craft, crochet, garden, knitting, nature, summer, travel, Uncategorized

Stourhead Revisited

Part of my plans to get fitter (and therefore feel less guilty when I sit down to knit / crochet!) has included a new exercise regime.

As I had a couple of days off last week, I decided to go to Stourhead, one of my favourite National Trust gardens and only a short drive from home.  The grounds are absolutely beautiful – so much so that in my many visits, I haven’t yet ventured into the House!

There are many buildings around the lake, which all offer a different view of the surroundings.  The gardens are most famous for their rhododendrons and azaleas, but there are many other wonderful trees and shrubs to enjoy.

I was much later visiting this year than previously, but the show of colours did not disappoint…

Stourhead Head Gardener, Alan Power, was very kind to respond to my Tweet asking what these two lovely and unusual specimens were – the first he told me was Crinodendron Hookerianum – the Chile Lantern Tree and second was an Enkianthus.

The next two are reverse views – my favourite view from my favourite place, the Temple of Apollo – and the view of the Temple from the other side of the lake.  This lovely monument featured in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice – in the proposal scene.

All in all it was an inspirational visit, and a lovely start to my new regime.

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Wiltshire and Somerset Travels

I am very lucky to live in the beautiful county of Wiltshire.  Within a few minutes of my home is beautiful countryside – heading north, the beautiful Bradford-on-Avon and the spectacular Roman city of Bath.  Heading south there is the world-renowned Stonehenge and Salisbury, dating back to the iron age.

To the west, my best-loved town, Frome (OK so it is technically in Somerset!), with its arts and crafts and to the east the even more magical stone circle of Avebury and the up-market Marlborough.

This weekend has been a wash-out so far (typical British weather!) so I have been limited to a quick trip to Frome.  Visiting Mary Kilvert’s fabulous shop I bought a few goodies (can’t spoil the surprise on those by posting piccies!) and enjoyed my chat with her very friendly and helpful staff.  I also visited a little Italian cafe called Paccamora opposite Mary’s shop, which was full of character, and the tea’s not bad either…

I also just happened to, ahem, pop into Marmalade Yarns, which is fast becoming my go-to yarn shop.  Maxine very kindly offered knitting advice, and I got a sneak peek of her latest ideas for the next window display.  I treated myself (quelle surprise!) to some lovely yarn – some for more makes for my forthcoming Etsy shop, some to make a fancy scarf for Anna, and a bit of beautiful lace to perhaps make myself a wrap or shawl.

My camera has given up the ghost so I have no piccies sadly, but have now treated myself to a new one – yay!  So that means I will have to go back.  And, perhaps, buy some more yarn?

Despite the current inclement weather, over the last week or so, I had time for a couple of trips to one of my favourite local destinations – The Courts Garden in Holt – a National Trust venue.

 

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The borders were jam-packed with beautiful specimens – unfortunately I only had an hour to walk around so i didn’t get to enjoy it fully.  The pond is my place of solace and reflection (well, not in it, you understand!)…

Another day I met up at the local Country Park, for a long walk in the sunshine, with my friend Anna and her little boy Mikey, amiably and ably assisted by their bonkers dog, Dave (known to me as Dave-a-roo).

 

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As you can see Mikey is incredibly photogenic.  Dave, on the other hand, is a Rottweiler in a Chihuahua body whilst out and about.  I have promised him that I will never reveal his secret.  When at home he is known to me as Shaky Dave – he literally quivers at the slightest approach of my cat Ella or anyone else.

Oops Dave – sorry – the secret is out…

Happy weekend all!

 

Lou x

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Evening all!

Nature and colours have always been fascinating to me – why is it we are often drawn to similar colours or combinations?

My natural predilection is always jewel colours – ruby reds, azure blues, dramatic purples and wonderful emerald or jade greens and turquoises.  This hand-spun wool is a perfect example of these preferences…

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I’ve just returned from a lovely week in beautiful Marbella in Andalusia, it was a very inspirational trip in more ways than one.  I often find I get stuck in a rut of using these (albeit gorgeous!) colours to the exclusion of others.  Of course, not everyone has the same taste as me!

But this late Summer break has turned my head (and I don’t just mean the handsome Spanish waiters!)  – I seem to have a new fixation on fiery latin colours…  The latin culture and bold nature and colour schemes all really appealed to me.

Just look at these bonkers white and pink hisbiscuses (am I the only one disappointed that the plural is not hibiscii!?) – and the trees – not sure if they are also hibiscus but they make quite a show of themselves!

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The planting schemes in the parks was what I like to call “bonkers” but extremely cheery.

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And talking of bonkers, this tree seems completely alien-like – I have no idea what it is but it reminds me vaguely of ‘Cousin Itt’ from the Addams Family…

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Most of my week was spent in the Old Quarter – with cobbled streets, gorgeous knicky-knacky shops and – joy of joys – two haberdashery / wool shops.  This naturally resulted in some distinctly latino colour schemes in the resulting purchases and plenty of inspiration to take me into the colder months.

 

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I’m sure I’m not the only one with a natural preference for certain fabrics, colours or styles!

Lou x

 

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Latin Colour Inspiration – Fiesta or Siesta!?

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