Monday, 18 May 2009

Flowers and Skirts

By now I was hoping to show lots of pictures of a gorgeous garden. The weather this last week has really put paid to that with the rain battering petals and the wind completing the damage by blowing the already damaged blossoms off their stems. I did get some photos inbetween showers of heavy rain

Luckily, I did photograph the peony before the worst of the rain really put paid to it's showy display for this year.

Here are a few other shots of things that don't look too bad. The lemon balm is thriving.

The clematis is just beginning to open its delicate mauve sepals

and the persicaria is doing its usual thing of getting on with things regardless of the weather.

The honeysuckle is really looking wonderful but however I photograph it, it just doesn't show it at its best. Here are my better efforts anyway.

The one thing that always looks wonderful in the rain is the ever reliable alchamilla. I'll make a trip down the garden just to see this when there has been fresh rainfall.

I'm really hoping that this rain doesn't continue next week as we are going to the Lake District for a holiday. We are used to staying in the north of the area, near Penrith. This year, we are in the south, near Kendal and Windermere. If anyone can recommend places to visit please let me know as we don't really know this area at all. Things to keep a teenager happy would be good!

I have bought some new skirts to take away with me. I must be mad! I can see I will be in jeans and walking boots all week, probably with a fetching waterproof keeping the weather at bay. Yet again! Anyway, I will show you the skirts as they were all bargains, one from a local shop and the others from Sainsbury's and Matalan. None of them were more than fourteen pounds and they do look really good.

So that's the fashion show over! Never mind, if I do get wet through next week I know that we have a lovely logburner in the cottage where we can dry out - us and our clothes! I'm hoping to bring back loads of photos to share with you. Hope you all have a good week. Its pouring down again - I'm off for tea and cake.

Friday, 8 May 2009

A Special Day

Some of the very best days out are those that come together at the very last minute don't you think? No great plans, just 'wouldn't it be a good idea to...?' and a happy agreement between friends. At work on Wednesday, four of us decided that we didn't want to spend Thursday shopping, ironing, cooking, cleaning. Instead, we quickly planned a girls day out, just for ourselves. No men, no children, no deadlines. Just four people who have known each other for many years deciding to play hookey for a whole day. After a panic and a dash to meet one friend at the railway station we took a leisurely twenty minute train journey to meet another companion waiting to drive us to our destination...Coughton Court. In the car we chatted, put the world to rights, oohed and aahed at the pretty Warwickshire cottages we passed on the way and relaxed in a way that we don't get to do very often. We met up with the fourth member of our party at Coughton, our little group ready to leave our cares behind to enjoy the glorious sunshine in a magical place.

We took advantage of an introductory talk about the house and wandered round the house at our leisure, delighting in its serene beauty.

By the time we had finished walking around the house we all felt we deserved some lunch in the tea room. There was much carrot cake, cheesecake and coffee and walnut cake consumed, along with several pots of tea drained and continued chatter and laughter. Once we had rested we then took a long walk across the fields to explore the bluebell wood - it was so worth it. Just look at the mass of colour here. The photographs really don't do it justice.

Then it was back to the main area of the house to walk discover Lady Throckmorton's private gardens. It was just my favourite sort of garden, with a series of walled gardens, each with a different theme. It was wonderful to grasp the lavender between our fingers and smell its glorious scent.

Before we came home there was time to talk a sedate walk around the lake, watching the wildlife and the sun glistening on the water.

Then of course it was time to begin a weary journey home, a little less chatter this time. Probably because we were thinking of all that shopping, ironing, cooking, cleaning...waiting for us today.