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