Category: This and that

Messy oasis…

A compelling and moving illustration of the power of adventurous free play, now available online.

via A rare glimpse into a messy oasis of adventure play — Rethinking Childhood


Having thought I’d done my last stint at Blickling for a while, I was pleasantly surprised to be released from Jury Service for a couple of days, which meant I could pop along for a sunny morning.

It was a relatively easy-going few hours. I started by joining Project Manager Mike in pruning the cordon gooseberries being grown in the Walled Garden. They have come on well since planting last year and now needed side shoots trimming back and suckers removed along with a leader being tied in to continue to gain height before they are fully ready to fruit- I guess this will be next season.

Rory was already at work weeding over the neatly planted lettuce rows and he soon joined me as Mike went off to a meeting. We were soon joined by the two Peters who set to hoeing around the metal edges to remove the weeds in the beds and along the path edges. We exchange a few bits of news, including my frustrating few days waiting to be called to be a juror.

Mike had asked me to go round all the cordons and espaliers to check if their leaders needed tying in, and so it was another relatively light task- and one I really enjoy- to finish off by lunchtime…as I had to get over to the local church to cut the grass in the afternoon before the forecast rain descended. I was pleased to see that the metal arches along the main central path had all been welded into place, and Mike told me that he was waiting for the natural ‘bloom’ on the metal to fade before the job of painting this can be started.

As the other volunteers were weeding over in the Orangery  Garden I didn’t get to see them, but if they’re reading this I hope you’re all well and enjoying the sun! As I’m writing this I can now say that I’ve begun active jury service and have a very interesting case to ponder. This and holidays will probably mean that there’ll be no more Blickling for a few weeks…

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener







Mystical Jesuits…

We have a major weakness for a Portuguese pastry called “jesuita.” Its shape and color resemble the habits of Jesuit monks, hence the name. The “jesuita” was invented more than a century ago by a Spanish pastry chef who worked in Santo Tirso, a town in the north of Portugal. It combines puff pastry with […]

via Mystical jesuits — Salt of Portugal

Reggie’s Beans

I couldn’t resist sharing this wonderful picture of our friends’ son Reggie. Last Harvest time he came along to see me on my stall at the Harvest Festival event at the local church, where children (and adults) could sow a Broad Bean seed to take home in a pot, nurture on the windowsill and plant out in late autumn…here’s the result! (I must say it’s rather more impressive than my own efforts). Well done Reggie!

Old School Gardener


Windsor Cottage…

Looking back to a sunny summer’s day! Off down the A49 trunk road into Herefordshire for another visit to enjoy a fellow NGS, Yellow book garden. Windsor Cottage is near the village of Dilwyn and described as a wildlife friendly half-acre garden which has just completed a 5 year redesign. This proved to be […]

via Another Yellow Book Garden: Windsor Cottage — greenbenchramblings

Standen Restored…

A five year restoration project at one of the country’s most important Arts and Crafts gardens has been completed at the National Trust’s Standen in West Sussex. The impressive house at Standen, with its breath-taking views over the High Weald and Weir Wood Reservoir, was designed for James Beale and his family in the late […]

via 1920s Arts and Crafts garden returns to its heyday as five year restoration is completed at Standen — National Trust Press Office


Speke, lying just over seven miles south-east of Liverpool’s city centre, wasn’t planned as just another large council estate. The Corporation envisaged it as a ‘satellite town…planned to accommodate all classes of the community’. (1) At times, the reach of that ambition must have seemed close to fulfilment but by the 1980s some called it […]

via The Speke Estate, Liverpool: a ‘satellite town…planned to accommodate all classes of the community’ — Municipal Dreams

Do it: containers You will need plenty of pots, plants, labels, grit and moss Step 1 Now the danger of frost has passed it is time to get creative with your summer container displays. Planting in pots, troughs or hanging baskets is a great way to create a focal point or hide unsightly features. Use…

via Monthly Masterclass: May — Winterbourne House and Garden

Bees and Beasties…

Colourful beehives were much in evidence whenever we walked in the countryside, but we were warned to steer well clear because the bees are a far more fearsome race than our placid British bees. At this time of year their main food source is the invasive acacia, so there may well be resistance to their…

via Bees & Beasties — The Enduring Gardener

Outdoor Classroom Day on 18 May is a day to step outside the classroom and climb the ladder of outdoor learning and play.

via Join in a global day to change the way children learn and play — Rethinking Childhood


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