Wednesday, 31 May 2017

May has been a beautiful month this year and the gardens are proof of this – even my own small one is looking good and my friend’s unusual, sloping garden is glorious.    
Double Poppies in Friend's Garden
Steep Rockery above the Poppies

 Several estates offer wonderful guided tours by Head Gardeners whose knowledge is breathtaking and makes all the difference to a visit.
The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is half an hour’s ride from Ripon in Yorkshire. As its name implies there are steep paths (some with welcome handrails) amongst the most magnificent collection of Rhododendrons ever imagined and leading to the lower gardens with lakes and very realistic sculptures.
Steep Paths at Himalayan Gardens
Rhododendrons in full Bloom
Sculpture of a Swift.

In April there was a Tulip Festival near Leyburn. Again a treat for anybody who enjoys colour in their garden. Tulips, tall and short, mixed colours or plain and varieties that could never have been imagined. Again a guided tour, this time by a man who was expert at planting woods as well as growing tulips.
One of the Tulip Beds

And last weekend Raby Castle gardens at Staindrop were open to the public. No matter how familiar they have become there’s always something to appreciate. This time it was the Cat Mint in great swathes of colour. No photographs available but its well worth a visit.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Happy New Year to my friends across the world.
It is amazing to realise that the first two weeks of January have already come and gone and people are beginning to think ahead to the summer and plan holidays in warmer climates.
But today we have snow!!  Floods are forecast along the east coast and people warned to keep away from the sea-fronts as tides reach their height tonight. Fortunately I am far enough inland not to have that worry but we do have icy paths.
Wherever you are in the world I hope 2017 has started well for you and your weather is better than ours, here in England.