Five Minutes with a dying Helleborus niger

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new 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,…

Macro Monday #68

(click to enlarge to full size) A new crocus in the garden, Crocus tommasinianus, an early flowering species and the absolute classic, mini mauve candle. Planted in a shallow bowl this year along with Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ and some miniature daffodils, but they will go into the grass after flowering where they should self-seed and spread. Loved…

Garden Portrait: Powis Castle

The castle and garden is in Welshpool, Powys. The gardens are spread out over several Baroque terraces leading down through shrubs and giant cloud-shaped yew hedges to a large lawned area and a former kitchen garden and a woodland walk. All backed by a patchwork of fields, villages and hills of the Welsh border countryside….

Macro Monday #67

(click to enlarge to full size) The first flower in my garden this year.

Garden Portrait: Stourhead

Stourhead is often called “one of the most beautiful of this country’s landscape gardens” with a gentle harmonious planting of broad-leaved trees, conifers and rhododendrons. The valley landscape began in the 1740s by Henry Hoare II who had returned from a three-year tour of Italy and was inspired by the Roman Campagna ( a low-lying area…

Tree Series #25

Sun setting on Butser Hill. The last tree for a while. Next Monday we’ll be back to macro photos of flowers as it will be the beginning of spring (meteorological that is)

Garden Portrait: Snowshill Manor

Snowshill Manor near Broadway, Gloucestershire, is probably visited mainly for the eclectic collections of the architect, artist and woodworker Charles Paget Wade who purchased the house in 1919. The beautiful honey-coloured stone Cotswold house is set within the fresh green countryside and situated on a steeply sloping plot. To reach the garden from the National…

Tree Series #24

Butser Hill, a chalk hill in Hampshire, close to the Surrey/West Sussex county borders, is the second highest point of the South Downs (Blackdown is the highest). It is located within the borders of the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, situated about three miles south of the historic market town of Petersfield. Once close to where we lived it provided the…

Garden Portrait: Spring at Hinton Ampner

This Georgian house stands on a ridge of chalk above well-treed farmland in Bramdean, Hampshire. It was inherited by Ralph Dutton, the 8th and last Lord Sherborne, in 1935 and he devoted the next fifty years to improving it. Author of ‘The English Garden’ he produced a very elegant house, landscaped gardens and parkland. On…

Garden Portrait: Polesden Lacey

I have visited Polesden Lacey a few times, but always too late for the wonderful Mrs Greville’s Rose Garden. This National Trust owned property is in Great Bookham, Surrey and designed as the perfect setting for entertaining royalty, politicians and the top dogs of the Edwardian society. Just a little second home then. I’ve never…