Just because it’s been a long Monday at work
because it’s no longer January
because in twenty four days it will be March
because I’m not walking to and from work in the dark
because the days are getting longer
and that means spring
and that means summer
and that means the colour, form and fragrance
of flowers and butterflies
bees and damselflies
because of all these things
I’m bringing you . . .
Pictures from a few years ago taken at a popular TV gardeners home plot, deep in the heart of Devon. I expect it’s changed since then, but it will still be lovely, relaxed and packed with variety. The clue is in the initials, if you visit she may even be there pottering.
Click for a bigger view.
It has dainty leaves that are a very pretty shape, and fresh shade of green in spring and summer, but then once they start to fall the divine aroma bursts out. It’s a Katsura tree, Cercidiphyllum Japonica, commonly known as a toffee apple tree. And that’s exactly what it smells like, especially if you walk on the leaves or crush them in your hands. Heavenly!
There will be another Katsura photo tomorrow for my Daily Post haiku challenge, but meanwhile this is my Ailsa’s Travel Theme, http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/11/22/travel-theme-fragrant/
Reminiscent of medieval windows
In repose against an ancient wall
Twinned seats in iron wrought
Languishing until the return of spring
To warm and settle the metal
Into a welcoming retreat
Until then you chill the cheeks
Of any brave or foolish souls
Who linger in the sleeping garden
Unblessed by loves gentle glow
Ailsa wants us to show some delicate images this week. Today I went to the National Trust Estate at Killerton and there was a surprising number of flowers to see for November. What struck me most of all were the seed heads, they look so delicate don’t they?
Of course the truth is they are little power houses. Light as air, brittle, dry, usually dull brown colours, but each one unique. They have perfect timing, just at the very best moment they will catch a breeze or a raindrop and then fall. Next years potential flowers will work their way into the soil and lie dormant until conditions are right and then the brown will send forth fresh green growth.
What could possibly come between asked Christine, commenting on my post yesterday. So, so many things but I’ll try not to overload you all!
The people who discovered this valley by the sea were none other than the D’Oyly-Carte’s, best known for their company that staged Gilbert and Sullian operas and as owners of the Savoy hotel.It was Rupert and his wife Lady Dorothy that built Coleton and planted its beautiful gardens with a mix of rare and exotic plants that wouldn’t usually grow in our English climate.
The house has a stunning art deco interior – sadly photos were not permitted inside the house, but it was gracious, elegant living at its best. A family home in the country with ample space for house guests, each room had a view over the gardens and some of the sea beyond.
Here are some of the vistas and peep betweens that have evolved.
The D’Oyly-Carte’s had two children, Michael who died in a car accident at twenty-one in 1932 and a daughter, Bridget. In 1941, Rupert divorced Dorothy and Bridget took over the house. Dorothy moved to the Bahamas with her new man and Rupert continued to visit the house at weekends until his death in 1948.
The dream ended, Bridget sold the house after her father’s death and a number of years in private ownership, it became a National Trust property in 1982.
So, we can all see it, we can stroll along the paths, gaze out to sea and enjoy the wonderful garden, surely one of the best in the country.
Here are some of the plants, holding up well in mid October.
I hope you enjoyed my day out at Coleton Fishacre, I’ll be going back in the spring to see what’s blooming and for another nice lunch and cake break.
Imagine yourself ninety years ago. You find yourself sailing past one of the loveliest parts of England, an unspoilt valley by the sea in Devon. You decide you have to buy it and have the architect Oswald Milne design your perfect country house.
The house was built so that all the main rooms faced south and once it was complete Milne, who was Sir Edward Lutyens assistant designed the hard landscape.
The stone was quarried on the land and the landscaping even included channeling a stream through a rill, damming to form pools before it returned to its natural state in the lower slopes of the valley.
Stand and enjoy the view,
your own private beach lies below.
and all the while your paradise is being planted with a sheltering belt of Monterey pine and holm oak that will eventually create a micro climate.
One day your paradise will be filled with fragrant and exotic plants, flowers so colourful that everyone will want to see it.
Tomorrow perhaps I’ll show YOU how it turned out.
Rosemoor is famous for its spectacular rose garden and is much visited in June for that very reason. I didn’t make it this year, but today I visited to see what was in bloom and was thrilled to see that the roses are having a wonderful second flush.
Just is case you think I’ve captured a few isolated flowers, here are a couple of the beds.
Aren’t they beautiful? From the amount of buds, it looks like there will be a good display for at least a couple of weeks, so if you’re in the area, go and enjoy the fragrance and colour.