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.

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

Curves inside and out

Cheri at the Daily Post has chosen the theme of curves for this weeks photo challenge. I have a friend who likes straight lines in imagery, but I’ll always choose the curves and swirls we find in nature, in any design or art.

I took this first photo a few weeks ago at Coldharbour Mill, in east Devon. It was leaning against a wall at the back of a courtyard and I had to capture it.

curvesa1Next, there’s a humpy hedge behind these curvy evergreens. Apparently when it was a baby hedge, there was a very harsh winter and it was weighed down by snow. The gardeners tried to repair it, but failed and knowing they’d lost the battle, they decided to allow it to grow it’s own curvy way.

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A few weeks ago I posted a black and white version of some William Morris wallpaper,

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There were several comments about the original colours, so here it is, colours, curves and even a well placed ceramic plate.

Lanhydrock, a National Trust Stroll

Last Sunday afternoon I paid a flying visit to Lanhydrock, a National Trust property in Cornwall. Arriving just before 2.30 there wasn’t much time to linger, and after the bluebells, the grounds beckoned.
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Down the long drive we go.
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Here’s the gatehouse.
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First look at the formal gardens, with the chapel in the background.
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Part of the gatehouse door.
It’s raining so I’m going inside the house and I may take you one day, but for now you can see the view through some of the windows.

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After exploring the vast house full of treasures great and small, I resisted the gift shop. Luckily my friend didn’t, so there was fudge to share:-) and this door led to the courtyard.
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Where an equally handsome door was firmly closed.
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We head around the corner, where a very pristine garden waits.

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Which isn’t really my cup of tea, I prefer a far less structured, wild look, but I can still admire one occasionally. The rain is annoying now, the mizzely kind that while not heavy, get’s you very damp. We walk back through the gatehouse,

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wishing for more time to explore the windy paths.

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And back up the long drive to where we began, passing the bluebells growing on top of the banks, with late primroses at the bottom.

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I’m sharing my Lanhydrock visit with Jo. She’s been travelling Europe for weeks, but I think she’s still walking for Mondays,

Thursday Evening in the Close

Cathedral Close, Exeter after a light meal at Cote, my current favourite brasserie. We crossed towards the cathedral, just because, and had a peep at this view.

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Then turned along the green.

cl2The lovely building on the left is Mols Coffee House, dated 1596.

cl3We were heading back to the car, but I lingered long enough for some pics in the early evening light.

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Then over the cobbles and away home.

cl7With the Royal Clarence Hotel, supposedly the oldest hotel in England, in the background.