Category: The click tick list

The click tick list – photograph 100 gardens – Borde Hill

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Another beautiful garden visited, photographed and crossed off the list.

Borde Hill Garden

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When we visited they had an exhibition of sculptures and the owl was one of my favourites.

It was a hot day so it was a good job we were allowed to take the Budster in with us. Below is the old potting shed. A derelict building now full up with plants and shrubs and little trees. Really loved the bricks against the greenery and that stone floor.

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Some exotic borders lushly planted.

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And roses galore complete with hidden arched seat.

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Sumptuous Italian garden with box hedges and planters all round a sunken pool. It gave us a cooler spot to sit a while and soak up the quiet beauty.

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Here’s another view of the pool from further back.

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An amazing long herbaceous border contained by that stone wall.

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A truly wonderful place full of little details and unusual features and a stunning house as a backdrop.

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Recommended if you are ever in East Sussex.

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Some links to other gardens we’ve visited – here, here, here and here. Also a 2014 list of the gardens we’ve seen so far.

The click tick List – Photograph 100 gardens – Painswick Rococo Garden

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We have a long weekend here in the UK. Gav and I will not be venturing on a visit to any gardens as we are too busy with our own but I thought it would be good to carry on the sharing of gardens we have visited that also count towards my goal of photographing 100 gardens from this book.

Painswick Rococo Garden

We visited this garden in March 2015 so were too early to enjoy the extensive kitchen garden but there was still lots of interesting things to see.

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Architecture plays a huge part in this place as there are at least four little buildings tucked around. All original structures from when the garden was made in the 1740 they are beautifully built and decorated.

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The pond is perfectly placed so it reflects the garden and makes all the buildings seem more impressive. That white structure which is referred to as an colonnade exedra was designed for people to talk and mingle and it is both strange and striking.

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There is also a sense of humour here with these giant conkers.

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And lovely carvings.

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And we even got to take the Buddles in with us.

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Overall a joy to wander around and of course to cross off the list .

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A note about the gardens we’ve visited and the click tick list.

Over the last twenty years Gav and I have been to visit many a garden. I am blogging about these visits rather too slowly but hopefully I’ll get there and have a catalogue of them all for reference and to share their beauty.

Since I drew up the click tick list we have concentrated on visiting gardens that appear in the book but there are plenty of gardens that are worth a visit that don’t appear within those pages. In this post I share where we have been (up to Feb 2014) and mention a few of the gardens not in the book.

The click tick list – Photograph 100 gardens – The Huntington, CA, USA

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What with one thing and another my great plans to share some of the gardens we have visited in my quest to photograph 100 gardens from this book have fallen by the wayside. But I’m here to put that right with another installment of floral delights.

The Huntington, Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, to give its full title, are in Pasadena, California and we visited last year on our US trip. The creator of this place has done an amazing job at combining architecture, artifacts and gardens into one pretty wonderful place.

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We concentrated on the gardens but did go into two of the art galleries and saw beautiful paintings.

In the Library we saw the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays, the Gutenberg Bible and the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales among other rare exhibits.

The gardens are split into several individual spaces including the Japanese garden, Rose garden and Desert garden. Each spectacular in their own way and they lead you gently through gallery building to another.

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They also serve ‘all you can eat’ afternoon tea in the building above. We had booked ahead to secure a spot for this delight. It was indeed a delight and I’m surprised we managed to continue our tour of the gardens what with our full tums!

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I had the macro/100mm lens on my camera for most of our time there and because of that I managed to get a couple of close up Bee shots.

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Worthy of a place in the book of gardens to see we really enjoyed our afternoon exploring this garden.

The click tick list – visit Sutton Hoo

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When I made my list a few years ago this place must have been in my mind. It’s funny how our brains work isn’t it!

I remember seeing the very famous helmet in the British Museum. I also remember wondering why they had taken the treasure away from the site and yet at the same time thinking I’d never get to see the place, where one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon discoveries was made, because it was such a long way away.

However, I still put this down on my list. I thought it was worth a visit.

When Gav and I were thinking about places to go for our recent week off work I suggested Suffolk. Somewhere neither of us had been, we could stay by the coast and I could at last visit Sutton Hoo.

And I did.

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In 1939 the fourteen burial mounds were excavated. They found many a robbed out trench but they also found the imprint of a 27 metre long ship and at it centre a burial chamber full of treasure dating to AD early 600 and including the famous helmet, a huge gold brooch and exquisite craftsmanship on everything that was found.

The site is now managed by National Trust and the burial mounds are a short walk through a wooded area from the visitor centre.

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There isn’t much to see as they quite literally are mounds of earth but I still enjoyed my wander around this historic place and the museum that is also on site.

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I learnt a few things and of course got to cross something of the list!

The click tick list – Photograph 100 Gardens – Sissinghurst

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One great way to cheer yourself up in the winter is to think about the gardening season to come. And I’m doing that but I also thought it would be good to share some of the gardens we have visited over the years.

And let’s not forget that all of the gardens go towards crossing off one of my list items too.

I thought we’d start this foray into gardens with one of the most famous.

Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens

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We have visited this amazing garden three times now the last visit was June 2015. We were away camping and late one day we decided to make the hours drive for a visit. The country roads took longer than we had expected which meant that we arrived late and only had about an hour before the garden closed.

As we had Buddy with us, who isn’t allowed in, we took our whistle stop tours alone. Me first, then Gav. So the downside was that we didn’t have much time but as you’ll see from the pictures, the up side was that we were virtually alone! In this garden that is a tricky feat to achieve.

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There is something for every aspect and everyone in this beautiful place. Meadows, formal areas, mixed borders, rose gardens, hot gardens and of course the famous white garden.

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To see the amazing rose arbor in full bloom you have to visit in June. When we went it was only just coming into bloom. But even without the roses the white garden is a stunner with formal brick paths, box hedging, quirky pots and such a vast array of white plants used so cleverly.

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I was interested to see that out of all the photographs Gav and I took, separately remember, we only duplicated one scene actually standing the exact same spot!

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You can tell who took which as he’s taller than me so gets a different angle on all those hedge tops but I was lucky enough to get a little of that golden evening light in my shot.

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They excel at everything here but one of the clever design features are the vistas that are incorporated into the garden.

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And playing with texture. Stone, rustic old brick, a wooden gate and a punch of hot pink.

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It is one of my favourites and if you ever get the chance, in June, or at anytime a visit is more than worthwhile.

Meditate

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It is funny the twists and turns of this life. I have just re-read this post from January.

The answer to my soul searching and pondering of how to do this meditation thing arrived by way of my dearest husband. He said that he wanted to give it a try too so we set time aside and just did it.

How simple was that. It was the combined effort of doing something together that made it work. Alone I’d have found an excuse not to bother but with the commitment to spend ten minutes in the evenings sitting meditating the habit has begun to form.

The actual meditating is still difficult and my mind wanders all over but I know this is a slow process one to work at, to listen to the wanderings just to get a feel of where it wanders then bring it back. Over and over.

This is a commitment a worthy one I feel. I have kept reading a little bit of the book but try to keep it simple while it’s all so new. Breathing and focussing and drawing back the wandering mind and breathing again. And again. And again.

The click tick list – see the big meteor crater in Arizona

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It’s hard to get an impression of the scale of this impact crater from photos. Actually it was hard while we were stood right there on the top because you can’t judge the scale.

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The internet images and the wiki page are worth a look to realise the size and amazingness of this big old hole in the ground!

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There was a very detailed and informative museum and you could go on a led tour of the rim which took you about a quarter of the way round the crater. The guides were very knowledgable and it was a good visit all round.

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So another one can be crossed off!

The click tick list – have another US road trip

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There is something romantic about the idea of a road trip. Carefree, go where you please, no ties. Well that’s the idea I guess and the pull of this kind of getaway. Our road trips don’t have such abandon worked in because we are planners! But they are still fun and I know how much Gav loves to drive in the US so seeing him happy makes me happy. Win, win.

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The first leg of the trip was from LA to Flagstaff which was 460 miles and took us about 6 hours. This leg of our road trip began by driving through the valley of all those towns near LA and then up, up, up on the Interstate 15 to dry hot deserty land.

It was strange but the moment we entered Arizona it was more green?! I expected it to be the other way round.

The next leg was Flagstaff to Kayenta (near Monument Valley.) We made a stop at the Grand Canyon on this leg so that added quite a bit of time onto this journey but even though it was a really long day it was worth it to see the canyon again. The closer we got to Kayenta the redder the ground and surrounding hills turned. Wonderful scenery all around us.

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I think it was on the leg from Kayenta to Las Vegas that I discovered the screen cleaning spots at all the gas stations. I was rather pleased with myself for helping out….

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It was also on this journey that I snapped the most photos. 370 miles and it was a delightful trip. We passed Glen Canyon dam and Lake Powell and some great clouds set off by the landscape.

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We found the wonderful Einstein Bagel Company in St George and descended from the Colorado plateau (that’s what they call it even though we were not in Colorado) and into Nevada headed for Las Vegas.

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My photos don’t do the scenery justice. We had driven down the winding road, pictured above for about 20 minutes and I turned back to look where we had come from and all I could see were the huge red rock mountains and sky. Truly amazing.

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Las Vegas to Fresno was next at 390 miles also back on the Interstate 15 where we spotted all these windmills.

It was a much shorter journey from Fresno to Palo Alto and pretty scenery past San Luis reservoir and an eventful stop for gas.

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In the middle of nowhere was a cluster of shops all bearing the name ‘Casa de…. ‘ There was Casa de Wine, Casa de Sweets, Casa de Fruit. You get the picture. It was quaint and quirky and the place where I both sang along to the piped music on the forecourt while cleaning the windscreen and bought the most expensive bag of cherries ever. They cost me $15….. There was quite a bag full and they were delicious but $15!

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We drove from San Francisco Airport (where we’d parked the car while we stayed in the city) to Cambria along Highway 1. Probably the second most talked about road trip route in the US. Route 66 being the first. And it was yet another jaw dropping journey. So different from the dry rocky bright red of Arizona.

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I can so recommend a big old driving trip around this amazing country. And here goes another one crossed off my list.

The click tick list – see Monument Valley

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The last time we went to see the Grand Canyon, it was in 2012, we were supposed to swing by Monument Valley too. Time got the better of us and we did not get there but I still wanted to see this dramatic landscape so we added it onto the itinerary of our recent trip.

I’m glad finally got there but the idea of just swinging by like it’s half an hour down the road from Flagstaff, where we were staying, is laughable.

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It was quite a drive and this place is literally in the middle of nowhere. We wanted to stay at the View, a new hotel right on Navajo land and in amongst the buttes and mesa’s, but it was fully booked so we picked the next best and stayed at a Holiday Inn in the little town of Kayenta.

The weather was murky which was such a shame. None of the dramatic clear sun drenched photos for me, no. Just a little underexposed and gloomy.

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But I am very glad we went.

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The landscape all around this area is amazing not just the stretch that is oh so famous, it really was a treat just driving up and down the US163.

Although at one point when we’d turned the car around and were heading back towards the hotel we spotted what looked like the dust trail from a distant car. But as we drove the dust trail came towards us, we slowed down and cringed slightly as wind and stones and dust rolled over us.

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It added to the wild experience and now I can cross it off the list!

The click, tick list – plant a living fence

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I’m making some progress on crossing things off this year. Hooray. Next up was to plant a ‘living’ fence.

We ordered Salix viminalis rods from here. Ours were 2.5m tall and we got 100. That was a rough estimate based on my idea for the pattern and the length of the finished of the fence but I think we’ll end up with quite a few left over.

They advise that you plant through horticultural membrane to help with the weeding so we prepared the area and laid it out. Then we measured out the spacing, cut slots into the membrane and used a poker to make the holes. We have three rods closely planted together.

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We got so far and then I tied in the first couple of crossovers using soft string. This should eventually rot away and the structure still be strong after a bit of growing time.

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This is something that needs a little bravery, for us anyway because it’s a statement and we have chosen to use this fence as a divide between one part of the garden and another but I know we’ll be wondering why it took us so long to do it by the end of the summer.