Monday, 14 June 2021

Gardens big and small

I have often felt resentful lately at the amount of time I have needed to spend in front of the laptop when the weather has been so beautiful, especially over half term and last weekend. It won't always be like this, I know, it is just necessary at the moment, but that doesn't make it any easier. However, thank goodness for cameras and my need to take one hundred photos of a flower when one would suffice, because it reminds me that we did get outside and see beautiful houses and gardens and spend time with family and friends. 

We spent a lovely, if cloudy, day at Mottisfont House and Gardens with my parents over half term, drinking in their stunning walled gardens and roses.

Even though our favourite parts of the house were closed (the servant quarters upstairs) due to Covid, it was wonderful to be back at Mottisfont and walk along well-trodden paths by the river and through the gardens. We had coffee and cake, lunch outside, and rose ice cream, inspired by their rose collection. It was really nice. Best of all, Bella and Angus agreed to have a photo taken with me. My mum took a lot, and there wasn't one with all of us looking at the camera, but I still like it.

My lovely mum also treated me to this beautiful bunch of locally grown flowers which are just stunning and such a change to the usual supermarket flowers I buy.

The kids and I also had a glorious day out at Parham House and Gardens in West Sussex with my friend Abigail and her girls. It was a perfect half way point between her house and mine, and my first visit. It's small, but that is why it's so lovely. It feels more intimate than some of the bigger places locally and, although the house was closed, the gardens are stunning.

Nothing is too perfect and there's a beautiful mixture of formal and wild.

My favourtie part by far was the glasshouses and their collection of geraniums

While the kids probably wouldn't list National Trust properties and walled gardens among their number one past times, they were happy to be out in the sunshine and so long as there were plenty of ice creams purchased, it was all good. 

Our little garden is bursting with life lately. Angus is watering it every night for me and doing a good job so far, although I do have to check that he's remembered to turn off the outside tap....

Thank you for your advice re ash for slugs and snails - my parents had some leftover and I have sprinkled it liberally around all my sunflowers, cornflowers, dahlias and cosmos. So far, so good.

The rhododendron is still looking fabulous, attracting so many bees and just generally being a big, blowsy, lilac show off, dropping petals absolutely everywhere.

The ground in the corner of the garden, where the trampoline used to be, is in the process of being prepared and leveled ready for a new shed. It was delivered today, and took John and I an hour after work this evening to carry it round from the drive to the back garden, piece by piece. We are hoping to start assembling it this weekend and I can't wait to say goodbye to our current shed - honestly, I don't know how it's still standing.

Gardens aside, life is so busy right now. We are all good but I really want to get through the next few hectic weeks at work before I can start thinking about winding down for the summer holiday. I have just finished crocheting a granny square cotton top and I love it, I will show you soon. I am also working on my Stitch a Day sampler and English Paper Piecing patchwork quilt here and there. I don't seem to have much energy or enthusiasm for cooking at the moment - it's either too hot, or I'm too tired - but we are enjoying so much of the fresh fruit and vegetables which are in season at the moment, especially the strawberries. 

I hope you are all well and, if you're in the south east, staying cool in this hot weather. It's the kind of weather that would be perfect it you were on holiday but is a bit much when have to go anywhere or do anything.


  1. It all looks so beautiful. Experiencing cold weather here in Australia so wonderful to see your lovely bright photos.

  2. Lovely photos of some beautiful gardens and flowers….Not to mention of you and your family

  3. such lovely outings. thanks for sharing. i really enjoyed. (-:

  4. |Love both houses and gardens. Such a love for harmony and care. I am happy you take your and friends kids. My children fondly remember all the British gardens now they are a bit older.I remember being lost with them in the camper around the Scottish border and finding a gorgeous house and gardens. They loved the spontanious visit and being allowed to park and sleep on the parkingspot of the house. Getting cultural education in your childhood years is never lost, and loads icecream, I must admit ;>P

  5. What lovely gardens although my envy goes to the fabulous cacti greenhouse :)

  6. Such beautiful photos... thank you for sharing!

  7. Both places look like wonderful days out, my kind of gardens! And of course the glimpses of your house and garden are beautiful as always.
    I know what you mean about the weather being great if one's on holiday, but a bit uncomfortable and exhausting when it's normal life going on, with work and all the other stuff to do.

  8. Just divine! Love your photos, crafts, creativity x

  9. Your pictures are happy-making! All of them. But the photo that jumped out at me was of what you call the "English Paper Piecing patchwork quilt." Long, long ago I was inspired to start such a quilt that even now looks like a twin to yours.

    It was a culturally European Turkish woman whose quilt-in-progress I saw, but her pieces were larger and all from neutral, solid color scraps of wool. I came home and started something with my diverse sewing scraps and remnants, similar to my model only in the technique and the hexagons. I planned for it to be a bedspread when I got married, but it's still not finished. I'm sure you'll have more success! Maybe your finished quilt will be the second inspiration that helps me finish mine after all these years.

  10. I love that picture of you and your kids.The gardens all look so lush. My garden in just kaput with this heat here in N. Ca. Nothing seems to have done well and we've got gophers eating the stems. I just want to scream. We spent a tidy sum for seeds, dirt, plants fence but alas, it's still seems doomed. Chin up you're studying will eventually be over and you will be right where you want to be.

  11. Mottisfont looks a lovely place to visit. Thank you for sharing and I will be adding it to 'my places to visit when we are able to do so' list. Glad you had a good time there. Parham house is also a little treasure.


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