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Friday, 29 April 2011

That big day!

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So here’s the happy couple having a snog on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding in Westminster Abbey today. 

Prince William and Princess Catherine; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Earl and Countess of Strathearn.  They have a range of titles!royal wedding 019

They looked very happy and confident, and Kate looked every inch the princess  she has become.  Rain was forecast in London, but it didn’t happen, so the couple were able to leave the Abbey bound for the Palace again in the landau.      I hope they’ll be very happy.royal wedding 037

Just in case you were wondering, I took photos  of the TV screen!

 

Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wemyss Castle Walled Garden

Charlotte, owner of the garden – and perhaps the big house and old castle too – was there to show us round the garden, telling us that it had been so overgrown with brambles and weeds when she inherited it, but  she has created lawns and flowerbeds, paths, statues, a formal pond with huge goldfish swimming about in it…. take a look at Wemyss castle – the Red House, Charlotte called it – and the gardens.  It was still a little wild but more formally laid out than Glassmount,wemyss 000     wemyss 003jpg

 

 

 

I think Charlotte probably lived in the more modern “big house” next to the castle.  It looked more like a hotel and didn’t have the charm of the old castle.  She is the one in dark blue, above. 

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I loved the quirky ornaments that we found. 

wemyss 022Geese were popular,

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as were chickens… and these weren’t real ones seemingly pecking on the wild flower path, below right.wemyss 013

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   These pottery chickens were comical, just nestling under a hedge on the edge of the lawn.crown and glassmount 128  Then I found a sheep…

wemyss 020  Apparently the old statue  of a woman had been uncovered in the blitz to remove the brambles.  She was looking a bit worse for wear, but there was still a lot of beautiful carving detail on her dress.  I wonder what era she was from.  Charlotte also grows clematis and has a huge  (and complete) collection of the different varieties.  Some bought a clematis or two to bring home – not me though!  I still have to organise my garden and decide where things will go!  wemyss 021 So eventually it was time to set off for home – a straightforward journey this time.  I wonder if I could find these gardens again – as I would love to go back in a couple of months time to see how they have changed!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Glassmount Walled Garden

A group of us from the U3A  gardening group went off to Fife last week to see two quite different walled gardens.  We left Peebles , three car-loads of us, around 10.00a.m, drove round the Edinburgh by-pass, and across the Forth road bridge, then following the coast we came to Kirkcaldy – oops, too far, according to the directions ,so we retraced our route and tried to follow instructions.  Well, we got quite lost and despite written directions we kept driving up and down the same road looking for the right turn-off till we finally found someone to ask.  We got there eventually, comforted that the others had had problems finding it too!  glassmount 000 Glassmount House really is in the back of beyond.   Apparently it was built by/for three, or was it five, spinster sisters in the 19th century.  Presumably they were somewhat reclusive!

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We were able to have a quick cup of tea in the rambling old rather tumbledown conservatory. before being directed to the walled garden which has been reclaimed by the current owners. It was my type of garden!  Formal and extremely tidy is not for me!  Gardens like that are certainly very beautiful, but I like a wilder look, and this garden was just that!  It had been allowed to get totally out of control until a few years ago when the current owner , Irene, took it on!  glassmount 015Now there are wandering   paths, steps, pergolas, summer houses, large pots, flowerbeds……glassmount010

 

 

 

 

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…..and the spring flowers were so pretty.glassmount 032

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glassmount 034 I could show you all the pictures I took, but perhaps I’ll limit myself to just a few more.   We could have wandered the garden for hours, but knew we had to be at Wemyss Castle by 2.30 and fit in lunch beforehand.glassmount 045glassmount 047

 

 

 

 

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In the end, lunch was a picnic we ate in the cars as we headed towards Wemyss!  No time for a proper one!! 

Part 2 next time!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Spring

daffs by the river

the bench and daffs tweed green

 

 

 

 

A couple of views from my window first, and these are the daffodils that get flooded each year yet pop up each spring looking as pretty as ever.  That bench is a popular place for sitting to admire the river, though there was no-one there just then!  love's young dream There has been a succession of people there this afternoon though, with the sun out and there being just the slightest of breezes – and see who’s there now!  They are about 15!  Love’s young dream!  Awwwww!

The first two pics were taken a few days ago but now the plum blossom is coming out in the gardens.  heather's plum This is my neighbour Heather’s plum tree.  Morag says hers is way behind this one, but hers is more shaded from the sun….

heather's quince

 

…….and this is Heather’s quince bush.  It is looking particularly gorgeous just now.  My pear tree is just about to pop open its buds, but the apple tree is way behind!  I’ll look forward to getting photos of their blossom in due course.

Heather and Anthony were away on a short break to the Lake District last week so I was left in charge of feeding their cat Katie each day.  katie again She’s quite a nervous creature so it was a day or so before she started coming warily to investigate me.   We have met before, but she’s decided she’s not an outdoor cat so we don’t meet often. However she soon got to enjoy having the attention and by the end of the  few days we were good pals, katie even to the extent that she would come and demand to be tickled around the ears!  That’s my knee she has her paws on!katie cat

 

 

 

She’s very beautiful!petra's cottage

Petra, my German friend from the Gaelic class, has recently moved house - flitted, we’d say – to a fabulous little stone farm-cottage not far from Edinburgh.  That’s it to the left of the photo on the right.   [etra putting up blindsI went to visit her last weekend and helped her to put up roller blinds in her living room!   She has done a lot to the cottage which hadn’t been lived in for a while.  Repairs, new this, new that, painting, shelves, she’s one of these folk who start a job and keep at it till it’s done, not like lazybones me, who flits like the proverbial butterfly from one job to another, never finishing any, and usually leaving more of a mess than when I started!  It was lovely to see the cottage , and to be able to sit in the garden drinking tea, the first day this year that it has been pleasant enough to sit outside, watching the chaffinches and bluetits at the bird feeders.  spring plants etc 019 The sun was going down over the Pentland Hills as I left.  I should have had my camera out sooner and got a better picture of the cottage instead of leaving it till evening!

A I write it is another sunny pleasant day and I am outside on my balcony watching the dog walkers and the sun worshippers out on the Green.  Some of the people walking by look up at the balcony, but if I happen to catch their eye, they look away quickly… Wasn’t me!  I wasn’t looking!  Others will smile and I’ll wave to them, which often starts a conversation.  No conversations today!   Well, Shell, my former colleague at the Co-op, just walked by on her way to work so we exchanged a few quick words!  I’ll have to go to the Copie later so we’ll talk more then! 

 spring green 2 The lime trees on the Green have burst their buds and the first signs of new leaves are appearing.   Soon I won’t be able to see the hills to the south of us or the foot-bridge along the Green a bit, but after a long leafless winter it is good to see the trees blooming again. 

Well, I’ve got a lot to catch up with this week as far as the blog goes….more gardening group visits, and a drive to the coast….  As always I’ve taken dozens of photos!

I’ll write about them next time.

Talk again soon.