Crook House & Gardens~Nov 2019~part 2

Part 1 HERE

In spite of the weather being meh, we had a wander around the gardens. Not many flowers at that time of year, but nice to see some garden features,foliage & berries.

Ivy Urn
red berries
Not sure about him!
Showing off lady
Pampas grass
Baby ENT
Weepy Elephant
Needs a good rub down
An Imp
Up to his neck in it!
In the meadow
Not in the chip shop any more.

So, a nice day out, the pictures as always are embiggenable with a click, and there are more photo’s of Crook House HERE

Stay home, stay well, stay frosty and stay tooned for our next adventure!

Washington Old Hall~July 2016 ~ Part 2

Part 1 HERE

On with the tour of Washington Old Hall. In part 1 we were in the kitchen and dining room and now move on to the panelled room, where there are some beautiful examples of carved oak furniture and a precious collection of delft ware spanning three centuries.

and how about this for a recipe book?!

In old English the “s” is written as “f” so when you are ftewing your Bullock cheeks, you are in effect, stewing them!

On to the first floor where we find No. 5 The Old Hall, a recreation of the home of the Bone family. From the second half of the 1800s right up until 1933 the hall became home to up to nine families.

Then we went out into the gardens and did some macro shots of the flowers and stuff,

Still in its infancy the orchard has a variety of English heritage apple trees that were recently planted on the sight of a previous orchard

The Knot Garden,

A knot garden is a garden of very formal design in a square frame, consisting of a variety of aromatic plants and culinary herbs including germander, marjoram, thyme, southernwood, lemon balm, hyssop, costmary, acanthus, mallow, chamomile, rosemary, Calendulas, Violas and Santolina. Most knot gardens now have edges made from box (Buxus sempervirens), whose leaves have a sweet smell when bruised. The paths in between are usually laid with fine gravel. However, the original designs of knot gardens did not have the low box hedges, and knot gardens with such hedges might more accurately be called parterres, which this one is.

Next time we’ll move on the the church next door to the Hall, not part of the Hall, but interesting in it’s own right.

Day 49~366

Should have posted this last night but had a very busy day off getting hair done and manicure, then monthly shopping in Asda.  The sun was out though it was cold, so I took some early morning shots in my garden to make sure I had something for the day. It’s sunny and cold again today, but have no appointments so am going for a walk in a little while, to see what I can find for day 50.

My weather vane.


Jasmine reaching for the sunshine


and my garden tap (faucet for my USA buddies 🙂 )


I think my friend Francis would make something of the shadow on this, but I am no good at pareidolia. 🙂

Thanks Francis 😀


The Howick Hall Gardens report ~part 2

Thought I’d crack on with this as I’m off to Holland tomorrow and won’t get chance to post for a few days unless I can figure out how to do it on the iPad.

Part 1 and the history bit are HERE so this is basically just more pictures of dead flowers 😀 (I jest). After the Bog Garden we wandered around the rest of the gardens to the back of the Hall

gate detail
gate detail

dead flower :)
dead flower 🙂

avenue of pots
avenue of pots





A lot of the grass had purple and white crocuses growing through which we thought really strange as they usually appear in spring, however it turns out they are autumn crocuses, colchicums no less, Its leaves, corm and seeds are poisonous. Murderess Catherine Wilson is thought to have used it to poison a number of victims in the 19th century.

Howick Hall
Howick Hall

You can see why I didn’t shoot many pictures with the sky included. I suppose I could replace it in potatoshop, but it belongs to the day, so there it stays.


lots of poison
lots of poison

Autumn foliage now..






could have done with just a bit of sun though!

We came across some ginormous leaves..



and even more ginormous leaves..


Sophie took one of me holding a leaf so you can see how big they are

me & ginormous leaves
me & ginormous leaves (courtesy of Sophie Cormack)

I have hamster cheeks!!! Where did THEY come from!!??

Well, that’ll do for now, back to the packing, have a fab weekend wordypeeps

laters gaters







The Howick Hall Gardens report ~ part 1

Our Indian Summer ended on Friday evening, and Sophie and I had planned on going to Howick Hall Gardens no Saturday. It was foggy and dull grey when we set off, and it remained grey and dull the whole day in spite of  telling each other it might brighten up in a bit. The good news is that it was fine weather to employ the 60mm fuji macro lens, soft light combined with no wind.  So  first…ta.dah….

The Edumacation.

Earl Grey is a famous guy if you drink the tea he invented, and Howick Hall was his ancestral gaff. The tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, to suit the water from the well at Howick, using bergamot in particular to offset the taste of the lime in it.  Lady Grey used it in London when entertaining as a political hostess, and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others, which is how Twinings came to market it and it is now sold worldwide.  Sadly the Greys, being unbusinesslike, failed to register the trade mark and as a result they have never received a penny in royalties.  Charles was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834, during which time the Great Reform Bill of 1832 was passed starting the process of parliamentary reform which eventually led to our modern democracy. I bet David Cameron wouldn’t have failed to register the trademark!!

I’ll spare you the house history as it isn’t open to the public. The gardens at Howick are primarily the work of Charles, 5th Earl Grey, his wife Mabel, and their daughter Lady Mary Howick between 1920 and 2001. They established and maintained an informal and natural style of gardening first advocated by William Robinson in the late 19th Century, which completely replaced the more formal Victorian planting of their ancestors. All that is left of the old garden are some of the mature trees; all else was swept away.

and onto the pretty pictures…

Howick Hall
Howick Hall

First we visited the Bog Garden, which is a load of plants around a pond in a boggy area, a lot of the plants are exotic from India, North America, New Zealand, Japan, China and Europe (just about the whole world then 🙂 )

To the bog garden
To the bog garden

The Bog Garden
The Bog Garden


Of course a lot of the flowering plants were done for the year, but I like shooting the aftermath..






holding on..
holding on..



empty clover









That will do for part 1, I do like taking macro’s of plants, it forces you to see stuff you wouldn’t normally notice, and the complicated structure and patterns involved in them are mind boggling really.

laters gaters








Mount Grace Priory~ part 6

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Of course when there is such a garden as the one at Mount Grace you  have to get the macro lens in full swing on the camera, it would be rude not to. 🙂 My 60mm macro does quite a good job I think.

And this ends my outing to the priory, a lovely day for me to remember and fun to be out with Sophie. Hope my WPeeps have had a good weekend, am off to Scotland to work tomorrow, hope to get a few views through the camera 🙂

laters gaters


Mount Grace Priory~part 5

After we visited the house and the priory we explored the estate which has a beautiful garden and also area with a lake and wildflowers. 

wild flowers
wild flowers



a drinking venue for Japanese maples

up the garden path
up the garden path

hydrangea (I think :) )
hydrangea (I think 🙂 )


duck, reflecting.
a reflecting duck

blue sky moment
blue sky moment

Japanese maple
Japanese maple

another one
another one

you can maybe tell I quite liked the Japanese maples!

Further out from the beautifully kept gardens, is a kind of wilderness area where we saw geese and duck families..

Bath time
Bath time



catch up!
catch up!

It was at this point I knew I had to purchase a longer zoom lens!! These shots are all taken with the 18-55mm kit lens. You can see the babies better if you click on the pictures.

Next time will be the last trip to MGP, and we’ll be having a look at the flowers and see what the macro lens can do.

laters gaters