Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tulip Time

Last week Jay and I visited the RHS garden at Wisley to see the spring flowers.
First we walked through the spring woodland garden at Battleston Hill and admired the camellias and rhododendrons.
Camellia x williamsii Debbie

 Rhododendron Ginny Gee

Then we moved onto the main attraction - the tulips.
 "New Design" - I think this is one I have in my back garden.
 These are a few more that I would like - 
 "Vincent van Gogh" - this one starts out white.
 "Red Hat"
 "Flaming Baltic"
 "Russian Princess"
 "Candy Prince"
 "Shirley Dubbel"
 "Flaming Flag"
 "Tender Whisper"
 "Zampa Parrot"
I think I need a bigger garden! :)
The Alpine Meadow was looking very pretty
 as were the plants in the Alpine Houses.  I particularly liked these two Auriculas -
 "Pass Me By"
 We wandered around the rest of the garden
and then it was time to drive home.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

If you go down to the woods today ...

... you'll find them full of wildflowers.
We found a patch of Lady's Smock on the edge of the woods.  I think there is one of these plants now growing in my garden too.
 The stars of the woodlands at the moment are the Bluebells.
They form a carpet of blue throughout many of the local woodlands at this time of year.

 Both of my children are home from university now and they each noticed that here they are surrounded by nature rather than concrete - their words.  Fay said she could immediately smell the trees as she stepped out of the car on arriving home and Jay noticed the bird song, including the local Tawny Owls that were making a lot of noise the other night!  City living has made them appreciate how much nature we have here right on our doorstep.
Jay has always liked going for walks in the woods and is still a typical boy when it comes to climbing the trees and carrying sticks; the only difference is that the sticks have gotten a lot bigger! :)
We walked out of the woods and along the footpath, where the banks are covered in Primroses,
 Wood Spurge

 and Violets.
 Our destination was this patch of Wild Garlic or Ransomes.  We picked some leaves to take home to eat.
Our route back home was through the woodland again.  I stopped to collect some twigs for an Easter wreath.  Jay laughingly said, "Who is now playing with sticks?!" :)

 The ferns are beginning to unfurl beside the path home.
We are blessed to have all of this on our doorstep.

On an altogether different note; I have decided to join Bloglovin' now that Google Reader is no longer available.  I have added a button on this blog's side bar and on My Recipe blog too.  I have also added a button for email followers.  I used Google Reader myself and I think it is a shame that it has been stopped.  If you are already a follower on Google Reader it does still work, but it won't accept new followers.  Please bear with me whilst I find my way around Bloglovin'.
Best wishes, Pj x

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Watership Down

Yesterday my Husband had the day off work and as the weather was good, the three of us decided to go for a walk around Watership Down.  We planned a 5 mile walk as I haven't done any real exercise since hurting my back.  Somewhere along the way we changed route and ended up doing 9.5 miles!  I'm a little sore this morning! :)
Warning: Despite the title of this post no rabbits are featured - we saw a few, but they were too fast for me to photograph!
We parked the car at Sydmonton and started the circular walk by heading away from Watership Down,
 across the farmland.  Jay found a huge pile of wood chippings to play in.  He may be nearly 19, but still makes his own fun whilst out on walks.  He runs around so much, that I'm sure he covers twice the distance that we do! :)
 Laundry Cottages - part of the Sydmonton Estate.  I would love to live out "in the middle of nowhere" like this.
 We discovered a woodland full of wildflowers.
 Jay found a "bridge" to cross,
 whilst I was busy taking photos of the wildflowers -
Wood Anenome
 Red Campion
 The footpath ran between the woodland and the fields, which were full of ewes and their lambs.
We had a short walk along a narrow road with high banks covered in a tapestry of wildflowers.
 Wood Violets
 and Cowslips.
 We passed many old farms and stables.
 Here we are near Nuthanger Farm, one of the many real locations that Richard Adams writes about in "Watership Down".
 Coming out into the open again and we could see Watership Down again in the distance.  Our path took us away from it
 and along side another field of sheep,
 where Jay made a friend.
 Continuing with our walk, through ever changing environments.  Sometimes surrounded by trees
  and at other times along footpaths
with views across the farmland.
 A couple of times we had to walk along country lanes,
 before turning into the fields again.  Can you see what we saw?  Just sitting in the edge of the field was a hare!  Not just one though,
 there were three!
 We couldn't quite believe it when they started hopping towards us.
 These beautiful creatures are usually so timid,
 but they didn't seem to notice us at first.
Being so close to them was the highlight of the walk for me.
 Once they spotted us they were off at high speed across the field!

Finally we started to head in the direction of Watership Down.
There are no photos of the climb up the side of the down - it was so steep and I don't seem to be as fit as I used to be! :)  We did see some bunnies as we started to climb - just their little cottontails as they ran away from us.
 The climb was worth it as the views from the top are amazing. 

Some parts of the top of the down are not as wild as Richard Adams would have us believe.  Beside the Wayfarer's Walk there are gallops along the top.  This area is famous for its horse racing.
 On Watership Down a tree has been planted in honour of Richard Adams.  I hope it is a Hazel!

 A trig point at the highest spot - 237m.

 Time to head back to the car.  We spotted some local inhabitants.
 It was early evening by the time we finished our walk.  These two photos were taken within 5 minutes of each other.  The light was so changeable!
 One last look at Watership Down.