Monthly Archives: August 2015

Wordless Wednesday – Definitely Pimm’s o’clock

Eco clock - ashortwalk.com photo copyright R Jones

Definitely pimm’s o’clock
Salford, 28 August 2015
Eco clock and thermometer http://www.ashortwalk.com

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In a vase on Monday – white, purple, aquamarine and John Rylands too

Our weekend was spent pottering around in the garden and house, apart from a  trip to get bike parts from a shop in central Manchester on Sunday.  There was a lovely market at Spinningfields (organised by Makers markets www.themakersmarket.co.uk/) next to John Rylands Library on Deansgate so we had a quick look around – as we only had an hour on our parking (£2.90)  Manchester City Council really need to make parking in the City much cheaper or free all day on Sundays (as it used to be).  The high cost doesn’t help the retail and entertainment sector – you’re charged 8am to 8pm every day – it’s ridiculous.

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender. Jug: Amy Louise Clarke ceramics Espresso cups: Magpie

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender – 18 August 2015
Jug: Amy Helena Clarke ceramics
Espresso cups: Magpie

About John Rylands Library
The Library is my favourite building in Manchester, it was opened  in 1900 in neo-gothic style and was one of the first buildings in the city to have electricity. It was built by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John, to house their extensive collection of books and ancient texts.  It has an excellent café and truly outstanding historic toilets in the basement.  It’s now part of the University of Manchester and is, therefore, part of the third largest academic library in the UK.

I really must go back again soon for a few reasons:

  • Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic exhibition until 20 December 2015
  • tour for photographers – I’ll have to go on this once I’ve sussed out how my camera works.
  • to check out the cafe again – I heard it does a good afternoon tea at a sensible price.

John Rylands Library is a incredible building celebrating the glory of learning – do have a look inside if you’re in the area.  ANYONE can go inside and have a look around and it’s FREE too. It really is worth it.

John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester Uk

John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester UK

At the market
The sun was shining, live music was wafting across the square and there were plenty of people milling around looking at the stalls of food, drink, homewares, clothes and jewellery.     My Chap and I had a wander around.  We bought some coffee ground by Dex from Second City Coffee. Obviously, I bought the coffee named after Cottonopolis (my Women’s Institute – www.cottonopoliswi.com/).    It’s a lovely coffee – citrus and nutty.  And finally got to meet Dex who I’d chatted to via twitter – lovely chap.

Second City Coffee - Manchester, UK Photo with Permission/copywrite Secondcity Coffee

Second City Coffee – Manchester, UK      http://secondcitycoffee.co.uk/   (Photo used with Permission)

We also saw some beautiful china made by Amy with modern flower patterns and colours.  I couldn’t resist  a new jug (mild mutterings from My Chap) – it’s about 5 inches high.  I was good and picked a colour that would match our existing Boston Denby china (Blue) and our espresso cups (and not purple my favourite colour!). Green is My Chap’s favourite colour and he approved of this lovely aquamarine.   Amy said she is based in Stoke so do check her out if you’re in the area and she often comes to the various Makers Markets in Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Knutsford, Sandbach, Middlewich and West Didsbury.

UPDATE – I heard from Markets Market that they are OPENING IN MONTON in October 2015 (I live in Monton so I am very excited about this.

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender - Photo: copywright R Jones

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender
18 August 2015
Jug: Amy Helena Clarke ceramics
Espresso cups: Magpie

My vase
The flowers I have chosen today  are picked to go well with the beautiful jug I bought from Amy Helena Clarke ceramics www.ahclarke.com  . They are:

  • Lavender from the front garden – it’s two different kinds but I’ve no idea what variety. The scent is incredible, even the stems smell of lavender.  I have about 20 different lavender in my front garden which seem very happy in full sunshine, on soil where we dig up alot of bricks.   My house was built on the site of an 19th century mill which was knocked down in the 1980s.
  • A white Pelagonium which was part of a mixed pack from a garden centre a couple of years ago. I’ve managed to overwinter it a couple of times – it’s appeared in ‘A Vase on Monday’ before for 4th July celebrations (Red, White and Blue and purple).
  • Purple petunia – This variety grows in a couple of places around my garden including in hanging baskets – I don’t know it’s name though.
  • Hydrangea paniculata – I think it might be ‘limelight’ as the flowers fade from light green, to white and then pink. This one came to the garden two years ago for £2 from a rather odd little garden centre – it was in a right state but it seems to have recovered now.
    Hydrangeas originated in Japan, China and Taiwan and there are hundreds of different kinds.
    I have a globe head one in a pot in the back garden which should be blue but is flowering pink at the moment. It has appeared ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before too – (Not blue anymore – 13 July 2015).
Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender - Close up 18 August 2015

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender – Close up
18 August 2015

Do have a look at all the lovely vases hosted by Cathy over on www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com – glorious pinks and purples today with a wonderful antique quilt.  People post vases from all across the world and it’s just amazing to see what grows where (and when too!).  And I’m late with my post as usual – ho hum I’ll try harder next week.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

I think we are off to Southport flower show at the weekend.  Have you been?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

p.s. this isn’t a sponsored post – I just really liked Amy’s china and I’ve been waiting a while to get some Cottonopolis coffee and I paid full price for everything 🙂

Wordless Wednesday (not) – glorious birthday memories

Today would have been Steve’s 48th birthday, who died so suddenly in April this year. He was a kind, funny, smart man with many interests including hill walking, United, cooking, science, travel, music, tennis, cryptic puzzles, real ale and darts.  A proud Lancastrian too.

I did what we’d have done on such a glorious day and went for a walk in the hills.  I went on one of our favourite walks which brought back so many happy memories.

White Coppice Cricket Ground - 15 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Ground – 12 August 2015

He loved cricket too – and we’ve watched alot of cricket at Lancashire cricket ground. Today, I went to one of his favourite cricket grounds  – it combines his love of cricket and hill walking.

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion and the west pennine moors - 12 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion and the west pennine moors – 12 August 2015

I went to White Coppice Cricket Ground (which is near Chorley in Lancashire) and went for a walk up Great Hill which is part of the West Pennine Moor – it’s beautiful especially on a sunny, summer day – glorious 12th indeed – not that Steve thought grouse shooting was a good thing to do.

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion in the trees

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion in the trees – 12 August 2015

A favourite walk of ours which brought back so many happy memories – we’ve watched plenty of cricket at White Coppice and it has a fine tea shop (open at the weekend) if you’re in the area.

roller out at White Coppice Cricket ground

roller out at White Coppice Cricket ground – 12 August 2015

Steve is so missed by so many people, but especially me – we were together for 20 years, ever  since we met at University in Stirling, and although we split up amicably 7 years ago – we remained good friends.  He and my Chap we’re good pals too – and had much in common like cooking, hill walking, gardening, travel, history and very similar values in life.  My chap thinks cricket is the world’s dullest sport though!

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion - 15 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion – 15 August 2015

The White Coppice Cricket Ground is mentioned in the 100 most picturesque cricket club’s in Wisden; it was founded in the 1870s.  I really love this place and it is just so quitessentially English.   The groundsman told me that White Coppice is where Sir Henry Tate was born, as in the Gallery. It’s a tiny place now but back in the 19th century there were tin mines and mills.

cottages at White Coppice Cricket Ground - copyright R Jones 12 August 2015

cottages at White Coppice Cricket Ground – 12 August 2015

I cannot express in words how much I miss Steve – but his wit, kindness and ‘joie de vivre’ is always with me. He is missed by so many people as he touched people’s lives and made a difference to everyone he met.  I am so fortunate that all our many friends, his work pals and old friends from University but especially my wonderful Chap are helping me with all the practical things as well as all the grief too – that and my garden, flowers and the beauty of Nature.

Public Footpath to Belmont and Brinscall - 12 August 2015

Public Footpath to Belmont and Brinscall – 12 August 2015

I had a lovely day on the hills and it lifted my soul… and the sheep didn’t eat my sandwishes – they nicked Steve’s ham butty once…didn’t do it again…

Rest in Peace – Gentle Giant

Carpe Diem

love

Bec xxx

In a Vase on Monday – sunny yarrow, oranges and reds

crocosmia, rose, achillea and hypericum - copyright Rebecca Jones 2015

crocosmia, rose, achillea and hypericum – 10 August 2015

This week the weather has been pretty wet in Manchester, we’ve even had two monsoon rainstorms today.  I decided to pick the brightest flowers in my garden today to help cheer myself up:

  • An orange rose – it’s the only rose I have in my garden – it’s been flowering all summer in the front garden and has appeared in another ‘In a vase on Monday’ in early June (Oranges and lemons – 30 June 2015) – I don’t know its name but it has a delicate scent too. And as you can see below, the colour changes dramatically as the flower ages.
  • Crocosmia – Lucifer. This is in my front garden and has been flowering for about a month.  We bought them at RHS Tatton Park Flower show four years ago but it’s taken until this year to really get going.
  • Crocosmia – montbretia (the one you see in many gardens around the UK as it’s spreads) I’ve got this in the bottom left corner of my garden in a dark, shady corner, but it’s not been flowering much as I think it’s in the wrong place.  I’m going to move it to pots next year.
  • Hypericum berries from one of the bushes in the garden when I moved in six years ago. The flowers have appeared in Oranges and Lemons.  The berries go black in the Autumn so the plant gives a lot of all year round interest.
  • Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’ – I got this one a couple of months ago in the local garden centre (Bent’s);  it’s very happy in my sunny, poor soil, front garden.  We bought four more different varieties at Tatton Park flower show a couple of weeks ago, which are settling in well along side my many kinds of lavender.
    Achillea’s common name is Yarrow; it was used in the past  as an astringent for wounds and in a variety of herbal remedies.  Butterflies and bees love it too.
rose bud - 10 August 2015

rose bud – 10 August 2015

Rose - full bloom - copyright Rebecca Jones 2015

Rose – full bloom – 10 August 2015

The vase is an unusual triangular lead crystal vase with red panels; it is very heavy. It belonged to my friend S’s mother J.  It would date from the early 1960s and (I’m guessing) a wedding gift to his parents (J and K) in 1964.

I’ve also got a new camera, so I could finally take an indoor shot.

Orange rose, crocosmia, hypericum, achillea

Orange rose, crocosmia, hypericum, achillea – indoor shot- 4 August 2015

I’m slowly getting the hang of my camera so expect a lot more photos of flowers very soon.  The close up detail is brilliant.  I am so pleased with it.

achillea paprika (Yarrow) - close up - Copyright Rebecca Jones

achillea paprika (Yarrow) – close up 10 August 2015

Do have a look at the Link Cathy at ‘Rambling in the Garden’ she has some beautiful white dahlias, hydrangeas  – it is so calm and restful.  I enjoy so much looking at everyone’s vases and flowers.  They give me so many ideas for my garden and they really lift my soul.

I’ve not had much energy for anything much this year ,including gardening.  I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in the garden and visiting the Great Gardens around the UK (mostly owned by the National Trust-hurrah for them). I’ve found it very difficult to write anything too, including on my blog, but things are slowly improving.   Life has got in the way but I’m working through all the practical issues, and getting myself into a better place.  My chap N has been a total legend, looking after me, driving me around and doing even more work than usual in the garden.  My family and friends have been brilliant too but I’d really like to feel more myself soon and no more back ache either too.   I know I’ll get to where I want to be; mindfulness and yoga help too.

We have been eating out in the garden quite alot when it’s been dry and our other seating area is slowly getting sorted out – It’s right by the house and so we have completely different view on our garden.  I hope I can take some photos of it soon to show you all and also explain why I love Pimms so much.

I hope you like the flowers in my vase today, and that you’re enjoying the ‘summer’ or whatever season it is supposed to be wherever you are 🙂

Have you been on a days out?  I’m always looking for new places to go.

Carpe Diem

Love

Bec xx