The Old House Garden Round Up: Dottie, Tilly & Tiger make an appearance. 14th June 2017.

The pets have been enjoying the garden this week. The weather has been varied but in no way as wet as last week!

Tiger has discovered the Nepeta (Cat Nip) and loves it almost as much as the bees. Dottie is just bonkers as ever!

Dottie loves to play with her towel that I lay on the patio for her to sunbathe on!

The garden has really grown after all the rain but of course with rain comes slugs and snails. I have tried beer traps, picking them off at dusk and putting down egg shells but they have still got to some of my vegetables which is frustrating! I wrote a post about dealing with slugs and snails organically here but fear I am failing somewhat!

Here are the vegetables.

IMG_6077[1]

The beans and peas are doing well. The rhubarb is only in its second year so I won’t harvest from it until next year. I have put Marigolds around my pumpkin in a hope of confusing those pesky slugs!

IMG_5975[1]

This bed is looking sad; I would have expected more growth really. You can see my beer trap. I’m going to add more.

IMG_6122[1]

Another beer trap is full this morning!

IMG_6078[1]

The vegetables in the Greenhouse are doing much better. I have found at least 2 slow worms living in here (giving me a fright!) but I think they are eating any snails or slugs that manage to get in.

IMG_6079[1]

The Beetroot is looking healthy

With all the rain and wind of last week, my Lupins are looking a little flopsy but are still stunning in the cottage border.

IMG_6063[1]

Flopsy Lupins!

IMG_6056[1]

The Cottage Border

At the weekend we added some annuals such as Cosmos in this border to fill in any gaps. I think I would like to add some more as I love their pop of colour in here.

IMG_6073[1]

The clematis is still flowering on the archway and now the rose is too. This rose is a climber called New Dawn.

IMG_6084[1]

The yellow, red and orange border

IMG_6053[1]

We have added some annuals such as Zinnia in here and planted some yellow lupins.

IMG_6127[1]

This is the new area that we cant decide what to do with so we scattered some wildflowers seeds here for this year and they are now beginning to grow rapidly. The new roses are also blooming too. We have David Austin’s Compassion.

IMG_6130[1]

This is my next project! Although it’s only overgrown. I want to see what grows here in full first.

IMG_6117[1]

The Verbena are getting very tall!

I hope you have enjoyed this round up!

Design

 

My Random Musings

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

#MyGloriousGarden Linky week 2.

Hello and welcome to #MyGloriousGardens Linky week 2.

Thank you so much to the Linkers from last week.
We had 8 linkers. All posts were fabulous so I wont be picking favourites!

Crummymummy wrote about the development of her wildlife garden with Homebase plants. I loved her homes for hedgehogs and the way she involved her children. I will be following her new garden with interest.

wildaboutnauture linked her photography post about her garden. I love seeing what people plant don’t you? I loved her globe alliums.

CadyLuckLeedy shared her visit to The Gardens of Mainz in Germany. She and I have bonded over our visits to different gardens I think! Again, photos tells more than words sometimes and this post was all about that Magnolia in my opinion! Stunning.

Rivendellgarden This is John Kingdon’s site. He is a brilliant man in that he collates all the gardening blogs in one place for us all! I’m featuring this month so thank you John. Do pop over to his site to find out more.

OfftheEdgeGardening A lovely post about Gill’s revisit to a garden from her past with her Plant Heritage group. I love the way she has captured the weeping Irises.

Sowhatnow768 A fun post about the Linkers (I know her name but I think she would like to stay anonymous!) introduction of her chickens with fabulous names! I read this blog often and she always makes me laugh!

Msnubutterflies Such a fabulous post. How a garden became the daily inspiration for Shannon as she battles with MS. I love how uplifting this post was and how it made me see that the little things are as important. There is a part 2 to this post so I hope Shannon links again!

Watchingthedaisies posted 3 posts and all were Glorious! Thank you Brigid! I particularly love her post about The healing Power of Gardens and seeing her garden that she has transformed into a paradise! I agree that gardens and outdoor spaces can be so rewarding and calming. Brigid has a book out so she knows her stuff!

Thank you all again. I love all your posts.

Now for this week! You may link all garden related posts.It may be a post about a great day out with your family, a garden you have visited, your garden or an outdoor place you have visited. I don’t mind anything as long as it is celebrating a Glorious Garden! No posts about other Link parties please.

If you have never been to a Link party before it’s easy!

Just link up your post by clicking on the InLinkz button below.  Then press on the blue link button when it redirects you. Copy and paste your post or photo in the link. It will run for a week.

There are minimal rules.

1. Add the #MyGloriousGardens Linky button to the bottom of our post.
2. Tweet me @oldhouseinthes1 for a Retweet if you are on Twitter.
3. Follow me on Twitter, on the blog and on Instagram.
4. Comment on my post and one other of your choice.
5. Spread the Blog love and I will read all posts and comment.
6. Have fun!

Or you can join me on Instagram with your photos using the hashtag #MyGloriousGardens

Here is my Linky button to add to the bottom of your posts. Just select the code and paste it when you are in HTML on your post.

Oldhouseintheshires
Oldhouseintheshires


Click on the link below to link up

My Glorious Gardens Series: Chelsea Flower show 2017: The other gardens we loved.

At Chelsea Flower Show 2017, there were the Show Gardens which I blogged about in my previous post. There were also Artisan Gardens, Feel Good Gardens and Fresh Gardens which, in some ways were even better!

IMG_5617

Gosho No Niwa No Wall, No War Garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

This was the Gosho No Niwa No Wall, No War, Garden part of the Artisan Gardens. It was very busy when we visited here as they were about to film but here is the designer, Kazuyuki  Ishihara. The garden was exquisite in its detail. Each rock looked at if it had been polished and each piece of moss delicately plumped up! It was inspired by the historical gardens of Kyoto with Acer’s, sedums and a cool pool with contemporary structure with a glass floor. We both really loved this garden; what a shame we couldn’t view it properly! This garden won a gold award and it is easy to see why.

IMG_5589

The Chris Evans Taste Garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

This was a simple, yet clean and crisp garden full of gorgeous and perfect vegetables! This was inspired by Mary Berry and was very popular with the visitors. As beginners at growing vegetables, it was a bit annoying to see such perfection to be honest but we were impressed that there were over 50 different ones in this small space!

IMG_5590

The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

This was the Jeremy Vine Texture Garden. You could see the work that had gone into creating them his garden immediately. Unfortunately, this is a textured garden and one that should be felt as well as looked at! I just wanted to get in there but we obviously couldn’t! I loved the clipped hedging and smooth pathways.

IMG_5593

Mind Trap. Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

This garden was called Mind trap and was created from experiences with mental health. We could see what this garden was trying to create but it just didn’t work in our opinion. We really thought that other Gardens deserved the Gold award it was given (sorry!).  It was just too obvious and tried too hard.

IMG_5620

The poetry lovers garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2017. Here is the designer Fiona Cadwallader.

IMG_5621

The poetry lovers garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

My photographs do not do this garden justice. This was one of the best garden at the entire show in our opinion! I absolutely loved the planting and the dry stone walls. I expect it reminded me of the old house garden in that respect. We spent quite a while admiring it hence the lack of quality photos! I loved the colours and the tranquil feel to the garden. This contrasted so well to the contemporary ,metal water feature and lounger. This is the one garden we went back to a few times!

Chelsea Flower Show is a glorious place to visit!

In my next post, I shall review the sites of the Main Pavilion!

These are my own opinions. I am not a garden designer or horticulturalist but I do know what I like!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest boards.

My Glorious Gardens Series: Chelsea Flower Show 2017 -The Show Gardens.

This year, my lovely hubbie bought us tickets to go to the Chelsea Flower Show in London. I’ve always wanted to go but for lots of reasons, we have never been. I was a little worried that this years show would not live up to my expectations as lots of reviewers were saying that with just 7 Show Gardens, how could it? However, as newbies we were just excited to be there at all and the sun was shining! For us, this is not a local event but after a 3 hour journey, we arrived! I will split this into a few posts as there is quite a lot to share!

Firstly, we went on the Tuesday which is the day the awards are presented so there were lots of excitement about who would get Best in Show! I will try to show you some of the Show gardens in this post and make comments on the ones I loved the most.

IMG_5604

The Chengdu silk road garden

IMG_5602

The Chengdu silk road garden

This one is called “The Chengdu silk road” and was on the largest plot and was a very striking garden. It won a Silver-gilt. It had quite an industrial feel and Hubbie and I just didn’t feel it worked. It was almost as if the designers tried too hard if that makes sense? The planting was quite soft with lots of primulas and buddleia which was such a contrast to the severity of the pink, steel “mountains”. It was different though and brave so deserved its silver-gilt.

IMG_5665

The Morgan Stanley Garden

IMG_5608

The Morgan Stanley Garden

IMG_5609

The Morgan Stanley Garden

We both were looking forward to seeing this garden because a friend of ours completed all the stone walling in this garden -Paul Nash  – Paul repaired the dry stone walls in the old house garden when we moved in and is very talented! This garden was one of our favourites and it’s not tricky to see why! The planting was exquisite; cottage style planting which we love, with a path that moved through the whole garden. In the centre was this gorgeous structure with a roof shaped like a leaf. This garden won a Silver-gilt (should have been gold and best in show in our opinion!)

IMG_5685

The M&G garden

This is the M&G garden which was inspired by a Maltese disused quarry. It was certainly brave and unusual but not our choice. It was awarded Best in Show and a Gold award which surprised us at first however, it was unique. The designer, James Basson has been quoted as saying, “It’s not supposed to be pretty!”

IMG_5607

500 years of Covent Garden

We couldn’t get near this garden as the BBC were presenting at the time (here is the lovely Rachel de Thame)! This garden took floral heritage as its inspiration and had 3,  30-year-old apple trees in it to mark the fact that Covent Garden was once an orchard garden. It was a beautiful garden but we didn’t feel the modern seating were appropriate somehow, although I did like the green archways. This garden was awarded a Silver award.

IMG_5614

Breaking Ground

IMG_5613

Breaking Ground

This garden was called Breaking Ground. The metal barriers represent breaking down barriers in Education and the purple Salvias represent lateral thinking. It was sponsored by Wellington College who hope to create a fund for children who would not otherwise be able to afford their fees. We both really enjoyed this garden. The planting was simple, yet effective with Salvia and Hawthorn. This garden received a well deserved Gold award.

IMG_5684

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden

This is the Royal Bank of Canada garden which was inspired by the vast diversity of different plants and of the lakes in Canada. I loved the granite boulders and old pine trees used in this garden. It was another very busy garden which received a gold medal.

There were 2 other show gardens which I couldn’t photograph due to all the people! They were called, The Welcome to Yorkshire garden and The linklaters garden for Maggie’s. I liked the Welcome to Yorkshire garden best due to its informal planting and little folly. We didn’t get to see The linklaters garden at all as there was a queue to see it!

Our favourite by far was The Morgan Stanley Garden but they were all amazing! We had a fabulous day and it was worth the long trip to get there. A good tip…..park at Westfield and get the tube to Sloane Square.

In the next post, I will review some of the other gardens and what we found in the Main Pavilion.

These are my own opinions! I am not a garden designer or a horticulturalist but I do know what I like.

Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest boards.

Oldhouseintheshires

Life on Lakeshore Drive
JENerally Informed

 

The old house garden: a weekly round up.

I have an old tin bath that I found in the old house garden when we moved in.

During the spring it was filled with some gorgeous tulips that I had planted in the Autumn.

DSCF4382

Tulips planted in an old tin bath

The tulips have now died back so I have taken those out and put them in the greenhouse to dry out. I haven’t cut off any of the green leaves that are still attached as this will allow the bulb to gain any remaining nutrients in order to flower next year.

IMG_5570.JPG

The unplanted old tin bath

I went to B&Q and they had 20% off all plants at the moment so I bought lots of bedding plants to fill the bath. I bought:

  • Petunias -the upright double-flowered ones in purple.
  • Trailing Fuchsias in white, purple and pink.
  • Nemesia in purple.
  • Dahlias in a beautiful pink mix.
IMG_5572

The planted old tin bath with summer bedding plants.

It looks rather lovely, especially with the other arrangement I worked on a few weeks ago. The patio looks a little happier. I also took out the enormous Euphorbia that had fallen over in all the rain last week. When I went to tie it back, I saw that it was rotten at the roots so it had to come out sadly.

IMG_5571

IMG_5576

Dottie loved the sunshine today!

The old tin bath only took an hour to plant up but will hopefully look lovely all summer long. I also moved a clematis into a new pot with a trellis. This clematis was one I bought last year but didn’t do well in the heat at the back of the patio so hopefully will fare better here where it has a little more shade. They like to be planted deep in the soil and I always add a stone across the roots as they like to be slightly shaded. I can’t remember which Clematis this is so we shall see!

Here are some other photos I took in the garden today.

IMG_5558

The blue bed

IMG_5557

The lupins are beginning to flower

IMG_2610

I planted a Solanum crispum last year and it died (or so I thought!). It is not flowering and looks fabulous.

HKLR8576

The glory of the Peonies out in full bloom.

IMG_5565

A purple anemone

YGEW7835

The Alliums are flowering too.

Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest boards.

 

OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.

 

Design

diaryofanimperfectmum

My Glorious Garden series: Hazelbury Manor Charity Open Day.

This week, I ventured to one of the Open Days for the National Garden Scheme. This is where local gardens are open to the public. Hazelbury Manor is near where I live in Wiltshire and is only open to the public on these days so I decided to go. Unfortunately, it was absolutely pouring with rain and everyone was busy so it was just me and my country boots and very large, umbrella! Even Dottie stayed at home as I wasn’t sure if she would be allowed in.

IMG_5540

Hazelbury Manor

IMG_5541

Hazelbury Manor

Hazelbury Manor is a Grade I listed privately owned property near the town of Box in Wiltshire. The manor house were not open to the public so I couldn’t go in! What a shame as it looked so inviting! The next Garden Open Day is on Sunday June 11th in the afternoon. I paid £5 to go inside.

The 8 acres of landscaped gardens are Edwardian in design having been laid out by George Kidston in the early 1920’s. The main attraction of these gardens is the beautiful Laburnum walkway and pleached Lime tree avenue.

IMG_5505

The Laburnum tunnel at Hazelbury Manor Gardens

IMG_5506

A close up of the Laburnum at Hazelbury Manor gardens

The pleached lime trees are an inspiration…I would love to add some to the old house garden…

IMG_5538

Pleached trees at Hazelbury Manor Gardens

IMG_5511

I felt like I was in The Shining movie!

The gardens were just beautiful but as it was pouring with rain I was all alone! It was a bit spooky to be honest….I can imagine the history of this place and as it was so dark in places so I walked quite quickly!

IMG_5507

Hazelbury Manor Gardens

IMG_5533

Lots of nooks and hidey places at Hazelbury Manor Gardens

This is not a place to take children particularly although on a warm day it would be a great place to play hide and seek! There is no shop or cafe but it is a stunning garden to roam (alone) on a wet morning! I’m glad I’ve been as I always wondered what was “over the wall.” Now I know!

IMG_5537

Cascading pond at Hazelbury Manor Garden

Part of My Glorious Gardens series.

Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest Boards.

What I have learnt in (almost) 6 months of Blogging.

IMG_0077

6 months of blogging! Whoop whoop!*

I have been blogging for almost 6 months now and I’ve learnt so much! Who knew that little old me could learn all the technical stuff?

I started this blog as a way of writing about the things we were doing to the old house but it’s evolved into a “parenting, lifestyle, things we are doing to the old house” type blog! Another blogger described it as “eclectic” and that’s what it is…..a rambling old house in the Shires!

So what have I learnt?

1. You become clearer about why you are blogging.

I started this blog to fill a void of not working full-time and having more time on my hands as my children are teenagers. We had also recently moved house so it seemed a good way to document things we did to the old house over time. After 6 months it’s become more of a hobby. A hobby which I had never considered before and one that is more time consuming that I could possibly have imagined!

2. There’s a whole community out there! Who knew??

There are so many lovely people out there who you chat to over the computer! I have a little group of blogging friends and that’s empowering. I like the fact that I could be chatting to someone on the other side of the world about their vegetables or about their teenagers slamming doors too! The other thing I’ve learnt is that people are kind and helpful. Generally if you ask another blogger for advice, they will give it to you. As someone who had never been on Twitter before, this was essential! (Apologies if I still haven’t learnt tweeting etiquette 😉). And as for the whole self hosting thang….yeez! Not for me…..yet.

3. I like to write. It may not be read by too many people yet but I enjoy it!

I’m always amazed at the posts that people like to read. It can be the posts that I have fretted over posting. Or, a post that I wrote in 5 minutes gets more views that’s a post that has taken me 3 days to write! I like to write and that is why I blog but it’s important to me that people enjoy reading them. I know that others do it for a job but I have a job so I’m happy with my teeny tiny corner of the internet.

IMG_0082

Writing my blog is like therapy! *

4. It’s giving me something to fill the “mum” void that I am finding now I have teenagers.

Oh the mum void! There’s a post to write. I think nature is cruel because at the same time that our children are becoming more independent, we are becoming more hormonal. Crazy. Again, another post! It would be called, “My perimenopausal brain…..”

5. I’m getting out and about more due to My Glorious Gardens series!

This is bit I love the most! I know that next academic year I’m working more in school so this is pushing me out there more during this summer term! I’m going to Gardens that I have always wanted to visit but haven’t had the time to visit in the past. I love it! In fact, I’m off today…… must dash. My country boots (and rain coat by the looks of things) are calling me and Dottie is looking at me as if to say, “Come on mum!” Well, at least someone needs me…….😍🐶

So what are my blogging goals for the next 6 months?

Well I don’t really know where my blog is going but that’s ok! I’ve been a guest on Dippy Dotty girl’s amazing website but I would love to guest on a parenting blog.

Saskia’s Adventures in Beautiful Bruges

I’m older with older children but I have loved every aspect of being a mummy and as a teacher, feel like I have a lot of advice to give.

I think I would like to make a Linky of my own but lack skills so we shall see!

*photos from http://www.unsplash.com (credit Lucy Heath, Jesus Kiteque & Andrew Neel)

OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.

Lucy At Home

3 Little Buttons</div

This Mum's Life

How to create a family friendly wildlife garden

I make no secret of the fact I love gardening and helping local wildlife in my garden. I love that we have hedgehogs, toads, frogs, newts, slow worms, butterflies, bats and bees in the old house garden. I do not use chemicals at all and always try to find other, organic ways to overcome pests or problems.

DSCF4411

A bee visiting a peony in the old house garden

Many people ask me how I created my wildlife friendly garden. Well, I didn’t! We have only lived in the old house for less than 2 years but in that time we have enhanced a previously overgrown and dark space into the beautiful garden it is today. The wildlife was here already but I like to think we are encouraging more creatures to come and visit.

I thought I would share with you my top tips for creating a wildlife garden that is also child friendly.

1. Save Water

Add a water butt to your garden will help in times of dry weather. You can even add sprinklers to some which children will love playing in! Use this water to fill up the paddling pool but add a teaspoon of Milton for very young children as the rain water could be dirty.

IMG_5110

The pond at the old house with a dog/ child proof fence

2. Ponds

Wildlife gardens are best with a pond but these can be very dangerous for young children. I went to a neighbours recently and was dismayed to see that they had poured sand into their pond as they were worried for their toddler. Whilst I understand this, I could only think of all the damage they had done to the pond’s ecosystem! Instead cover existing ponds with a good quality mesh above the pond or, better still, fence off your pond AND add a mesh. In this way creatures can still access your pond BUT your child will be safe. When your child is older or with supervision, you will be amazed at what creatures you can see together. Ponds are good for children to learn about life cycles and to see many animals from their books. Ponds attract a multitude of different animals but do not add a pump as this will only cause problems for tadpoles and other small creatures. For this reason, I would not add fish either as they eat tadpoles.

3. No Chemicals

I do not use any chemicals. Nothing to kill aphids. Nothing to prevent rose rust. Nothing to kill the weeds in my lawn. You really don’t need them. Add ladybird houses and encourage other insects into the garden will help to beat the pests. Make sure the soil is healthy by adding home grown compost. I will talk about other ideas in another post such as how to get rid of aphids the organic way! Chemicals are not just harmful to the garden ecosystem but also for our families.

4. Plant some seeds and give a patch to your children.

Give a patch of garden to your children to grow their own seeds on. It could be a pot or raised bed if you have a smaller garden. Children love to plant, water and care for plants. They don’t mind what kind of plant it is! I love growing sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, sweet peas and nigellas with children as they are all easy to grow from seeds. If you want to plant some now, I love nasturtiums. The seeds are larger for young children to handle and they grow quickly producing lots of lovely orange/red/yellow flowers. They have the added bonus of attracting the cabbage white butterfly so you may get caterpillars too!

5. Grow your own food

There is nothing better than eating your own vegetables and fruits. It also helps children to see where their food comes from. You don’t need a garden to grow tomatoes; a window sill will do. You can buy small vegetable plants at this time of year which saves you growing from seed if you are a new gardener. We still do this sometimes as it saves space in the greenhouse! Easy vegetables to grow are cucumbers, peppers, peas, beans, onions, strawberries, carrots and pumpkins. I love growing pumpkins with children because they are always amazed at their size!

IMG_5477[1]

6. Feed the birds

We have lots of different bird feeders in the garden and even with cats, get lots of visitors. Children love to watch the birds that come to the garden. We always do the Big Garden Bird Watch in school and the children are ALWAYS thrilled to see all the different birds! You can make bird cakes with children which are very easy -put a hole in a yoghurt pot and add a piece of string (so that you can hang your feeder). Then, melt lard in a pan and add birdseed to it. Add the mixture to the yoghurt pot and leave to cool before hanging. Make a area of your garden for birds and you may be lucky to see other visitors such as squirrels!

dscf4277-2

Squirrel visiting the bird feeders

7. Create a den or “hide”

Children love making dens so make a permanent one in the garden where your children can hide and watch the birds! You can use bamboo plants as they grow quickly (but can be invasive) or you could make one from willow sticks. Even adding a den from materials and chairs is a great way to encourage children to sit quietly to watch wildlife (for about 5 minutes!)

8. Add animal homes

Add nesting boxes, ladybird houses, bat boxes and hedgehog homes to encourage wildlife to stay. Making a bee hotel is always a fun project to do with children and they are easy to make. Get lots of plastic drinking straws and let your child bundle the straws together and tie them using string or an elastic band. Then cut the straws to the size they want (great for snipping skills!). Hang these on a sunny wall and watch the solitary bees come to make their nests. Perhaps read stories about the animals and this will enable your child to see what they may look like.

9. Plant food for the insects

Planting a range of plants that flower throughout the year not only makes your garden look good, it also provided food all year round for bees, moths and other insects. My favourites are lavender, forget-me-nots, primroses, buddleja, sedums, sunflowers, clover, honeysuckle, jasmine, asters, black eyed susan, phlox and crab apple blossoms. Variety is key and personally, I love the cottage garden look anyway!

IMG_0064

Children looking at ladybirds! *

10. Don’t be too tidy!

The perfect wildlife gardens are a little untidy in places and have patches of nettles or wild bits! It’s tricky to do this in a small garden but I tend to think that if the grass is a little long or if there a few weeds, it doesn’t really matter. Enjoyment of our green spaces is key so that we can spend as much time outside in the fresh air as we can. If we can do that and help local wildlife as well, surely we will all live in a better world and will be teaching our children than wildlife matters.

Happy gardening everyone!

OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.

*photo found at http://gratisography.com/

My Petit Canard</div

Mummascribbles</div

3 Little Buttons

My Glorious Gardens series: Prior Park Landscape Gardens in Bath.

In this Glorious Gardens post, I went to the National Trust gardens in Bath called The Prior Park Landscape Gardens. This garden was created in the 18th Century by Ralph Allen following advice from Capability Brown. His former home is now a school called Prior Park College, so it is just the gardens that can be visited but how splendid they are!

IMG_4059

The Palladian bridge at Prior Park Gardens

They are dominated by one of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world and are set in a deep wooded valley just on the way out of the city of Bath. Visiting in Spring sees masses of wild garlic along the paths and in the valley but in Autumn, I can imagine the colours must be superb.

DSCF4485

The woodland paths

The gardens are a National Trust property and there are various trails for children to take part in. My favourite is The Rotten Trail where children can learn about decay in the garden! It is very hilly and so very young children or people with wheel chairs would need to take care on the steep paths. I followed the marked walk all the way around the garden and it took me (a very fast walker) about an hour but you could easily spend half or a whole day here. There are lots of places to stop for a picnic and a lovely cafe serving light refreshments including sandwiches, drinks and ice-creams. The only difficulty is that there is no parking on site so you need to catch a bus from the city centre. Dogs are allowed on a lead.

IMG_5457[1]

The wild garlic in the valley

DSCF4486

The swing with a view!

There is a small playground for children and a great swing with a view towards Prior Park College!

DSCF4496

The view towards the college from the bridge

I enjoyed reading all the graffiti on the bridge itself; some was dated over 200 years ago!

IMG_5461[1]

Graffiti on the Palladian bridge at Prior Park Gardens

This is not a garden full of flowers but is a garden of note as it has spectacular views and is not very crowded due to it being quite tricky to get to. You can also access the Bath Skyline walk from here which is 500 acres around the city.

IMG_4060

View of the Palladian bridge with Prior Park College beyond.

Twin Mummy and Daddy
Dear Bear and Beany
Feel free to Pin any images that you like to your Pinterest boards.

My Glorious Gardens series: Exbury Gardens in May.

IMG_5409

The prices and entry times

We decided to make the most of the Bank Holiday and take a trip to Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, Hampshire. My colleague at work was telling me that it was definitely worth the trip at this time of year to see The Rothschild collection of Camellias, Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Whether you are a horticulturist, amateur gardener, family or lover of colourful places and views, this is the place for you!

IMG_5408

The Steam Train which is a 20 minutes ride through the gardens.

Tickets for the gardens can be combined with a steam train ride which children would love. You can also take dogs so Dottie came too. Not surprisingly, the teens stayed at home…..revising apparently! The gardens are quite extensive so comfy shoes are a must but there are clearly marked paths and a map to help guide you. Children can take part in a family trail, there is a fantastic woodland play area plus various picnic sites to choose from. There are a few steps towards the lower part of the garden but a shuttle service is offered for a small price which can take you and pick you up from various places around the garden should you need it.

The gardens are absolutely stunning and now is definitely the time to go. There are so many acid loving plants here including my favourite Acer’s. The photographs show you better than I can describe it to you. All I can say is the smell was amazing!

IMG_2441

Stunning pink azaleas

IMG_2446

Peach Rhododendrons

IMG_2459

Dottie and I striding through the many paths

IMG_2528

Stunning yellows azaleas

IMG_2525

Lots of places to rest

In the centre of the garden is the Japanese Garden with bridge, cascades and ponds. This was the highlight for me as the plants were ablaze of colours.

IMG_2472

The Top pond in the Japanese Garden

IMG_2488

The pond in the Japanese Garden

IMG_5396

Acer’s in the Japanese Garden

IMG_5394

The Cascades in the Japanese Gardens

At the very end of the garden was an amazing view of the River Beaulieu and you can just see the Isle of Wight in the distance. It took about 11/2 hours of wandering to reach this part and marks the end of the garden. The benches offered a lovely rest and the views were worth the walk.

IMG_2499

Looking over the river Beaulieu

IMG_5386

You can almost see the Isle of Wight!

IMG_2507

Dottie admiring the view

After this we went to the Tea Room for a coffee and piece of cake which was very reasonable in price. You could also buy Toasties and Panini’s. At the entrance there is another restaurant which has a greater choice.

IMG_5402

Dottie waiting for scraps!

All in all this is a brilliant garden to visit and definitely worthy to be part of My Glorious Gardens Series!

I’ll leave you with my favourite Acer’s……

IMG_2486

Design

My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons
Two Tiny Hands
Cuddle Fairy