Flashback Friday #38

A post from September 2014 about a rather unusual garden in Herefordshire.  A delightful county to explore if you are ever in the West Midlands. This post was a contribution to the lovely Restless Jo’s weekly walks.


Garden Portrait: Westonbury Mill Water Gardens
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The Water Tower with Gargoyles

Winding paths through the Bog Garden

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Cool, shady areas

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Butterflies Galore

A folly or two

Just a quiet, tranquil space to enjoy the bird song, running water, autumnal light and colours with plenty of benches to sit on and admire the surrounding Herefordshire hills and meadows.

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You will find this unusual garden in the beautiful Welsh Marches close to the ‘Black-and-White’ village of Pembridge.

  • Street:        Westonbury Mill
  • Postcode:   HR6 9HZ
  • City:            Pembridge
  • County:      Herefordshire
  • Country:    United Kingdom

This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Garden Portrait: East Lambrook Manor

East Lambrook Manor is a small 15th-century manor house in East Lambrook, Somerset, England. It is surrounded by a “cottage garden” planted by Margery Fish between 1938 and her death in 1969.

The English Heritage Grade 1 listed garden is characterised by many winding paths through abundant borders and is renowned as the premier example of the English cottage garden style. It has noted collections of snowdrops, hellebores and hardy geraniums and there is an excellent specialist hardy plant nursery in the garden.

During the lockdown, due to Covid-19, we had to prebook our garden visits and there were precautions in place to protect visitors. Although the garden has meandering paths throughout the very dense planting, there was a one-way system in place which meant having to rush through at a faster pace than normal so as not to block the route for other people. Luckily we had booked an early slot and the garden was not busy.

Our visit was in late May after a very cold April and a very wet May. I was therefore surprised to see many flowers in bloom which I associate with the summer months and certainly in advance of what I had seen in Cornwall.

It is not a big garden, but there is a lot to see. I couldn’t come away without buying several lovely hardy geraniums and also three Geum plants for my garden. If you are ever in the area I recommend a visit here and there is also a rather nice pub opposite for lunch.

Town: East Lambrook, South Petherton
Postcode: TA13 5HH
County: Somerset
Website: East Lambrook Gardens

 

Flashback Friday #35

 August in Cornwall is the time for the Hydrangea to take centre stage. Everywhere you go you will see large shrubs of this pretty flower in gardens, roadsides and public spaces. This post is from 2019 when visiting gardens was a lot easier than it has been since!


Flower of the Month: August

Looking around the lanes and gardens in August you can’t fail to notice the number of Hydrangeas that are in flower. Here in Cornwall where the temperatures are mild all year round and where there is plenty of moisture they grow into enormous shrubs in colours ranging from the purest white to the darkest purple.

The one place to visit to see these flowers en masse is Trebah Garden on the Helford River. This is when they take centre stage. The plants here are hand pruned in early spring which helps promote the abundance of flowers that remain until long into the autumn. The majority of these were planted in 1949.

Included in the species are H. aspera which has soft velvety leaves. Bees collecting pollen from this plant accumulate a blue sac on each leg rather than the usual yellow.

H. quercifolia has large oak-like leaves which develop burnished tinges in autumn.

H. paniculata “Vanille Fraise” (Strawberry Vanilla) has large panicles of white flowers that turn pink as the summer progresses. This one I have in my own garden.

Hydrangea Valley is filled with plants of all shapes and colours. The pretty ‘Monet’ style bridge provides the perfect place to see them with reflections in the Mallard Pond.

If you want to see more of this lovely garden then please click on this link to my other blog: Cornwall in Colours


This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Tree Squares | Out of Africa

This month’s Square Challenge is all about trees. Now trees are not the easiest of subjects to square up, so Becky is relying on us to show some imagination in how we present them. For the final day I couldn’t choose just one so please enjoy a taste of Africa.

On Day 3 Septimus (Becky’s ginger cat) was caught up in a tree – does this leopard beat that?

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”

― Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

On Day 5 Becky showed us a Milky Eagle Owl – how about a Yellow-billed Hornbill?

Not in a tree, but in amongst the African thorn trees (Acacias) a young Springbok scratches an itch

And finally, three iconic southern African trees.

Once again, thank you Becky for being a fabulous host of the Square challenge. I am sure now you probably want to retire to a desert for a month after seeing all these trees!

Tree Squares

Tree Squares | Penultimate tree

This month’s Square Challenge is all about trees. Now trees are not the easiest of subjects to square up, so Becky is relying on us to show some imagination in how we present them. I have always loved this photo on the Atlantic coast in Portugal of what I think is a Tamarisk tree growing through a wall next to a tiny chapel  next to the ‘Boco do Inferno’, a unique sea arch and cliff formation.

Tamarisk – Caiscais, Portugal

The OH and I had walked there one evening from downtown Caiscais to have dinner at a renowned sea-food restaurant, only to discover it was closed! But we enjoyed the views of ‘Hell’s Mouth’.

Tree Squares

Tree Squares | Antipodes

This month’s Square Challenge is all about trees. Now trees are not the easiest of subjects to square up, so Becky is relying on us to show some imagination in how we present them. For the fourth week I am going to look at trees from the Antipodes (that’s Australia and New Zealand for us Brits).

White bellied Fish Eagle in a Gum Tree

Tree Squares

iris extravaganza

Whilst visiting Somerset in the last week of May I was delighted with the amount of late spring / early summer irises in flower. Irises are such beautiful flowers – so many types and colours and textures and contrasting patterns. Early spring Iris reticulata (the dwarf irises) and the summer Dutch irises grow from bulbs and those that grow from rhizomes include bearded irises, beardless like Iris Sibirica, and crested irises. Many have intricate, showy markings on the outer petals, like flowers on a flower.

An iris has two types of petals called ‘falls’ and ‘standards’. The falls are the three petals that are curved downwards – they are falling away from the centre of the flower. The standards are three petals that are standing straight up.

In many iris the standards and falls are quite distinct, but in some, like the Japanese iris, the standards are mostly horizontal and start looking like falls. In all cases the standards are the three upper most petals.

The beard is a fuzzy patch at the base of each falls petal. Locate the falls petal and look at it near the centre of the flower. The beard is usually quite distinct and you can feel the fuzzy hair-like feature. If the petal is not fuzzy, it is not bearded.