Herterton Country Garden ~July 2022 ~ part 2

Part 1 HERE

I know y’all were taken with Frank and Marjorie’s story last week, though I condensed 50 years into a couple of paragraphs so touched on not much more than an inch of it. They come across in Frank’s book as two lovely people, loving each other and their garden and home. I took a phone shot of them from the book, taken in 1994, they’d be in their 50’s here,under the arches of the byre, and sitting next to the falconer statue.

Frank & Marjorie

I took a fair few shots of some of the flowers on display, with some interesting (I think anyway) factoids.

Foxglove (digitalis purpurea)
The term digitalis is also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides, particularly one called digoxin, extracted from various plants of this genus. Foxglove has medicinal uses but is also very toxic to humans and other animals, and consumption can even lead to death.
Japanese Anemone (anemone hupehensis)
hupehensis, which means “from Hupeh province, China”, refers to a region where the species is known to occur. So that makes sense 🙄.
Astrantia (astrancia major) ~ the great masterwort, native to to central and eastern Europe.
The plant also produces an essential oil that can be used in herbal medicines.
Persian Cornflower (psephellus dealbatos)
a species of Psephellus native to the Caucasas Mountains and Turkey. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental perennial.
Purple Toadflax ( linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’)
It is native to Italy but it can be found growing wild as an introduced species in parts of western North America. In the UK it is regarded as something of a weed, spreading readily on stony waste ground and walls, although it is tolerated for its attractive, long-lasting flowers which are very attractive to bees. This plant is poisonous to livestock, but in a recent study conducted in Italy the plant was found to contain a compound exhibiting antifungal activity, making it a potential natural and ‘green’ anti-aflatoxin B1 agent suitable for use in the food industry.
Martagon Lily, or Turks Cap Lily (lilium martagon)
is a Eurasian species of lily. It has a widespread native region extending from Portugal east through Europe and Asia as far east as Mongolia. It  is highly toxic to cats and ingestion often leads to fatal kidney failure.
Purple Viper’s-bugloss, or Patterson’s Curse, (echium plantagineum)
It is native to western and southern Europe (from southern England south to Iberia and east to the Crimea), northern Africa, and southwestern Asia (east to Georgia). It has also been introduced to Australia, South Africa and United States, where it is an invasive weed. Due to a high concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, it is poisonous to grazing livestock, especially those with very simple digestive systems, like horses. When eaten in large quantities, it causes reduced livestock weight, and death in severe cases, due to liver damage. It can also irritate the udders of dairy cows and the skin of humans. After the 2003 Canberra bushfires, a large bloom of the plant occurred on the burned land, and many horses became ill and died from grazing on it. Because the alkaloids can also be found in the nectar of it’s flowers, the honey made from it should be blended with other honeys to dilute the toxins.
poppys in the wildflower garden

And we saw some butterflies

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The red admiral is found in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and island regions of Hawaii, and the Caribbean. It resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn. Red admirals are territorial; females will only mate with males that hold territory. Males with superior flight abilities are more likely to successfully court females. They are the Tom Cruise of the butterfly world. It is known as an unusually calm butterfly, often allowing observation at a very close distance before flying away, also landing on and using humans as perches.
A small tortoiseshell, or angelwing. (Nymphalis) and a Red admiral.
Today, the anglewing butterflies are found only in the northern hemisphere. Carl Linnaeus described the first members of this group in 1758, and it has since become clear that anglewing butterflies evolved from a common ancestor. During winter months, in latitudes with snow cover, all members of this group hibernate as adult butterflies During hibernation, hidden in various shelters, the butterflies are dormant. The camouflage provided by crypsis (the ability of an animal or a plant to avoid observation or detection by other animals)is advantageous to hibernating butterflies. Potential predators will have difficulties in seeing the dormant butterflies. With their wings closed, exposing only the ventral cryptically coloured underside, they blend in with their surroundings.

More pictures taken with my film camera at

OK school’s out 🎓 😊 Stay tooned for next week!

Herterton Country Garden ~ July 2022 ~ part 1

After lunch in Morpeth (see the previous 2 posts ) we toddled West for a few miles to visit Herterton House & Gardens, which we somehow hadn’t known about until this month. This was a treat and I wish we’d known about it sooner.

I can’t do a ‘history bit’ as usual, as the Garden is the lifelong work of Frank and Marjorie Lawley, both now in their eighties and still working on the garden in spite of health issues. The house and grounds were leased to them by the National Trust for 50 years, which is due to finish in 3 years time, when it will revert to the trust, and Marjorie and Frank will have to find a care home or somesuch in which to live out their lives. That seems cruel to me, they should be allowed to live in their home which they’ve worked so hard on, even if the Trust take over the work needed in the garden. But who knows what will happen?

Marjorie and Frank were both trained artists, meeting and falling in love back in the 60’s when they were learning their craft, but both fell in love with gardening when living in their first home, a cottage on the Wallington Estate, where Marjorie’s Dad was a stonemason. To cut a long story shortish, they were offered the lease to Herterton House through their contact with Trust officials at Wallington, and in spite of there being little to recommend it, i.e no roof on the house and mould on the walls, the land around it a complete mess, they decided to take it on. Apart from a year when 3 people from the government ‘job creation’ scheme came to help, the majority of the work has been done by Marjorie and Frank, and they’re still at it, with the help of one chap in his 70’s!

Frank wrote a book about their lives, and how they started out, the people they met and learned about plants, flowers and gardening from, how they sourced the antique furniture and pieces for the house, another labour of love, and he dedicated it to his Marjorie, who now has alzheimer’s sadly. It is a beautiful book, and a must for keen gardeners I think, but also for anyone creative, it was a joy to read. There are photo’s of the before and afters, the plans Marjorie drew up for the gardens and some of their artwork.

We met Frank, and he talked to us about it all, and pointed out things for us to see, whilst Marjorie carried on with her job in the garden. There are 4 sections to the garden, the flower garden, the formal garden, the physic garden and the fancy garden, Sophie and I did them all, and here are some photos.

Firstly a couple of shots from the photos we saw in the gazebo

Marjorie making pathways
Frank & Marjorie gathering up stones
Marjories plan for one of the gardens
The formal garden
In the flower garden looking back from the house toward the gazebo.
the gazebo

some views from the gazebo

One of the buildings next to the house is an old byre, it contains a couple of statues with bits missing which i think were given by either Wallington or Alnwick, I forget which

the falconer

also on the wall of the byre is one of only seven three-faced Scottish sundials in this country

Pesky sundial 🙂

There is a pretty wild flower area next to the carpark too.

Next time we’ll have a look at some individual flowers, and there will be a film friday post to go with this at some point (when I get the scans back!) so stay tooned!

Birkheads Secret Gardens ~ May 22 ~ part 2

On with the flowerfest!

Alpen Rose (rhododendron ferrugineum)
Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra,)
fake heron surrounded by Boris’s Avens (geum coccineum) (there’s a joke to be made there I think)
a rather large peony
moss phlox and garden phlox combo.
faerie
Common lilac ( syringa vulgaris)
another peony
Broom ( cytisus scoparius )
Angel’s Tears (narcissus triandrus)

They’ve managed to have a Great Crested Newt or 2 in one of the ponds. This threatened creature has suffered a massive decline and is now legally protected. It can be easily identified as it is our largest newt and the males have vivid breeding colours. Not that you can see those on my rather blurry photo, but I’m including it anyway as they are rare as rocking horse poo due to young boys back in the day hoying them out of the water and taking them home in a plastic bag, where of course they died.

Great Crested Newt (Triurus cristatus)
Not a scarecrow. (non a cucumerario formido)

So that’s the end of our flowerfest, but stay tooned for whatever comes next.

ref: https://www.birkheadssecretgardens.co.uk/

Birkheads Secret Garden ~ May 2022 ~ part 1

I’m not sure why it’s secret, it’s on a map and everything. Anyway it’s a great place for photography. Started in 1978 when Christine and her Hubby moved into Birkheads, and decided to become self sufficient. They grew organic vegetables, fruit, kept ducks & bees and saw how the wildlife were attracted to their land. In 1987 they started to to make an environmentally friendly garden on a site that had been surface mined (opencast) for coal.  Most of the gardens have been created using recycled materials, paving, slates, wood etc. Garden features and sculptures are made from mainly recycled metal and driftwood, others have had a past life in some other place. They were one of the first Green Tourism Businesses to achieve a Gold  Award.

Sophie and I love visiting here, there’s always something new to see and obviously different times of the year have different flowers and plants for us to focus our cameras on. So here we have it, The Flowerfest! 💐🌷🌸

woody spurge (euphorbia dendroides)
Austrian Poppy (papaver alpinum)
lupin not sure which one.

We spotted some dragonflies gettin’ jiggy with it.

true love
orchid primrose (Primula vialii)
Lupin (lupinus polyphyllus)
Pencilled Crane’s-bill (geranium versicolour)
Columbine (aquilegia vulgaris winky)
Elephant Ears (bergenia crassifolia)
Broadleaf speedwell (veronica teucrium) & Green-veined white butterfly (pieris napi)

the gardens are potted with featured items amongst the flowers

?duck and white bells.
fossilised tree trunk 350 million years old, found when digging out the clay soil when they were making a new pond.

I think that will do for this week, we’ll have a look at some more flowers and features next time, and there will be a film on friday post to accompany this series. Stay tooned!

📷 😊

Belsay Hall & Castle ~ October 2021 ~ part 2

We leave Belsay Hall and start off to get to the quarry, but first we’ll have a look in the formal gardens of the Hall. The temperatures were milder than usual in October and November, and so butterflies were still about, which surprised us.

small tortoiseshell and buddlea
large white
red admiral

Still some flowers budding and blooming too.

japanese anemone
sevenbark (Hydrangea aborescens L.)

and some buggy things

hoverfly
webmaster.

There’s a manicured lawn within a walled garden

walled garden

And then on out to the path that leads you on to the quarry, through gorgeous autumn colours.

Katsura japonicum.
Katsura leaves.

Next time we’ll get to the exotic quarry walk so stay tooned!

365 ~ 14th ~ 20th March

This week was colour week, and the colour is yellow. I have even less yellow things than pink, not sure why as I like yellow better, but it was fine, I didn’t struggle to find anything. I’m not overly enthralled with any of these, somehow, except maybe the car.

Day 73 ~ Triangle. Yellow can represent freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honor, loyalty, and joy. It is also associated with Spring and fresh yellow flowers.Today be on the lookout for yellow triangles. I am standing in a parking lot next to a yellow arrow. Where else might you find yellow triangles. You could also choose to create a yellow triangle using items you have around the house.

It was raining and cold of course, so I decided to do the ‘use items from around the house’ bit. As I was making my toast for breakfast, the idea of the butter triangle popped into my head. Always good to have an idea that ends in yum. And yes the toast is burnt at one edge and raw at the other, my toaster is pants, but this bit was an end crust and just done for the photo.

triangle

Day 74 ~ Safe. Whether it be ducks in Boston or here in Texas, deer on a mountain highway, or children on a neighborhood street, these diamond-shaped yellow signs are used to help keep everyone safe.  Road crews and runners also wear yellow vests helping to keep them safe by making them more visible to motorists on the streets.Where do you see yellow being used as a safety measure?  Photograph it today.

As always, being at work all day doesn’t make things easy. Annoyingly I saw many yellow jacketed workmen on the journey home, but stopping on a major roadwork site at rush hour wasn’t an option. I resorted to my local shop instead, as they have yellow social distancing signs on the windows and floors. Londis and Morrisons are gifts that keep on giving. (Also that’s my little Minty car reflected in the window, it’s so cute 😍)

Safe

Day 75 ~ Wheel. See if you can find a wheel on a bicycle, a yellow car, a yellow bus, a yellow truck or anything else…you get the idea!  Just include a wheel in the photo.

Well I couldn’t find one. I kept checking the carpark outside where I work and no yellow vehicles visited. None around where I live either. So I got out the little people and dinky cars when I got home from work and took them out on the front driveway. The sun was going down so I had some nice light for it, am sure the neighbours think I’m mad.

Wheel

Day 76~ Brilliant. Yellow is my favourite colour!  To me it symbolizes sunshine and light, happiness and joy.  It is indeed the most brilliant of colours.Yellow is a ‘stand out’ colour.  It simply glows.  What brilliant yellow can you find in your world today!  Let us see the sunshine in your life.

Pfft! Sunshine my arse. No matter, Morrisons do flowers, so I called in after work to see if they had any daffodils, they did but they were still closed up, but these chrysanthemums were just gagging to be photographed. Me,me,me! they shouted, I’m brilliant! I agreed.

Brilliant

Day 77 ~ Sign. There is no shortage of signs that are yellow after all it is a cautionary color! All along the road there are signals and alerts, with warnings of hazards and dangers. There are markers to guide us as well as to deter us; this battered sign is giving us a warning that you are about to go over the cliff! So your challenge is to share the yellow sign that helped you out today!  

This one didn’t seem that different to day 74’s ‘safe’ really. I didn’t get a yellow sign helping me out as I already knew where to go for some warning signs. The coast line at Trow Landing is eroding at a fair rate, so there is a risk of cliffs crashing down if you are walking along the coastal pathway, not that I’ve ever seen that happen. I quite like the right hand triangle sign here, the little guy looks like he’s having a rave.

Sign

Day 78 ~ Inspiration. We can find so much that’s inspirational in our life.  What inspires you today?

It’s raining (again) today, so inspiration comes from looking at Saul Leiter’s photographs and reading books on art and creativity.

Inspiration

Day 79 ~ Cloth. Cloth and material can be found virtually everywhere and I’m sure it won’t be hard for you to find some yellow cloth to include in your photo today.

It nearly was hard. Phil has got a faded pale yellow T shirt but he’s gone to work in it, and I don’t have a damn thing in yellow! How’s that happened? Will have to rectify that for spring. Luckily I remembered Giorgio in the spare room, and that sufficed for yellow cloth.

So that’s another week done and dusted. Stay tooned for next week ~ adventures with angles.

Richmond ~ August 2013 ~ part 2

Following on from seeing Richmond Castle in Part 1, Sophie and I went into the market place

The market place from the top of the Castle keep.

The church in the market place is the former Holy Trinity church. The tower is 14th century, and was originally detached from the nave, but they are now linked by a more modern, possibly Victorian block. At the east end shops and houses are built against it. Since 1938 it has been home to the Green Howards Regimental museum, tracing the history of that regiment, which was inaugurated back in 1688. As well as other stuff it houses 3700 medals awarded to members of the regiment and includes 16 Victoria Crosses.

Green Howards Museum/Holy Trinity Church

The obelisk you can see in the centre of the market place was put up in 1788 to replace a medieval market cross. Would rather they hadn’t but the 17th & 18th centuries marked Richmond’s Hey-Day and new elegant Georgian housing and buildings replaced many of the older medieval buildings. Argh!

reflection of the obelisk in the Golden Lion’s window.

We visited the 18th century Millgate House, a building on the south side of the market place known for it’s beautiful garden arranged in terraces below the house.

We also had a look inside the Market Hall, which was open 7 days a week.

Market Hall

And then it was such a nice day we went to see the River Swale waterfalls, which would have been more beautiful without the stupid boys.

A herd of numpties

Not everyone jumped in.

After this we went to visit Easby Abbey so we’ll have a trip there next week! Stay tooned folks!

Howick Gardens ~ February 2020

Sophie and I have visited Howick Gardens a couple of times prior to this post, in October 2015 and July 2017, but there’s something different happening there all year round, and this time we went to see the snowdrops.

If you want the history of the gardens it’s in the first link there, if not, on with the pretty pictures!

Although it was quite cold, we had a clear blue sky, and the snowdrops were out in force. I had my FujiXT2 + my 16mm fujinon & my helios lens, with me and my Canon EOS 100 FN with a roll of portra 400 in it.

fuji + 16mm

It was lovely to see the snowdrops carpeting everywhere, and to hear the birds singing, and nice to be out in the fresh air.

canon
Canon ~ close up.
Fuji + helios

As we walked around the estate, we got a fab view of the Hall.

Fuji + 16mm

There is a church in the grounds

fuji + 16mm

and a chap on his hands and knees amongst the grave stones, macro-ing the snowdrops.

Canon

Such a sad grave stone in the cemetery

Ellen aged 11 mths 1901, Euphemia 4 mths 1908, David aged 8 1914.
Fuji + helios
Fuji + helios.

Just a short one today, nice to remember being out and about and not have to stop breathing when coming across other out and abouters!

Wynyard Gardens – October 2019 – part 2

Part 1 HERE

On the way back through the woods, we came across a few interesting bits and bobs.

Not sure what it is, a wooden castle?
fairy tree
owl
I loved this handbag bird home
View through the woods to the hall
another owl
maybe magpie?

lots of mushrooms everywhere

We got back to the formal gardens, no roses as it was late in the year, but a few bits of autumn colour.

reds
purples
lilacs

For more pictures there’s a full album HERE

Sophie and I hoped to return here in spring and see the rose garden, but as the corona virus is taking hold in the country now as I write, I’m not sure if that will happen.

Stay tooned though, still some more adventures to do!

Raby Castle Revisited Again! – August 2019

The thing with some places, like Raby Castle, Alnwick Castle, and a few other sites not part of English Heritage or National Trust but run privately, is that you buy a ticket to get in to the place, which isn’t always cheap, but allows you to visit as many times as you like within a year of buying it. Raby Castle is well worth a few visits and though we’d been back in May, we wanted a return trip to do the butterflies in the beautiful gardens there, always a spectacle.

This year was the year of the painted ladies invasion. The butterfly migrates to the UK each summer where its caterpillars feed on thistles. Every ten years or so there is a “painted lady summer” when they arrive en masse and 2019 was it.

But it wasn’t all painted ladies…

Comma

Small white

Red Admiral

Peacock

Meadow Brown

and the ladies

and it wasn’t all butterflies..

Not sure if these are wasps or hoverflies and I didn’t hang about to find out! 🙂

I was amazed at how much pollen a bee can collect and still fly!

Ladybird

Geese

Raby has a wonderful herd of deer, and we were lucky to get close to these guys again

The chaps

there’s always one….

all pictures can be embiggened with a click
full album of pretty pictures HERE

stay tooned folks!

Cragside – Rhododendrons June 2019

It’s cold here in the UK, the summer flowers have gone and the autumn leaves blown away, so let’s take a walk through the estate at Cragside and remember warmer times.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Rachel Carson

 

“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature”. Steve Maraboli

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert  Einstein

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Hans Christian Anderson

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” Jules Renard

 

“Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” Katrina Mayer

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tsu

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” George Santayana

all pictures by me and embiggenable with a click

If you want a longer walk there are more pretty pictures HERE

Raby Castle Revisited – May 2019

Back in August 2018 Sophie and I went off to visit Raby Castle and had a great time chasing deer around the place. When you buy a ticket to get in there, it lasts for a whole year, so we revisited in May when the spring flowers were popping up.  The castle itself is a grand castle, so much to see, so much history, and a deer park in the extensive grounds and I did a 7 part series on it last year.  The history of the castle, and the Neville and Vane families who held it, is quite fascinating, and for a potted version, you can read my original post HERE.

On this occasion though, we didn’t go into the castle, but spent the morning photographing flowers and a few other bits and bobs. So no more preamble, on with the show!

Iris

Pink and Blue

Iris to be and greenflies

I’m not great at remembering flower names

Big round things

Red-head

Clematis

Daisies, I think

The bonkers hedge

❤ ‘s

Peony bud

Floppy flower

An exotic flower in the conservatory.

So that’s all this time, though we’ll be back later in summer to do the butterflies.

Stay tooned for next time when we visit the Bowes Museum.