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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Bamboo Envy

It’s not even that hot yet and I’m exhausted with the weather!

Just had a little jaunt down to my parents’ house in Sussex.  The climate there is always a little warmer, less rainy and more pleasant than where I live in Wiltshire.

Mum and Dad’s garden is always a treat to behold.  Even to a novice gardener such as myself, I can appreciate the beauty in nature in so many places.   Here are just a few of the treats I have enjoyed on this visit.

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Their poppies are out in force – this is such a wonderful flower, with such strong links to us Brits, every year but especially in the last year with the centennial of the start of World War I and the wonderful poppy installation at the Tower of London (which sadly I didn’t get a chance to see).

Their roses are amazing – Mum buys the heavily scented old-style roses – she is very keen on giving the bees something to get excited about, as well as tantalising our noses with their rich nectar.  The one on the left is an usual one as it is a double rose with a heavy scent, which the bees love – most double varieties I tend to avoid as they are usually over-bred for looks but with no oomph!  This is definite exception to the rule, what a show it makes!

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The next is one of my favourite parts of the garden, with beautiful blue campanula and pinks (carnations) in purple and, erm pink!

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Next is a type of wallflower which I’ve been lucky enough to get a cutting of and is growing well in my garden.  It is so pretty, it livens up the borders…

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The hanging baskets also look spectacular, such a gorgeous combination of verbena, fuchsia and petunias.

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And finally, my real envy of their garden – black stemmed bamboo – nothing like as invasive as the other varieties.  It also provides good cover (which I need desperately…) and I’m sure I could make some interesting attempts at using the stems – methinks I shall have to ask Mum for another cutting!

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What is giving you delight (or envy!) in your gardens at the moment?

Happy gardening!

Lou x

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