Month: February 2014

The click tick list – update on the gardens we have visited


As you know one of the quests on my list is to photograph 100 gardens from this book. I started to write about some of them and have posted a couple of visits here, but I wanted to have them all in a list so I know where we’ve been and I can make plans to cross off a few more.

Here are the ones we have been to so far.


Quarryhill Botanical – California, USA
Filoli – California, USA (read about our visit here.)
Cornerstone Festival of Gardens – California, USA
San Francisco Botanical Gardens – California, USA
The J. Paul Getty Museum – California, USA
The Getty Villa – California, USA
Fairchild Botanical Gardens – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Vizcaya Museum and Garden – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Ca  d’Zan Mansion – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Edison and Ford Winter Estates – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
The Frick Gallery Garden – New York, USA
Central Park – New York, USA

Giverny – France
Vilandry – France

Cambo – Scotland
Kellie Castle – Scotland

Chirk Castle – Wales


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.)

That’s forty-three. Only fifty-seven to go then….

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

It’s good to get them all down in a list. Now to keep adding….

Around here


I caught this rainbow the other day. By the time I walked to the end of the street it was gone.


Shh… don’t tell anyone we let him on the bed!





Just a glimpse of life going on.

‘Oh! I can do that too’


Hello walking on a wall.

What is it with walking on a wall? I remember many a clamber up so I could do it when I was a kid. And apparently it’s not just kids that do it…..


He gets the idea.

Oh yeah.


Hey! Wait for me you two…….

Layout share – If only I’d known


I love it when something turns into an idea you didn’t even have!

Take this background for a layout I made of our trip on the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal Studios. I knew I was going to splosh some Dylusions ink about to create a watery feel to the page but didn’t expect to get such a watery look from the stencil I used with some Mr Huey’s mist. It really does look watery but different from the splashes. Love it.


The stars are from a Studio Calico set. Everything else I’ve had a while. Another little story told.

Photo of the week – week six


Oh what a treat. Two subjects in this one!

Who said never work with children or animals? Well these two were quite well behaved when we went walking in the park the other day so I can’t complain.


Canon 550D, f4 17-40mm lens, aperture f4, exposure 1/500, ISO 100, Auto white balance

Not much that I can see bad about this one. Just the composition really. They are sort of central but not quite. It would be better if they were on the right more and it would have been better without folk in the background and perhaps I should have stood at the other side of them and got more of that lovely curved wall in the foreground?

But all in all not bad. Thanks you guys!

Bloom – Foraging in February


While I’ve been out and about with Buddy I have spotted all sorts of potential foliage and flowers to pick for arrangements. Unfortunately, they have been in other people’s gardens!! I really need to make a list of plants I see so I can plant them here at home for future winters.

A couple of weeks ago I went out with scissors in hand to pick what I could and came back empty handed. But yesterday I went out again determined this time to find something to put in a vase. The determination paid off this time and I brought a small bunch of stems back with me.


I also went for a bowl instead of vase, as it picked up on the yellow from the Hamamelis stems. To arrange the stems in a bowl I needed a flower frog and some flora fix which adheres the frog to the bowl and keeps it steady.

And here is the arrangement I made.


Practice is needed, I think, to arrange flowers this way but it brightens the dining room up at least and it was all for free!

Layout share – Love, love, love Raisin Bran


Way back when we first went to New York in 2005 I had Raisin Bran one morning for breakfast. We get Sultana Bran over here in the UK and I wasn’t much of a fan. But I loved raisin bran and tried to find it each time we returned to the US.

I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of the cereal dispensers at our first breakfast place and I knew I’d tell my little tale about raisin bran.


Most of the products used here are older. I really liked stamping the stars and hearts on the background paper and the ‘love’ too. I really do love, love, love raisin bran.

Around here


A few photos recently snapped.









The weather has been terrible and glorious but no snow. Buddy wasn’t bothered about the rain lashing down and was desperate to go out. I’m trying to finish a little quilt I started several years ago by hand quilting it as I couldn’t get it through my sewing machine with any consistency. It’s a challenge. But coffee makes it easier!

Plants and bulbs are liking the rain. Gav and H playing the piano. The start of the Olympics, scrummy French toast with a free large coffee and a tug of war.

One Little Word – thoughts for February


I am two prompts into the One Little Word class.

So far I have found it a challenge but I have had a couple of successes. I have also realised that this is all up to me. To succeed or fail lays within my hands.

A few things have come from the class that I wanted to write down here, mainly to keep me focused and accountable. And it’s good to get thoughts out and written down.

My intentions with this word are –

  1. To really hear what is said to me. Concentrate on the speaker and consider what they are saying. This was the reason I picked the word ‘listen.’ I felt that I was not hearing people I was too busy waiting for my turn to speak. The other thing to have come from this though is that I need to tune what is going on behind the words too. To understand personalities more.
  2. Listen to the world around me. Not only to pay attention to the sounds I hear like the birdsong or the traffic but the deeper meaning behind the sounds.
  3. Learn to understand the voice in my head. I know, being a mostly selfish soul, that I do listen to my inner wants and needs but sometimes fear downs out the smaller voice that persists but usually gets ignored. Tune into that smaller voice even if I have to get out of my comfort zone.
  4. Hear my body shouting for me to stop making bad food choices. Know that by listening and taking action my body will sing rather than shout!

They are small steps and not earth shattering but I can build on them as I go along. And to be honest if I do these four things I’ll be whooping with joy because one of the things we had to do for the January work in the class was say what we were most afraid of in the coming year. I wrote down that I was most afraid that I wouldn’t be able to change. That even if I could listen more and hear more throughout the year it wouldn’t make any difference to me as a whole. So small steps right?

Oh and I started a board with quotes about listening love all of these words.

Layout share – Oh I’m a sucker for a guy in tights


Here is another Florida page.


It was so handy having a 9 year old along on this trip. It meant I had an excuse to get my photo taken with superheros…..

The papers and alphas are from the Simple Stories ‘Say Cheese’ line. I love this line of products so cheery and happy.