Monday, 29 June 2009

The Gardens of the Rose

Last week, along with daughter Janie, Oliver and Rebekah, we visited the Gardens of the Rose. I had been before some years ago, but Janie had not which was surprising as she loves gardening and roses and this garden is very close to her home.

Apart from the individual rose beds there are a series of archways circling the 3 ponds in the middle of the garden. It is a quiet and peaceful place where one can just sit and listen to the splashing of the fountains while surrounded by the perfume from the roses.

Recently there has been built a Butterfly Garden with many different themed gardens in a modern style right next door. This is being developed as a place for children's activities too. It is called Futures Garden and the large ant that is shown here in one of the photos is where the gardens meet. I can see that this will be a fun and informative place eventually to take families but I do hope it does not impinge on the tranquility of the rose gardens.

We began with lunch in the tearooms before strolling and sitting as the fancy took us. Come round with us and enjoy.

How much is that doggy in the window? Quietly watching while it's owner took payment and issued tickets.
We are off the day after tomorrow (Friday) for a weeks holiday, staying in a tiny and quaint 16th century, thatched roofed cottage. Only two and a half hours from home, but an area with pretty villages and a number of National Trust places to visit. So this will be my last post until we return.
Fortunately the heatwave is apparently going to die down at the weekend. Can't say that I am sorry as 90 degrees plus heat rather cramps one's style. Have a great week everyone.
Oh, and you can see my new Grand daughter at 10 weeks here

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Lavender Everywhere and More

The garden is forever changing colour and shape as the weeks go by. The main beauty and fragrance at the moment is from the Lavender with Clematis in abundance and the later flowering Roses. With the roses generally the first flush, which is always the most prolific, has finished and the shrubs need time to come up with their second main flowering.

White Lavender

We visited the Gardens of the Rose last week while visiting Janie's (more in my next post) and Jane and I both bought this lovely creamy yellow minature bush rose. When I got home I found I had no room anywhere to plant it. to the garden centre to buy a pot (this rose also does ok in a container). I ended up paying twice the price of the rose in order to be able to plant it. One of the hazards of being a gardener - difficult to resist buying another plant.

This is a 'groundcover' rose.

Beautiful Thyme in several places

This has inadvertently become my current garden project. Around one side of my pond and waterfall I had a Juniper Horizontalis that had spread for about a metre and recently had begun to die back. I thought it would be just a matter of cutting it back and digging it out. What I had forgotten was that when we built the pond some decades ago this shrub was planted in amongst the rockery sides that were holding it all together.
It became a matter of partly dismantling the structure which has now entailed clearing of a lot of ivy too.

So when I have finished I will be replanting this area from scratch

For now it has become far too hot to continue today and we have a severe heatwave forecast for the coming week, at the end of which we go on holiday so it is going to look a mess for a while to come.
The Centre Court at Wimbledon registered 104f last week - wonder what it will register this coming week

A shaft of evening sunlight highlighting a single Peony, bought for me by one of my guests at a dinner for 7 that I organised here last Monday.

Janie will be here for the day tomorrow with Oliver and Rebekah so we are waiting to see what the temperatures are. We planned to visit a children's theme farm but if it is too hot then we will do something less active. Today after several hours of severe storms yesterday, it is extremely hot and humid.

Friday, 26 June 2009

A Walk from Flatford Mill to Dedham

As promised in the last post, I will take you on a walk from Flatford Mill to Dedham. This will be a 3 mile circular walk taking in afternoon tea on the way. (You can see lots of beautiful photos of Dedham by clicking on 'English Villages' These are from our last visit in November.)

This becomes a long drag up the lane to the top of the hill

We are now walking across the fields to the village which is on the horizon here

I love the long grasses blowing in the breeze

We come to one of the many 'kissing gates'

And out onto a path

Passing some cows

And over a river covered in Algae

Along a wooded path

Through fields and to another river, the River Stour which divides Suffolk with our own country of Essex. On the horizon here you can see the church in Dedham. We cannot go directly there though as we have to wait until we can cross the river, making it much futher than the crow flies.

Now is this cow standing on top of his friends! - no, he is standing and they are lying down.

Continuing along the river. When my children were young we took our own dingy onto this river but I would imagine that health and safety would not allow that now.

We are now on the bridge crossing the river

And passing the bank of a stream covered in wild Cammomile

Into Dedham

Passing a country green grocery store

We come to The Essex Rose, our favourite 16th century Tea House

I had Rocky Road square and Alan had carrot Cake

Some good views of the surrounding area and a portrait of the painter John Constable on a souvenir teatowel

And now fully refreshed we make our way back to Flatford Mill

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

And following the river on the other side this time

Across the last field where we will find our car and make our way home. Hope you enjoyed the walk as much as we did.