Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In an English Country Garden (plus bits and bobs)

Did you read that and start singing the song?  I certainly did as I typed!  This is a mish-mash of a few garden visits and other random stuff starting with a tank:

Traviss likes to stick a small tank somewhere on any of the girly type medals to make them more manly so Rachel let him have a whole series of different coloured tanks for this event!

Traviss and Rachel had organised a 10in10 event which meant people could choose to run as far as they wished within the time limit each day for 10 days.  Yes, of course it's bonkers but there were nearly 40 takers who achieved epicness.  I was not that bonkers and had planned 3 days of ultra marathoning until life intervened and I ended up doing just 1 marathon on a very hot and humid day which I found quite tough as my breathing was rubbish.  It was nice to catch up with some friends though and it took me to marathon 155 in a sluggish 5:42:59.

I've been doing a lot of work in the garden which has caused the arthritis in my fingers, wrists and ankles to flare up with a vengeance but I'm determined not to let it beat me so I made a start on my next knitting project of the Allie Shawl which I mentioned previously.  There isn't much to show yet but as a 'process' knitter (I actually enjoy the knitting itself more than the finished article!) I'm enjoying the mosaic stitch enormously.

This is the right side - I used an i-cord cast on, rather than the picot edging in the pattern, as I noticed someone else had used that and although it takes longer to do it looks so neat and I'll do an i-cord bind-off too.

Wrong side

I'm trying gypsythedog's (great nickname!) 3 stitch edging as I thought it looked nice

Now for some glorious gardens we've visited recently.  I'll have to keep the words to a minimum or I'll never get through them all:

Great Maytham Hall

These gardens are famous for inspiring Frances Hodgson-Burnet to write 'The Secret Garden' and we've been meaning to visit for ages.  I also took part in a mystery KAL back in 2014 when I produced these mittens inspired by the story.

If you click on the link in the heading you'll see that it has been divided into luxurious apartments and you get some views of the gardens from above.

Converted stables and outbuildings

Entering part of the beautiful walled garden which was the inspiration for the novel

A very friendly cat, obviously used to seeing strangers in his patch

Oooh, I could have a sewing room there!

The walls were smothered in massive Wisterias and I'd never seen to many huge seedpods before

Look at the thickness of that trunk!

What a fabulous pergola walkway

I haven't grown Limonium, aka Sea Lavender, for many years and I took this to remind me to sow some for next year as its great in dried flower arrangements

These Anemones were nearly as tall as Mike grown in this protective environment (I had wall envy after this visit!)

The back of the house - there's a miniature golf course on the lawn!

There were 3 brick columns which looked as if there should have been a sculptures on top

I took this to remind me I liked the contrast of the variegated Iris against the dark Bugle underneath

There quite a few areas marked 'private' and I loved peeping into intimate areas such as this one

Two local gardens open under the National Garden Scheme

There were 4 gardens open in a village nearby; 2 of them interested me very much whilst the other 2 not so much and as it was a very hot day we just did the most interesting ones.

Our first visit was to Frewen College which we've visited to hear classical music concerts but had never seen the gardens.  It's a beautiful building, see below from the rear.

The gardens weren't exceptional, but it was nice to explore them, however, the next garden most certainly was!  To reach it we had a short walk along the main road and then we entered a garden I've peeped into each time I've run past there but I had no idea just how gorgeous it was:

What a beautiful lace-cap Hydrangea with florets bigger than my hand

Viburnum Opulus, the aptly-named 'Snowball tree'!

This Rhus typhina, aka Stag's horn Sumac, stopped me in my tracks

Isn't that gorgeous!  The leaves turn a brilliant red in Autumn too.

I've got serious conservatory envy here!  I also got Greenhouse envy later on but didn't take a photo of them (yes, they had more than one and they were beautiful).

There were fabulous touches like this everywhere - just a small recess in a close-clipped hedge

I managed to catch this Dragonfly ovipositing her eggs on some pond weed

I took this to remind me to transplant our Thalictrums in Autumn as they aren't happy where they in the front garden.

That was a real gem and I'm so glad we got to look round it at last.  There are more to come but this post is getting far too long so I'll save them for another day.