Thursday, April 20, 2023

Tulips, Blossom and a few Eggs

 It's Tulip time at Trentham Gardens.  

In beds and in pots all over the formal garden.

So many colours and varieties

Trentham Parish church in the background

These were so bright and cheerful in the sunshine

Although the oranges and yellows are so cheerful I think my favourites were the pink and purple ones.

Blossom time too. 

It was a gorgeous Spring day.

Walking around we spotted eggs from the Easter weekend.  I'm sure we didn't see them all.  Below are the ones we found.

I think there was a trail for children to follow with an Easter Egg prize at the end.

As we left the gardens I spotted the display above and took a photo.  A delighted member of staff came towards me and said that she was so glad I'd stopped as she had only just put the display out and really appreciated that someone had noticed and liked them.  I may try this at home later in the year with flowers from our garden.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Last Few Days

Early last week we drove into Derbyshire to visit a friend.  It was a lovely day, the sun was shining, just a slight breeze and not a raindrop in sight.  We stopped in Baslow for a comfort break and a drink.  

 We sat amongst the daffodils with a takeway coffee watching the traffic flow by on the main road.

After lunch we went for a walk in the village.

There is a lovely woodland walk from a path beside the church.
Across the road from the church there is another path and walk with beautiful views across the valley.
Lots of lambs in the fields too

This little one was very curious.

Photos of the daffodils in Baslow were taken by me, Paul took the ones in Holmesfield.

When we dig over some areas of the garden we always find lots of little pieces or sherds of pottery in the clay soil.  We also find small pieces associated with the manufactoring process like the ones below.

I think these were used to separate the saggars when they were placed in the bottle oven during the firing process.  I must try and find out more.  I've seen them at both the Gladstone Pottery Museum and Middleport Pottery
Quite a bit of gardening has been done on the warmer days of the Easter weekend.
We had butterfly visitors.

We also spotted a heron by the pond.  Not had one of those visit for ages.  It didn't find anything and soon flew away.  No fish or frogs for its tea.  It isn't an ornamental pond with fish more a wildlife pond but we haven't had any frogs in there for two or three years now. 
We have plenty of newts in the pond as well as snails.
We do have a new friend by the pond. I think it is supposed to be a runner duck.
I'm afraid the last few days of the title have turned into a lot more as I started this post last weekend but never completed it.  So the early last week I mention was the Tuesday before the Easter weekend.
I'll leave you with one last photo taken when I returned a library book just after Easter.
The blossom trees outside the library building are gorgeous.


Sunday, April 02, 2023

The Garden on Sunday

The garden seemed inviting earlier this morning.  I had a good wander around to see what I could find.  It's this time of year when things change so quickly and fears that plants have been lost to cold and wet weather are unfounded as signs of life are spotted again. The sun is out now and it really does feel as if long awaited Spring may finally be around the corner.

A few views across the garden.

Some of the raised beds have been dug over.

The Wood Anemones are in flower

Wild Garlic is sprouting all over.  Foxgloves too.

The rhubarb is looking healthy

We cut a few stalks and had stewed rhubarb and custard for tea. The first of the season.

In the conservatory a cutting taken last year from the Clematis Montana has developed and is in flower

It's  been transfered to a larger pot and given some canes to climb up

It's been a good day to get out into the fresh air.

This and That

Lots of little things this week.  I had a hospital appointment on Tuesday and we've done a lot of pottering about here and there. A bit of painting to complete the decorating of the hallway, stairs and landing.   It's been too wet to do much in the garden although seedlings in the greenhouse and conservatory are doing well.  




Last Sunday there was a carnival down in the town.  A parade was held to commemorate an historical event which happened around 1866 when the Mayor of Longton, potterJohn Aysnley was trying to raise money to create both a park for the people of the town and also a cottage hospital.  He persuaded the Duke of Sutherland from Trentham Hall to donate land for both and raised money in various ways including a wager in which he undertook to drive a pig through the streets to the market.  He completed the task.  Queen's Park and the Longton Cottage hospital are still there and still used by locals and others. 

It was a very jolly parade with lots of music and dancing too

I didn't take many photos as there were so many people and children.

The Centre of the Longton Exchange Shopping Centre

Two other unusual things this week.  What, more unusual than a Puppet Pig Parade I hear you ask?

We had some unexpected visitors to the garden on Wednesday.

A pair of Mallards decided they liked the look of the garden.
They stayed awhile looking around but after about ten minutes they had seen enough and decided to move on.
On the Brampton in Newcastle under Lyme where we went for morning coffee at the museum after the hospital visit,  the sculpture of the WWI VAD nurse, based on Vera Brittain who lived nearby and is most famous for her book 'A Testament of Youth' had been yarn bombed.
 She was decorated with lots of huge pom poms.

All for now.