Wednesday 28 September 2011

The Lost Gardens of Heligan - The Productive Gardens.

One of the highlights of our recent stay in Cornwall, UK was a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

I imagine that most of my British followers will know the amazing story of how the abandoned and forgotten gardens were discovered by Tim Smit and John Willis (a descendent of Samuel Tremayne who purchased Heligan in 1569), after the devastating hurricane of 1990.
Fruit such as melons, grapes and peaches
 were cultivated for the Heligan table
It is a story that has captivated me for many years, since I first saw a BBC documentary featuring Heligan in the 1990's.
We joined the guided walking tour through the Northern Garden and these photographs were all taken in the walled garden of the Victorian Productive Gardens.

potted plants "resting"
inside one of the many glasshouses

There is so much to see at Heligan that I decided to devote a blog post to each of the special areas of interest.
Bee boles were incorporated into the wall outside the garden. Here bee skeps (the forerunners of bee hives) would be placed, the boles had wooden doors which could be closed during the winter to ensure that the bees survived.

 herbs planted close to an ancient stone building
where garden tools are housed
onions and shallots hung against the wall
a wheelbarrow full of leeks
ready to go to the restaurant kitchen
"A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. "
(source Heligan website.)
Many of the gardeners, who's names were listed there, were never to return from the Great War.

seedlings and sensitive plants are "brought on"
 in the large glass frames
A quote from the Heligan Gardener's blog.
The Productive Gardens at Heligan have been restored to reflect the workings of a Victorian garden before the First World War. We remain true to this period in our cropping plan, growing only heritage varieties and cultivating the soil by hand. The garden is fully productive throughout the year and there is a constant supply of produce ready for harvest. This is taken to our restaurant on a daily basis in much the same way that it would have been given to the cook at Heligan House a hundred years ago.
gourds and succulents sit in a shadowy, cool glasshouse

If you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the walled kitchen garden at Heligan and want to learn more about this amazing place all you need do is click here to visit the Heligan website and here to learn about it's chequered history.

Linking this post to
Outdoor Wednesday #142 @ A Southern Daydreamer
and also to
 Hey Harriets Shadow Shot Sunday.
Click on the links to join the other bloggers participating in these great memes this week.

Monday 26 September 2011

Blogging again and having fun with friends!

Such a lot has been happening since my last post almost 2 weeks ago that I'm only now able to catch my breath.
I'll be posting about where we went and what we got up to during our wonderful break back "home" in the UK very soon, but first I want to share with you the two visits which we have had since our return.
On Wednesday my very good blogging friend Jenny, & her husband Enno, (Two Tumbleweeds) from Holland came for tea.
It was the first time we had met face to face but you would never have known it, as we hit it off right from the start.
Jenny & Enno
just two tumbleweeds!

Jenny & Enno are both talented artists click here to go to Jenny's new painting blog.
The Senior Partner and I were thrilled when Jenny presented us with one of her artworks which she had painted during their time spent close to Monet's Garden at Giverny.

We spent a lovely afternoon together chatting over tea and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

As they left Jenny told me that she felt we could be related, well, all I know is that we're family now!
On Thursday afternoon my dear friend Sarah (aka Hyacinths For The Soul) and her husband Mr HFTS came to stay for the weekend.
Sarah, Mr Ben & me

Sarah and I met over 10 years ago, through our love of Quimper pottery, at the Quimper Club meeting in Washington, DC and have met almost every year, since then, at the same annual event.
Monogrammed napkins from Roundtop,
gingerbread from Dijon & graines de moutarde de Bourgogne,
French nougat, quince,thyme & rosemary preserves,
pretty notecards
Mr B & I were in the UK whilst the club was meeting this year in Brittany but Sarah soon brought me up to date on all the latest Q news and I felt as if I'd almost been there myself!
She also brought delightful gifts for us both, we did feel spoilt.

Hyacinth in Bayeux!
Sarah & I drove to Bayeux on Friday for a little flea marketing, a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry and the Cathedral, followed by crepes for lunch.
If that girl lived here we could get up to all sorts of mischief!

experiencing my local epicerie
The "husbands" were happy to sit in the sunshine and have lunch in the garden putting the world to rights, until Sarah & I arrived home with one or two "treasures" found at the Depot Vente.

Hidden in a pile of plates I discovered this special piece. Number 50 of 300.
It was produced in 1990 to celebrate the "Trois siècles de faïences", Keraluc, Quimper.

The price?
 Just 2€ -  the thriftiest find I've ever had!

Joining Bunny Hop Wednesday at Bunny Jeans Decor & More

 French Inspiration Thursday @ The French Cupboard
Vintage Thingies Thursday with the Colorado Lady

Click on the links to see who else is participating in these great meme's this week.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Déjà vu in Cornwall

Today we dragged ourselves away from the beautiful harbourside in Portloe to take a drive to another small fishing port on Cornwall's north coast.

The weather reports of the last few days have been filled with storm and gale warnings
but here in Cornwall the weather has been wonderful.

The scenery over there is just as breathtaking as on the south coast, although it did rain during the drive by the time we arrived we were met by sunshine and the bluest of blue skies.

The narrow lanes leading down to the beach are lined with pretty fisherman's cottages,
 now they are holiday or second homes for wealthy people!

These two interesting buildings caught my eye.

The view across the bay to the other side is wonderful.

I was beginning to get a funny feeling, a kind of déjà vu,
which was strange, I knew I'd never been to Port Isaac before
 but I seemed to recognise the place.

These homes on the opposite bank look very familiar to me.

O.K. now I know why!


Who would live in a house like this?

Maybe a Doctor?


Time for lunch.

I had to take this for Ricki Jill!

More Harbour views

So, have you guessed where we were today?
Here are some clues -
Port Isaac is the location for a very popular British TV show.
The new series began on ITV last night.

No, not guessed it yet?

Here's your final clue.

Answers on a postcard please.
Only joking!
Just leave a comment.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

R&R + Retail Therapy + Reiki = Happy Me!

Taking a fast ferry
Millston Postcards provided this great image.
Close to the cathedral town of Truro, hidden away in a tiny coastal village
with the waves almost lapping at the door, is a beautiful hotel.

Hanging the Do Not Disturb notice on the bedroom door.................

will be back soon.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Tuesday morning muffin - Ginger Pear

There's something about a wet and windy Tuesday morning that has me reaching for my favourite muffin recipe book - "Muffins fast and fantastic" by Susan Reimer.
Mine is the second edition 1999, but you can still find it on Amazon if you click here.

The espaliered trees on the west facing garden wall are heavy with apples and pears.

Ginger Pear Muffins

Did you know that the second post I ever wrote was about a Tuesday morning muffin?
It received one comment!
I was such a newbie at blogging.
But quite good at making muffins!
Still am..............
Click here if you missed it and are not the person who commented.

Joining Bunny Jean for Wednesday's Bunny Hop the place to meet new bloggers every week.

Thursday 1 September 2011

The faded charm of pink hydrangeas.

I've been in the wars a little bit this week!
On Monday I was stung by a wasp on my lower left arm, as I'm mildly allergic to wasp stings it wasn't long before the swelling went from elbow to fingers.
As I'd had the same thing happen last year I had antihistamine tablets and cortisone cream in the cabinet so after a couple of days the swelling was starting to recede.
That was until this afternoon (Thursday) when I got stung again whilst in the garden getting some fresh air.
Same arm, just higher up!
Taking no chances I went to see our lovely Dr B-B who loaded me up with more tablets, cream, compresses, alcohol (to cool the arm, not to drink!) and bandages to hold the compresses in place!
I look like the walking wounded and have to stay this way for 10 days.
So, I need some fresh flowers to cheer me up, more than ever which is why I'm ..............................

Joining Liz @Rose Vignettes once more for Fresh Cut Friday.

Even though they are past their summer pink gorgeousness now
 my hydrangeas are still bringing me pleasure.

I'll let them dry out here in the dining room and
enjoy their faded charm for many more months to come.

Joining Beverly too for Pink Saturday @How Sweet The Sound.
Please click on the links to join both of these lovely ladies for gorgeous flowers and delightful pinks, me, I'm staying indoors with a good book until all the wasps have gone.