Five Minutes with Narcissus

Five Minutes with Narcissus

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new weekly challenge called “regularrandom for anyone to join in with which involves spending 5 minutes with the subject matter.

Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes.   You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.

Still on the spring theme, this week I am having a play with a vase of narcissus which are currently bringing cheer to my house.

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white or yellow (orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona. Wikipedia

All photos were taken using my Macro 60mm lens and an art effect on the Olympus E-10 camera.

If you would like to join in then please visit DJ’s site where you will find more information and ideas about this fun challenge which doesn’t have to involve macros.

Garden Portrait: Bourton House

Garden Portrait: Bourton House

Bourton House Garden is one of the best kept secrets of the Cotswolds. The most famous garden in this region is Hidcote which attracts coach loads of visitors from London so can often be a little overcrowded. No problems here. This 3 acre garden surrounding an 18C Manor House is much quieter. Located only a short distance out of Moreton-in-Marsh it is also close to the Batsford Arboretum and Sezincote and a very decent pub.

bourton house
Manor House

The entrance to the gardens is through a magnificent Grade I listed 16C Tithe Barn where you will find merchandise for the home and garden and a pretty decent tea-room.

tithe barn

My visit to this garden was in early June in a year when spring was late in arriving, so there were lots of spring flowers in bloom. It is a plantsman’s garden with unusual, rare and exotic delights. Deep herbaceous borders highlight textures and colour combinations and there are terraces and topiary to provide interest. The Topiary Walk leads into the White Garden, attractively designed around a shallow square pond.

garden view 2
The White Garden
Deep herbaceous borders

Pathways  lead you through to the lawn behind the early 18th century house facing the beautiful raised walk which in turn provides panoramic vistas over the Cotswold countryside. Deep herbaceous borders surround the lawn area.

cottage garden border
18th Century Raised Walk
cotswolds
Vista
apple blossom
Orchard

From here you wander past a Shade House and splendid Knot Garden complete with 19th century statues.

knot garden
The Knot Garden

In the centre of the Knot Garden is a pretty basket-weave pond from the 1851 Great Exhibition, complete with two more elegant herons by Michael Lythgoe. A pretty Fountain Garden brings you to the front of the house and a parterre.

topiary at the front of the house
Parterre with Gazebo by Richard Overs

With lots of interesting plants and features to explore your visit can be much longer than you might expect for a small garden. And in addition to the gardens themselves there is a small glasshouse containing succulents and a Brewhouse with containers and more topiary outside.

Late summer is supposed to be a good time to visit as the garden flourishes when many have run their course, but spring certainly has its own beauties to enjoy.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Garden Portrait: Glendurgan

Garden Portrait: Glendurgan
Cornish Red Rhododendron

Glendurgan Garden is a woodland garden which is ideal for a circular stroll through sheltered valleys down to Durgan beach on the Helford River in Cornwall. It has the usual spring planting that Cornish gardens are famous for – rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias along with many tree ferns and exotic shrub and tree species. Bought by Alfred Fox in 1823 he set about creating shelter-belts of native deciduous trees and Scots pines, Norway spruce and holm oak. The paths follow the contours of the valley between the towering trees and lush foliage.

Rough paths lead down the slopes and open sweeps of meadows provide a backdrop to the more dramatic planting. Wildflowers abound: primroses, bluebells, violets and native Lent lilies followed by columbines, campions and early purple orchids.

Magnolia stellata and upturned boat seat

Having descended into the lower portion of the garden, you exit over a cattle grid and enter the hamlet of Durgan, a true example of rural Cornwall. Mostly consisting of holiday lets, it is a lovely spot to rest for a while looking over the Helford River: a place to watch birds and boats, skim stones and build sandcastles.

Back through a kissing-gate on the other side you see the valley from the opposite side, passing by bamboos and myrtles, cherry blossom and lots of shades of green.

This lush valley of woods and meadows has one last surprise for you. An asymmetrical cherry laurel maze laid out on the west-facing slope. It was created by Alfred Fox in 1833 and the entrance and exit routes are 1.2 km in length. It once contained a thatched summerhouse in the centre, but on this latest visit it was no longer there.

intricate

A garden to enjoy at any time of the year, but especially in spring, it is full of natural beauty and offers lots of fun for the children (or child within yourself).

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.