Monday, 14 August 2017

Snatches of summer

It currently feels as if summer has passed us by, so when the sun does shine we have started to make the most of it! We recently revisited Lulworth Cove after a break of over 3 years, and were delighted to find a new cafe with a great area to sit and enjoy the view.

From the time of the dinosaurs the ancient rocks of Lulworth Cove have been twisted by the Earth's crust and the power of the sea.

The sea was so blue and the rock formations are always eye catching.

As we were in the area we visited one of the garden centres that we used to frequently visit at Holme Gardens. Again we were surprised to discover that they had converted some of their "pick your own" fields into a fantastic display garden that included this huge wild flower meadow. It was fantastic to see so many flowers massed together and there were so many insects enjoying it too!

The weather seems to be so changeable at the moment. A six mile planned walk with friends turned into a visit to the pub instead, where we enjoyed warm comforting home cooked food. It felt more like October! The image above was taken at Sidmouth Folk Festival. It looks a fantastic day, but these blue skies had followed a very heavy downpour and those black clouds were still lurking close-by!

The rain across the sea above didn't take long to reach the shore and it was a wet and muddy walk up to one of the marquees for our concert!

While in Sidmouth we noticed this very unusual plant it is Agave tequilana and it has grown 30 foot (9 metres) in just a few weeks, we didn't realise it a the time, but the local TV station was filming a piece about see it here.

 The flowers  do look wonderful close up! 

On another day after more heavy rain the skies cleared and we headed to the neighbouring village of Symondsbury , both of us slipped on a very muddy stretch on a steep down hill incline and we felt we needed a cup of tea to revive us. I enjoyed looking at the preparations for a French Collectibles Fair. I couldn't resist getting the camera out to photograph these items which were on display.

 Signs of autumn become more visible every day, the swallows are gathering on the telegraph lines, fungi is appearing in the fields, this week we picked our first blackberries and apples.

Have you noticed any change in the seasons too?

Sarah x

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Two bloggers in West Bay!

This may look like an idyllic scene as the sun starts to decline, but just imagine for one moment running up the nearest cliff and then continue up and down hill until you reach Dog House Hill (the first bump on the left in the distance) and then repeating most of the course again and you may appreciate what a huge achievement that would be!

I was delighted to hear a few weeks ago that fellow blogger CT from Countryside Tales was heading to West Bay to take part in the Bridport Jurassic Coast Half Marathon. As this event was part of a huge day of fundraising in West Bay, which my husband and I were already involved in, there was unfortunately only a small opportunity for us to meet to say hello.

We took Tavi along as a means of identification. This is a bit different using a rose or a newspaper but with both of us being Westie owners it seemed appropriate! I don't know whether Tavi thought that Ted or Poppy would be there but he decided to roll in some foxes poo on the cliff walk down. I'm not sure that CT or M (her husband ) and B (her friend) appreciated that jest! (You will have to go over to CT's blog to see Tavi - he was in still in disgrace with us!)

The first runners including M reaching the top of West Cliff

The runners had to share the pathway with holiday makers going in the opposite direction. NB Tavi had helped to clear this path from Foxes poo before the start of the race!

Can you spot CT's friend B?

CT is leading many others!

CT on the first downward stretch

It's difficult to see from this image but the runners were already running up to the dark green summit!

 The route of the run passed close to our home, so we sat in the garden awaiting the runners as they started the second circuit.. I'm sorry that some members of the household ( i.e. Jackson) weren't very interested in the proceedings! Tavi would have barked at all the runners but he was shut indoors!

We were delighted to see that M was the first male runner to come pass again and this position he maintained until the finish line, a great achievement. The female runner that won the race seemed to be out in front right from the start.

CT came down the field (seen above just below the horizon of the field) and she was in good spirits, we even managed a few words as she flew by!

 Sadly I didn't catch CT at the end of the race but we did manage to see M and B and congratulate them on their achievements.

We in the meantime, were involved in running some children's games. It was just as well CT (who is excellent at sewing) did not see my sewing attempts at creating sea creatures for a magnetic fishing game and Feed the Shark competition. It was lovely to watch the children's enjoyment and they didn't seem to notice the bad sewing and luckily nothing fell apart!

 Our achievement today, however, seemed minor in comparison!

It is always so good to meet fellow bloggers especially those who you have been in contact with for many years, it never feels as if you are meeting someone for the very first time!  CT was just as lovely as she is on her blog|! We didn't really need Tavi as we recognised each other instantly despite my hair being so much lighter than recent pictures - I am attempting to go grey naturally - has anyone got any hints? One of my close friends told me just to wear a hat until it all goes grey!

I am still way behind with things (blame the sewing!) I will try and catch up and do another post this week, until then take care.
Sarah x

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Through the Garden Gate July 2017

I was reading an article this week that mentioned that the garden in July was much the same as June. We get used to having an abundance of flowers, most of which have continued flowering in both months. There are however some new flowers to enjoy.......... 

Allium sphaerocephaloalate has egg shaped flowers that slowly turn from green to pink and then blackcurrant purple - they have been very popular with the insects too. I planted lots of them last Autumn and it has been a delight to see them popping up all around the garden.

 The Echinops ritro is looking at it's best - we have had this plant in our gardens for many years and still love it. I just discovered that it is also known as blue hedgehog which is a good way to describe it!


Geranium Rozanne

 Pink Snapdragon that have reappeared from last year

Cosmos and sweet peas

Could that be Jackson hiding in the neighbouring field?

On the salad and vegetable side of the garden the vegetables have all grown in size since last month. We have had our first crop of potatoes, which turned out to one of the best tasting potatoes we have ever grown. Unfortunately we have somehow mislaid the name of them! Has anyone got any good cucumber recipes - we seem to have a glut on them!
The usual views of the garden unfortunately looking a bit wet and soggy - it feels as if we have had lots of rain and strong wind in the past month.

What is your favourite plant or disaster this month in the garden?

If you would like to join in with Through the garden gate each month please let me know in the comments below and I will add your site. Those participating this month so far are :-

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

David Austin roses

Just imagine a field full of David Austin roses and they may look like something a bit like this.......

I have always enjoyed looking through the David Austin catalogue of roses and their roses always stand out in the garden centres, I was therefore really excited to discover we were almost passing the David Austin Rose Gardens and Plant Centre in Shropshire, on our recent holiday to Anglesey. They even allow dogs into their wonderful gardens and there is no admission fee whatsoever.

 Needless to say I did end up taking lots of pictures - these are some of my favourites. It has been difficult to remember some of the names so apologies if I make any unintended mistakes!

Tranquility Musk rose -the rose was tinged with yellow that gradually turns pure white.

 Pergola garden

Lady of Sharlott - salmon pink flowers with a golden yellow base in the Lion garden

Scaborough Fair Rose

Rambling Rose - Minnehaha wonderful hanging clusters of double pink flowers
 A view of the Victorian Garden

Ballerina Rose

 England's Rose (pink one in foreground )

The Renaissance Garden

These are reflections of the Boscobel roses in the canal above!

It was an amazing garden and considering  June is always the best month for roses, in the second week of July there were still so many roses to admire as you can see. The catalogue and website  show the 700 different varieties displayed in the gardens at their peak.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a cooling drink and sandwich in the courtyard cafe surrounded by more roses and it certainly was so much better than stopping at a motorway service station don't you think? My only regret was that we didn't have room for any roses in the car - we did however come away with so much inspiration.

Sarah x


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