A Week in Cornwall – The Eden Project – Part 2

I promised to return with this post from the Eden Project in Cornwall continuing just as we were about to enter the Mediterannean Zone. I have to admit I prefer this dome to the Tropical Zone, but I can’t explain why. It simply feels more comfortable.

The structure of the dome reflects the framework supporting these vines.

It was the plants that flowered so full of colour that made this dome so exciting.

  

Arid plantings contrasted strongly with the brighter Med plantings, and it is the structure and texture of the arid plants that made them so attractive.

         

I will finish this look at the Eden Project biomes with a couple of photos of some lively sculpture.

 

In a future Cornwall holiday post I will share our visit to the other Tim Smitt project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

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A week in Cornwall – Part 2 – The Eden Project

It had been years since we last visited the Eden Project, so we were excited to return when we holidayed in Cornwall in the Autumn of 2018. We knew that there would have been so much development in that time. When we did visit  again during our week’s holiday in Cornwall, the project had developed almost beyond belief. The first view of the domes from the top paths is always stunning and most inviting. The domes were the brainchild of founder Tim Smitt and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw.

   

The walkway down to the main feature, the project’s domes, was early in its development when we last visited so we were amazed at how interesting it was on our return visit. Here is a taster of what we saw as we descended down to the domes.

      

The first dome is the rain forest zone, where plants that we see more often as house plants grow healthy and tall, flowering and fruiting as in the wild. Exploring the dome takes you right up to the top of the building which affords great views. Wandering back down gives us as much interest to enjoy as on the climb up. Exploring this dome is quite an experience!

After exploring the tropical dome we had a break for refreshments, coffee and cakes as usual and then moved along the corridor leading to the Mediterranean Zone. That is the subject of the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Week in Cornwall – Part 1 – Poppy’s Cottage Garden

We had a week in Cornwall September last year so here is a series all about our explorations ans wanderings.

Early on in our week away in Cornwall we set out to visit a little garden in the middle of the countryside, Poppy’s Cottage Garden. After a difficult year of weather the garden showed a little wear and tear, as did gardens everywhere.

Poppy had designed and created a garden that entices visitors to explore and wander, corners to look around, archways to pass through and seats to rest upon and absorb the atmosphere.

 

However strange seasons are and how muddled up plants must become they seem to not only survive but even produce flowers.

           

The garden, like most cottage styled patches was attractive to wildlife adding a further level of interest. Added movement, sounds and colours.

 

Every cottage garden needs a piece of sculpture or two, serious or humourous.

  

 

We enjoyed the plant combinations which are a strong feature of this little garden. The other planned garden visits were for much bigger gardens.

 

 

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A quick visit to Bodnant Gardens – mid-May

Instead of my usual series of posts where we visit the same garden every month of the year, we have decided to look at two gardens one large and one small. This is because it is impossible to find another good garden that is open all year and easy to get to.

For the big garden we have chosen the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in North Wales which we shall look at over the seasons and for the small garden we have chosen Wildgoose Garden and Nursery closer to home here in Shropshire which we shall visit each month during its open season.

To start this series I am going to look back at a visit we made to Bodnant back in May 2018 to give an idea of its beauty.

A final day out on our Anglesey holiday was to visit the gardens at Bodnant just slightly inland from the North Wales coast. It is a garden we have visited and enjoyed many times before and at all times of the year. The one strength of the garden is that is has so many different faces to be discovered and enjoyed.

In recent years a rectangular border alongside a tall stone wall has changed completely becoming a hot border, full of flowers and foliage the colours of fire. On a sunny day they really light up.

   

Directly opposite and in complete contrast is a formal area of low trimmed hedges holding together borders of tulips.

  

The Winter Garden at Bodnant is one of the best in the UK, and although superb in its special season, the winter, it is still an interesting garden in the summer.

  

The narrow gravel paths take us into the shady areas beneath mature deciduous trees. Bluebells added a blue mist to the rich green grassed areas.

What many visits make the journey to Bodnant for are the bright clashing colours of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. We however are not great fans of these acid loving bloomers, but here are a few shots for those who do.

An area of Bodnant gardens we have rarely reached over the years because of my mobility problems is the deep steep-sided valley with tall trees towering over a beautiful sparkling stream which meanders along its length. After recent surgery I can now manage to get down to this magical dingle. The magical atmosphere is created by the huge trees that tower above visitors who wander the gravel paths along the valley running close to a clear mountain stream, and on the banks beautiful bog and water loving plants grow happily. Primulas, hostas, ferns and Skunk Cabbage add colour and texture to the scene.

   

No doubt it won’t be long before this great garden is featured in another of my greenbenchramblings posts as we usually wander around its Winter Garden early in the year.

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My Garden Journal 2019 – February

Here we are visiting my garden journal for the second time in 2019 with my February entries. My first double page spread was all about the week that spanned the last few days of January which delivered snowfall and the first few days of February which gave us a heavy frost.

The photos on the left hand page illustrated some of our winter flowering scented shrubs topped off with a layer of deep frost. I wrote, The last few days of January shared a week with the first few days of February. It was a cold week cheered greatly by the appearance of flowers on our winter shrubs, which also delighted with their rich scents.”

“The delights of scented winter shrubs. Food for winter flying moths.”

   

Opposite my photos showed the effects of snow on our sculpture, both man-made and created by Mother Nature, the seedleads of grasses and perennials.

“The snowfall that came and went all within a day.”

       

Over the page my next two pages concerned with a period of strong winds and the earliest of bulbs to flower in our patch.

I wrote, “February 9th delivered gale force winds overnight so firstjob on the 10th was inspecting for damage. Luckily very little was to be found just a few minor happenings.” 

  

“One broken stake of a support trio. Plant labels blown around the garden. 

“Part of an insect home blown down. Plant protection bags blown off delicate shrub Loropetala.”

 “Collapsed Calamagrostis”

On the opposite page I wrote, “February sees the first of our bulbs coming into flower.”

 

“A pale crocus and an deep purple Iris reticulata.”

  

“Snowdrops have bulked up nicely.”

 “Winter Aconite give winter gold”  

“Cyclamen at the base of our Field Maple.”

The next double page spread is all about Hellebores and we have so many.

I wrote, “Hellebore hybrids and self-seeders are blooming throughout our garden.”

    

“Euphorbia foetidus grows to small shrub proportions in the rich soil in our patch. Its acid-yellow bracts sit well against its deep green deeply cut foliage. It has a rather unfortunate common name of “Stinking Hellebore”, but is also called “Barfoot”.

“Even more of our Hellebore hybrids.”

     

Turning over the page one more time I looked at some indoor gardening related jobs and wrote, “Wet days in February afford us the opportunity to catch up on indoor tasks such as chitting potatoes, starting off Dahlias and Cannas as well as sowing seeds of perennials and a few annuals.”

      

I continued, “Meanwhile outside we continue to tidy up border by border. Sorting our gravel garden, the Chatto Border, is a major task so we do that work on days when Ian, our part-time gardener is around to help us. We also dug up and divided Day Lilies.”

   

About Crocus I wrote, “Whatever the weather, sunny or overcast, the gold of Crocus shines through, even the purple coloured varieties have spots of deep yellow, almost orange.”

Turn over and I share the surprise of a wildlife visitor, about which I wrote, “There is a surprising amount of wildlife activity in our February garden. Recent sunny, warmer than average days have encouraged our resident birds to start singing and calling. The Song Thrush calls loudly from first light along with Robins, Dunnock and Wren while overhead Buzzards and Red Kite mewl as they soar. As the light levels drop Tawny Owls called for long periods of time. Sunshine also brings out Bumble Bees and Honey Bees to feed off early flowers of bulbs and the first butterfly of the year makes its appearance. A stunningly beautiful Red Admiral rests on a wall taking in the extra warmth of the sun on the bricks.

 

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Simply Beautiful No 27 – Catkins

This year catkins especially on Hazels have been more impressive than we can ever remember. They seem brighter and longer and bring February hedgerows to life.

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A Hill Top Winter Walk

In mid-February on a cool day with a cold wind we took a walk along the top of Llanymynech Hill on the England/Wales border. Jude and I regularly meet up with a group of friends from our college days back in the late 1960s/early 70s, often at gardens, National Trust properties and on this occasion we met up for a pub meal followed by a walk.

Although it is not far from us we haven’t visited it before although Jude did go when she was a child. Come on our walk with us by following the gallery of my photos. Click on the first photo and navigate with the arrows.

Perhaps we will return in the summer and follow the same walk again and see what changes with the seasons.

 

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