Sunday, 11 June 2017

Loving early summer...

My little patch of courtyard garden has gone mad. Everything grows like crazy and it is so sheltered that it seems to be a few weeks ahead of more exposed gardens. I was lucky enough to be given this little table and chairs so it has been lovely to have some warmer days to sit out here and enjoy the abundance of early summer flower.




The roses are incredibly vigorous and much too big for this space really but they are so fragrant and flower so well I can't quite bring myself to lose them. I keep hacking them back and they seem very forgiving!

While I was out there this busy bee landed on my leg and was there for ages. I only had my phone camera and he spent most of his time with his furry back end pointing at me but eventually turned round! I wished I'd had my better camera to capture the moment.


Believe it or not I really cleared a lot of this patch earlier in the year but you wouldn't think so!


I love the sunny California poppies...


They seem to have seeded themselves everywhere but I don't mind. Their tissue fine petals seem to just glow in the sun between the lavender...



The roses are a peachy pink in bud and then get paler as they open. They smell beautiful.


Last weekend I took myself for a walk through mid Norfolk countryside. This is just past Buxton Mill - so peaceful.


Norfolk really isn't as flat as it is made out to be...OK these are not hills! But the countryside here does feel like it is undulating away from you...


 The hedgerows are full of briar roses...


Tucked away at the bottom of the lane is the rather lovely Little Hautbois Hall...


Love this garden rambler 'escaping' too the sunny side of the hedge...


The River Bure flows through here but there are lots of cuts reflecting the skies between the fields...


The path took me across a field with a 'cattle' warning. I was quite glad this hefty beast was behind a fence!


I don't think think this path is walked much. It took me through a tunnel of trees and shrubs...



Sunny buttercups in the meadow...


Heady elderflower opening in the hedgerows...


On the other side of the river is The Bure Valley steam railway line. You can't see it easily here...


But then the engine obligingly chugged into view!




It was a beautiful day and so pretty...


This is Oxnead Hall - I didn't even know this was there...


There was a huge pile of logs stacked by some woodland - I like the patterns and colours...




Blue skies, fluffy clouds and reflections. What not to like?


And as I arrived back at Buxton Station trains in both directions passed. Something very nostalgic about steam trains.




Hope you are enjoying this time of year too.

S x

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Bank holiday 'up North'...

On a whim, faced with another 3 day weekend (I never imagined I would dread these long weekends but at times I do - the inevitable sense of family/couples stuff going on serves to highlight those of us not in those kind of relationships!), I visited a friend in beautiful Yorkshire.

Hadn't entirely anticipated the bank holiday/first weekend of the school half term traffic which made a 3 1/2 hour journey take 5 hours and there was a twinge of irony leaving scorching sunshine and 26C in Norwich to arrive in Knaresborough as the heavens opened with a torrential thunderstorm! 



It wasn't cold though, and once it brightened up we went for a wander round the town and beside the river. Knaresborough is a pretty little town with lovely open public land - covered in buttercups at the moment...



It was lovely to catch up with a dear friend over a glass of wine...


My friend belongs to a walking group and on Sunday we joined them at Sutton Bank National Park Centre for a 12 mile walk. It started a bit grey and blustery but the pace was brisk so there was no time to get cold! And not much time to take photos! But you can see for miles from the path along the edge of the escarpment... 




And I couldn't resist more buttercups...


As we walked, the skies cleared and we all shed layers as the temperature soared. The sense of expanse of countryside up in the hills always takes my breath away...


And this area rightly claims to have stunning views...


Beautiful place to stop for lunch...


I love the lush green of these hills and the contrast of the terracotta tiles on the cottage roof...


The hedgerows and meadows are full of colour at this time of year - the last of the bluebells, pungent white flowered wild garlic, yellow buttercups, pink campion and white hawthorn blossom... 


Delicate fronds of cow parsley...


Towards the end of the walk we came through a village with pretty stone cottages...


...before a welcome cold beer in the pub in the nearby village of Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe. I rarely drink beer but this was a very welcome half!

In the evening we headed to Leeds for a night of entertainment at "Trouble at Mill' night of comedy and music - the headline of the night was Tom Wrigglesworth who is a regular on Radio 4 comedy shows and lived up to expectations. But the spellbinding act off the night for me was a 'speed painting' artist called Dave Sharp who painted this huge canvas in a matter of minutes...

 
Initially it wasn't obvious who the subject was - he paints with two brushes and his hands with such energy and the first few brush strokes look entirely random, then suddenly it became clear. So clever. And he was auctioning these paintings this weekend for the victims and families of the Manchester bombing. Check out his work on his website or via twitter... https://twitter.com/DaveSharpsArt Amazing to watch!

Good to do something different for a couple of days, back to work with renewed energy tomorrow maybe!

Sx