#MyGloriousGardens September Link-up Party!


It’s time for the #MyGloriousGardens September Link up Party!

This is a link party for any posts about being outside, gardens, gardens you may have visited, garden product reviews, days out with you family to a place with a beautiful garden, summer garden posts….basically anything garden related!

The summer hollibobs are coming to an end and the children (and their teachers) are returning to school. I never know where the time goes in the summer holidays! It seems to have whizzed by!

I have visited lots of beautiful gardens in August but I have never been to anywhere as beautiful as Seville! I hope you will enjoy my post. I have also linked up a post about the jobs I plan to do this Autumn.

I can’t wait to read all your amazing posts! So get linking peeps!

Some Guidance for all your lovely linkers!

If are a new linker, the rules are simple…..just click on the blue link up button at the bottom of this screen and it will take you to a new page where you can copy and paste your posts.

If you would like, add the #MyGloriousGardens button to your post -you can find it in my sidebar (widget).

Tweet me @oldhouseinthes1 for a retweet. Retweet any posts you really love.

Spread the linky love by commenting on some of the other bloggers posts, including mine please. Please don’t link and run! It’s not what this party is all about. As a guide, try to comment on the post directly before your and one of the hosts post as a minimum.

I will comment on every post linked up and share on all my social media sites. I have discovered Sumbleupon this month and its directing LOADS of traffic my way! I will put all posts on Stumbleupon as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook -do check out my pages. I always post a round up post after the link party has closed so that you get further traffic from that. What’s not to love!?

10 Jobs for the Autumn Garden

The weather went from 26 degrees yesterday here in Wiltshire to a chilly 14 degrees today with lots of rain! It feels Autumnal already so I thought I would share with you some of the jobs that I plan to do in the next few months in the garden.

Here are my top 10 jobs for this busy season.

  1. Collect seeds. Collecting seeds to grow more lovely plants is a great way to save money and still have wonderfully full borders! My favourite seeds that need to be put away and sown in the Spring are; Cosmos, Sweet peas, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias and Poppies. My favourite seeds that can be sewn straight away as they need the cold weather to activate them are; Foxgloves, Yarrow, and Astrantia.

Collect seeds in Autumn


2. Keep harvesting vegetables and sew some green winter manure plants now. Harvest fruits. Make apple juice from your apples or slice Bramley apples and freeze in bags to be used to make lovely apple crumble or apple pie.


Harvest apples.


3. Rake and feed your lawn. Repair holes with grass seed.

4. Plant Spring bulbs. My favourites that I will planting this Autumn are snow drops, Fritillaria, daffodils and English bluebells.

5. Sort out your pond. Clean out any leaves and put up some netting to collect falling leaves. Amphibians such as frogs and newts will have left the pond to hibernate so this is a good time to do these jobs.


6. Divide perennials and move any plants at this time. I don’t tend to tidy perennials now as I like to leave them for wildlife to feed on.

7. Make new compost bins for leaf litter. This makes a lovely compost.


Leaves make lovely leaf mould that can be used on your plants in the Spring.

8. Clean out water butts and plan any hard landscaping ideas for the winter when plants are dormant.

9. Rake up leaves once a week so that the job doesn’t become too big.


Rake leaves regularly to stop this job getting too huge!

10. Clear out summer bedding, add bone meal and feed to the soil giving it a good digging over before adding Winter bedding plants.

10 Jobs for the Autumn Garden

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The Old House Garden Round up: Blight, Mildew, Apples and Enormous Dragonflies!

The round-up this week is tinged with sadness as some of my vegetables are just not doing very well! My outdoor tomatoes had blight so I had to take them all out and burn them. In the same vegetable bed I have pumpkins and they have mildew! I have cut off all the affected leaves but I think it has already spread to the other bed. I think I’m going to hope that I can manage it until the pumpkins are ready to harvest. If any one has any suggestions though? I will burn all the leaves and give the bed a good turning over in the Autumn. I expect I will take out most of the soil in this bed and replace it. Luckily, my large compost bin is full and the compost is ready to put onto the garden. I think both the mildew and blight are due to all the rain yet humid conditions we had in July.


Mildew on the pumpkin leaves that I have removed and burnt.


It has just spread to the other bed -you can just see the splodges of mildew on the leaves.


If the pumpkins can hang on I think they should be ok!

The tomatoes in the Greenhouse have been producing fruit though and the beans have been great. The salad leaves, rhubarb and beetroot all seem fine too and we have some plums, pears and crab apples appearing now on the new fruit trees.

The old apple tree is groaning with Bramley apples! They keep falling down though and giving me a shock; especially when the squirrels are chasing each other through the trees! One apple hit me directly on the head the other day and it hurt! Some of the apples are huge!


Bramley apples on the old apple tree

We had to employ a dry stone waller to repair the wall that fell down. Dottie kept trying to escape so it was a job that needed doing and this was one that we couldn’t do for ourselves. This is the third section of wall that has needed repairing so we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is the last, at least for a number of years anyway!


The dry stone wall has been repaired.

We have enjoyed some calm and sunny weather here in Wiltshire for the past 2 weeks so I have seen lots of insects enjoying the garden. The most spectacular are these huge dragonflies and damselflies that can be all sorts of stunning colours. This one today was a beautiful red and was massive! I believe you tell the difference by looking at their wings; if they are closed at rest they are damselflies and if they are open at rest, they are dragonflies.


Photographing these are very tricky as they don’t settle for long!


One of the beautiful dragonflies here in the Old House Garden.


I have been enjoying the sunshine this weekend and reading in this spot!


Dottie enjoying the Japanese Anemones.




The meadow keeps the insects happy!

We have been busy in the Middle part of the garden. We started this section and I blogged about it


I will be blogging about these changes soon but I will leave you with this teaser….here is Dottie on the soil that we have removed from this part of the garden! It’s taking a while because we are doing it all and it’s very hard work…..I will reveal all soon, I promise!


Dottie trying to admire the view over the back fence!



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The Gardens of Alcázar of Seville: #MyGloriousGardens.

During a long weekend in Seville, we visited the Alcázar Palace on a gloriously hot day in August. Whilst the weather looks perfect in photographs, it was in fact 42 degrees centigrade and so our visit to the gardens was not as long as I would have liked as Siesta called! The good thing though about the boiling weather was that the palace was not crowded and we could amble around the gardens at our leisure.


The Courtyard of the Maidens. The orange trees are a fairly recent restoration as a medieval sunken garden was discovered here. The orange blossom must smell wonderful in the Spring!

The extensive gardens have undergone many changes in the life of the palace which was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1987. The gardens extend over seven hectares and are surrounded by walls of varying age and colours. The different areas of the garden reflect the periods of time that have passed since this glorious place was built. Over hundreds of years, areas of the palace and gardens have been extended and changed giving the whole complex distinctly different areas. In the main, the gardens are formal gardens with water being a major part of the Moorish design in the form of rills and pools. The gardens would have been planted to provide food for the palace but also for pleasure.


The many trees surrounded by formal hedging in the garden Garden of Vega Inclan.


Entrance into the Garden of Vega Inclan and English Gardens

Moving away from the Palace lay The Garden of the Poets with pools and rills of water.  The planting is of palm, cypress, myrtle, mulberries, magnolia, orange and lemon trees.


Rills of water are a major feature in this part of the garden known as The garden of the Poets.


Beautiful formal fountains


Mosaic tiled places to sit and admire the surroundings and rest in the heat.

The gardens of the Alcázar of Seville have undergone many changes. In the 16th century during the reign of Philip III the Italian designer Vermondo Resta introduced the Italian Mannerist style. He was responsible for changing an old wall into a viewing Loggia to enable visitors to admire parts of the gardens. This is a fabulous spot to take photographs of the garden as you get to look down and admire the views.


View towards the palace from the Loggia. The small orange building plays music


The Loggia was once an old wall.


View towards the main garden with pools.


A lovely and welcome shady spot!

Nearest the Palace buildings lies the Mercury Pond, named after the God, Mercury. This pool was made in 1586 and as it lies higher than other parts of the garden acting as a reservoir for many of the other water features nearby. This area of the garden is known as The Garden of the Reservoir.


The Mercury Pool in the Garden of the Reservoir


Lots of Koi Carp in the Mercury pond.


This section is nearest the Palace and has wonderfully decorated tiles and fountains.


The entrance to the old wine cellars were a cool place to sit.


The old wine cellars were stunning inside.

The Gardens of Alcázar of Seville were amazing and I would love to go back in the Spring to see the orange blossom and to visit without battling such boiling temperatures. So many kings and queens have walked in these gardens and there is so much history that one afternoon is not enough.

My advice? Take your time and visit for a couple of days.


One Messy Mama

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The Old House garden round-up: Flopsy Flowers and caterpillars!

So far, August has been very wet and cold in Wiltshire. Today was the first day for a while that we could enjoy the garden as it was lovely and sunny. I decided to quickly take some photographs of the garden so that it looked gorgeous in the sun however this was what we have enjoyed since Saturday!


Rain, rain and more rain!

Of Course, this really took it’s toll on the garden; especially the flowers. It also made everything grow like crazy!


The tower of beans fell down in the wind but there is still lots of beans to harvest!


The pumpkins are developing well.

My pumpkins, although developing large fruits, have also got mildew on their leaves and I’m worried that it will spread so I have removed the infected leaves and have my fingers crossed! It’s due to all the rain and humid conditions. The tomatoes, beetroot and peppers all seem to be happy as they are now producing fruits.


Cabbage White caterpillars

Now vegetable lovers will shake their heads at me but I actually planted these cauliflowers hoping to attract butterflies! I’m not too keen on cauliflower but I do love butterflies so am pleased that the cabbage white has laid her eggs on them! There are also some on my nasturtiums too but they have self seeded from last year and again, I planted them for caterpillar food!


Caterpillars on the nasturtiums

This seems to be a theme in the old house garden as we also have sawfly larvae on a small patch of roses….


Sawfly larvae on my roses

Although incredibly annoying, sawfly larvae are great food for ladybirds and I have seen many ladybird larvae eating the sawfly larvae so they can stay. I garden organically so I could take these little pest off by hand but I’m hoping the damage will be limited by encouraging natural predators.


The Rhubarb is now monstrous!

The rhubarb we planted last Spring is now enormous so we are hoping to harvest from it next year.


The apple tree is groaning with apples this year.

Now for the rest of the garden…


The meadow continues to be in full flower.




I love these Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) flowers. I found them as seed pods by the side of the road and planted them as seed straight into this area.


Tiger enjoying the garden. The grass has grown really long in places and is full of tiny frogs!


The cottage border is still in full bloom but the flowers are all flopsy from all the rain!


The Japanese Anemone are coming into full bloom. I love these as they are so pretty!

I replanted this plant stand last week, adding Dahlia and Hydrangea. I think it looks stunning and I’m really pleased with it.


My plant stand by the back door.



Lastly, here is a photo of my dear little Dottie dog taken with my new camera. I’m really pleased with it. Happy August everyone……in the next round-up there will be some changes to the Old House Garden. x


Dottie dog



Lucy At Home


#My Glorious Gardens: Painswick Rococo Gardens.

For our Anniversary this year we decided to take a trip to The Painswick Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire. When we were first married we lived near Painswick in a cute little cottage called Squirrel Cottage so have lovely memories of this area but have never been to the gardens.


Our wedding anniversary visit….


The Painswick Rococo Gardens

The Painswick Rococo Gardens are the only Rococo gardens left that are open to the public. Built in the 1740’s, they were created for the Hyett family to impress and entertain guests. Gardens at that time were in transition from the formal to the more frivolous with the idea that the garden was somewhere to enjoy and hold lavish garden parties. The garden has seen a significant restoration programme since the 1970’s based upon a painting of the original garden from 1748.


One of the fanciful garden building called The Eagle House which had to be totally restored.


One of the gorgeous gothic buildings to explore.

The gardens have a wonderful feeling of tranquility and are such a fabulous place to wander. There was a wedding taking place whilst we were there but it was not busy for a Saturday. It’s a garden to wander around or to take children to as they had a great trail looking for wildlife. There was a brilliant woodland walk and playground which younger children would love. Well behaved dogs are also welcome so next time Dottie is coming!


Duck pond with cute little white ducks.


The large duck pond was full of colourful dragon flies.


Part of the woodland playground

The kitchen garden was amazing and we loved the espalier fruit trees.


Views up towards the white gothic arch.


Espalier fruit trees.


Views across the kitchen garden

There was a delightful Plunge Pool where the water was crystal clear and looked so inviting! It was surrounded by shade loving plants such as large ferns and hostas.


Reflections in the Plunge Pool


The grotto in the shady garden

The large, white gothic arch is the star of the whole garden in my opinion; a photographers dream! It stands at the top of the hill looking down the valley over the garden. It’s certainly dramatic and I loved it!


The gothic, white Arch.


Hubbie looking out across the garden. I love the reflections in the pool.


What a place to spend an anniversary!

 The anniversary maze -how apt!


The Anniversary Maze


The rain was coming!


Painswick Rococo Gardens.

I would definitely go back here again as the heavens opened and our visit was cut short. It’s supposed to be beautiful when all the snowdrops are out In February so I would love to come back then.


One Messy Mama

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#My Glorious Gardens: The Monastery of Saint Gerasimos, Kefalonia.


During our stay in Kefalonia, we would often leave the teens to sleep and go out, just me and Hubbie. One morning, we woke up really early so we decided to take a drive into the hills around where were staying to see the vine yards and also The Monastery of Saint Gerasimos. To get there you must pass a garden with 40 wells!


The church was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1953


We went early on a Sunday so there were very few people there.

Saint Gerasimos lived in the 1500’s and is considered the patron saint of Kefalonia. Many believe that he will protect them from harm and cure their illnesses. Hence, there are many men named Gerasimos after him. The body of Saint Gerasimos is at the monastery. Kefalonians throughout the world still revere and pray to him. In 1953, immediately after a powerful earthquake on the island of Kefalonia destroyed 90% of the island, there were many claimed sightings of Saint Gerasimos throughout the island who is believed to have comforted and tended to the injured trapped inside homes and buildings.

It is a fascinating place and we were lucky to be able to go inside the small church that has been built over the cave where he set up the original monastery and where his relics are kept.


Inside where the relics of Saint Gerasimos are kept. Notice the beautiful frescos on the walls.

There is a hole in the chapel floor to the cave where Gerasimos lived.


Even though we were visiting early, there were still a few people there. Ladies have to cover their arms, legs and heads.



The entrance to the Monastery complex was stunning.


Beautiful Flowers.


The entrance.

The gardens were beautiful and lovingly tended by the nuns.


This tree was planted by Gerasimos himself in the 1520’s (you can just see the 40 wells in the distance)


During his feast day on August 16th, his coffin is moved under this tree.


The nuns keep lots of pots.


The nuns were watering their gardens whilst we were there.


Lovely gardens in the Monastery complex


More terracotta pots.


The view towards the various vineyards in the area.


I have no idea what species of bee or wasp this is but it was jet black! Kefalonia is known for its Thyme tasting Honey which is delicious. We saw some hives on our travels too…


Hives in the distance in the mountains.

This is a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. We weren’t sure what it was at first! I admit I had to Google it!

It’s a beautiful and serene place to visit if you ever go to Kefalonia. We absolutely loved it.


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The Old House Garden Round up. 14th July 2017. It’s all about sunshine!

It’s been 2 weeks since my last round up and I’m going to take a 2 week blogging break so this will be my last post for a while.

The garden is in it’s prime at the moment. My Mother in Law is here to stay and I’m so pleased she has brought the sunshine with her!


Crocosmia is flowering now.


There is lots of Crocosmia so I’m going to divide these in the Autumn


I’m loving some of the combinations of colours


The Lupins have died back but this border is still glorious!


Butterflies have been abundant. This Gatekeeper looks happy!


Lots of bees


Cabbage White butterflies have laid their eggs all over my cauliflower but I don’t mind!


The pumpkin is going bonkers; it obviously loves this spot!


The broadbeans are reaching towards the sky!


Lots of flowers on the pumpkins

The peas have failed. They are covered in spiders and caterpillars and the peppers haven’t done so well. Still trial and error in the Old House Garden. We have lots of tomatoes and cucumbers though.


Phlox. They are so beautiful.


We have 3 different coloured Phlox.


I love some of the accidental colours mixes!


Cornflowers; such a vivid blue.


Roses are blooming.


Loads of Japanese Anemone are now appearing in drifts near the house.


I love that the Cosmos just keep flowering!

The meadow area has really taken off! I’m so pleased with this area as I just sprinkled lots of seeds in May hoping to cover this sad little area!


Meadow colour!


The insects are loving this area!


Tilly also loves the insects in this area!!



Another round up done! I shall leave you with my pets.


Dottie and “pig”



Happy summer everyone and see you in August for #MyGloriousGardens Linky party!


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Petit Trianon, Versailles #MyGloriousGardens

Petit Trianon was built between 1762 and 1768 by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. It was called Petit Trianon to distinguish it from Grand Trianon which is a marble palace built by the king before Louis XV for his mistress! Petit Trianon was gifted to Marie Antoinette by Louis XVI and she made it her home, transforming the gardens in the process. She is the most notorious and tragic occupant of this Palace and it is now set up as it once was when she lived there. We visited on a particular rainy weekend in early July but we all agreed that this was our favourite part of our weekend in Versailles.


Marie Antoinette and her children, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte (she survived the revolution) and Louis-Joseph-Xavier-François (he died aged 7 from Tuberculosis)

Marie Antoinette married Louis at the age of 14 and coming to Versailles, even as a princess must have been a shock. The French had many customs and rituals that were very strict and different from that she had known. The protocols of the french court were such that she thought of Petit Trianon as her place to escape and be herself. I can see why she fell in love with this place! It is such a simple yet elegant palace in such contrast to the grandiose Château! Apparently no one was allowed to enter unless they had a personal invitation from the queen, not even the king. Here she could escape the formality and prying eyes of the court so she set about creating her ideal palace and gardens. Unfortunately, in making this palace private she created court gossip and it became known as a place for debauched royal behaviour. However, I feel she did not help herself as she continued to spend and spend her own, her husband’s and the country’s money to create the most extravagant and crazy gardens which, of course, we can now all enjoy.




Meandering rivers looking back towards the Palace.

Marie Antoinette is known as a leader and creator of fashion and in the garden, she was very taken with the latest landscaping trends. Influenced by the notion that unspoiled nature was healthy and invigorating, she set about creating a very English garden without the usual formality found at the gardens of Versailles using the designer, Richard Mique. These English gardens were to be created alongside the more formal gardens that immediately surrounded the palace. They were created with rivers carved into meandering shapes, grottos created with large stones and artificial lakes made to look as if they had always been there. Landscape ornaments such as temples, ruins and English buildings were built to blend into their surroundings.


The Temple of love


The Temple of Love was built on a small island and is a beautifully carved and ornate temple.

Marie Antoinette removed the previous King’s Hothouses which contained many rare plant species and had them taken to Versailles. A noted gardener, The Duke of Croy, wrote, ” Instead of the great hothouses, some quite high mountains, a large rock and a river. Never has a couple of acres changed to such an extent nor cost as dearly.”


View from the top of “Escargot” mountain towards the Rock and the Belvedere.

The works at Petit Trianon were excessively high and exorbitant. Because she could not afford the amounts from her own money, she often had to ask Louis to cover the costs. Sometimes, he had to pay for these changes from the State budget. on 22nd August, 1775, £100,000 were entered on the Treasury books as, “for the Queen’s gardens.” This shocked people and later contributed to her downfall at her trial during the revolution.

The Hamlet and the Farm

Not content with her spending and changes, works started in 1783 on Marie Antoinette’s latest project, a life-sized theatre called The Hamlet. Richard Mique created a Normandy village made up of 12 houses all made to look like they had been there for hundreds of years. Farm life was fashionable and here the Queen could “play” at being a milk maid or a shepherd (with washed sheep or cows, of course). The Queen’s house had 2 houses; the Queen’s cottage and the Billiard House built for the pursuit of pleasure such as music, gaming, dancing, theatre and conversation. Here she would come with her closest friends. There was even a dairy shop with a marble floor, where fresh cream and cheese were made for the Queen and her friends.


The Marlborough Tower overlooks the lake that was lined with clay in 1784


The Water Mill


Marlborough Tower


The Queen’s Boudoir


All the little vegetable gardens


Lovely little, romantic cottages


Roses around the doors



Traditional cottage gardens


The Farm with animals


The Farm with goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, cows and rabbits

Marie Antoinette created gardens as close as her imagination could bring her to the simple, country life that she craved. Of course, what she didn’t realise was that this was not real life and all the smells and poo were removed so that she could play the part but not be surrounded by reality! She loved nothing better than walking in her gardens with her children (she was devoted mother) wearing a simple white, muslin dress away from the rigid world of The French Court. I felt sorry for her as her ending was not pleasant but I also felt that she a very indulged and naive woman. However, we are left with her creation and vision in the form of these beautiful gardens.

I will leave you with some photos of the French Gardens (created by Louis XV between 1749 and 1753) that lead to Grand Trianon which are equally as glorious but are very different. It’s as if the gardens reflect the formality of the court the closer you get away from Petit Trianon.


Planting in pots


View towards the French Pavilion


Formal and symmetrical gardens with pleached lime trees




Box hedging


Formal Planting with pleached trees


The Cool Pavilion


Pools and fountains


Heading towards Grand Trianon




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My Glorious Gardens series: Lacock Abbey Gardens in June.

Lacock Abbey is a National Trust property that started life as a nunnery and was last lived in by the Talbot family. It is also the birthplace of photography. Many films have been filmed here including Harry Potter, The other Boleyn girl and Wolf Hall. We have visited the Abbey many times but haven’t really wandered around the gardens so that’s what we did on this visit. We did wander into the Cloisters as they are particularly beautiful and interesting.


The view of the Abbey as you enter to go in.


This beautiful Gothic arch leads you into towards the Abbey.

The outside is absolutely stunning and you can see the history of the building in the different windows and architecture. As this is the place where William Henry Fox Talbot took the first ever photographic negative, there are lots of frames around the grounds for you to take photographs of you own. A fun idea for children I thought.


If you have seen Harry Potter, you will know this corridor!


The beautiful Cloisters


Some of this part of the Abbey are 800 years old.


This is the Sacristy, dating back to the 1230’s.

The gardens are laid out as parkland with rolling hills and fields. The house itself is surrounded by a Ha-Ha wall. We wandered into the Botanical Gardens and took some lovely photos here.


Cottage style planting


Beautiful delphiniums!


I love the shades of blue of the different delphiniums.


The bees were loving them!


My delphiniums always get eaten by slugs…….


I love the black centre to these delphiniums.


In the greenhouse there was this huge vine and bougainvillea

We walked through the orchard and sat for a while before visiting the new rose garden.


The orchard.


The new rose garden.


We sat for a while in this fabulous gothic seat.


Beautiful, mature trees

Lacock Abbey can be combined to a visit to the village of Lacock. The whole estate, including the village, were gifted to The National Trust in 1944. It is a ridiculously pretty and unspoilt village with no overhead power lines giving it a timeless quality. There are a couple of great pubs and places to buy ice-creams. It also has a delightful “Stall on the wall”, a place to buy home-made cakes, meringues and jams all made by a local resident.