Thursday, 30 July 2015

The beautiful kitchen garden at Chatsworth

Pictures, rather than words today.  I wish I could grow huge rows of SLUG-FREE Delphiniums here!

Achillea looks wonderful en masse like this.

Love in a Mist - Nigella sativa.

Drifts of Campanula.

I think this is Variegata di Bologna rather than Rosa Mundi.

A pretty unnamed rambler.

Colour everywhere.

Camera shake, but it looks rather nice like this . . .

Almost black sweet peas.

Then finally, it was on the bus back home, with Sheffield in the distance . . .

Lastly, an update on the grotty corner:

From this -

To this -

All my potted roses enjoying the sunshine there now.  I did a bit of "sweeping under the carpet" on that left wall as where there was some loose sand left that was hard to shovel up, I just swept it against the wall, put compost on top and planted it with (on left) scented leaf Geraniums, and further in, several pots of Dahlias which needed to get in the soil.  Now I am totally shattered . . .

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A quick random catch up post

Just a quick catch-up post or such things will lose all relevence.  This is the book I treated myself to at Chatsworth.  I can recommend it - some lovely recipes, and not just what it says on the cover, but baking too, as a way of using up your preserved goodies.  I don't often pay full price for books, but on this occasion I had a Sod-it moment.

I bought this too.  The print is the same as one of the beautiful wallpapers in the house.  It was £6 - I'd normally pay that for a pack of lesser teatowels - and I can't quite bring myself to use it yet!  I feel it ought to be framed!

One job done - cutting back, weeding and some extra plants in the apple tree bed.  The French Lavender came from Lidl recently, where they had a two for £6 offer.  I got two white ones too, which are in pots.

Tidying up along the path edge too as the ferns had grown so enthusiastically you couldn't pass without getting soaked.

After the chap had come to clean the guttering and windows, I had little alternative but to do the insides too.  The dining room windows (20 panes) are a right royal pain . . .  All those corners.

Another job to be done, but fortunately NOT one with my name on it.

Work in progress.  OH fitting the new catflap in the new door which we bought on Ebay and had a lovely little jaunt down to the hills above Neath to collect.

This was the view from the chap's house where we went to collect the door.

And the remains (nearby) of what must have been Neath Castle.  But I digress . . .

Fitted and awaiting my painting . . .

Another corner (by the gate) which desperately needed tidying up.  I think we get so used to seeing it we don't realize how awfully untidy it looks.

Still a work in progress, but MUCH better than it was . . .

Oh, and I forgot my home grown garlic, now dried and as of yesterday, roughly plaited up.  Three plaits, so enough for one each for me and our daughters.  You can tell it's home grown as the root bases are still grubby . . .

Today I am dissecting too-narrow curtains to make up into a pair that fits . . .

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Belatedly, Chatsworth - the grounds

As we made our way across to the beautiful grounds, we walked through a small formal garden, and this was the first rose I saw, David Austin's Tuscany Superb.  It is so beautiful, and I bought myself one today . . .  As you do!  It is a Gallica rose, and one of the few bred in the UK (according to the DA catalogue.)

Another DA rose - I shall have to look it up.  Very pretty with that white eye.

The wild flower Nettle Leaved Bellflower.  The last time I saw this growing anywhere was well over 30 years ago on a day out in Gloucestershire.  There was a lot of it growing in the woodland margins.

Around many of the trees - dead or still growing (this looks like a dead Sweet Chestnut tree) - this rose - Kiftsgate I believe - was growing.  It looked stunning in all settings.

This was the shell grotto - but I think all the shells had long gone.

Everlasting (perennial) Sweet Pea.  We used to have this in the garden where I grew up.

This was one of the fountains at the top of a long flight of the stepped water feature.

An absolutely huge woven willow sculpture.

I can't remember what this fountain was called - probably water lily or something - but very cleverly made, with the petals dropping down and closing up afterwards.

Sweet Williams, with their wonderful clove scent.  One of mum's favourites, and mine too.  This was the start of the Kitchen Garden - more photos of that tomorrow.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Chatsworth Part II

Gird up your loins!  Another photo-heavy tour of the Chatsworth interior.  I rather like this photo I took of some of the lovely plates at Chatsworth.  Quite atmospheric.  I would LOVE these on my dresser : )

This tea service was just so genteel and delicate.  Possibly Meissen (though what do I know?!)  It's more likely to be Derby, although none of the later heavy gold patterning.

The Library, which had a rope across so you couldn't go in.  Looking at that gorgeous carpet, I'm not surprised.

This is another seat from the Exhibition, based on an 18th C salon chair.  Different . . . and at least in keeping with the history of the house.  Unlike SOME in this exhibition!

I spent ages looking at these incredible sculptures.  You felt they would come alive at any minute.  I presume they are black marble (from Belgium?).  They were just so beautiful.

Some of these photos are slightly fuzzy, as I would just have to point and click to avoid getting someone in it - as it happens, there's someone in the background, but that's better than the back of someone's head!!  Anyway, a beautiful bed and that fabulous wallpaper.  I weakened in the gift shop and bought myself a teatowel in that design.

There were many wonderful paintings, but this one (I don't know the artist I'm afraid), was just SO atmospheric.  I wonder if it was a Dutch Master who painted it, from the use of the light and the composition.

Another fuzzy bed, but isn't it beautiful?  More amazing wallpaper too.

"Prinny"  - who became King George IV.  This is probably his Coronation picture in fact, with the crown on the table.  I

I just loved this vase (or a Japanese brush pot perhaps?) and the wallpaper behind it gives a close up of one of the birds which inhabited all the wallpapers in the house.

I could resist taking a photo of this chap.  He looks like a rather different take on Buddha . . .

I just HAD to take a photo of this incredible piece of furniture for my OH.  Ebony and mahogany? I would think, and describe it as an Armoire.

Blue John was mined in Derbyshire - there are Blue John Mines open to the public near Castleton.  Back in the day, there were chunks big enough to make wonderful goblets and chalices like this.  Now there are just small chips and slivers used for jewellery.  I have a pendant and a beautiful pair of earrings made from it, and a teaspoon.  Mine is the plain purple/lilac/white colour combination, but here there is a lovely amber colouring (shown by the light inside the one on the right).

I know my husband well, and know he would LOVE something like this - AND a house big enough to display it!  A wee bit OTT for my tastes . . .

I loved this pair of lions and the expressions on their faces.  The one above looks like he has a hangover!

This wee dog was part of a bigger sculpture.  He looks like a Pharoah Hound with those ears, but was probably an alert Whippet.

Above and below: Finally, some modern art I actually LIKED.  Plus they were in an area where they fitted in (the gallery with the wonderful alabaster sculptures).  I loved the organic way the legs flowed into the ground, and the design reminded me of the 60s, and also patchwork quilt designs. The top one was my favourite.

Over the weekend I will try and fit in some photos of the grounds.