Tuesday 29 June 2010

Surrey Visit Part 2

My sister is a very keen gardener, and her garden is simply beautiful. She and her husband have made a special part of the garden into a haven for wildlife, especially bees and butterflies. The cosmos and lavender were buzzing while I was there. I think my favourite was the white cosmos. As well as a very beautiful creamy yellow rose in the front garden.

We did the "villagey" thing on Saturday and went to a flower show and various stalls in aid of charity. Some of the flower arrangements were beautiful, and inventive. The cake stalls I had to pass by very reluctantly, as there was no way I could have packed them up to take home on the train!

On Sunday we went to one of the Gardens open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme. Chinthurst Lodge, near Guildford was an old house, with a very large garden, which had been planted with love and a great deal of thought.

As we went in, we were faced with a big lawn, and a lovely pond, with irises, and other plants waiting to come out. (That's my brother-in-law doing some photography!)

Down the pathway, and we came to a gravel garden, with hostas and grasses, and a lovely arbour with a seat. I would liked to have sat there, but someone else got there first! You can't see the arbour, but you can see a fascinating water feature, which was a big brown bowl, with water gently bubbling up.

A closes look at the water feature. The water slid off the edge so smoothly it looked like jelly! (The UK sort!)

I loved the way the owner and gardener had grouped different types of the same plants together. These Heucheras looked good like that.

And the blue of the delphiniums was quite startling! (I think these may have been in the bit of the garden for growing flowers for cutting)

The vegetable garden was guarded by a very friendly-looking scarecrow who had a little mouse running up his gown.

Coming round the herbaceous borders back to the lawn again we met some interesting wood sculpture!

On the big lawn where we came was a bronze sculpture of hares boxing. I liked them a lot!

A decorated well (which was firmly covered with wire netting, as there was water down there!) led to the tea garden - a welcome sign!

The teas, plus the biggest slices of gooey cake I have ever seen, were served in the White Garden. It had been laid out in a formal style, with white lavender bordering the edges of traingular beds, and white roses along the fence. I was reliably informed that the rose was called "Rambling Rector"!

By the time I had finished going round this very big garden I was glad of a cup of tea and a sit down. And yes, I did have a big slice of cake!

That really was the end of my visit. I was sad to have to go home, but Mr.G was missing me - or rather, my cooking as I had left him freezer 'ready meals' - so on Monday, I set off for the long train journey home.


Tuesday 22 June 2010

Surrey Visit part 1

I had a wonderful few days staying with my sister in Surrey. She is a very keen gardener, and my visit turned out to be very horticultural! Her patio is beautiful, with glowing deep red roses, and big-leaved hostas. Quite as good as any of the gardens we visited! I haven't "tweaked" any of these photos, so you will have to excuse them if they are not quite up to standard!

The first one we went to was Loseley Park. The house is also open, but we confined ourselves to the gardens, as it was a beautiful day. The house was built in the 1560's, and has been in the same family for 500 years. The walled garden was laid out formally in the 16th century, but has had many alterations and remakes since then, including a design by Gertrude Jekyll.

The entrance, even into the courtyard (where the pay desk is!) is quite imposing

The roofs make a very interesting skyline.

The entrance to the gardens is through huge yew hedges, which looked as if they had been shaved, so closely were they cut!

The award-winning Rose garden is famous, and was at its peak when we went. It had a big re-design starting in 1991, and looks magnificent now.

In the centre is a big gazebo, covered with gorgeous cream roses (my favourite!)

I especially liked these pink and red roses

The herb garden was divided in sections: medicinal, culinary, household and decorative. The scent was almost overwhelming in the hot sun!

Two views in the herb garden

There was also a pond, with a fountain

and waterlilies

In the vegetable and cut flower section, the poppies especially were lovely.

There was also "The Canal", a stretch of water that was full of waterlilies, fish, with mayflies and masses of flowers around. It was bordered on the path side by a stone wall, and in that, and by the edge of the canal, and in fact everywhere they could get a foothold were the tiny erigeron karveniensis (?spelling)

At the end of the canal, and the only way back, unless we retraced our footsteps, were these ancient steps. Quite a challenge (for me), but so beautiful!

We finished our morning with lunch in the tearoom. It was too hot to eat anything heavy, so I had this interesting assortment of olives, peppers, hummous and crusty bread. Very good!

We did a lot more over the weekend, but that will have to wait for part 2.

Sunday 13 June 2010


We don't seem to have a great many flowers in our garden at the moment, but we do have some glorious foliage. This is a Golden Elder, which will grow nearly twice as big as it is now, with beautiful arching branches.

Hiding shyly in the border is a lovely dark heuchera. I don't know the name, as it was a seedling from another, long gone, plant.

And this heuchera was rescued as another seedling from the gravel garden (sounds wonderful, but isn't really!) and a threatening hoe wielded by Mr.G. It lives happily in a pot, rather swamped at the moment by some Sweet Cecily, but that will be cut down soon.

I am really pleased with these hostas, as normally the slugs and snails swoop on them and munch them up. I can't use slug pellets as they are next to the pond, and I don't want to kill off any wildlife down there! But this year they are fabulous!

And another hosta in a pot, which I have managed to keep free of the dreaded slugs and snails. It actually lives next to that heuchera in a pot.

Then we have a lovely variegated Eunonymous

And another, different, variegated dwarf eunonymous next to an old apple tree. Well, we have several, which makes a little hedge by the path down the end of the garden. In the background, if you can make it out, is a blue leaved hebe, which does have white flowers later, but the leaves are a nice subtle shade of blue/grey. The white flowers just coming out are a spirea.

Opposite that path is a rather messy border we call our woodland border, and I have some magnificent ferns there. It was a woodland border, when we had two other old apple trees and the privet hedge at theback was over 8ft. tall. But the two trees went, and we cut the hedge down to a couple of feet while we had a better fence put at the back. The hedge is growing fast now, needs a trim to help it thicken up, and we may get our shady woodland border back!

And lastly, I love the new Hazel leaves, big and flat, like plates!

I will be away from Wednesday onwards for just under a week as I am going to stay with my sister in Surrey. Be back later with more photos, of somewhere different, for once!

Sunday 6 June 2010

In the Clouds

Carmi's Thematic Challenge this week is "In the Clouds".

This photo was taken at a Monument in Anglesey, which I definitely didn't go up, but the black spots at the top are my husband waving to me!

It felt far too high up for me - very much in the clouds!

Oh yes, there is a statue on the top, but being at the foot of the monument, I couldn't see it!