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Flower or Veg garden?

I love this time of the year. A view across my vegetable garden or is it Rose and flower garden, you choose.So delighted with my catmint. Nepata six hills giant, it works so well in the box with the roses and so much less work than the annual cosmos, lupins and other plants I tried over…

via THE JOYS OF GARDENING — Joanne’s Cottage Garden

For the first time the Met Office has set up a trial to see if it is possible to use navigational buoys to gather weather data from near coastal areas. The Met Office has just 10 weather observation buoys around the UK coast, meaning this area, which is vital when it comes to the understanding […]

via Could navigational buoys help with Met Office forecasts? — Official blog of the Met Office news team

We are proud of being English and proud of being typically eccentrically English too. We enjoy doing typical English activities like Afternoon Tea and walking in the park. Recently we enjoyed a three-generation family weekend taking part in an activity only the English could do. We took part in the World Pooh Sticks Championships 2017! […]

via An Eccentric English Day Out – Pooh Sticks! — greenbenchramblings

A week in the Lake District is always a treat, especially if you have some fine weather. On a recent trip we had a rather mixed bag, meteorologically speaking, but we had great company ( a group of ex college friends) and plenty of places to visit as well as some fell walking. Our first really wet day we spent exploring Keswick and especially the famous Derwent Pencil Museum (the home of ‘Lakeland Pencils’). At first glance this seems like a rather modest museum, but upon closer inspection- and there was plenty of that- I found it delightful. The wall-size information panels and engaging videos; especially the one telling the story of the Keswick Pencil company’s involvement in a project to create a pencil that  could be used by war time airmen not only to plot their route, but to escape enemy hands should they be shot down- it concealed a small, fine silk map of Europe and a minute compass.

Our way home took in the splendid former home of the poet Wordsworth, Rydal Mount alongside Grasmere. Though the rain continued off and on, we had an interesting look round this humble home with many interesting exhibits on the famous poet and his family. The gardens, cascading down the hill towards the lake, were also wonderful, even in damp weather. A flowing plan of mixed borders and woodland gardens seemed just right for this spot.

Further information:

Derwent Pencil Museum

Rydal Mount

Old School Gardener

Would you like to help others know which of the 1000 garden chemical products in Australia are safer for you and your environment? Help create a research-based App showing the safety for you and your environment of 1000 garden products in Australia for pest, weed

via Crowd Funding Campaign – Safer Choices for You and Nature by Sustainable Gardening Australia Foundation — Deep Green Permaculture

Blackbird Leys…

This is the 200th post on the blog. I’ll be participating this week in the ‘Architecture, Citizenship, Space: British Architecture from the 1920s to the 1970s‘ conference at Oxford Brookes University. For that reason, I hope you’ll forgive a repost – the first to date – of this piece on the Blackbird Leys Estate which […]

via The Blackbird Leys Estate, Oxford: ‘Never accepted as part of the city proper’ — Municipal Dreams

It seems like the gardening season is one long whirlwind of garden shows. With the Malvern spring show, Chelsea and the new Chatsworth out of the way, garden designers and their teams are ramping up for Hampton Court. Their show gardens may offer up the best and brightest in garden design, but they are just…

via Could you be the UK’s best amateur gardener? — The Unconventional Gardener

Our second recent Devon garden trip was to the beautifully located Overbecks- a house full of curiosity and a garden of sub tropical exoticism. The house itself is perhaps nothing special , but it contains a panoply of collected items and interesting artefacts accumulated by the original owner, a German inventor called Otto Beck. A room of dolls houses (witha lowered door opening to make the point that this is a room for youngsters), and dispays of bird eggs, stuffed anumials rocks and so on, make this a house of wonder.

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The gardens- another example of a Devon valley being used to great effect in creating a sub tropical microclimate- is wonderful, with a winding path taking you around the wide range of interesting plants , and the occasional view across Salcombe Bay. It was a sunny day and we had a delicious meal on the terrace.

Further information: National Trust website

Old School Gardener

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Koru for you…

What kind of nature photographer would I be if I returned from New Zealand without showing you at least one koru? Koru is the Māori word for what English sometimes calls a fiddlehead, the spirally curled tip of a new fern leaf. I photographed this one on February 19th along the path leading from Dorothy […]

via New Zealand: koru — Portraits of Wildflowers

Your Tern…

Desperate birdwatchers visiting the Farne Islands’ toilets face an unexpected tern – with a rare bird nesting just inches overhead. An Arctic tern, which will have arrived on the remote Northumberland islands from the Antarctic in May, is incubating two eggs in the grooves of the toilet’s clear corrugated plastic roof. Jen Clark, National Trust […]

via PICTURES: Toilet tern ‘Lulu’ takes up testing nest spot — National Trust Press Office

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