Sunday, 28 June 2015

Photos of the Garden at Oare House

 Oare House was open this afternoon from 2-6pm for the NGS, and having visited a year ago, I was keen to go back and have another look, see what I'd missed last time, and what was different. There were lots of visitors, all of whom were very impressed by the fabulous gardens; for at Oare House, there are several different parts to the garden, some small and intimate, others on a grander scale. What you can be sure of when you visit is that there has been lots of attention to detail, a huge variety of plants and styles of planting.
So what attracted attention this time?
The first glimpse of the view from the driveway is breath taking, but I didn't take a photo of that, preferring the first view of the garden:
 and on the left of this walkway, a small fountain
 and some gorgeous Hostas, this was particularly attractive
 Then outside one of the side doors, a pair of Daturas
 and a fab P. Lord Bute
 From there walking to the back of the house, you get the first glimpse of the award winning pagoda designed by I.M.Pei; this is the only example of his architecture in this country, another well known one, is the Pyramid at the Louvre, Paris.
 Walking round the formal garden behind the house, if you look back, the view of the house is spectacular
 I like this shot of the pavilion with Pewsey Vale in the background
 and the woods beside the pathway
 I like this one through the trees
and from there to the rest of the garden:
 above and below the vegetables so beautifully arranged with lavender edges pathways, something I'm keen to introduce in my garden
 below red flowered broad beans

 Above spectacular artichokes, and below the fabulous long borders:
 Some of the plants I really liked included this one, a bit tansy like, but I'm not sure what it is
 Lovely contrasting Euphorbia
 Alliums beautifully clustered together
 Below a poor photos of a yellow salvia
 Another area of the garden where there were some lovely Fuchsias and Salvias
 Below in another part of the garden this is a huge planter
 Beside the potting shed, there was a lovely pelargonium filled greenhouse
 This Pelargonium was a favourite of mine, so lovely
 On the other side of the track to the rest of the garden are 2 huge greenhouses with a large selection of Streptocarpus, Fuchsias and Pelargoniums.
I took over 60 photographs of the garden, this was a selection of them, I would suggest you look out for the 2 opening dates in 2016, it's a fabulously inspiring garden.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Opening Night of Tim Carroll's Exhibition at the Richard Jefferies Museum

It seemed like a good idea to advertise the fact that Tim Carroll has an exhibition in the Gallery at the Richard Jefferies Museum by inviting people to a barbecue. What better setting for a small gathering on a midsummer's evening? I don't have much idea about cooking on a barbecue, but Mike Pringle and Hilda Sheehan were more than happy to take the brunt of the smoke and turn burgers and sausages. Despite a little late afternoon rain, by the time the start of the evening at 6pm, it had disappeared and we could spend the evening outside.
I'll start with Mike's photograph of Tim in front of five of his 100 Views of Swindon in the Gallery, I particularly like the photo and the hanging of the pictures is perfect:
While Tim spent much of the evening talking to people in the Gallery, others were outside by the barbecue which seemed to carry on producing quite a bit of smoke:
 Following the success of scones, jam and whipped cream at the open garden, I made some for 'pudding':
The garden extends on all four sides of the house, with a Richard Jefferies station proposed where the Coate water railway line reaches the wood in the back garden.
 The orchard has a magic trail leading from it, and from there you get a great view of the house
 Here's another view of people from the orchard
 Robert Stredder who has been working on the garden, took me into the walled vegetable garden where there are some raised beds, and 2 greenhouses, there's room for 3 more beds.
The Museum is open every Sunday from 1.30-5pm until the end of September, and between 10.30am-4pm on the second Wednesday of the month. This exhibition runs until the beginning of September, so there's an opportunity to have a look at it if you didn't manage to get there last night.
From September,  Benoit Philippe will have an exhibition in the Gallery, and be on site on Saturdays and Sundays for the 2 weekends of Open Studios the 5th/6th and 12th/13th September.

The posters for last night's event looked like this:

Monday, 22 June 2015

A Day Out in June- starting at Chippenham station

Meeting up with friends for a day out is always a treat, pure indulgence, especially when we are in midsummer with the luxury of what feels like endless daylight. We had agreed to meet at Chippenham station, and despite the patchy weather, I was keen to go on a cross country walk, to get lost in the beauty of the countryside, well not intentionally lost, although that did happen,
We decided to walk due south from Chippenham aiming for Lacock, and armed with an OS map, and having chatted to a helpful person in the ticket office, was quite confident we'd reach Lacock, it's only 4miles away after all.
I took a few photos along the way, the long bench at Chippenham station is very impressive, although the platform isn't used because there's no track beside it!
 And so into Chippenham towards the footpath, on the way seeing some lovely buildings including this one:
 Trying to photograph Kathy and Jay looking at the camera wasn't easy.
 Here we are at the beginning of the track:
 Below some teasles and ominous clouds which didn't empty onto us
 After much wandering through housing estates, we found the correct footpath, and below an impressive bridge across marshland:
 A lovely stream:
 A photo of Jay
 There's a break in continuity when we took the wrong branch of the footpath without realising it, ended up at an impassable field and had to walk down Lackham College's road to get back on track. Below is a stand of trees beside Lackham buildings
 From there we walked to the outskirts of Lacock, where we found this bridge:
 And just beside it this chocolate box pair of semis:
 Jay photographing something beside the cottage:

 Above and below an artist's studio with a lovely garden outside it:
 A bit further along after the tarmacked path across a field, we came to the ford
 and then this very narrow bridge
 with a great view of greenery
 Now we were in Lacock village proper, and were tempted by the huge range of plants for sale
 The Red Lion was serving food even at 3.45pm
 and had glorious planters outside the pub
 We didn't try and walk back to Chippenham, but took the easier option of the bus, and called in to see Liam, formerly of the Plough, now at the Black Horse.
It would be great to have waymarkings guiding the walker from Chippenham to Lacock, it's potentially a great walk, but hard to undertake with so little guidance on the ground.
For an alternative view of the day, please have a look at this excellent account: