Archive for 24/09/2013


IMG_6583A rather lower key garden visit this one, but still very enjoyable.

The Godolphin Estate is the former seat of the Dukes of Leeds and the Earls of Godolphin. It contains one of the most fashionable Tudor/Stuart mansions in Cornwall. The present house is remnant of a larger mansion. At one time it was a secondary seat of the Dukes of Leeds, but the Duke sold it in 1929. The Estate is a total of some 550 acres (220 ha). The early formal gardens (dating from around 1500) are said to be among the most important historic gardens in Europe, having barely changed over the years.

These include some interesting formal walled gardens and further afield remnants of grassed areas, ponds and ancient trees, with the addition of some meadow areas. The atmosphere is one of quiet and restraint, typical of its age and predating some of the more exuberant formal and landscape gardens of the following centuries.

It was very pleasant exploring the gardens on a sunny August afternoon, the peace and quiet, interrupted only by the sound of bees humming around a series of hives which are part of a study looking into the qualities of the Cornish bee, one of the oldest breeds around. In some areas the gardens and planting are in need of careful restoration and renovation, to bring out their full interest and attractiveness. This process is being pursued by the National Trust, which has also been improving public access to the Estate. since they acquired it in 2000.

Further information :

National Trust Website

Old School Gardener

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PlayGroundology

Last week Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC, aired an item on playground injuries. The lead pretty much summed it all up, a numbers story that fell short on broader context.

“More than 28,000 children are injured every year on playgrounds across Canada, and the rate of hospitalizations has gone up by eight per cent between 2007 and 2012, CBC News has learned.”

CBC Playground Injuries copy

One thing is sure, no one wants to see a child injured. I live in Halifax, Canada a city with more than 300 playgrounds. My kids and I have played at about 50. They’re well maintained, mostly of the predictable off the shelf variety that address safety concerns and are light on excitement. In the last few years, I don’t recall any media reports about serious injuries.

Now I’m sure we can make playgrounds safer. How about thick foam landing mats as ground covering like those that…

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