Today Was A Good Day

Well it was except for being attacked by a mad rabbit…
…and then finding a dead rat only six inches from my bare foot when taking in the washing in the dark. Day one. Another nine to go.

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Alice in Wonderland is an activity trail for youngsters in the RHS garden at Wisley. Inspired by the Lewis Carroll novel first published 150 years ago, the Top Terrace takes you on a journey into Wonderland. At one end is the Queen of Heart’s geometric red and white garden, mushroom sculptures pop up through the bedding and the White Rabbit directs you towards dream-like Wonderland. I had a great time discovering the ‘Alice’ sculptures on one of the hottest days this year!

The Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts

Today was a good day

WPC asks you to create a slideshow using Mesh. As someone who doesn’t use APPS or indeed have a smart phone and who is paranoid about sharing too much data with anyone or anything in the public sphere, I have used the slideshow that comes with WP. Suits me fine and a change from my usual galleries.

The Auckland Domain Wintergarden

The Wintergarden is found in Auckland, New Zealand and was built in commemoration of the Auckland Industrial Agricultural and Mining Exhibition of 1913-14


It was designed in the early 1900s in the style of the famous English partnership of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jeckyll – my favourite designers of the English County Garden style.


The building was opened on the 12 October 1921 for the benefit and pleasure of the public.

The two barrel-shaped Victorian glasshouses face out onto an open courtyard with a pond and mosaic fountain. Marble statues were added in the 1920s and 1930s and pergolas around the courtyard are covered in showy climbers.


One glasshouse is full of exotic flowers: gingers, orchids, palms, Heliconia and other rare plants. The other is for temperate climate plants such as the gorgeous blue delphiniums in the photos.


As usual my attention was drawn not only to the flora, but also the architecture of these buildings and in particular, the windows. Although the glasshouses need a little attention (well so would you after 100 years) the curved ends and decorative leaded windows are still beautiful.

DSCF9658The complex is completed by New Zealand ferns growing in a sunken scoria quarry to the rear.

This monthly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.



Immediately I read the word ‘container‘ I think of plants – in pots. As someone who only has a container ‘garden‘ I am always on the lookout for ways in which to grow such plants and the type of containers used. A glasshouse, is of course, a container too since its job is to contain plants that otherwise would not survive outdoors.

 Old Terracotta Pots are my favourite


and in some gardens you find ornate urns which would suit the style of my home, but sadly they are too big


Plastic pots and seed trays are invaluable to the gardener


and sometimes people use the most unusual containers


or what about this lion-guarded bowl of thyme in the Herb Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden?

DSCF2425-cutoutDo you have any preference?

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Work of Art

This week, share a photo of something that’s art to you.

This particular photo has been given a watercolour ‘art’ effect. Enlarge for more detail and clarity.

Pulsatilla vulgaris

Pulsatilla vulgaris

The flowers bloom in early spring, which leads to the common name Pasque flower, since Pasque refers to Easter and Passover. Pasque flowers are the early harbingers of Spring, appearing before the leaves have fully emerged and it is a low-growing, clump-forming, perennial. 

To me there is nothing more that represents a work of art than nature. A flower, from seed to decay, is truly magical.

A Spring Walk in Herefordshire

I discovered another garden not too far from here a few weeks ago. Apparently it is used as a location in ‘The English Garden’ magazine if anyone reads that. It also has a small café in a beautiful Tithe barn serving lunches and cakes, warm lemon & treacle tart anyone? So definitely worth a visit, although on this particular day I was feeling rather ill so had to sit and watch the OH devour a lovely chicken sandwich.

tithe barn

This post is linked with Cee’s Which Way Challenge, Jo’s Monday Walk and this week’s Travel Theme from Ailsa which is Blossom.

The Granary

Probably the first thing you notice once you enter the gardens through the Cider Press, is this gorgeous Granary with the Oast Houses. I used to think Oast Houses only existed in Kent. Not so, there are quite a few in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and still plenty of hops in the fields.


I spent a fair while just photographing these gorgeous old buildings before venturing into the gardens themselves.  But what a treat awaited me.


The problem was where to start? The Pigeon House Garden? The Spring Garden? What a choice.



The Spring Garden was a delight with these jewel-like anemones flowering in the sun. A crooked path leading to a sweet little summer-house with magnolia blossom overhead.


Leaving the Spring Garden behind brings you out in front of the Manor House, with pots of bright tulips outside the porch and walls festooned with budding wisteria. The Main Lawn softens the driveway which leads to the farmyard. And a barn with bells.


The Bathing Pool Garden was intriguing, especially as this leads to the Rock Pools where Fritillaria meleagris and Pulsatilla vulgaris  flowered around the pool and blossom hung overhead.



Doorways and water features entice you into the Elizabethan Garden with violet-blue clematis dripping over the wall.



Next the Long Walk leads you past the Kitchen Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Pillar Garden and finally the Paddock Garden. See the blossom?




With plants and pots and watering-cans to catch the eye.

The path leads down to the Dingle, the furthest area of this lovely garden and where the Spring and the Grotto can be found. A very peaceful place to stop and rest and absorb the beauty of nature.




Lots of little paths to wander along.



And a wider one which leads to the Grotto. But watch your step!



Finally on the way back to the exit there are the Iris Walk and the Greenhouses which I can never resist having a nosey in. The irises weren’t in flower, so another visit is required, very soon. But I did find some mistletoe growing on a fruit tree.



Before you leave, have a browse around the plant sales which is behind the Cider Press and where you’ll find the Rill and a pair of Welsh Dragons 🙂



I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Stockton Bury Gardens in Herefordshire. It has a very long history as there has been a dwelling on this site since 660. The ‘Bury’ is a Saxon word for Court House or Mansion House and was given the status of a Manor in the reign of Edward III.