.

There are a fair number of statues, including this chap with a strange animal on his head…

…a cat, a ferret, an otter?

Some very uncomfortable chairs…

…assorted Egyptian chaps…

…and assorted terracotta warriors, why not?

My faves? This smiling lion…

these pink parasols

…and this perky pup.

France August 2015 – Fontainebleau

Our trip kicked off with a night in this fancy hotel…

…the Black Eagle.

Instead of wallpaper, the walls were covered with this rather busy fabric.

We skipped the 18 Euro breakfast, and went to a place down the road (the menu has changed a bit).

We were very impressed with the bottle lift…

…and the post office.

The Boy headed of the golf course, while I headed off to the chateau.

It’s absolutely beautiful, especially the horseshoe stairs.

It’s home to all sorts of things that belonged to Napoleon, including his coat and hat…

…tent…

…and all sorts of travel sets.

It was very sad to see his son’s toys, including this little tea set.

The rooms themselves are lovely too, including this fabulous library.

This fetching little chap…

…invites you out into the gardens.

The carp pond…

…the English garden…

…and the formal French garden.

A lovely way to spend a morning.

Cornwall July 2015 – Trebah Garden

Trebah really is…

…an absolutely lovely place.

This was my third visit.

There is a huge variety…

…of beautiful…

…plants and flowers, but there’s also…

…a beach.

The perfect place for an ice-cream.

On a side note, I fell in love with this garden seat.

Cornwall July 2015 – Longcross Garden

The Longcross Victorian garden...

…is rather unusual.

It’s the only public garden in North Cornwall…

…it still has the original Victorian garden layout…

…and the gardens were planned and planted to overcome the difficulties of the local climate.

The garden is lashed by the wind, and salt spray…

…yet remains calm and beautiful.

Alveston – May 2015

On a beautiful day at the end of May, my folks and I went to visit Alveston (in Warwickshire), where my Ma was brought up, and where one of my uncles still lives.

It’s a pretty little place, and we had lots of happy holidays there when we were children.

We had a lovely wander down to the chancel of the old church…

…it has a beautiful peaceful churchyard.

Back in my uncle’s garden…

…I had huge aquilegia envy. I must ask him for some seeds.

There’s something very special about a garden that’s been tended for a long time.

I feel very close to my late grandmother, Gertie, here.

The house and garden are on the top of a cliff above the river Avon. Beyond the river is Charlecote Park and the village of Hampton Lucy. When I was little, I used to get into Gertie’s bed in the morning for a cuddle, and look over the fields to the church (which goes by the wonderful name of St Peter ad Vincula).

‘The Other Place’ – October 2014

After the madness of the beginning of the academic year…

…I took myself off to Cambridge.

The irony of settling everyone into to Oxford…

….and then heading off to the Fens, didn’t escape me.

Whisper it…but I think that Cambridge is prettier than Oxford.

That’s partly because the river…

…flow through the middle of the city.

I was most taken with these lions outside the Fitzwilliam…

…this chemist’s sign (above a shop that’s still a chemist)…

…this chap’s fangs…

…that the Cavendish Lab was so posh when it built, that it has it’s own postbox…

….the ‘Round Church’…

…and this little ruin.

Good thing that my Ma or Dr Bones didn’t see it, as they’d want to move in!

When not wandering around the city I had a lovely garden to read in.

Lisbon 2013 – Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)

Another rainy day sent me off to the Gulbenkian Museum, which (along with the Gulbenkian Foundation, which funds the arts, social welfare, education and science) is housed in some interesting Modernist buildings.

The buildings are set in a beautifully landscaped park, and softened by lots of plants.

Calouste Gulbenkian was a very interesting man, who made his pile acting as a middleman in oil deals in Iraq post the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th Cent. His shrewd business deals lead to his nickname ‘Mr Five Percent’ (note to self, must look for a good biography).

His extensive art and textile collection would have probably ended up in the UK, had he not followed the French government to Vichy. The British government declared him an enemy alien and sized his oil revenues. You can’t blame him for being a bit miffed.

The collection is absolutely superb. My favourite pieces were the little, Egyptian cat sarcophagus (above) and the collection of Mamluk glass.

Cornwall 2012 – Trebah Gardens

Trebah Gardens is a magical place, and dogs are welcome.

Our first task was write some postcards. Hurray for address books on phones!

Dr Bones and Boots set off down the valley.

At the bottom of the valley, the garden reaches a beach. The beach was used to rehearse the D-Day landings, it was sobering to remember the men who gave their lives.

The view back up the garden…

…offers a view of the hydrangeas.

Many of them had already turned, but there were still plenty of flowers.

The gunnera had started to collapse, but were still glorious…

…in their prehistoric splendour.

It really was like wandering…

…in a lost world.

Mick’s 70th birthday party

Yesterday, was our friend Mick’s 70th birthday party.

I’m blest, not only to have great parents, but great 2nd parents, in Mick…

…and Bren (on the left, with her sister Sheila.

What better than an afternoon tea?

[The handbag was made for me by my friend Julia]

As Mick said, quoting Henry James, “Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me these have always been the most beautiful words in the English language”.