The Dingle Garden in November

Back to wander around the gardens at the Dingle near Welshpool, for our November visit. We expected big changes after recent strong winds and heavy rain. We did not anticipate seeing many leaves left on deciduous trees and shrubs, but hoped for signs of late autumn colours in foliage and berries.

The first pic at the start of this post shows one leaf that was still hanging on against all odds, even after all our recent strong winds and storms. Below is a selection of photos of flowers still going strong in the woodland garden, some late blooms from the summer and some early winter blooms.

 

Throughout the woodland garden where there was a clearing the ground was covered in low growing perennials often covered with a carpet of fallen leaves.

    

During our visits over the year to The Dingle Gardens there has been an area that has been much wetter than elsewhere, often with water running off the bank across the paths and on down to the lake. On this visit we noticed and heard that work was in hand to add extra drainage systems to rectify the problem.

 

Berries are signs of the year’s end, there to help keep the plant populations viable.  Alongside them in this garden of trees and shrubs there were signs of new life in the form of leaf and flower buds waiting to unfold for us to enjoy in the future.

There was so much to enjoy as we wandered the garden paths that I took lots of photographs, so I thought I would finish our November post about our Dingle Garden visits with a photo gallery. As usual click on the first photo and navigate using the right arrow.

So just one more post to go which will be for our December visit to this wonderful woodland garden.

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Autumn in an Arboretum and Afternoon Tea

We were lucky to receive a voucher for an afternoon tea from our son Jamie and daughter-in-law Sam, and of course little Arabella and decided to redeem it at a hotel down in the Cotswolds, near the village of Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

We drove down early and spent time wandering Batsford Arboretum, enjoying the colours of autumn leaves before the winds blew them from the branches. It was a dull day but the foliage glowed through the gloom. Most colour came from Acers and Liquidamber of many varieties of each. The wind had already whipped many leaves from their branches.

  

Of course autumn isn’t complete without the red, pinks, oranges and reds of berries, provided by Sorbus, Malus and here at Batsford by the unusual tree called Zanthoxylum planispinum (photo below left).

  

One area of the arboretum was strongly influenced by Japanese garden styles, complete with red painted wooden bridges.

  

While looking at this statue of Buddha we had to suddenly take refuge  in the Japanese tea house nearby from a quick but heavy shower in.

 

We only just allowed ourselves enough time to reach Charingworth Manor for our afternnon tea booked for three in the afternoon. On the journey there it began to rain slightly and the temperature dropped so we were glad to get inside this beautiful Cotswold manor house to the warm and dry. We sat to enjoy our tea close to a huge log fireplace of golden Cotswold stone.

What a great day we had with autumn foliage, an amble around an arboretum finished off in style with afternoon tea.

 

 

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My Garden Journal 2018 – November

This is the penultimate post in this 12 part series about my 2018 Garden Journal so here is what was happening in our patch in November.

The first couple of pages dealt with the continued redevelopment of our old hot garden. We intended to give it a completely new look including bark access paths through it.

I wrote, “The re-development of the old hot garden continued to the end of the month and into the first days of November.” The first picture shows Jude the Undergardener holding up a huge root which Ian managed to dig out of the bed. He had to cut it off at both ends as it was extending beneath the lawn in one direction and out of our garden in another. It sat horizontally in the soil just above the boulder clay layer. We have no idea what plant it belonged to originally. One of our gardening mysteries! The second photo shows Ian our garden helper raking over the soil which he had meticulously double dug after adding lots of organic compost. This first addition of compost was dug in before a second batch was added as a thick mulch.

 

We then laid a path of bark over membrane before  getting ready to enjoy planting both our new and saved plants.

   

On the right hand page I looked at how Jude spent time early in the month cleaning pots, cleaning the glass in the greenhouse and putting up bubblewrap insulation. Once done this allowed us to move my succulent collection into the winter safety to be found under glass. “Jude washed and cleaned all our plastic pots so that we can reuse them. Our hot bench was cleaned up and bubblewrap put up in place as insulation. My succulent collection is now snug and secure in the sparkling clean greenhouse.”

  

Turning over to my next double page spread I looked at our fruit and the continuation of planting up the new border.

I wrote, “This is the latest in any year that we have harvested our crop of apples from our main trees and heritage cordons. We have used the beautiful book “The Apple Book” by Rosie Sanders to check the indentification of those apples whose labels have been lost. The apples are now ready for storage and we will hopefully enjoy them through to the end of March.”

Sometimes fruit can surprise us. “This year saw us grow the biggest pear we have ever seen. Jude has now put our apples in store and I have printed new labels for every apple tree. The next stage will be to enjoy eating our apples from storage and then next spring the blossom will return.”

My diary moved on to look at us planting up the newly created border which used to be our Hot Border, “After a few days away in London we returned refreshed and ready to continue with our new border. Planting grasses and herbaceous perennials topped off by bulb planting gave us several days work. Work we love doing!”

“We planted hundreds of  bulbs and dozens of grasses and perennials, all in the dry week given to us in mid-November.”

    

Next I moved on to consider one of our favourite tree families the Sorbus and on the opposite page I sought out flowers choosing to brighten us up in gloomy November.

“We love Sorbus in their many guises but particularly delight in the cut leaf berrying varieties. When we lost our mature tree of Quince vranja we decided to replace it with another Sorbus to add to our small collection. November is the key month for Sorbus as the fire like colours of foliage adds another layer of interest on top of their delicately cut foliage and their colourful berries. Below are some of our Sorbus trees.

Sorbus Joseph Rock                 Sorbus Autumn Spire

Sorbus Autumn Spire                                          Sorbus aucuparia

Sorbus Apricot Queen                                       Sorbus Apricot Queen

Sorbus vilmorinii                                                 Sorbus vilmorinii

On the page opposite the Sorbus I share the flowers that cheer up the November garden.

“The flowers of November are fewer than earlier in the year but this makes every one of them extra special.”

     

The colour orange features on the left hand side of my next double page spread, where I look at the variety of orange featuring in our November garden.

“Orange is the dominant foliage colour in our November garden, as shrubs, trees and grasses set fire to the borders.”

      

Opposite the oranges was a delicate watercolour pencil sketch of a hosta leaf, about which I wrote, “Take one leaf, a hosta leaf drying out and draining of colour.”

The final page for November considers colours once again. November was a very colourful month overall.

A set of eight photos display colours from our shrubs, and alongside I wrote, “Deep into the month there is still so much colour in the garden. Some foliage deepens to  rich ruby shades.”

The final photo is of the foliage of a special small tree, a viburnum with leaves which make you think it is a betula at first sight. “The leaves of Viburnum betulifolium change colour so slowly with subtle deepening from bronze to dark red.”

   

So there is just one monthly report left to write in my Garden Journal for 2018, December, which will be my next post in this series.

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A Short Break in London – Part 5

Here we are back with my final post about our short break in London, looking at the day we visited Carnaby Street a fabled street when we were teenagers. It was strange though how wide it seems now and how commercialised. And so busy! That aspect of its character certainly has not changed. We were sad that it was our last day, we had loved our hotel and every aspect of our capital city. These great chairs were the highlight of the hotel foyer! Great shape and super colours!

But first we were treated to a special breakfast at TheWolseley, once the showroom for theWolseley Car company. What an impressive building, and so easy to imagine it lined up with glossy black limousines and ultra-smart salesmen. Today it makes an equally impressive restaurant, smart throughout including the crockery and cutlery and of course the waiters and waitresses, dressed as smartly as possible. What a treat indeed!

So now for a wander at London’s well-known buildings, Hatchards the booksellers, Liberty’s, The Royal Academy, Fortnum and Mason’s and Carnaby Street itself. We had a tour of places we wanted to see and places that Jo and Rob wanted us to see. Quite a mixture! It was the day of the great march when nearly 700 000 people called for a new and more honest Brexit vote. We discovered odd placards which we enjoyed agreeing with.

     

The buildings housing The Royal Academy were proud and imposing. We walked beneath a gateway into an internal courtyard which surprisingly displayed a strange wooden house. I enjotyed spotting a statue of one of my heroes, Carl Linnaeus.

Crazy Carnaby Street was busy, colourful but not quite what we were expecting and it was hard to explain why.

 

A taxi back to the hotel to pick up our gear then another to run us to the railway station ended our greatly enjoyable weekend break. We just have to go back in the spring and/or summer over the next couple of years. Thanks to Jo and Rob who gave us the confidence to return after so long.

 

 

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A Short Break in London – Part 4

This is number 4 in this mini-series about our London break, where I will take you along the South Bank.

  

Surprises along the way included the “New Globe” theatre building which seems so out of place but fascinating too, and odd green spaces being enjoyed as relaxation spots.

 

A railway station in the air was also unexpected, totally enclosed inside a bridge over the Thames.

As we reached the end of our riverside wanderings we turned away from the Thames towards a street where we could find a taxi. We were faced with the side of an old building which bore the scars of its many former uses. It was amazing to see it still fully in use.

We passed the famous OXO Building and reached another open green space, a park for the local residents being used on this sunny day. We were amazed to find tiny allotments producing fruit and veg inside “cages” of wire.

A morning in the Tate followed by a South Bank wander made for a most enjoyable day, which was to finish with an evening at “Ronnie Scott’s” jazz club in Soho. We had to return home by train the following afternoon so post 5 will be about that final morning’s wanderings.

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A Short Break in London – Part 3

In part 3 of this mini-series of posts sharing our London visit I will be looking at the art pieces in the Tate that attracted me most. A very random selection! But to start off I will share with you more photos I took of indications of the building’s previous use, featuring the use of concrete.

   

There were so many works of art that I loved at the gallery it is hard to make a selection but here goes. In the gloom of the concrete of the old parts of the building videos played so I took a couple of stills to show how they shone in the darkness.

 

On into the main galleries with their pristine white walls pieces of art stood out in almost each one.

   

A remarkable floor attracted many of the gallery visitors to exerience its magic. We were no exception. The floor somehow reacted to body heat and created white images of hands and feet. It was a strange experience!

  

The sculptural pieces on display were so varied and we all reacted very differently to each one.

I shall finish off now with a selection of my favourite art work at the Tate Modern.

We enjoyed being back in London so much we are determined to return in the spring.

 

 

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A Short Break in London – Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1 we then enjoyed time at The Tate Modern, another ambition I wished for but never thought I would be able to manage. Thanks to my orthopaedic surgeon and support from Jo and Rob the visit was very special.

The taxi dropped us right outside the Tate on the edge of its forecourt and we found ourselves with the Tate modern, a restored power station, in front of us and other interesting much more modern buildings around it.

 

The Tate’s neighbours were really good exciting examples of modern architecture, a strong feature of present day London. I loved the use of materials and colour especially the strong yellow on the building in the first photo.

 

Once inside the gallery we loved the signs of its original uses, hard raw concrete surfaces with such strength of structure. Concrete at its best, powerful but sleek. As we had walked 50 yards or so into the building we looked back to see the yellow building looking back in.

   

We enjoyed the building and its structure for a long while before we entered any formal gallery spaces. My favourite pieces will feature in another London post. We broke for coffee and went right to the top of the building to enjoy it. Here an outside balcony walkway afforded us wonderful views over the city. We got so excited about just being there looking out.

     

We began to spot green patches in the air where the occupants of buildings were trying to green up their space with roof gardens, planted patios growing trees and shrubs to help them feel relaxed.

   

After enjoying the delights of the Tate for many hours we took a walk along the Left Bank of the Thames. This will be featured in a further London post.

 

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