A Gypsy and a Restless One

You know you have trouble on your hands if you have to pick your friends up from the police station in the rain don’t you? Have no fear, I ‘put leg in bed’ under her umbrella and marched her to the safety of a café. Dear Jo and I sat and talked, and laughed, and laughed and talked, until the sun came out and we hit the streets.

We got on well from the start, we have much in common and there wasn’t a moments reserve between us, just hugs, giggles and a desire to learn all about each other and the city we were in. Jo had come south to Birmingham the afternoon before and found her way around, I’d got up at 4.30 and the coach whisked me northwards, to the midway point.

Neither of us had spent any time in Birmingham before, and Jo wondered what she’d let herself in for, it seemed that lots of the city was being pulled down on the northern perimeter that was her approach, but here is our first glimpse of the shopping area near the Bullring.

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There are trams all around Birmingham and Jo loves them, I confessed to never having been on one, I’ll have to give it a go in Barcelona this year.
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I wonder if they’ll have any pink ones!

birm5On we wander, arm in arm like a couple of school girls, or do I mean old women? We both fell for this killer heel.

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And the matching bag.

birm6Our cameras were happy as we were enticed into elegant arcades.

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We oohed and ahhed at the reflective, wibbly wobbly walls, and the city is full of quirky miscellanea.

The sculptures around the centre are amazing, and of course Jo is as enthusiastic about them as I am.
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We ramble around, very excited and seeing amazing things everywhere we turned, Antony Gormley’s Iron Man was an unexpected treat.

birm11Just standing there minding his own business.

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Old and new architecture blends beautifully, and the building that looks like it’s been crocheted was a huge favourite for both of us.

Jo had booked us onto a guided walking tour in the early afternoon, it took us all around the canals, like here,

birm15and we had to squeeze our way past hundreds of graduating students, being photographed in their gowns, against the backdrop of this surprising city. Before that we had time to visit the countries biggest library, the crocheted building above.

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Here’s a sneaky peep at one of the libraries two roof gardens, and a certain lovely lady trying to decide if the broad beans were worth snitching!

I’ll be back as soon as I can with the next bit of my amazing day with Jo, meanwhile, it will probably leave you traumatised because there are photos . . . of me, arrrgh, as well as Jo’s view of the day, here.

I’ve waited patiently

For these tiny house leek flowers to open. Each flower is just two centimetres across from petal to petal, and the detail is a masterpiece of nature.hl2

 

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hl3Taken this morning before the sun was too bright, I think they were worth waiting for. You can click for a bigger view.

If you like photographing details, Jen H would like to see, over at the Daily Post.

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.