Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Miscellany

Just a few things from the past week gathered together for today's quick miscellany post.

After our visit to the Longshaw Estate and the walk around the kitchen garden (see my last post) the friends we had met there for coffee took us back to their home for lunch and a walk around the village where they live.

 St Swithin's Church, Holmesfield
 A lovely view from the village across the Cordwell valley.

 In the Millennium Gardens a Well Dressing by local children of the Great Fire of London.

 We then went down to the next village of Millthorpe where their well dressing was also of The Great Fire of London.


It is the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire which swept through the city in early September 1666.

 The fire was a great inspiration for these two lovely well-dressings.

Back at home at last a butterfly in the garden that isn't a large white or cabbage white.  A Tortoiseshell butterfly on marigolds just outside the back door.

 An early Sunday morning walk, boots on, slightly damp from the morning dew

 Hat and bottle of water were needed as was the seat where we sat overlooking the view.  We had just climbed up the hill from below.
Looking down over the Consall Country Park where we started our walk.

The day was warming but it was lovely and cool under the trees as we meandered back to the car there were spots of rain. We made it back just in time.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five on Friday

It's Friday so once again I'm joining in with  Amy at Love Made my Home for this week's Five on Friday. 


On the Longshaw Estate near Hathersage in Derbyshire, behind the Lodge and tea rooms, there is a small but wonderful walled kitchen garden.  It is almost a secret garden hidden away.  It shows how you can garden at the height of 331 metres (1084 ft) above sea level.  From near the tea rooms you can see across to Higger Tor and the ancient iron age hill fort site of Carl Wark.
We wandered around taking in all the lovely plants and vegetables that were growing there and the innovative and interesting way they had been planted.
All the produce is used by their own cooks on site and the garden is maintained by a group of volunteers who work there every Thursday.
 
 There were hand written poems and quotes in the garden


 
Below are five photos of things that delighted our eyes


1. The vibrant mix of flowers in the flower garden
 
2.  Small apples on the apple trees.

3. Masses of Comfrey growing all around the edges of the garden which is used as a fertiliser for the produce.

4. A lovely carved wooden bench set against the grey stone wall.

5. Loads of bees on the cornflowers but I didn't see any butterflies.

There was also an area where you could donate your old plant pots and take plant cuttings for a small donation.  I thinks this was popular as the table was almost empty of plants.


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 I hope, wherever you are, you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Flower Wednesday

In the gardens of the Trentham Estate, sited in between the meandering 'Rivers of Grass' flower beds and the formal Italian Garden you can find the metal Arbour or walkway.


At the moment it is full of roses and as you walk through the scent of them is wonderful.


I'm afraid I don't know the names of the rose varieties but they were all lovely in the mornng sunlight.




Joining in with Riitta and Flower Wednesday.  Use the link to visit Riitta and others who are joinng in.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Five on Friday

It's Friday so once again I'm joining in with  Amy at Love Made my Home for this week's Five on Friday. 
During our time on the Wirrall a couple of weeks ago now - how time flies! - we visited Birkenhead Priory.

The first part of the building you see is the tower which belonged to St Mary's Church which was built next to the priory ruins and opened in 1821.  The Tower was saved from demolition in 1975 and it was dedicated as a memorial to the submarine HMS Thetis.

Apparently the tower has amazing views across the River Mersey and the Cammell Laird shipyards but unfortunately for us, but not for the participants who were having a great time,  there was an abseiling event happening whilst we were there so we never got up to the top of the tower.
The church was demolished in 1971 except for the tower and the west walls which you can see in the photos above and the one below.


In 1962 the nearby Princess Dock opened incorporating part of St Mary's Churchyard.

The Priory was founded by Benedictine monks c. 1150 the first phase of building included the Chapter House, later in the 1300s a Frater Range and Scriptorium were added.

The priory closed in 1536 a victim of King Henry VIII's  Dissolution of the Monasteries.

There is a small Museum  in the undercroft of the Frater Range which was fascinating to walk around.

Five facts gleaned from our visit

1.  The name Birkenhead is from the old English Bircen Heafod which means a headland growing with Birch trees.

2.  In September 1275 King Edward I visited the priory. the Royal household stayed at the Priory for eight days.  King Edward returned to the priory in 1277 for a further six days.  Apparently his visits cost the Priory £72 7s 5d about £40,000 in today's money.

3. For 400 years the monks of the priory as well as worshipping there also farmed the land, welcomed travellers and operated a ferry across the river Mersey to Liverpool. 

4. Built in 1150 the Priory is the oldest standing building on Merseyside and it encapsulates the town's history within its small, enclosed site.

5.  The layout of the Priory was most unusual in that the cloister and other monastic buildings were located north of the Priory Church instead of the usual south.


Whilst in Birkenhead we also visited the wonderful Williamson Art Gallery which houses a huge collection of the local Art and Crafts movement Della Robbia pottery founded in the town by Harold Steward Rathbone.
 
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 I hope, wherever you are, you have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Late Miscellany

I missed writing Monday Miscellany yesterday because when I checked my blog in the morning the photos had gone all awry not just on my last post but throughout the whole blog.  After an initial panic thinking it was something I had 'clicked' in error I found out that many others were experiencing the same problem.  I slept on it and lo and behold things are back to normal today.

Here are a few of the things I have seen and done over the last week.


It hasn't been a week for gardening as it is too wet and blowy.  The poppies have been lovely but it was hard to get a photo because as soon as they opened up the petals were blown away by the wind and dashed by the rain.

 We have had some garden produce but out of the greenhouse and tubs rather than the raised beds.

 
 The french beans, courgettes and Charlotte potatoes made a lovely meal with courgette bake and steamed beans and potatoes.  We need some sun to ripen the tomatoes.

Also struggling this year are the strawberries and this is about the best we are going to get from the gooseberries.  Such a contrast to last year's bumper crops.
 
 We popped up to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in the city centre to look at the latest exhibition.  There were about ten dresses from the television series worn by the Dowager Duchess of Grantham, the Duchess of Grantham and her three daughters, Lady Mary, Lady Edith and Lady Sybil plus paintings of the era and accessories from the mueum's own collections.  No photos allowed inside the exhibition.


But there were a selection of hats to try on.


I've always been a fan of Rosy Thornton's novels and I've reviewed a couple of them on this blog.  Rosy kindly sent me a copy of her new book which this time is a collection of short stories set in and around the Suffolk countryside that she knows well.  At the moment I am reading a book on loan from the library and have to finish that as it is requested by another reader so I can't renew it.  I will then reach for Rosy's book with joy and write a review on here as soon as I can.  I've already had a sneaky peek and it looks wonderful.  Here is a - link - to her website.

 We took a walk around the lake and gardens at nearby Trentham last week and the wildflowers are just starting to flower.

 We were lucky as the morning we chose to walk the sun came out for a while and it felt lovely and summery and  there were some extra planting areas this year.

 Last year the wild flowers were amazing and ever changing throughout the summer.

 It looks as this year's flowers will be just as stunning.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Five on Friday

It's Friday so once again I'm joining in with  Amy at Love Made my Home for this week's Five on Friday. 

Last week we spent a few days on the Wirral visiting such places as Ness Gardens,  Port Sunlight and the Lady Lever Art Gallery, the Williamson Art Gallery and Birkenhead Priory.  We also spent a day in Liverpool.

Above is a view of Liverpool taken from New Brighton Beach.  My husband wanted to visit New Brighton as he remembered going there as a child arriving on a ferry from Liverpool taken there by his Uncle who worked in the building below. 


He also remembers being taken on a tour of the Liver building by his Uncle with his brother and cousins and standing on one of  the columns underneath one of the Liver birds.

I'm going to share five things we saw on our day in Liverpool with you.


1.  The Dazzle Mersey Ferry

I was so pleased to see the ferry because of its decoration but also because it is The Snowdrop and that is the ferry we travelled on when we sailed up the Manchester Ship Canal from Salford to Liverpool a few years ago.  It has been created by artist Sir Peter Blake to commemorate the designs first used on vessels during WW1.  The designs worked by 'baffling the eye' and made them hard for an enemy to target.  Sir Peter Blake is well known for his design for the sleeve of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.  Which leads me nicely to......

2.  The Fab Four
This is a fairly new sculpture by Stoke-on-Trent sculptor Andrew Edwards who I introduced to you a few posts ago when I showed you his sculpture of the WW1 VAD nurse on a bench on The Brampton in Newcastle-under-Lyme with a quote from Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth.  The figures in the sculpture are larger than life size and it was quite difficult to get a photo of them with no one posing next to the figures.  I was never a huge fan of the Beatles, never saw them live, only ever had one of their records, but they were a backdrop to my early teenage years and certainly the world did seem to change a lot at that time.

3. The Liver Birds

Such an iconic building and the symbol of the bird is found all over the city. It was wonderful to see this building in the distance from The Snowdrop at the end of our trip up the Manchester Ship Canal and out onto the River Mersey before docking nearly opposite the building.  He is a link to the blog post I wrote then.

4.  The Lambananas
Another thing that is newly symbolic of Liverpool and presumably the catalyst for all the other decorated animals and birds that seem to appear every year in towns and cities across the country.  The first Lambanana the Super Lambanana first appeared on the streets of Liverpool in 1998.  Here is a -link- to its history.
The figure above is Mandy Mandala Lambanana and she was one of 125 of which in 2008 appeared on the streets of Liverpool as part of the city's year of being the European Capital of Culture.

5.  The Pterosaur

We visited Liverpool on my husband's birthday as a treat because for ages he'd wanted to see the cast of the Pterosaur (Quetzalcoatlus northropi) hanging in the foyer of the World Museum and photograph it for his website.  We arrived in Liverpool at Lime Street station and crossed the gardens near St George's Hall to the World Museum where we had a good look around before moving on to the the Walker Art Gallery which is close by.  Here is a link to Paul's Pterosaur Database Blog and Website

Below are some more photos of things spotted on our visit to Liverpool.



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 I hope, wherever you are, you have a lovely weekend.