Added: Aleida Lumpkin - Date: 27.09.2021 15:20 - Views: 31555 - Clicks: 5167
A year ago today the UK went into its first Lockdown. We were told to stayathome protecttheNHS savelives. None of us could have imagined then the impact Covid would have, and is still having, on our lives. It is a sombre day when we mourn and remember the people who have lost their lives to the virus and give thanks for those who have worked so tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe.
For me, it has also been an opportunity to reflect on the positives of a year close to home, of looking up during Lockdown and discovering what has been in walking distance of my front door. I became so much more aware of the changing seasons my walking boots have never seen so much mud!
And, as I have actually spent time relaxing in my garden, looking and listening not just gardeningI have got to know it better too. I have delved into the detail of my plants …. It has not been an easy year, but I am thankful for the time it has given me to appreciate what has always been right in front of me waiting to be discovered, and I am the better for it. Over 70 Christmas-themed creations popped up in all sorts of locations around the two villages — elves on doorsteps, fairies in trees and Santas on window ledges.
Elves Swingers in salt Porlock particularly popular, appearing in doorways and trees, outside the pub and even at the cricket club. Last weekend I was struck down by a severe bout of garden envy, a perplexing condition of conflicting symptoms that leaves the afflicted feeling both deflated and inspired in equal measure. In fact, I spent two gloriously sunny afternoons ambling around the back gardens of Kinver, a rural village in the West Midlands, with friends who share my enthusiasm for all things green and a healthy dose of Latin plant name dropping.
And the secret to slug-proof hostas? Frogs — lots of them! With views across the rooftops from Kinver to Dudley, the owners of this garden had landscaped a 4-metre drop into a terraced space for outdoor living. The edges of gravel paths and decking were softened by ferns and Phlomis, while strategically placed pots overflowing with geraniums and verbena provided colourful accents at every level. Star of the show though was the sky blue summer house, complete with log burner, bar and juke box. A lot of toil and effort reaps its rewards, but a touch of quirky creativity can create something Swingers in salt Porlock.
The cottage garden planting commanded attention against a back drop of mossy dry stone walls, herringbone brick paths and dozens of fledgling blue tits flitting around the feeders. But it was the artistic flourishes that bedazzled: a bench covered by a willow arch, lanterns in borders and teacups in trees, and totools at every turn. From the front gate onwards it was obvious that someone here loves to grow plants.
Every inch of this compact space was put to work, with vegetables cohabiting with flowers among the beds, pots of petunias, and hanging baskets filled with fuschias and lobelia. Add to this an exuberant mix of connifers, hostas, sedum and gunnera, with copious strings of bunting, and this garden was quite simply a joyful kaleidoscope of texture and colour in every direction. Here, a huge expanse of lawn had been cleverly cut into sweeping borders filled with shrubs, perennials, roses and bulbs for year-round interest. At the end of a lawn surrounded by mature trees and shrubs, a hidden chapel alluded to the enchanted world beyond, as we followed a shady path past hidden bowers, an ancient cave with candles burning, and statues framed by ferns and ivy.
But it was the gentle sound of flowing water from a host of different water features that created an atmosphere of peace and tranquility here, culminating in the River Stour itself. In a large garden, divide up the space to create a journey through different areas with different functions. This huge garden had been cleverly divided into three parts.
At the top, the living space to relax in comprised a small lawn surrounded by borders and a two-level pond. At the bottom, a mown meadow with rose beds and fruit trees, which also acts as a flood plain should the river Stour break its banks. Having viewed all eight of these very different gardens, I was buzzing with ideas, and by the time I got home I was ready to re-evaluate my entire garden scheme.
But then I tried to imagine how a visitor would view my garden, and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Thank you Kinver gardeners for the impetus I needed to see my own garden through fresh eyes — and for lots of ideas that I can put into action. If you are looking for inspiration, then I highly recommend you visit an English country garden.
There are plenty of private gardens opening their doors to the public to raise money for nursing charities. Today I travelled back from my Christmas break in North Cornwall on flooded but passable debris-strewn ro with overflowing gutters, alongside lakes that used to be fields.
Although we had a wet and windy time of it in the South West over the past week, with the right gear new waterproof trousers for Christmaswe still managed to get out and explore. Welcome to Rocky Valley. Just East of Tintagel we strolled alongside the gushing Trevillet river, down through an ivy-clad valley …. The swollen Trevillet river. Heading towards the coast in Rocky Valley. At their highest point, the slate canyon walls tower over 70 feet above the river below. The Trevillet river runs through a dramatic black slate gorge to the sea.
Rocky point of view. Labyrinth rock carving. The Camel Trail at Wadebridge. Starting roughly in the middle of the Camel Trail at Wadebridge, we cycled along the river and under the trees to Bodmin, then to Wenfordbridge and back to Wadebridge, then along the Camel estuary to Ptow. The sun made an appearance by the Camel River in Wadebridge. All the gear, no idea … how muddy I was going to get! This stretch of clifftop path squeezes in all the best attributes of the Cornish coast. It is unpredictable, wild and rugged, and on this occasion extremely windy and very muddy. Wind and waves overlooking Portquin.
We slipped up muddy paths to watch gannets soaring over frothy waves off the headland. Grey seal. Port Isaac. Given the pretty atrocious weather, we did have a few indoor highlights on this trip as well, namely:. Coming up with inspired birthday presents for my husband is a challenge. I had drained the ideas well of actiongiftsformen. I needed a hefty dose of inspiration … fast! Cue the first-ever Transglobe Expedition Trust Campfire event, where an influential Swingers in salt Porlock up of adventurers, explorers and Olympic gold medallists enthralled us with invigorating tales of daring deeds and extreme physical challenges.
The over-riding theme of the evening was to get off your backside and grab a slice of life. Transglobe Expedition Campfire speakers. And the wonderful Bonfire Band. The present was simple to wrap — a bivvy bag and a promise of a microadventure Swingers in salt Porlock come. So, on the evening of Friday 31st July, we got out our bikes, had a quick look at the OS map of our local area for contours and greenery and a pub — there had to be some perks if I was tagging along!
I admit that I double checked the weather forecast before setting off, as I do draw the line at sleeping without cover in torrential rain. Some greenery and a few contours — key ingredients for a microadventure location. We only cycled 4 miles, but it was far enough away from home to search for a place to sleep before it got dark, and near enough to a pub to enjoy a decent evening meal before we bedded down. Initially, we found an invitingly grassy clearing in a small wooded area ….
Option 1 — a grassy clearing under the trees. We found the perfect spot between two already-harvested fields, where the long grass at the field edges had been flattened to make a cosy mattress. The moon was already high in a perfectly clear summer sky, shedding a slightly surreal light over the golden cropped field. Having picked our spot, we raced off to the pub to grab something to eat before they finished serving food, and caught a spectacular sunset en route. A sunset fit for Swingers in salt Porlock microadventure.
Setting up camp. Settled in our bivvies. Woolly hats in July?! There were a few eerie nocturnal calls and every rustle of vegetation was amplified in the stillness; nevertheless, I soon drifted off. I tossed and turned quite a lot, and was eventually woken by the persistent harsh barking of a fox at 4. At this point, my bladder prompted me to vacate my cosy cocoon and I struggled out of my wrappings. Stumbling into the hedgerow to complete my ablutions, I was impressed by how well camouflaged we were in the long grasses. Camouflaged camping — hard to spot us amongst the grass. As s I rounded the hedge separating the two fields, I was amazed to still see the moon in all its glory, despite the lightening sky.Swingers in salt Porlock
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Camel Trail bike ride