Friday, May 31, 2024

Five from Dorothy Clive

I'm taking you back to last week and our visit to the Dorothy Clive Gardens.  A couple of posts ago I showed you the Laburnum Arch at the top of the garden which was very beautiful but there were lots of other things that caught my eye during the visit.

1. Water

The Pond which is the first thing you find as you enter from the bottom car park.

The Waterfall is sited in the quarry garden which at this time of year is full of Rhododendrons and bird song.

 2. Shady Trees and Twisty Paths

Seats under shady trees

Shade at the top of the garden at the end of the Azaleia walk.

It was cool and quite magical along the path under the trees.

Paths in the quarry garden were covered in fallen petals.  A colourful confetti.

 3. Foxgloves and Alliums

There are foxgloves everywhere at the moment, it seems to be a good year for them.

I love the patterns inside the bell shape flowers.

Lots and lots of Alliums around too
Large, small, mauve, purple and white. 

A sight for sore eyes, as the saying goes.

I'd love to have some in our garden but they don't seem to like our soil.

4. Azaleias and Rhododendrons


I'll let them speak for themselves.

All just a riot of colour.
Some were scented too.



Views out from the garden over the Staffordshire countryside.  When we first moved to Staffordshire in the late 90s, we lived in a village not far away, we rented until our house in South Lincolnshire sold.  We eventually bought the property we live in now and moved into the city to be close to work.

View across a Barley field.  When we lived nearby we took out a year's membership and often spent Sunday mornings walking in the gardens and having elevenses in the cafe.

Buttercup Meadow - a view from the top of the garden off the Azaleia walk.
Well, it's the end of May, it has passed by so quickly.  Tomorrow we move into the first of the Summer months. 
I'll see you in June, I hope.

Monday, May 27, 2024


 On Saturday we walked locally at the RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve. It was a beautiful morning and the meadow and valley view area were stunning in the dappled sunlight.

We wandered along the path to the seat where we could take in the view over the valley.  We could hear the steam train on the Churnet Valley Railway which is nearby.

The volunteer at the Visitor Centre told us that Pied Fly Catchers had returned, as they do each year after wintering in West Africa, to the area around the old cottage down near the woods.

We stood overlooking the pond and we both saw and heard one.  No photos though as the bird was flitting about so much.

Here is what the - RSPB - say about the Pied Flycatcher.

We will be returning to the meadow in a few weeks time to see if we can find Orchids.  There are usually loads of them to see.  Mostly Common Spotted Orchids and Butterfly Orchids.
All for now.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Laburnum and Garden Visitors

The Laburnum Arch at the Dorothy Clive Gardens is looking splendid at the moment. 

We visited yesterday morning, thank goodness, as it's pouring down with rain today.

Tomorrow morning we have an engineer coming to sort out the central heating, half of the radiators had been heating up even though we'd turned the temperature down so they shouldn't have come on.  The only way to cool them down is to turn the water part of the system off to stop them heating.  Apparently it's a valve problem.  The engineer popped in to assess the situation on Monday so I'm hoping it can be sorted.

I'm struggling a bit health wise at the moment.  I'm still waiting for the results of a bone marrow biopsy I had on April 23rd.  Also the GP's surgery, concerned about my blood pressure, which I didn't think was unduly high, gave me extra tablets to take and they have given me a dreadful cough.  The nurse said that they would probably give me an irritating cough but this one is way beyond just irritating.  I've changed the tablets now but still have a cough which wears me out. 

Still, things could be worse.  It's a case of keep on keeping on.

Back home in the garden we've had both foxes and badgers visiting.

We saw a fox cub a couple of evenings ago. I took several photos of him but he was so quick running around and looking all over the place I only seemed to be able to capture him from behind.  He looked very healthy.

Mum sat and watched him to make sure he didn't get into any trouble.

Later in the evening, just as dusk was falling the badger appeared. He or she spent ages rooting around for worms.

All for now.  Take care.

Friday, May 17, 2024

A Quick Friday Five

It's been a week of sunshine and showers.  Walks have been taken and some gardening done but often it has been too wet.

Yesterday was a wet day, very wet in fact.  We travelled over to Beeston, Nottingham to vist friends and have lunch out for an eightieth birthday.  A Sicilian restaurant was chosen and a lovely meal was eaten over a couple of relaxing hours.  We all ate something different.   I had vegetarian Parmigiana, lots of lovely Aubergines in rich tomato sauce with homemade bread slices, and after a Lemon Tiramisu.  

It was very wet outside but inside it felt warm and sunny. 

Last week we visited Buxton in Derbyshire.  It was quite a dry day so we were able to wander around.  I took a few photos in the hot houses at the Pavilion.  More in a later post.

The Wisteria Arch at Trentham Gardens is looking wonderful at the moment.

Photos taken on this morning's walk.

That is one of the famous Fantasy Wire fairies hanging upside down at the end of the arch.

I recently received a lovely gift of knitted flowers. 

They are infused with a gentle scent and are so colourful. thank you so much, you know who you are.
Finally plants are growing and ready to be planted in the garden. 

Sweet peas, Helenium, Lupin and Dahlia.
All for now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

White and Pink

 Hedgerows are looking alive again, trees have bright green leaves.  Cow parsley sways in the breeze and covers the verges on highways and canal towpaths.

As well as cow parsley there seem to be lots of daisies.

From a distance the ones above in Pavillion Gardens, Buxton looked like a covering of light snow.

May blossom adorns the hedges
There's also still plenty of Wild Garlic around too.
Also fields (and gardens) full of Dandelion clocks.

Meanwhile back home in the garden things are looking pink.

Rhododendron 'Dreamland'.



 Clematis Montana
and London Pride.