Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Whilst we are in a state of flux

Since my back "garden" is a scene of devastation and currently not accessible

over the Bank Holiday weekend I took myself out for a garden fix to Breezy Knees, a nearby garden and nursery.

 Breezy Knees

Based near the unedifyingly named village of Warthill just outside York I was amazed at the size of the site, which covers a massive 15 acres.

As the blurb says, if you were here in January you would know how it got its name. As it was, our visit was blessed with sunshine, just enough to keep us warm, whilst the wind certainly found its way around the tree and shrub screening which was started in 1999.

High summer and autumn perennials

The site is very flat, being in the vale of York, and has sandy soil. The nursery swears by a deep mulch of bark to help retain moisture and there is ample evidence that this works brilliantly. 

Hard to believe the oldest flower borders date from 2006.

A policy of not watering established plants, essentially following the dictum of Beth Chatto is practiced and one which I heartily endorse.

September garden

Each space has its own particular attraction, either plant or water, or sometimes both

Pond and shade garden

which gives an individual and distinctive ambience.
Perennial Meadow

It is a maze of interconnecting rooms and scenes, with seats conveniently placed to sit and enjoy the sights of early flowerers, meadows, and autumn bloomers. 

There are plenty of plants to tempt both nectar lovers and humans.

 And some perennials I had never come across.

Chelone obliqua
Amsonia Blue Ice 

Surely the piece de resistance of any garden visit is tea and cake - and this wins on that score too.

Happy garden visiting!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This is a brilliant place to go on a sunny summer's day. Or any other day for that matter.

Reclining Figure Arch Leg Henry Moore 1979

It's the kind of place where the adults can have a culture fix in an informal and outdoor setting and where young children can run around, let off steam and upset no-one but the sheep.

Draped Seated Woman Henry Moore 1957-1958

Most of the exhibits here are begging for a response: to be touched, stroked and peeped through. 

Part of the Family of Man by Dame Barbara Hepworth

Fascinating to watch the interaction of adult and child alike.

Black Mound David Nash 2013

One and Other Antony Gormley 2000

This is just amazing.

Stand back, look skywards and admire.

Simply sublime.

The scale of the works is so in tune with the rolling Yorkshire landscape that it was a stroke of sheer genius to choose this site as an open air gallery.

No boundaries, other than the earth, sky and elements fetter these pieces.

So many stunning pieces, created from a wide range of materiels.

Molecule Man 1+1+1 Jonathan Borofsky

"Ha-Ha Bridge" Brian Fell

Iron Tree sculpture Ai Weiwei

123454321 Sol LeWitt

Galloping Horse Julian Opie

Peter Liversidge


 Take a picnic - but beware of the sheep.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

What to do when it rains?

Well, it seems as though our lovely long run of sunny weather has at last broken.

Friday lunchtime in the centre of York saw a downpour of epic proportions. 

At the time I was in the garden where I volunteer and at first thought the cloud burst would blow over.

Not so. 

Visibility decreased to the extent I could not see the end of the garden and by the time I got indoors I was absolutely drenched to the skin, despite wearing a waterproof. Not much fun going home on the bus!

York Press:
Local photos give some idea of the scale of the rain.

Then Saturday arrived, and departed, all bright and sunny, which was lovely.

Today is the monsoon again, dark and raining like mad, so indoors, curled up with my gardening mags.

Time to read, make lists of interesting plants and places to go.

Wonder if the builder will turn up tomorrow?


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Update on seeds

The seeds which I bought from Cottage Herbery in March

all germinated beautifully and as one may expect I had not enough planting space for them all.

trayful of small gorgeous wild blue chicory (Cichoricum Intybus) plants became part of a birthday gift to one of my friends for her to sow in her meadow area.

I know the sowing instructions said to set seed in situ but hey ho, some rules are just meant to be broken.

Besides, I wouldn't have had the enjoyment of raising them. 
My treat too!

She is however an expert plantswoman so they are in safe hands. I'm sure they'll all take and give a superb display. 

 The other plant she wanted was Lathyrus odorata 'Cuprani' so a small pot of these accompanied the wild chicory. 

Finally, a copy of Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden book 

Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden

completed the gift which I think will see her through for another year.

In my own garden the rest of the new plantings has taken a beating from aphid and caterpillar infestation.

Although the sweet peas and Nasturtium 'Indian Red'

 have resisted the ravages I'm particularly worried about Mrs Cholmondeley who I think has come down with the dreaded clematis wilt.

Having taken the RHS advice to remove all infected foliage and destroy I have cut it back to the ground and hope it will recover. 

Counselling has been offered to my husband who chose the plant. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Tatton Park

Not been to Tatton Park for some years so decided this year to take a look.

Last Sunday was a super summer's day and with my planty minded friends we were determined to have a good day out.

For the first time I invested in a privileged parking ticket which at £5 was money well spent. We arrived, having left home at 7am, at 9.30am on the third row of cars just outside the Deer Park entrance. Magic!

There was plenty of staff to speed our way in and off we went.

My target was the show gardens all of which I managed to see by lunchtime.
A bit disappointing really with only one, Maggies Forest Garden, looking how I felt an RHS show garden should look. It had a strong design, good use of the space and a cohesive planting scheme.

It was well executed and planted and deserved the Best Show Garden.

Although surrounded by lots of people you could feel the calmness and comfort exuding from this space and joy of joys, it included a green roof.

Staged planting in raised beds and a window to look out of or in through gave this garden great flexibility of use.

 The soothing notes of the water course added to the ambience.

Really liked this garden.

The rest I found a little uninspiring and on occasion downright mediocre.

But a great carnival atmosphere prevailed and with the sunshine ensured that everyone had a good day out.

Especially the folk who staggered out with plants at the sell off!