Californian Mission: Santa Clara de Asís (8)

My third Mission is Santa Clara de Asís,  founded on January 12 1777.  It is the eighth Californian Mission and located in the grounds of the University of Santa Clara. Whilst staying in the city of Santa Clara, some 40 miles south of San Francisco, I decided to investigate a few more Californian Missions, this one being the closest.

Named after Saint Claire of Assisi, a thirteenth century Italian nun, this mission was the first to be named after a female saint. It has been destroyed and rebuilt no fewer than six times and the current church is a modern interpretation of the fifth church which was built in 1825 and later destroyed by fire. Its layout is the traditional quadrangle. Continue reading Californian Mission: Santa Clara de Asís (8)

Californian Mission: San Carlos Borroméo (2)

Continuing on from my previous post about my obsession with California’s Missions (read about the first one for background information) the next mission to be founded was on the outskirts of Carmel, 5 miles south of Monterey. I first saw this mission on my PCH trip, but unfortunately arrived there too late to go inside the grounds. On my next visit to California we were staying in Santa Clara and I took the opportunity to drive back to Carmel and visit this lovely Mission. It is considered to be the loveliest mission in the chain of nine missions that stretches along California’s Central Coast. Continue reading Californian Mission: San Carlos Borroméo (2)

North Devon: Gardens

Of course it wouldn’t be a holiday for me without visiting a garden or two. And North Devon has several, including one in Clovelly itself – Clovelly Court Gardens (entrance  is included in the price to the village). Unfortunately the gardens closed at 4 p.m. so we were too late this time as we were still in the village. We did drive over to Marwood Hill Garden just north of Barnstaple where you will find beautiful gardens and lakes and a wonderful café which serves great cakes – we had a clotted cream tea with ginger scones! Continue reading North Devon: Gardens

The Butchart Gardens

Although we didn’t visit the Butchart Gardens on this trip, it would be remiss of me not to mention it as it is possibly the most spectacular floral display on the continent. It began as a limestone quarry in 1904 established by Robert and Jennie Butchart. They created a family home nearby with sweetpeas and rose bushes. As Mr. Butchart exhausted the limestone deposits his wife began to create a sunken garden in the abandoned quarry and went on to develop other areas such as the Italianate, Japanese and Rose gardens. Successive generations of the family have cared for the gardens which attract  a million people annually. Continue reading The Butchart Gardens