Monday, 28 April 2014

Stepping into the garden in April

Would you like to join Twinkle for a walk around the garden?

The greatest transformation in our garden is in April when all the herbaceous plants reappear and grow so rapidly and the borders are once again looking full!

Euphorbia wulfenii

I love all the different shades of green at this time of year and everything looks so fresh and new!

Forget me nots, bluebells and pulmonia

                                  Each new day there are new flowers to welcome and admire!

I bought this tulip above from Wilkinsons back in the autumn and have lost it's name! The flowers are so full and remind me of peony flowers. This is  definitely my favourite tulip in the garden this year!

The purple osteospermum has managed to survive the wet winter and goes so well with the purple leafed heuchera.

April also brings April showers and lawn is covered in petals from the blossom that has gently floated to the ground. 

Abbotsbury Gardens
We also managed to visit Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens this weekend. Regular readers will know that we bought a seasonal ticket to visit here. There is always something different to see. The colours of the azaleas and Rhododendrons were so bright.

Elsewhere the colours were more muted but just as gorgeous!

And those bluebells are never far away!

As usual I took too many pictures, I think Daisy was begininng to get a bit fed up, don't you?

Wishing you a good week ahead.
Sarah x

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Shades of blue

Despite the grey skies on Easter day we still managed to enjoy some different shades of blue....

Smallmouth Bay, Weymouth

Cockling at Ferrybridge

A Holly Blue butterfly in the garden, we couldn't capture it with wings open!

Looking for dolphins at Stonebarrow Hill - none to be seen!

Looking in the other direction to Lyme Bay

Admiring the different shades of green on the Under-cliff without getting to close to the edge!

 And finally enjoying the sight and smell of the bluebells.

With hindsight the Easter weekend wasn't the best time to get my daughter's dissertation printed, when many printing places locally were shut! After a round trip of 60 miles my daughter and husband managed to obtain 2 copies, while I sat relaxing in the hairdressers! We then had to travel in the opposite direction to pick my son and girlfriend up. They hadn't been able to get to us any earlier because Easter Saturday was also Record-store day! (Our son runs a record label, so this is an important date in the calendar.)
Luckily the holiday traffic was bearable. Despite all this it was lovely to have the family altogether again and to enjoy cooking some home-cooked meals, as well as the chocolate Easter eggs!

I hope your Easter was fun with some blue skies too! Welcome to my new followers thank you for joining me. I am so behind in visiting blogs, I think it will take me all week to catch up, so please bear with me!

Sarah x

Friday, 18 April 2014

Celebrating Spring and Easter

 Just a short post to wish you all a very Happy Easter and also to celebrate Spring!

We saw this lovely wreath on a front door while on holiday. I meant to try and make one too but time ran out before Easter! Definitely something to do next year.

One lunch hour last week I visited the Curiosity Centre in Dorchester and couldn't resist taking a picture of this beautiful wooden hare with my mobile phone. I was so very tempted to bring it home with me!

I'm afraid I haven't done a gardening post for ages but as you can see our garden has been joining in to celebrate the coming of Spring with a blaze of flowers and colours.

We have a busy weekend ahead and still have a long list of jobs to do!  Thank you as always for visiting and brightening my day. Hope you have a lovely long weekend too.
 Sarah x

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hidden corner of Cornwall

South East Cornwall is often called the " Hidden corner of Cornwall", as tourists crossing over the Tamar head further South to popular tourist destinations. For us this is a wonderful tranquil spot with beautiful vistas and villages that remind you of how quiet and simple life used to be! Would you like a peek?

The twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand nestle on the sea shore with their ancient  mariner's cottages, narrow streets with only space for parking the boat! 

The devastating winter storms hit this area so badly and the iconic clock tower was in real danger of collapsing as the bottom half of its structure gave way. The waves slammed against the picturesque cottages. Two months later some of the damage was still evident, but visitors are now returning to give support and income to these living here.

Further along the bay is the vast sandy shore of Whitsand Bay, that stretches for miles and is always one of favourite places for a long beach walk. Where is your favourite beach walk?
Whitsand Bay - (image taken on a previous visit.)

This time however the tide was in so instead we enjoyed a coffee with a view at a cliff top cafe. Before walking past the chalets hugging the cliff side, and imagining a holiday in one of them with these magnificent sea views. 

I prefer the rustic original chalets, but if like me you are curious to look inside, how about the luxury one with the round window in the right hand corner above (see here), that I first noticed on Pinterest.

And finally a visit to the stunning  headland of Rame Head with the remains of the 14th century chapel, where watchmen saw the first sight of the Spanish Armada. (You can see it in the distance in some of the pictures above.) Dartmoor ponies are used to keep down the grass. They did however reach the bench where we had planned to eat our picnic, before us, but we forgave them for assisting in this picture!

This is the last post from our recent holiday to Devon and Cornwall, I hope you enjoyed them - back to the shores of Dorset next time! 
Sarah x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Following a tree April

 When we returned from holiday almost two weeks ago, I was concerned that I might have missed some signs of growth on our apple tree, that I am following for a year. I am doing this project with Lucy and many others over at Loose and Leafy.

As you can see we didn't miss to much - the buds were only starting to appear. I think this lovely grey lichen it is an oak moss lichen. Can anyone confirm that? Lichen on trees won't do any harm, but may indicate that the plant is lacking vigour.It's just as well that I am keeping a close eye on it this year then!

As I was looking for other buds to photograph I suddenly discovered that we have some mistletoe growing  in two areas. I was so excited as I having tried to grow mistletoe on many occasions and this time it has worked, or maybe a  visiting bird has helped me!

However, it will be a while before it reaches anything as big as this specimen  (below) that we noticed in the orchards at Cotehele in my previous post! It takes about 5 years for the berries to appear and mistletoe does affect the tree by reducing it's productivity. I have previously taken the berries from the mistletoe we have at Christmas and rubbed them on the bark. It you are interested in trying , look at this Link from mistletoe org for advice from the experts. It seems that our mistletoe is at least two years old!

With some spring sunshine last week the leaves have now emerged, hopefully next time you visit I can show you some blossom! Are any of your fruit trees in blossom yet?

As the apple tree is only a few foot from our garden pond  I thought I would share this picture of tadipoles with you too! We have had so many more this year reaching this stage.I 'm sure as they reach adulthood they will be jumping out of the undergrowth while I am gardening and make me jump too!

It is not too late to join the Tree following project (see link at the top of the page.) everyone is very welcome! Lucy would love to have some more tree followers  from the Southern Hempishere to broaden the project.

Sarah x

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Growing daffodils in the Tamar valley

After a weekend of rain and thick fog remembering the sight and smell of this field of daffodils seen on our recent holiday, brings a bit of colour back into my day!

One of the joys of visiting Devon and Cornwall at the end of the March is to come across fields of daffodils  and primroses growing in the banks of the country lanes.

The sun was so bright it is difficult to see clearly the primroses!

We visitied Cotehele on the banks of the Tamar (The Tamar river provides a natural boundary separating the counties of Devon and Cornwall.It is a beautiful manor house with some parts dating back to Tudor times, and has a wonderful garden that was full of daffodils.

With the milder weather in the South West,  in times gone by this part of the Tamar valley was full of market gardens supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to London and other parts of England. There are only a few market gardens remaining, but the stories and history behind them are still kept alive at Cotehele.

Picking the daffodils
If you have around ten minutes free, this video from Youtube, of the BBC series the "The Edwardian Farm" shows the daffodils been picked in the fields and sent off by train. It starts at 2 minutes thirty, but the pictures of the introduction are always a delight to see!

Cotehele was holding a daffodil weekend when we visited and they were showing many different varieties of daffodils. There are around 250 different varieties planted in the garden.. The variety Seagull caught my eye it was quite small and delicate - the only bloom is showing above the piece of slate.(Sorry the image isn't very clear.)

The orchards of Cotehele contain many old local apple varieties and were full of daffodils too. The scene looking across the valley to the railway line and river Tamar at Calstock was just magical.

As we drove along the Tamar valley back to our holiday chalet, we came across a "pick your own" daffodil field, as we had already bought some daffodils on sale at Cotehele, we didn't stop but will remember it for future reference. We enjoyed  these lovely flowers all week in our holiday home.

How has your weekend been?
Sarah x


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