28 Apr 2017

Five on Friday


We miss the warmth and the blue skies we enjoyed during our 
 time in Italy in March, but the colourful blooms here in the UK cheer us.
  It was hard to choose just a few examples of Nature's beauties
 from both countries for Five on Friday Weekly Meetup.
Thank you Tricky and Carly for organising the Meetup.
Do go over to their blog and see what others have posted this week.

apple blossom, tulip 'Rembrandt' and parrot tulip 'Rococco',
large cupped daffodils 'Red Devon'

schlumbergera ('Christmas cactus' ), flowering this season

Wishing you a good day and a peaceful weekend, 
Linda :)

26 Apr 2017

A visit to Buxton, Derbyshire

Although Buxton is surrounded by Derbyshire hills it's also the highest town in England so on a rather cold day on Friday we spent some time in the more sheltered area of the Pavilion Gardens before walking up the hill to have lunch in a pub near the market square in High Buxton. The walks along by the River Wye where there are several old ironwork bridges, large ponds with fountains, a bandstand and other interesting features were originally landscaped by Sir Joseph Paxton (well known for his other architectural design work in places such as the gardens and glasshouses of Chatsworth House in the same county under the patronage of the 6th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish).

more ducklings... these were swimming away from us downstream
so the photos are not very clear

The 19th century glass and iron pavilion was surrounded by scaffolding in the area known as the Octagon and below is what it looked like during our last visit.  In one area of the pavilion complex native and tropical plants are housed and the photos below are also from that last visit. Various events are usually held in the pavilion complex so I'm sure the different organisations are hoping that the structural work will be completed soon.

The Opera House next to the pavilion is another popular venue for concerts, dance and drama and the annual Buxton Festival in July.

The Old Hall Hotel was originally Buxton Hall which was built by George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, the husband of Bess of Hardwick. It was built over a natural spring of warm mineral waters and was the site of the Roman Baths and before that a Celtic sacred spot because of this water source. Buxton continued to be known as a health spa when the 5th Duke of Devonshire built The Crescent which included a ballroom and assembly room .  The Pump Room was built in the late 19th century and thermal water was taken there.  These days water can still be sampled from the drinking fountain called St. Ann's Well.  It's one of the natural water sources around the town that is decorated during the well dressing ceremony each July. At the moment more construction work seems to be taking place in The Crescent so instead of going that way we walked up Terrace Road which is bordered on one side by another grassy area called The Slopes.  Looking down from this height the huge slate dome of what was once the stabling block for the Duke of Devonshire's horses, built in 1857, can be seen.  The dome was added a few decades later and at the time it was the largest unsupported dome in the world with a span of 154 feet.  Part of the stabling block was used as a hospital and the building was called the Devonshire Royal Hospital.   Now the building is part of Derby University.  

The Crescent 

The Slopes

a street of fine houses overlooking the Pavilion Gardens

The Town Hall in the Market Square

We enjoyed a fish and chips lunch in this pub, The Cheshire Cheese.

DiL wanted us to sit in this cosy corner of the pub.
 She thought the wallpaper was perfect for us book lovers!

After lunch we had a good half hour browsing
in this bookshop opposite the pub as there were several floors stuffed
 full of second hand and antiquarian books, book kits for making books,
collections of old postcards to purchase and other stationery.
There's a bookbinding service, opportunities to get involved
 with workshops and there's also a small Victorian museum in the basement.
Half an hour wasn't long enough for some of the family group to look around.

On the way out of Buxton I took this photo from the car window.
This great fan window is the only surviving part of one of the train sheds
for the London and North Western Railway Company line which
was one of the lines that served Buxton. It was designed and built
with the guidance of Joseph Paxton who was at that time a director
of the Buxton, Matlock and  Midland Junction Railway Company. 

We enjoyed our family outing to Buxton and I'm sure we'll be back again sometime soon as I would like to see the area around The Crescent when it's more accessible. 

22 Apr 2017

Five on Friday

Hello everyone!  It's been a while since I last posted a blog as we've been so involved with family commitments and travelling here and there over the last two months it hasn't been possible to spend time on the computer.  Our daughter went home today after staying over the Easter holiday so I'm joining in the Five on Friday Meetup hosted by Tricky and Carly even though I'm posting later than usual. 
We went to Buxton in Derbyshire yesterday where we met up with other family members and had some lunch together with a walk through the Pavilion Gardens and the town with its beautiful Georgian buildings.  The Spring is a good time to enjoy the Gardens and we were entertained by some amusing moments as ducks and ducklings swam along the water channel of the River Wye which runs through the town.  Parent ducks were encouraging their young to slide down the little waterfalls and some were braver and more adventurous than others.  Happily all managed to slide down into calmer water with parent ducks leading the way.

I'll share some more of our walk around beautiful Buxton soon.  Wishing you a good weekend,
Linda :)

24 Mar 2017

Five on Friday

Hello everyone. We've been in Italy where we were grateful for some dry, sunny weather so that we could give the house a good airing, do some more work in the garden, see the family and generally relax. I'll be sharing more over the next few blog posts, but today I'm joining in Five on Friday Weekly Meetup which from this week onwards is being hosted by Tricky and Carly who have the interesting blog, F.A.S.T (Family Attempting To Survive The Times).
Regular followers of my blog will find my photos of the Italian garden familiar as I've been sharing the work that goes on there by Mr. P. over the years, mainly in the Spring and the Autumn.  In recent years we've been able to maintain the upkeep of the garden with outside help so that all that needs to be done is the cutting of the grass and the pruning of the trees, vines and shrubs. There's less to do in the Springtime as in the Autumn when there are the grapes to collect and fallen leaves to sweep up and as we were in Italy in November we found that the grass was still short after having hired someone with a tractor to mow it for us and, therefore,  it didn't need cutting this time.

1. views from the front garden

2. views from the side garden and drive

3. the back garden

Mr. P. pruned one of the fig trees - this one is 'the mother' of the tree we have in our UK garden.

4. wild flowers and daffodils

There are wild flowers growing in the grass - grape hyacinths,
a variety of lily, flowering herbs.

5. The pruning of the vines, shrubs and trees - most of the vines were pruned in November. 
They need to be pruned before the sap rises.

pruning some of the apple trees

The twigs will be used as kindling in the wood burning stove
when they dry out.

We decided to cut down the ornamental cypress trees as they need
 so much effort to keep trimmed down to a manageable level.
So far Mr. P. has cut down three of them leaving some branches
 that will be kept at a low height.

Branches were stacked in a corner of the garden. Other branches
 and logs are stored in the cantina/garage.

We are still getting over our journey so this is a short blog post.  The travelling and flight went smoothly, but it was a long day yesterday. I'll share more another day although next week we will be attending the funeral of a dear sister-in-law, the wife of Mr. P.'s half brother. She died suddenly whilst we were in Italy. It was through this couple that I met my husband as they lived next door to us in my home town when I was a young girl and teenager. Thank you for all your blog messages sent recently and I hope that all is well with you.  I hope to catch up with you over the weekend. Wishing you a peaceful one.