Not to be isolated her neighbour is Cyclamen cilicium, a variety I find hard to distinguish from Cyclamen hederifolium, flowering at the same time. The cilicium is in the pot below, hederifolium below that and fighting for its life amongst the falling leaves.
From what I remember, this walled garden was newly planted for 2011. We are due to revisit the house in the spring. It will be interesting to see how much progress has been made.
Will I return? Well, it’s four years since my one and only visit to Portmeirion and I have returned to this lovely area of North Wales every year since then without visiting the place. The surrounding countryside is so ravishing that I can forgo the luxury of Williams-Ellis’ creation. And Italy is pretty fabulous in Italy and I visit there most every year.
The high life and high apartments are not necessarily to my liking but the Japanese Gardens designed by landscape architect Yasuo Beppu and, in this expensive and bustling principality, notably free to enter. They offer a quiet reflective space in which to count one’s winnings or mourn losses. There is a photograph of Princess Grace at the entrance, commencing the project in 1964, photographed rather badly by me but, hey, not every princess looks so stylish wielding a spade.
And today it is a premier destination for those seeking a prime day out, it being maintained almost impeccably by the local council. It possesses a marvelous park and gardens, full of statues, one of which I featured on Thursday.
By the end of the war more than 3.5 million barrels of crude oil had been pumped from the soil of Nottinghamshire by 42 “roughnecks” from the USA together with British crews. One derrickman, Herman Douthit, fell to his death from a rig and was buried with full military honours. These men contributed as much to the war effort as did the soldiers who fought and died. Oil was the life blood of war.
The story is almost a forgotten one and I admit it was new to me. But look at the detail in the sculpture, the cigarette packet in the breast pocket, the spanner wielded as it were a rifle, the rugged face, and authentic overalls used by the men. And were one not to know the story behind the sculpture, the striking impression it leaves compels attention.
One day I am going to write a book, “Gates What I Have Known”.
And behind the gate, the herbaceous beds were fantastic for this time of year.