Parcevall Hall Gardens, Yorkshire, 3rd June 2010

I have previously posted about Parcevall Hall Gardens and their March bulbs and blossom. Now it is June in this peaceful sanctuary at the heart of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Commenced by Sir William Milner in 1927 the terraced gardens are situated at the head of a valley and embrace forest, fells and a fertile soil, both acid and alkaline. We commence with a view of the fells and, after a climb, down to what I believe to be Trollers Gill where a motorised shepherd was herding his flock.

The rock gardens are fantastic at any time of year, full of interest, Primula pulverulenta and hostas.


The hall is now a retreat for the newly formed diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. I claim no divine intervention myself though I did finally make the decision to retire whilst staying nearby during this break. I have never regretted the decision. And rarely have I seen a display of wisteria to match these gardens. The United Kingdom may be crowded in parts but not here.

Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn, Conwy, 26th May 2015

Many gardens have a claim to being the best in the UK.  Bodnant Garden makes such a claim and in May with the Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Azaleas in startling bloom, it is hard to argue against. Our May visit was perfectly timed for colour to stun the senses, particularly with the heady perfume.

The Laburnum Arch was just beginning to flower and this teaser at one end was the best I could manage. I guess one week later would have seen the fragrant blooms at their best and full of bees, an experience to remember.

I have this in my garden and had lost the name, so not the best photograph. I know now that it is Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’.

The gardens were gifted to the National Trust by Henry McLaren in 1949. His family have been in residence for some 130 years. Indeed his grandson, Michael, presently manages the gardens on behalf of the Trust.

As well as the manicured terraces, there is a lush valley brim full of plants to whet the appetite of any gardener.

The alpine beds beside the house are newly planted and would have been worth the cost of admission alone, save that the Spring shrubs and trees have already won that battle.


Penstemons and my little cat, 7th November, 2015

Penstemons provide value for money and are special plants for me seeing as they were the last gift from my dear mother – though not those below as a particularly hard winter did its worst some years ago. Still, the frosts have not yet affected us and the temperature yesterday when I took the photographs was an unseasonal 19°C.

And another gift that I have had for over twenty years is my little cat, she’s potty but mothered the fuchsia through last winter with the help of a warm south facing wall and a little luck.


Rose of the Year 2015 – "For Your Eyes Only", 7th November 2015

I purchased 2015’s Rose of Year at a local Waitrose and it hasn’t disappointed for repeat flowers, indeed, “For Your Eyes Only” is seldom without flowers though the abundance of bloom of early summer has not truly been equalled. The colour varies as the bloom ages with shades of salmon, pink and apricot. They do not last long, easily forgiven as there is a constant stream of blooms. The floribunda’s scent is faint or subtle if that sounds better, but not to be dismissed. Nor is the wild rose look of the foliage and golden stamens and, indeed, the breeding is a hybrid of rosa persica. I grow it in a container in a spot that has sun morning and afternoon. The rose looks very much like a 2010 introduction, “Alissar Princess of Phoenicia”, replacing the exotic name with something Ian Fleming thought up. Despite the name, I’ll let you look.


Armeria maritima, Ynys Llanddwyn or Llanddwyn Island, 27th May 2015

Armeria maritime, or Sea Pink, or Thrift is the perfect colonising flower for coastal regions and here in a perfect coastal region on Ynys Llanddwyn, Anglesey. In the language of flowers, Thrift stands for sympathy. We had the island to ourselves, walking on seashell pathways, crossing through lyrical gates, admiring the myriad wild flowers, blissssssssssss



More on Mudeford Spit, Dorset. 13th June 2015

I posted last month on Mudeford beach huts in 2014. Here’s some more detail from earlier this year.
We commence with a view of the Spit from Mudeford Quay itself, across the narrow and busy entrance to Christchurch Bay. It is known as “The Run”.

Walking from the exquisite Hengistbury Head, one sees the beach huts across the bay.

And here they are in all their colourful simplicity, a rustic delight for the price of a mansion house.

The Spit has a precarious existence due to tidal erosion. Long may it survive. And below there is a view of Mudeford Quay from the Spit.

Tarn Hows, English Lake District, 28th October 2015

It was raining as ever, albeit warm rain, a blessing in Cumbria. The circular walk is only two miles or so and our grandchildren moaned not one moan, so glorious was the view of Tran Hows in the mist and drizzle. Originally formed from three smaller tarns, the tarn we see today was created in the late 19th century and is certainly one of the most visited sites in the Lakes. It is all the more wonderful with the addition a short time ago of a toilet block. Hurrah.

 We met a young shepherd on our journey, an intrepid traveller.

And a young maiden, shielding herself from the elements.