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Packwood unpacked…

We have held memberships of the National Trust for over 40 years and one of the first we took our two children to was Packwood Hall. Packwood is now a firm favourite and we made a visit again this year. The welcome sign describes Packwood as “a house to dream of, a garden to dream […]

via Packwood – one of the stars of the National Trust. — greenbenchramblings


Play time…

PlayGroundology’s first eight years have gone by in a flash. By the numbers, it’s over 350 posts, 500+ subscribers and closing in on 600,000 site visits from readers in over 140 countries. It appears that the blog is hitting some of the right notes in its writing about play. This hobby, morphed into an unpaid […]

via Reeling Through The Years — PlayGroundology

Dingling in 2018…

My chosen garden f0r my monthly visits in 2018 is so much smaller than Attingham Park which we enjoyed throughout 2017. The Dingle is a Nursery just over the border into Wales situated on the edge of the market town of Welshpool. The garden is accessed through a little wooden gate in the bottom left […]

via The Dingle Gardens Month by Month 2018 — greenbenchramblings


This is the fifteenth in my series featuring simply beautiful natural things and I am going to feature an unusual looking flower as I did in the preceding “Simply Beautiful” post. This time I am going to feature a beautiful and very unusual flowering plant just as I did with the Commelina in my last […]

via Simply Beautiful – 15 — greenbenchramblings


Let’s return to our trip to Japan last September, shall we? Most of Tokyo has been demolished (by war, fire, and earthquake) and rebuilt multiple times. The neighborhood of Yanaka, however, was damaged less than most from the cataclysms of the 20th Century. As a result, it is one of the oldest areas of Tokyo.

via Welcome to the Neighborhood: Yanaka, Tokyo — gardeninacity

A note caught my eye the other day that now is a good time to think about adding nest boxes to your garden, if you want to offer accommodation to garden birds this year! Ryan and I were doing a bit of bird watching in the garden today and it’s clear that the blackbirds and…

via It’s time to think about nest boxes — The Unconventional Gardener


Alcoa, a pastry store in the historical town of Alcobaça, has been producing magical concoctions of flour, sugar and eggs since 1957. They use ancient recipes developed by monks of the order of Cister from two local monasteries, Alcobaça and Santa Maria do Coa. Alcoa’s pastries have always been revered in the Alcobaça region. But […]

via A taste of Alcobaça in Lisbon — Salt of Portugal

Electric wonderland?

Russell Jones finds parallels between news of electric car sales and renewable heating. The news last Friday was full of reports about the drop in UK car sales with a 17% decline in diesel in particular focusing attention not only on the economic impact for the country, but also the environmental. Any increased use of petrol will…

via Are we driving towards an electric future for heating? — Specifier Review

This is the third of four posts telling the story of council housing in Walsall. Beyond any local interest, it reflects the dynamics of a wider national history of council housing. That fuller story will be told in my forthcoming book Municipal Dreams: the Rise and Fall of Council Housing which will be published by […]

via Council Housing in Walsall, Part III: Postwar Estates and High-Rise — Municipal Dreams

Alhambra trickle…

The Alhambra is Granada’s love letter to Moorish culture, a place where fountains trickle, leaves rustle, and ancient spirits seem to mysteriously linger. It is part palace, part fort, part World Heritage site, part lesson in medieval architecture, enchanted a never-ending line of expectant visitors. Years ago I was one of these expectant visitors and […]

via The Alhambra is Granada’s cultural treasure — Janaline’s world journey

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