Photo a Day – Week Fifteen and Sixteen

Let’s see another two weeks in pictures….

Started off with a self timer shot out in the vegetable patch.

Adorable boy.

Our summer list said decorate rocks….. so we did.

Gav was moving pots around, getting everything placed for summer.

After a hot week we needed to grab some gelato.

Home made pizza and a non-alcoholic beer.

Perfect morning sat outside.

There we lots of street parties happening over the weekend and I found this greeting on the Monday.

The photo doesn’t do this sunset justice. It was layer upon layer of subtle colours, really beautiful.

The summer list says play outdoor games….so we did.

The light, the colours and shapes, the intertwined stems.

Headed off to London with our younger niece and after checking into the hotel we walked to the Millenium Bridge. This is the view towards Tower Bridge with the Shard standing tall on the right.

We continued our quest to seek out Monopoly streets.

Caught the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

And there we have another two weeks.



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Bloom 2017 – Green and White

There is a growth spurt going on in the garden right now because we have had a week of hot, hot weather. As long I as I can keep watering all the plants should love this warm spell.

I have to say that I am pleased we have nice weather not just so we can sit outside and pretend we are living in the south of France! But because it make the plants grow and it’s at this time of year when I have a garden full of little plants that I just can’t seem to wait for them to grow and bloom. But wait I will have to do.

Hence todays arrangement.

Just about all that was pickable today was Alchemilla, white sweet williams and Marjoram foliage. But that’s okay right? They still look pretty and fill a spot in the hall.

And truth be told I like the simplicity of the two colours together. I will enjoy this while the riot of colour gets itself going outside.

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A Day of Tulips

My sister and her family bought me the coolest birthday gift, a day spent with many, many gorgeous tulips. Sarah Raven Cookery and Garden School ran a day course visiting Great Dixter and then Perch Hill with lunch and a flower arranging demonstration. You can imagine I was in heaven!

The time at Great Dixter was mainly spent with one of their gardeners taking a group tour of the garden. Our guide hailed from California and it was his third year at Dixter. He was very knowledgeable and it was a wonderful hour filled with lots of detail and information I brought back home.

Here are some photos from the tour.

He spoke at length about the ethos of their borders and how they plant for succession using Tulips as well as early flowering plants and herbaceous perennials.

The combination below of Tulips and foxgloves is something I really want to try out here at home. So pretty.

Tulips and poppies and you can just see alliums popping up too.

A border made with pots. They are very clever folk here.

After the tour we had time to wander on our own and then make our way to Perch Hill which is home to Sarah Raven.

Lunch was wonderful all made right there and using lots of fresh ingredients from the garden.

After a talk from Sarah about her favourite Tulips, how she uses them in arrangements and then a flower arranging demo we headed out to look at the Tulips around the garden.

The Oast garden. Truly stunning.

There we so many interesting and unusual ways they planted up these bulbs. Just looking back at the photos make me eager for next seasons catalogues to arrive.

So many takeaways from this magical day I can’t recommend a visit to these gardens enough and of course big thanks to my sis and her gang for the gift.


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52 Stories – Number Forty Nine – Go

Looking back at the photographs from our holiday to Portugal last year I stopped at this one. It got me thinking just why I took it. I do that a lot. I take many, many pictures and most are not for scrapping they are for documenting. I use Project Life® for that but you could simply use a photo album and add some words.

Actually I have been thinking about using photo albums as well to keep some photos handy for browsing. I did start to do this a few years ago and may add to those albums as I have so many great pictures but like I say some I don’t need or want to make a layout from.

But I digress. When I was looking at this photo I decided that a story should be told about Gav and his running. So here it is.

Go Gav

Here’s the story –

I can’t begin to express how in awe I am of your running. You just go and do it. Every week come rain or shine. Amazing! Keep going with this wonderful thing.

Do  get the story down/would I add anything more?

A short story. But still a good one and as I said above something that should be told. I guess I could have added how long he has been running but I think I have documented it in Project Life®. I could have also added that he runs even when we’re on holiday but I thinks that’s obvious? Anyway overall I like it!


52 stories is a series (or adventure) in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

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Photo a Day – Week Thirteen and Fourteen

Here we go with another couple of weeks. Starting with the cute boy fast asleep on the bed! And look at that tongue….

Elderflowers. The smell was wonderful.

Found this petal a couple of days after the London attacks. It was a much needed symbol of goodness.

Love me a Daisy.

First UK asparagus.


A little reading outside.

Brunch in a flatbread. I needed a knife and fork……

Such a pretty sunset.

Working together.

I was picking some flowers and spotted this beauty. I went to get the macro lens and hoped he’d still be there when I got back. He was.

More Buddy having a stretch.


The Triathlon came past us again this year. Always good to go and see them cycle by.

And there we go.


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Bloom 2017 – Purple and White

I was looking back the other day at all the arrangements I’ve posted here and realised that I hadn’t done little vases for quite some time.

I love littles and try to collect small glass jars and other containers that are wee to use in groupings like this. Years ago I wouldn’t have understood the value of a row of flowers  displayed in this way but now I know that they both look pretty, allow you to make an arrangement with not many stems and they add a completely different quality to the room.

Here we have Hesperis white and purple, Viburnum opulus and Alchemilla mollis stems.

Must remember to do more of these as the season goes along.

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52 Stories – Number Forty Eight – Who Knew?

Here we go with a new scrapbook layout.

Who Knew?

Here is the story from this page –

Anyone who knows me won’t believe what’s been going on recently. I have been walking ten thousand steps a day. YES really, not joking. It was the iphone. What did Gav think he was doing buying me one! Now I’m walking. Even in Portugal I set out to get the steps in. I have truly surprised myself, astounded would be a better choice of words actually. It’s good to realise that even though I thought I knew myself pretty well turns out I can still do the unexpected.

Have I told the story I wanted to tell? Would I add anything more?

This was one of those pages that just happened. It wasn’t really planned so I just wrote what I felt. The story does not wholly relate to the photos but when I looked at this collection of pictures that was the story that popped into my head so that is the one I told. I guess that I covered the story I wanted to tell.

I have had a bit of a scrapping hiatus. Ebb and flow right? But I feel newly inspired and hope to get lots more stories told.


52 stories is a series (or adventure) in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.


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Photo a Day – Week Twelve

A walk together.

A walk just me and him.

Those two pondering piano music while eating cream doughnuts.

On the drive to work.

He injured himself so was resting….. (He’s fine now.)

The light was fantastic as are these Geranium flowers.

A family gathering at my older nieces. They brought out the children’s toys and everyone had such fun!

And that was that!


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The Breakfast Love Affair Continues – Quorn Sausage and Spinach Omelette

I’m back to the no bread thing again! Not only that but a need to use up some frozen spinach that’s been hanging around a while too long. What better way to eat the spinach than in a breakfast omelette.

I grilled the Quorn sausages first while I was softening a sliced red pepper and a couple of left over asparagus spears. I then added the defrosted spinach and the diced sausage to the pan.

Four beaten and well seasoned eggs went in next with a final flourish of some grated parmesan.

I must admit that is was more veg than egg but I don’t think that’s too much of a problem and it was really tasty and felt like it was doing us good. Win, win.

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The Click Tick List – Update on Gardens We Have Visited

When I was writing the post about our visit to Chenies recently I realised it had been quite a while since I updated the list of all the gardens we have visited in my quest to photograph 100 gardens from the book.

So here is an update.

Quarryhill Botanical – California
Filoli – California (Read about our visit here.)
Cornerstone Festival of Gardens – California
San Francisco Botanical Gardens – California
The J. Paul Getty Museum – California
The Getty Villa – California
Fairchild Botanical Gardens – Florida (Read about our visit here.)
Vizcaya Museum and Garden – Florida (Read about our visit here.)
Ca  d’Zan Mansion – Florida (Read about our visit here.)
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Florida (Read about our visit here.)
Edison and Ford Winter Estates – Florida (Read about our visit here.)
The Frick Gallery Garden – New York
Central Park – New York
The Huntington, California (Read about our visit here.)
Hearst Castle, California
Sunset Magazine Garden, California (no longer open to the public)
Oakland Museum of California, California


Kellie Castle

Chirk Castle

Belsay Hall
Scampston Hall
Studley Royal Water Garden
RHS Harlow Carr
York Gate Garden
Brodsworth hall
Clumber Park
Biddulph Grange Garden
Upton House
Coton Manor Garden
Ickworth House (Read about our visit here.)
Snowshill Manor
Hidcote Manor Garden
Audley End House
Sissinghurst Castle Garden (Read about one of our visits here.)
Walmer Castle and Garden
RHS Garden Wisley
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Nymans Garden
Great Dixter
Wakehurst Place
Wrest Park
The Manor, Hemmingford Grey (Read about my visit here.)
Painswick Rococo Gardens (Read about our visit here.)
Borde Hill (Read about it here.)
Chenies Manor (Read about our visit here.)

That makes a total of fifty. Halfway there!

There are a couple of gardens I am sure we have been to but every time I look at the photos we have and try to tie them up with images of the gardens on the web I get really confused….. They are Waddeson Manor and Wimpole Hall.  Guess keeping records would have its benefits!

And still worthy of a visit but not in the 1001 book –

  • Mosely Old Hall
  • Coughton Court
  • The Courts
  • Nunnington
  • Calke Abbey
  • Benningborough
  • Little Moreton Hall




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