Friday 31 July 2020

Walking with the Girls

We have been able to see Younger Daughter now. She has managed to make it home now that Wales has lifted the 5 mile rule. We have also ventured into Wales for the day. Farmer Daughter and I met up with her half way for a walk. It was one of those spontaneous decisions which are more difficult to make these days. We arranged to meet in the car park at Ogmore-by-sea. Off we went picnic and Poppy on board. It was only en route that I began to waver that our spontaneous action was maybe misjudged. It was after all the first Saturday that the Welsh had been allowed to travel and the weather was good. I had visions of the beach being packed as we had seen on the news at places in Dorset and Essex. My worry was increased when Younger Daughter rang to say the car park was full.....
It was not long however before she rang to say they had found another car park. Phew! When we arrived we were able to find a space in  relatively quiet car park next to them. We were also able to find a quiet spot on the cliffs for a picnic lunch.

We then started off on our walk which took us along the cliff through a rather congested car park at Dunraven Bay where the Police were very unsuccessfully trying to direct the traffic. It did not take us long to disappear up into quiet paths and fields where we saw very few people. I had little chance to take many photos keeping up with the girls!
After some miles we descended off some common land down an incredibly sandy path. We were still some way from the coast but it was like walking on grassed over sand dunes. The small building in the photo is an old well which apparently used to provide water for a nearby hamlet. 

We descended into the winding valley made by the River Ogmore which by this stage is tidal and has wide flood plains on either side. It was along these that our walk took us next. This is an area with more to explore. There are (tidal) stepping stones across the river to the remains of Ogmore Castle. There are also extensive sand dunes on this far side, some of the biggest in Europe. 

It is difficult to see it in theses photos but there was a depressing amount of rubbish along the river banks which had obviously been washed there when the river had flooded. It was a shame that no effort had been made to pick it all up.

We soon arrived at Ogmore by Sea and then back to the cars. We were then able to move to the original car park where the beach was now quite quiet. The girls were able to have a swim. Poppy joined them for a while but then preferred to play on the beach.

We were all then ready for a much deserved cup of tea ( from the thermos of course!) and a hot cross bun each, made for Easter and retrieved from the freezer to share with Younger Daughter who we hadn’t been able to see at the time.
Then it was time to say our goodbyes and make our way home. It was an interesting spot with some fascinating rock formations so I think it is likely we will meet there again.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Poppy Antics

Poppy has recently had her 3rd birthday. I can’t quite believe where that time has gone since she was a tiny puppy. She is a delight to us all. Since we moved over to the farmhouse (and that’s a year ago) she has lead a double life. She can run from one garden to the other as the gate is left open so if she is not getting enough attention from us she goes round to see Farmer Daughter and her lodgers. She loves them because they happily play with her and I have heard reports of Poppy making herself at home on their beds!
I know I have shown pictures like this before but can you really have enough?

Monday 27 July 2020

Leaves and Trees

A visit to the Stumpery at Rosemoor RHS garden in North Devon gave me an opportunity to explore some different possibilities for two prompts for the Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt. Firstly No. 8 A Leaf longer than your hand.  There were some beautiful leaves including these ferns.

However my favourite is this one.

The tree stumps also made some great possibilities for No. 16 Something with rough texture.

Or perhaps these two tree barks.

This trunk presents a few possibilities. It certainly is a good example of texture but what can you see in the trunk? I can see two faces, one looking down and one laughing then at least one cat. How about you, can you spot anything?

Saturday 25 July 2020

Perfectly Round

There is so much perfection and beauty in nature. On my various trips around gardens I have found quite a few possibilities for No. 17 Something Perfectly Round in this year’s Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt. So many flowers have that perfection. Here are a few.

Look at those Pom Pom Dahlias!

Alliums are another perfect specimen.

This is a variety of marigold.

Perfect red berries 

A visit to the rose garden at RHS Rosemoor was absolute perfection.

Which is your favourite?

Thursday 23 July 2020

Garden Inheritance

One of the choices in this years Sumer Photography Scavenger Hunt is No. 15 Something Inherited. We have a family dahlia that originally came from my Grandparents garden. My mum has kept it going for many years. It is blood red in colour and no longer available. Here they are in her garden.

Mum has an eye for planting for effect and how great they look planted on mum’s suggestion by her gardener so that they can be seen through the arch.

This hollyhock has self seeded in her garden.

The individual flower is just right for No. 17. Something naturally round.

Finally here is mum in her garden today with her new post lockdown hairdo.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Garden Detail

I always spend quite a lot of time gardening but this year I have probably spent longer than usual. I also have new beds to deal with as well as helping farmer daughter with our old garden. You will know from previous posts that I do like to get outside just after it has rained to capture a few close ups. 
I was given this double hollyhock by my brother in law last year and I planted it close to our  kitchen window. It is giving a wonderful show. Brother in Law has admired it several times but had forgotten they had grown them. It seems his didn’t do so well!

Not so many flowers on the agapanthus this year but they are just coming out.

I bought this Alstroemerias called Indian Summer on my visit to Tyntesfield. I was particularly taken by its bronzed leaves. This two is just by our kitchen window.

The evening primrose look beautiful at the moment especially as they open up in the evening to attract moths.

This is the seed pods of a plant that Farmer Husband refers to as the Woman’s Realm plant because that is where his mum originally got the seed!

My cosmos are a but slow this year. The dwarf variety are doing quite well but the Sonata Mix germinated as weedy little plants and are not much better now.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Returning to Familiar Ground

Like many charities The National Trust has not had an easy time during lockdown. All their properties were closed initially and they have started a phased reopening. They have had to address the same social distancing issues, the lack of income and having many of their volunteers shielding. Not all members have been tolerant. Some have cancelled their membership and some have complained about not being able to visit properties.
Our local property is Tyntesfield and we make regular trips there. It was therefore a good choice for my first visit back. You have to prebook and the bookings come out on a Friday morning. You choose a half hour slot in which to arrive and once there can stay all day. The ticket is on your phone and it is a contactless showing as you arrive in your car. I met up with a friend and off we went. The first stop was the toilets. All quiet and all sorted for socially distancing queuing although we were surprised to see a man emerge from the Ladies! (Definitely not a cleaner!).

There is a map available online showing the one way routes. They are also well signposted. We picked the longest route which started through the woods. We had brought a picnic and this bench outside the Summer house seemed an ideal spot to eat it. Not another person in sight.

Then we had a pleasant and very quiet walk.

Eventually we made our way down to the gardens. We were able to peep into the greenhouses but understandably they were out of bounds. There was a good aroma of drying onions.

The garden by the Orangery was looking beautiful especially when you consider that the only gardeners have been the paid ones until the volunteers were allowed to return.

Lots of lovely dahlias and then this plant which I used my Candide plant identifier app to find its name. Monarda also known as Bergamot or Beebalms.

There was plenty of colour in the Kitchen Garden. The lavender was in full bloom.

This mustard plant is explained on this notice board.

The cabbages were huge.

The carrots obviously left from last year had gone to flower. They actually make a good show..

We guessed that this device was to ensure symmetrical trimming of the bush. It made me smile because of a story we were told by one of the gardeners on a previous visit. The late Lord Wraxall who was the last occupant of Tyntesfield liked to do a bit of pruning. He was however not so great on the clearing up. Had his ghost appeared to trim this bush?

We were fascinated by the variety of cones on this tree. A little bit of investigation on google suggests that these are the male and female cones of a Himalayan cedar tree. Beginning to wish I had photographed the whole tree now.

Entry to the rose garden was not permitted for obvious reasons but we could see that it was looking good.

I am sure as time goes on they will find ways of opening more of the estate. We were very happy with out visit and made a point of visiting the newly reopened shop to buy some gifts and plants. The NT all the money they can get to replenish their diminishing funds.