Archive for 19/12/2014

Janaline's world journey

The Beautiful Babylonstoren GardenThe Beautiful Babylonstoren Garden

Babylonstoren is a Cape Dutch farm with vineyards and orchards surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Drakenstein Valley. It is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the Western Cape. It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and a sense of wellbeing.

The Beautiful Babylonstoren GardenOlive walk to the Greenhouse and Spa

Guests staying at an exclusive farm hotel enjoy access to the entire farm, plus facilities like a spa and gym. The aim is to have guests feel more comfortable, more alive among warm smiles and the simple daily rhythm of the farm.

The Beautiful Babylonstoren GardenThe perfect place for a stroll

You can stroll out onto the farm of 200 hectares and see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned – depending on the season, or enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden which…

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Shine A Light

By Sophie Towne

Something a little festive for you. Have you ever wondered what real jingle bells sound like on Santa’s sleigh? Of course you have! And if you haven’t I bet you’re wondering right now! Well today you have the answer. Click on the link below to hear what sleigh bells from the 1800s sound like:

The bells in the video are known as a triple sleigh bell set which were donated to the Museum of Norwich in 1931. The bells date from approximately 1800. They would have attached to the harness of a horse (or reindeer) pulling a carriage (or sleigh) and would alert people and animals that there was a horse coming.

royal chest 022

These kinds of bells are also known as conestoga or hame bells. Hame bells relate to the hame or harness of a horse where the bells would be attached. Conestoga refers to the type of horse…

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Australia and Singapore 2014 533Guest Post by Nick Taylor

I’m grateful to my old friend Nick for sharing these wonderful pics from his recent trip to Singapore. I’ve featured some of these gardens/ spaces/buildings before, but these pictures make a revisit a must. Here’s Nick’s commentary….

‘Seeing your recent blog with a picture of the hotel in Singapore reminded me that I said I would provide some photos of the Gardens by the Bay, with the artificial trees, which gather rain water and generate solar power…. Some of the trees – there are many – have climate domes (a bit like the Eden Project).

Twice each evening, a sound and light show takes place at the main group of trees. Being close to Christmas, there were familiar tunes! There are also currently additional Christmas lights, which detracted somewhat from the effect of the trees themselves. A ‘German’ style Christmas market was being erected at the time. The whole effect was, as with much of Singapore, rather unrestrained, but good fun and a free show.’

‘Here is the hotel at the Gardens By The Bay, with the linking bridge featuring infinity pool and roof garden, another view of one of the climate zone domes and a view of the Park Royal Hotel you featured, with the hanging gardens…’

‘The next pic is of highly colourful water lilies at the Arts and Sciences Museum. The building itself is shaped like the opening petals of a waterlily. In the background is the Shoppe (sic) at Marina Bay shopping centre, which has four levels, each the size of a large airport terminal, with a canal with gondolas (see photo) on the basement level. Shopping is one of Singapore’s main pastimes and a major economic driver. There are huge, modern malls all over the city, but mostly concentrated in Orchard Road, which at the time of WW2 was lined with – orchards.’

‘Finally, here are the gardens of Raffles Hotel, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the official of the British East India Company who took a flyer and established the colony in the face of Dutch resistance. We performed the ritual of ordering Singapore Slings in the Long Bar, as countless Brits have done over the last 100 years or so. It’s a very sickly, sweet cocktail and not particularly nice!’

Old School Gardener


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