Wildside, the Bit in the Middle

Last week I posted about a quick visit to Buckland Abbey and hinted that I went somewhere else, between munch stops there. As well as Buckland, just two miles away is the beautiful Garden House, a long time favourite of mine. It was created by Keith Wiley, and considered one of the most innovative gardens in Britain. Keith left the Garden House behind twelve years ago, but he didn’t go very far, Wildside, along with Buckland and the Garden House form a trio of must see gardens, within three miles.

With his wife, artist Ros Wiley, Keith has taken a few acres of field and transformed it into a paradise filled with plants from close to home and around the world. The garden has a naturalistic style, and aims to allow plants to thrive as they would in the wild. They began by developing the lower garden.

It looks so mature, you’d never believe it’s only been twelve years.

The upper garden and the transitional areas are still being worked on, but of course a garden is never finished anyway.

I’m afraid it was a rainy day, I was holding my camera and an umbrella and both wobbled around, so my photos don’t do the garden justice. I’ll just have to go back again!

The garden is only open a few days each year, and they have a few plants for sale. My eyes feasted on a little Molly the Witch peony, I brought it home and hope I can keep it alive. Keith and Ros were there and happy to chat, I asked how many people they have helping them. The answer, none, they’ve done it all on their own, a remarkable feat.

I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area at the right time, and I intend to watch the future developments of this glorious floral canvas.

The Edible Garden

Jude’s chosen the edible garden for her challenge this month. She says we can post a photo of a single tomato plant or a whole rice terrace. There’s nothing quite like digging or picking fruit or veg that you’ve grown yourself, but not everyone has that option.

I’ve long admired the vegetable garden at RHS Rosemoor, here in Devon, and have photographed it in all seasons. Here are some of the munchies I’ve seen there.

Any guesses which one I’d never eat?

 

Looking up at the Alcazar

Nancy says that,

Going about our day, we often don’t pay attention to what’s directly above us. We’re more likely to focus on what’s in front of us rather than what’s overhead.

But like some of my friends here, I look everywhere when I’m out and about, you never know what your camera will find otherwise.

If I hadn’t looked up when I went to the Alcazar in Seville last year, I would have missed loads of photo opps, like these.

And then there was naughty Neptune!

al5 Are you observant, do yo look up? if you have images to share go visit Nancy at the Daily Post.

How to choose a coffin

Frizztext reminded me in his post today of when I visited a coffin makers shop in Accra, Ghana, quite a few years ago. He has seen a film about funerals over there, Frizz you’ll be amused to know that I danced at one! He was impressed by the choice of coffin designs and says he would like to be buried in a giant guitar shaped one.

Me, I would choose the mobile phone because I’m a techno hen, but I’d like it to be a smart phone, not the kind that was around all those years ago!

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Which would you choose?

Weekly Photo Challenge, Opposites

Hey WordPress guys, could you come up with an easy prompt once in a while please? Only joking,  know it’s a challenge.

Opposites. Well Exmouth, my closest beach, is opposite the nature reserve across the estuary at Dawlish Warren. Here is the nature reserve at low tide, in winter when its a rest stop for migrating birds, as well as a permanent home to a variety of birds.

warren2Now, the depth of field makes this look different from the reality. The grassy sand dunes are on the south west of the Exe, while the yellow apartment blocks are on the north east, with a mile of water in between.

warren1Does this second photo help or hinder? I promise you that nature and manmade are definitely opposites here!

Pimm's o'Clock
Pimm’s o’clock

Looking down from the balcony of my favourite Pimm’s hostelry, the sand spit on the opposite side of the estuary is Dawlish Warren nature reserve.

 

The 19240

 

Three years ago, Rob Heard was feeling really low while recovering from an accident. Watching soldiers returning from Afghanistan on TV, led to him thinking about the loss of lives in wartime and the incredible numbers involved. He found it impossible to imagine the 19,240 men who died in just one day, July 1st 1916, at the battle of the Somme.

From a list of the names of every one of the 19240, he created a hand stitched shroud containing a 12 inch figure, crossing off names as he went. Rob didn’t have a plan when he began the project, but a friend, Steve Knightly a musician from the band Show of Hands, contacted the city council, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Exeter Chiefs rugby foundation. This has become the UK’s largest WW1 commemoration and has featured in the national news this week.

If you’re in the area, the 19240 Shrouds of the Somme can be seen at Northernhay Gardens, Exeter until July 7th. I’d recommend it, it’s a highly emotional commemoration to a part of history that must never be repeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beginning and End of a Garden Day

Last Sunday my friend picked me up to take me for a birthday trip. It was a very grey day, and the direction we took meant that the forecast rain was inevitable. It was quite odd to be in the passenger seat, Sue isn’t an enthusiastic driver so I’m usually behind the wheel even in her car. This is the road across Dartmoor.

Dartmoor roadIt doesn’t look promising does it?

Our actual destination doesn’t have any café facilities, and it was already 11.45 so we stopped off at Buckland, for coffee and halfsies on a piece of Bakewell tart.

beamsThe restaurant at Buckland has the most interesting old beams.

bucklandNational trust plant centres are always tempting but I knew there would be more interesting choices later on.

Now just play nicely together for a little while, because I’m not taking you where I went just yet, there are too many photos and I have to try to choose some okay ones from the endless blurred rainy day ones.

Three hours have passed and we’re back at Buckland, too late for a hot lunch or sandwich, but starving, thank goodness for a cheese and onion pasty! Then it’s outside for a stroll. It’s still grey but here are some cheerful stars.

dah1and a pretty garden wall and fence.

over the fence

with a very formal Elizabethan garden.

gardenThe last time I visited Buckland Abbey it was April and there wasn’t much to see in the garden at all. This time I mainly saw purple, pink and magenta.

Even around the corner in the border to the side of the Abbey.

border

Thank you Buckland for providing the contrast in the middle of my day!