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Chatsworth – part one

In 2019 we spent a warm and humid mid-July day at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire where we explored the gardens for the whole day, refreshed by the largest ice-cream cones we have ever enjoyed. It is one of the UK’s largest gardens and is full of interesting planting, unusual features and some wonderful glasshouses. These glasshouses are the work of a past head gardener Joseph Paxton. You need a whole day to really appreciate these gardens and you need to plan your day well.

The first set of photos shows the beauty of the glasshouses  both old and new at Chatsworth and a beautiful mature specimen of Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ and a subtly planted pot.

We made our way around the glasshouses towards the productive garden, which we knew had been developed since our previous visit and enjoyed some interesting plants and plant combinations along the way.

Sculpture is always in evidence at Chatsworth and there was plenty of interest on this visit, from classical to modern, wood and stone and hidden away throughout the gardens.


And then we came across this amazing seat which is a piece of sculpture in its own right.






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Simply Beautiful – No 18 in an occasional series

For my eighteenth post in this occasional series concerning thing that are “simply beautiful” I want to share some photographs of a small vase of flowers cut from our November garden and displayed in our bathroom window.

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A July Harvest

Today we visited the lottie to harvest veggies to use fresh and to store in the freezer for use in the less productive days of the winter and early spring, together with bunches of Sweet Peas and Dianthus.

This year we have grown four different Courgettes including this round one, and little saucer-shaped patty pan squashes.

These sweet green peas are eaten in their pods and are wonderfully crunchy and juicy to eat raw or cooked. The dark purple roots of Beetroot are great boiled and used in salads or pickled to use in the winter. They are also ingredients for the sweetest of cakes and relishes. The Broad Beans are a variety called Green Windsor which gives green succulent beans to eat now or freeze for later.

Purple Sprouting Brocolli is one of our favourite crops on the lottie but this year they are ready so early. We usually harvest them from December to April but have already been picking them for a month or so. Strange season!

The last harvest this year off our Rhubarb. The plants have served us well this year and we have enjoyed rhubarb pies and crumbles, and have lots in the freezer to make jam. We tend to freeze lots of our fruit to use in jams, relishes and chutneys, which we make when the weather deteriorates and we can’t get in the garden.

A lovely big, crunchy, sweet white cabbage and a failure of a cauliflower – a bit small and not very white!

Once we returned home after a welcome refreshing cup of tea, and then took to the garden to pick a flowery harvest. Dramatic grasses and bright blooms of Calendula, Achillea and Anthemis mingle with purples of Alliums, Marjorams and Nepetas to give us a wonderful bouquet for our lounge fireplace.

Sweet Peas and Dianthus scent the house, their sweet and clove-like aromas permeating every nook and cranny.

This very natural soft display links the long leaves of grass, Arundo donax variegata, with Lavenders, Linarias, Verbascum, delicate smaller grasses and daisies.