Friday, 24 July 2009

Garden gems!

This garden post is for Evie at SunnysideUp and for my birding friend Maggie as I know she likes her garden flowers too! (-: I had promised Evie some time ago that I'd photograph and post some of the flowers in my garden, so here they are at last even if some of them have now gone over!
This lovely Hosta is now a shredded mess. I did quite well at the beginning of the season with the 'safe for pets and wildlife' slug pellets and then the slugs and snails snuck in without me noticing!This Cenanothus has been great value, brightening up our view from the kitchen and conservatory.A close up of the lovely long lasting blue flower. This Fremontedendron is a favourite of Chris. It should hopefully be kept in check by being in a pot. I'll have to keep an eye on it as they can grow quite large given the chance!The winter flowering heather in the middle of this pot lasted well into the late spring. I planted some Verbena around the outside to add some colour.I haven't the faintest idea what this flower is, but we both loved it in the garden centre so bought some for summer colour.This is the veg patch a few weeks ago. I've dug up half the potatoes and the Runner beans are all the way up the canes now and flowering well. We're looking forward to Runners beans with butter and pepper shortly!Here are a couple of close ups of the Verbena I put around the Heather. I love this peachy colour went beautifully with the rich purple Verbena.Poppies are a favourite of both of us and as we've kept dead heading, they are continually sending up new flowers. They look particularly good next to the pond.Another favourite of Chris is the Harebell (I'm pretty partial to it too)!A close up of the Harebell. I love that white stamen.Our most recent purchase was just two days ago. Again, we both love Lantana (as I know Evie does too) and this standard was just too beautiful to resist. I shall try and keep it over the winter for next year by putting it in our greenhouse.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Red House odds and ends.

Chris and I took it in turns to take a wander around the grounds for a break. These two buildings made up the tea rooms could buy teacake to munch on! I liked the slogan on the napkin! (-:The garden had a slight wild and not over cared for look which I really like. These brick paths were a lovely touch.And a tunnel of foliage. Nice to stroll though even though I can't remember what plants were used! I should've paid more attention!I hope this lady didn't mind me taking her photo, but she looked so content reading her book in the sunshine in the wilder part of the garden. It was very peaceful there.A couple of posers at that lovely Well to end with......
Oh not quite, here's one more view of the Red House from that lovely wild part of the garden, my favourite part.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Arts and Crafts stands at the Red House

There were about 20 artists and craftsmen invited to do this show and we were set up in slightly dodgy marquees in the garden of the house.The forecast had been for showers and wind. Well in the end we didn't have it too bad with the rain, but is was pretty windy and at times we weren't sure we wouldn't blow away! Here is part of Chris's stand with all his woodwork, metalwork and plasterwork. In the background is a textile worker. She made lovely scarves and corsages etc.Here is yours truly manning the other part of our stand. I think you can see the billowing sides of the marquee!And here is my significant other half. The organisers kept us going with cups of tea or coffee every now and then.A close up of one of Chris's jewellery boxes. The box is made of figured English Oak, the black wood is Bog Oak (Oak that has been in a peat bog and has naturally been stained black). The white wood is Holly, the fruits are Strawberry tree wood, the leaves are Cherry wood and the birds are Abalone.Chris in action, we're neither of us great at selling I'm afraid, but we do our best! (-:We loved this lady's work. She does paintings, linoprints and fabric collages. I think we bought one each of her entire stock of cards! (-: Here is her website if anyone is interested in taking a look .Sorry this is such a rubbish photo. It was taken in a hurry (she was busy) and there is glare from the glass I'm afraid. It is a lovely print of an owl hunting in the woods. We might order one of these at some point off her website.This copper repousee work is by one of Chris's friends, Colin Pill.As you can see, Colin comes from Bristol which is just north of where we live. There was a great tradition of Arts and Crafts copper repousee work down in Cornwall around Newlyn at the turn of the last century. Colin is passionate about it all and has just written an excellent book on the subject. This is all his own work that he was showing on his stand.My last post on this Arts and Crafts weekend will be a bits and bobs one.

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Red House Arts and Crafts show

This last weekend, Chris and I drove to Bexley Heath in Kent (south east London) to do an Arts and Crafts show at the Red House. Here we are at the front of our house all packed up and ready to go. My car is on a high pavement here and the road is down there on the right with a drop of about 3 feet that gradually runs down to nothing at the end of the pavement. It was easier for us to load up at the front.I wasn't looking forward to the drive as our motorways can get quite crowded, specially the M25 which circles around London. Here is the approach to getting onto the M25. The journey should take 2 and 3/4 hours, but it took 4 hours due to the volume of traffic which is always bad on a Friday afternoon/evening.So, we finally made it to the Red House. As you can see, this house was built for William Morris by his architect friend Philip Webb. Morris was the instigator of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and he inspired many people around him to get away from the mass produced factory way of making furniture and other items used in the home like textiles, pottery etc.The Arts and Crafts fair we were invited to show at was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Red House being built. It is a fantastic building and so this first of three posts is showing the house from various angles. This is the main entrance.A side view.The beautiful round well.An arched back entrance to the house.The other side view.I love these red tiles and the different angles in the roof.Here are a couple of shots of the very sweet windows with arched decoration.I really loved this dinky little window. Very impractical I should think!Here's an overall shot of all the different angles used in the roof and all the different shaped windows. It's a great building. What must it have been like to live here!In my next post, I'll show some of the Arts and Craft workers stands including ours.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Broad-bodied Chaser fest

This little beastie gave me the right run around! It is a male Broad-bodied Chaser and he was patrolling a small area of water at the nature reserve, keeping all comers off his patch. Well, I noticed a couple of his favourite perches so I slowly sidled up to snaps some shots and off he'd shoot to another part of the pond. I watched where he alighted and very slowly and carefully approached......just as I got there and got the camera up to my he went again, back to his original perch. Hmmmmm! So back over I went very very slowly and very very carefully. As you can he shot. So, I thought to meself. I'll just sit right here and he'll come back eventually. Well, ten minutes later (it seemed like half an hour!), he hadn't come back. So up I get and find him again at his second favourite perch. Again he shoots off. This was how it went for AGES! Eventually with some patience I got a couple of shots of the blighter!
The female on the other hand was quite obliging and decided to lay some eggs in the water. I didn't get very sharp shots, but in the sequence of photos below, I've tried to show the action she was taking to lay her eggs. A very quick bobbing dip down to the water over and over. Great to watch!

That's the last of my buggy foray to my local nature reserve. I must go back again when the weather is better to see what else is about.