Category Archives: Great gardens

In a vase on Monday – sweetpeas are blissful and so are we

Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. –
Endymion II, John Keats

This has been a very strange summer for many reasons, the weather has been really wet, so many plants and flowers are weeks behind flowering when they should have.  This week I dodged the monsoon downpours to pick these sweetpea flowers.    They  were tricky to photograph as the light was so poor – it felt like October.  They smell wonderful though.

It’s been a hectic year so far, many changes at work and uncertainty for many people But, I start an exciting new role next month, so there’s been much to arrange, lots of extra studying and planning; I’m looking forward to it.   I’m still feeling very, very tired and my back ache and arthritis have been painful, but I’m much, much better than I was this time last year.  I couldn’t have got to where I am today, without the unending support and love of My Chap – he’s always holding my hand – sometimes metaphorically 😉

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from Eden Centre

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from the Eden Project  – 22 July 2016

This vase appeared before as part of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before in late July 2015; it turns out I’d picked sweetpeas then too – completely different colours though.  I do remember that the sweetpea plants were about 6 foot high and covered in flowers – they’ve barely reached 4 foot this year.

As I mentioned, I’ve been very busy so although I’ve picked and photographed flowers and vases quite a few times this year – I haven’t ‘quite’ managed to write blog posts – chronically late even for me.  As ever, I really enjoy seeing everyone’s flowers (and vases) from around the world – it’s really lifted me, inspired me and made me feel part of a community.  Thank you everyone.

‘In a Vase on Monday’ is hosted by Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com so do have a look to see what people have created – this week there are some Ikebana Japanese flower arrangements Cathy’s Ikebana Venus is beautiful.  I think I might have to think hard about Ikebana and do some reading before I have a go.  I still tend to plonk flowers in vases and hope for the best.

Sweet pea and purple vase

sweetpeas and vase from the Eden project – 27 July 2015

It’s said that the poet John Keats (1795-1821) was the first person to use the name sweet pea for these flowers.  Although. the style of sweetpeas he knew would be very different to modern day ones because of hybrids. In the language of flowers Sweetpeas meaning blissful pleasure.

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We are feeling blissful 🙂

The big news is – My Chap asked me to marry him and I said YES!!!

On Saturday 18th June 2016, we took a picnic and headed off to Bodnant Garden in Wales; we go often and love it there.  We had a great time, wandering around the estate and the mountains of Snowdonia glistened in the sunshine.  We took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  I sat on a bench by the roses My Chap got down on one knee and asked me….Blissful.

Rose garden at Bodnant, engagement bench, Constance Spry roses

Rose Garden at Bodnant Garden – our engagement – 18 June 2016

My Chap chose my engagement ring too – it fits perfectly – what a wonderful man.
We celebrated by buying a purple lupin from the Bodnant garden centre.
My Brother and Sister in Law sent us a stunning Waterford crystal vase which will definitely be appearing as the star of ‘In a Vase in Monday’.

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

I don’t think it will surprise ANY  of my fellow gardening bloggers that the first thing we thought about was ‘what style and colours our wedding flowers should be?’   Roses will definitely appearing, as will lavender, and sweetpeas too.  I hope we can grow some flowers for our wedding, so I’ll be seeking advice for a ‘cutting garden’ in our small,  northern, north-facing back garden.

Just need to get on with arrangements and find a venue – We are getting married late September 2017.

Exciting times 🙂

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Carpe Diem

Love

Bec xx

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday – Our engagement at Bodnant

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

We visit Bodnant Gardens often – it’s about an hour and half from Manchester, inland from Conwy on the North Wales Coast.  It’s one of our favourite places – there’s always somewhere beautiful to walk, time to stop and smell the flowers, relax and enjoy the scenery – the garden overlooks Snowdon.

Last Saturday, we took a picnic and headed off to Wales; we have been together six years on 20th June so were celebrating that too.  We had a lovely time, the weather was sunny and warm, we took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  Then My Chap got down on one knee and asked me – I said YES!!!!

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be – Robert Browning

Bodnant Gardens -National Trust – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

p.s. Constance Spry rambling roses by the bench – Perfect

 

 

three measuring cups - 1 cup, half cup and quarter cup

In a Vase on Monday – hellebore, half cup full, afternoon tea at Tatton Park

Some people see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. The enlightened are simply grateful to have a glass. Mark Desvaux – Life Coach at 4000Saturdays.

For my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ this week, I decided to pick some of the first flowers that appear in my garden – Hellebores.  There were a couple of reasons for this which I’ll explain – a trip to Tatton Park inspired me.

In a Vase on Monday - Hellebore and half cup cooking measure

In a Vase on Monday – Hellebore and half cup cooking measure – 15 February 2016

Cathy hosts ‘In a vase on Monday’ at Rambling in the Garden; this week she has a collection of three vases with daffodils – a symbol of Spring and lovely, bright colours which lifted my mood.  Do have look and join in if you can.  I think my tête-à-têtes daffodils will be appearing in my vase soon.

Afternoon tea at the Gardener’s Cottage, Tatton Park

On Saturday, My Chap and I went to Tatton Park.   We go often, as it’s only about 45mins drive from our house, and there’s always something interesting to see. I love the Japanese Garden in particular, especially the colours of the acers in the Autumn.  Tatton Park, is owned by the National Trust and is, of course, home to the Royal Horticultuaral Society.

I wonder what will happen to the Tatton Park show when RHS Bridgewater garden opens in 2019? I am VERY excited about this garden coming to Salford – great for tourism, employment and encouraging horticultural and ecological knowledge for everyone .  It’s going to be 3 miles from my garden too!

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The terrace – Bodnant gardens – North Wales

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Bodnant Gardens are run by the National Trust and are situated above the Conwy valley looking towards the towards the Carneddau mountains.  The gardens cover over 80 acres.
The sun was shining, the laburnum arch was in full bloom (it’s the longest in the UK and is only in flower for a couple of weeks).
The rhododendrons were glorious but it was the wisteria, clematis and roses, just coming into bloom, that really caught my eye on the Italian terrace at the front of the house.
A day here wandering around the garden with my Chap especially the forest walks of the Dell  has helped lift my soul…
We bought some more plants too.
I’ll write more soon about Bodnant but if you’re in the area do visit – the roses will be out very soon.

Carpe Diem

Bec xx

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Bodnant Gardens are open all year round – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden/
twitter: @BodnantGarden
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT

Lilac, pincushions, tulips and recycled glass – In a Vase on Monday

I managed to dodge the torrential rain to get my contribution to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ – late as usual but I’ve got a very good excuse.  I picked lilac from a dwarf tree my mum gave me last year, an anemone, the last  purple tulip, some Scabiosa (often called pincushion plants), and  the greenery is from a white potentilla which hasn’t started flowering yet.

recycled glass tealight, aemone, lilac, tulip,

In a vase on Monday – 18 May 2015

The vase is actually a tea light holder made from recycled glass with a little metal hook.   I bought it at the Eden project a couple of weeks ago – as you can imagine they use a lot of recycled materials and there are some really lovely things on their website shop.  I liked the colour combination of shades of purple/lilac and a bright green.

Do have a look to see what other people have picked over at Cathy’s blog – Rambling in the Garden

She’s got a rainbow of colours and ribbons this week – it really cheered me up – Thank you Cathy.

The lilac bush smells wonderful – it’s sitting next to my bistro table at the bottom of my garden – not that we’ve had much time to sit outside as it’s been very wet and windy.

lilac bush - views from a garden bench

dwarf lilac bush – May 2015

I haven’t been around much recently on the blog or in Manchester – we were in Cornwall ‘on holiday’ for a week which definitely wasn’t enough time.  I fellt like I’d just skimmed the surface of Cornwall. We are already planning our next visit, probably in September.

Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been horrendously busy. Big life issues have got in the way to say the least – a very old, close friend of mine died very suddenly at the end of April; pals from University and I organised his funeral last week. We are all in a state of shock.

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So we had a lovely, but very weird holiday to Cornwall, we were staying in beautiful cottage Charlestown with a view of the sea from the windows. Charlestown is an 18th century port (with its own tall ship) on the edge of St Austell with a couple of restaurants, pubs and a lot of craft/art shops. Good walks along the cliffs locally too.   I’ll write in more detail about our holiday another time.

Life Guard Hut - St Ives

Life Guard Hut – St Ives – May 2015

We visited:

  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan
    I have wanted to go to Heligan for a very long time. The rhododendrons were  out near the house; they were stunning and over 60 foot high; there is just so much to see there all year round.
  • The Eden Project This was our 2nd time – we visited September 2014 – this time the aerial walkway in the tropical dome was open and the view was stunning.
  • Caerhays Castle
    it has the national collection of magnolias but we went to see the camellias, rhodenendron and azaleas – There are miles of forest walks and we saw four people all day.
  • St Ives – wonderful place the sea was turquoise and the sand was white – it was very, very windy the day we went though.  My Chap finally got to go inside the Tate Gallery – he was very happy.
  • Looe – the sea was out, so not a lot of fishing boat activity, but there were some great fishmongers.
  • Polperro – the archetypical 18/19th century Cornish fishing village but it seemed to be full of holiday cottages and v shabby.

And alot of walks along the sea and cliffs – throwing stones in the sea and listening to Ludovico Einaudi.
If you’re local – do to Caerhays and Heligan before the rhododendrons  and azaelas  go over. You won’t regret it.

There are many wonderful gardens in Cornwall – have a look at the Great Gardens of Cornwall

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It has been the hardest and weirdest few weeks of my life but I know I’ll get through this difficult time.

They say it’s better to bury your sadness … In a garden that waits for the Spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green.   Conor oberst – musician – www.conoroberst.com/

I’ll do this though my sadness is very deep – I know gardening will help me.   The Great Gardens of Cornwall helped to replenish my soul and my Chap, my friends, my garden, the hills and the sea will do the rest.  That and the RHS Chelsea flower show on TV.

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Have a wonderful week everyone – Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx