Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Today we set off for Aix after a birthday breakfast. It is the most popular destination for tourists in the area, and even at the turn of the year there were plenty of people visiting the ancient city. We walked all around, finding many lovely shops and a special toy shop we plan to return to in the next couple of days. The macaroons were delicious, and as the special almond cakes called calissons were in many shops, but we had been told to look out for La Cure Gourmand. Here they had lots of different flavours, all beautifully set out in the shop. As we were going back to the car we walked through some stalls selling santons, the nativity figures they make in this area.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Today we set off early to catch the best market in the area at Forcalquier. It was a lovely bright morning and we had a wonderful time seeing the huge variety of stalls and lots of fabulous local produce. In the afternoon we had a thorough walk around the old medieval town of Manosque, where we are staying.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gorges du Verdon

Yesterday,we flew down to Marseilles and hired a car for the drive up to our destination of Manosque. We found our gite and soon settled in quickly. Today we set off on our planned trip to drive around the Gorges du Verdon,and although the day was bright, the shadowed areas were still cold up in the mountains. Our first stop was for a quick coffee in the town of Moustiers Sainte Marie., Then we had the breathtaking drive around the gorge before us. Spectacular views of mountains and down in to the gorge with the river running in the bottom, as well as the beautiful lake. It must be fabulous in the summer when it is warm and all the activities are going on. It took a surprising length of time and we had to be careful in the shadier parts of the drive as there was ice on the road. At last we were back in Moustiers and found a table in the very busy crêperie for a welcome snack. All through the town are metal cut-out figures representing scenes of the Nativity.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Library of Birmingham

At last I got to visit the Library of Birmingham - an iconic building by architect Francine Houben of Dutch architectural practice Mecanoo. It is said to be the largest public library in the world.

Library of Birmingham

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Today it is Thanksgiving in the US and a day off, so we had a great family outing to Audubon Park and then home for turkey dinner with a little champagne starter.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Birthday Dinner

Birthday dinner at Stella, in New Orleans.This is the restaurant of Chef Scott Boswell, one of the star chefs of New Orleans. Our food was beautifully presented and tasted delicious. The service was excellent.

Restaurant Stella

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

RHS London Shows

The RHS holds several shows at the Horticultural Halls in Westminster each year, two of which take place in October. There are pumpkin competitions, fabulous autumn veg displays, chrysanthemums and other plants and flowers on display from the top nurseries and photo and art exhibitions. They also have a late opening where the visitors get to taste exotic cocktails and snacks in a relaxed, clubby atmosphere.

RHS London Shows

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taste of Autumn

This week it is a Taste of Autumn at RHS Garden Wisley with lots of food stalls, apple tasting and cider making, advice and grow your own tips from RHS experts. It started out very wet, but gradually improved to become a fine autumn afternoon.

RHS Garden Wisley

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Bolton Abbey

After a light breakfast - still full after last night's delicious dinner, we took a walk along the river to the ruined abbey and looked around. Not lingering too long, we then drove to Edinburgh to celebrate a Ruby Wedding with friends.

Bolton Abbey

Friday, October 04, 2013

Malham Tarn and Malham Cove

Today we drove up to Malham with the intention of walking to the Tarn and also seeing the limestone pavement at Malham Cove. As we were a bit later than we thought, we first drove up to see Janet's Fosse and walked into Gordale Scar for a short way. It was lovely. Back in the car we drove up to Malham Tarn and decided to walk around it. The weather closed in and we were caught in a real downpour, but managed to continue despite it, spotting wildlife along the way including a shy frog. Back at the car, we then drove back to Malham and walked up the road to Malham Cove and climbed up to the limestone pavement with its spectacular geology - and of course, views.
At the end of the day we headed off to The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey for our overnight stay. Here we had another superb meal and slept very well after all our exertions.

Malham Tarn
The Devonshire Arms

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Calke Abbey

On our way to Edinburgh, we stopped off to visit Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. This is a National Trust Property that has not and will not be restored. It is a state of 'suspended animation', where everything is preserved as it was when the property came into the Trust's possession. One exception is the state bed which was discovered in the attic, preserved in special boxes. It was erected in the early 1980s and is exhibited in a hermetically sealed case to preserve its beauty.

After our visit, we drove up to Nottingham where we stayed at Sat Bains Restaurant with rooms. We enjoyed a superb meal with matching wines. Most unusual and absolutely delicious.

Our room at Restaurant Sat Bains

A beautiful dessert

Restaurant Sat Bains

Calke Abbey

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baddesley Clinton

Baddesley Clinton was the home of the Ferrers family for 500 years. We visited in beautiful sunshine and walked around the exterior, enjoying the walled gardens and the rest of the grounds.

Baddesley Clinton

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wisley Flower Show 2013

This week it was Wisley Flower Show. Basking in sunshine for most of the week, record numbers of visitors enjoyed the exhibits from the many nurseries, the National Dahlia Society, NAFAS and the RHS.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Once again we visited the Proms this year, just one concert that consisted of two visions of India and a portrait of London.
Gustav Holst’s fascination with Sanksrit literature found early expression in the 1903 tone-poem Indra, composed before the first set of his Hymns from the Rig Veda.
David Atherton conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in this and the world première of Nishat Khan’s Sitar Concerto No. 1, with the composer as soloist.
First performed in 1914, Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony evokes the chimes of Westminster, a chill November in Bloomsbury and the bright lights of the Strand in a city that would soon be scarred by war.

Gustav Holst Indra
Nishat Khan The Gate of the Moon (Sitar Concerto No. 1)  BBC commission: world premiere, Nishat Khan sitar
Ralph Vaughan Williams A London Symphony (Symphony No. 2)

 (Taken form BBC Proms website)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Farm shops, outlets and markets

These last couple of days have flown by and we are flying home tonight. The whole holiday has whizzed by, but we have some great memories.
Thursday was a mammoth shopping day as we headed north to North Conway and the outlet stores. There is no sales tax in New Hampshire, so goods are super cheap and the outlets are a great place to get bargains. On Thursday evening we ate at the Corner House Inn, Center Sandwich, D&R's 'local'. On Friday we were up and out before breakfast to drive to Moulton Farm for lobsters. We would be having them for dinner on Friday evening. We stopped by the Village Kitchen, a favourite haunt of R&D, where we indulged in massive cooked breakfasts and steaming mugs of tea and coffee. It really set us up for the day. Then we were off again to Moulton Farm. Here they have a whole range of stuff - bakery, farm shop, garden centre and of course, lobsters! We had a good look round and drooled over delicious looking home baked goods as well as enjoying the plants on sale, now that summer is here in New Hampshire. At last it was time to choose the lobsters, which D did with her great experience - just three as R is allergic and he gets ribs instead. And Friday evening was lobster night, and we indulged ourselves in wonderful buttery lobster, corn on the cob and bread to mop up the juices.

Today has been a last farewell to our great hosts. But before we left we went down to the Center Sandwich  to visit the tiny farmer's market. There is plenty of competition, apparently, so the stall holders are thinly spread around the various communities. We saw Bob's Baguettes and Mostly Posies (D&R's neighbours) amongst other stalls, and indulged ourselves with coffee at the local coffee shop, accompanied by a large bulldog, who 'owns' the place. And then it was time to leave and we packed the car, said our farewells and drove off to Boston Airport.

Village Kitchen
Moulton Farm
Corner House Inn
Settler's Green
Merrimack Premium Outlets

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Mt Washington Cog Railway and Bretton Woods

We booked our seats on the Cog Railway, yesterday and set off hoping for no low cloud and hopefully not too cold. The low cloud we could do nothing about, but we borrowed all sorts of warm gear from our friends and the four of set off on the adventure. We were scheduled to take the first train up the mountain, so it was an early start. Soon we were taking the turning up to the railway and our ascent of the Northeast's highest peak at 6,288-feet. The railway was the brainchild of Sylvester Marsh and with the help of Aiken, he first opened the pioneer cog railway on July 3, 1869. 'Old Peppersass' was the world's first cog driven train to climb Mt Washington. They do run some of the old steam trains, but our trip was to be on a train run on eco-friendly biodiesel.

All aboard and we were off, chuggging up the mountain, the cogs on the engine and carriage, catching the chain running between the tracks. The tracks are supported on trestles all the way up, and as we climbed there were spectacular views way into the distance. We had to wait at the passing place for the supply train to descend past us, and then we were on our way again. The Observatory and visitor centre were in sight, and we could feel how cold and windy it would be when we disembarked. We were also surprised to find everything covered with a severe rime frost giving rocks and buildings a weird white coating. Photo opportunities galore! We had travelled up from 2,700' to almost 6,288', what a clever cog railway. There was plenty to see at the top with amongst other things, the Museum, visitors centre, café and weather station. Then it was time for the return journey, and we sat right at the back, getting a great view up the mountain as we descended.
We now drove back along the road and took another turning in the direction of Bretton Woods. Here is the famous Mt Washington Resort where the articles of the International Monetary Fund were signed in 1944. We stopped by for lunch in their restaurant with great views of the mountain, and if we looked carefully, we could see the Cog Railway plying up and down the rack.

Mt Washington Cog Railway
Mt Washington Observatory
Mt Washington State Park
Mt Washington Resort, Bretton Woods

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth NH

Our destination for today was Strawbery Banke Museum, a ten acre site of open-air history. Houses from a period of 300 years have been brought together to provide a living history of New Hampshire. We began with the Goodwin Mansion and continued around the estate looking at many houses that were 'dressed' in various periods, from colonial times to WWII. The guides were also in costume in  keeping with the time their houses represented, whether they were the wife cooking lunch for her husband coming in from the fields or the store keeper who had heard there was a war going on in Europe. In each house there was something that gave the visitor a clue to the period represented, most often a calendar on the wall with the appropriate date on display.

We had a break halfway through for lunch at a café overlooking the inlet and watched a party of seugeway users negotiate the bridge - and come back again! Then we back again to complete our tour around SB. It was great and a wonderful place to bring school children, with history literally coming alive for them.
This evening we ate down at Center Harbor at Lavinia's and had a delicious dinner with our friends.

Strawbery Banke Museum

Monday, June 03, 2013

Going to North Sandwich

We said farewell to the Ash Street Inn and set the GPS to find Saint-Gaudens. This is way across the state near the Vermont border by the town of Cornish. I have to admit I had never heard of Augustus Saint-Gaudens until a friend recommended that we should try and visit his place which is now a National Historic Site. He was apprenticed to learn the art of making cameos and went on to design three coins for the US Mint. In between he made sculptures and bas-relief including one that we saw in Boston a few days ago - The Shaw Memorial, 1900. He made several other memorials, copies of which we found around the estate. We arrived and booked our tour, only to find we were the only ones there. Our young guide was very informative and we loved Saint-Gaudens work, his house and the studios that we were shown around.

After we had finished our tour, it was a longish drive to North Sandwich where we are staying with friends for the next few days. On the way we stopped to see the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, apparently the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. (I seem to have heard this all before??)

Saint-Gaudens NHS
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
Discover Sandwich

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Currier Museum and Zimmerman House

Today we had booked our tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Zimmerman House, and after a fine breakfast, cooked by Eric, we set off for the Currier Museum of Art, which owns the place. There were twelve of us on the tour and we were taken across to the house by minibus with two guides who told us all we needed to know about the place We are only allowed to take external photographs, no sitting on the furniture, but we got to see everything and it was very interesting. We loved the story of Mrs Zimmerman climbing onto the roof to open and close the kitchen windows.

Front elevation of Zimmerman House
Rear elevation of Zimmerman House

Back at the Currier, we found their interesting café for coffee, before visiting their collection. We had a great time and also saw their exhibition of posters, Poster Mania! Leisure, Romance and Adventure in 1890s America, and Abigail Anne Newbold: Crafting Settlement. The time just flew by and soon we were buying a few things in the gift shop before strolling back to the B&B. Tonight we have had dinner at Mint Bistro on Elm St. which consisted of mini fish tacos and chicken satay followed by curry of chicken and herb baked haddock. We drank Caymus Conundrum white wine, recommended by a friend, which was a good one. Again an excellent meal.

Zimmerman House
Currier Museum of Art
Mint Bistro 
Caymus Conundrum Californian White

Saturday, June 01, 2013

2 Manchesters

We checked out of the hotel early and took the train to the airport to pick up a car. Naïvely we imagined that we would get breakfast there, but only found a doughnut concession in the process of opening. We waited to buy a coffee and doughnut before taking the bus to collect the hire car.
With GPS help we made our way to Manchester by the Sea and thankfully, here we found a great café, The Peach Street Café, with great coffee and wi-fi! Now we explored the town, then took the scenic coast road passing some luxurious looking summer residences with uninterrupted views of the sea. We turned back to town and then spent time looking for the right road to take us across to New Hampshire. We fancied visiting America's Stonehenge on our way to the second Manchester of the day.
It was quite interesting, but somewhat overstated and not recognised by the Parks or National monument authorities.

So on the Manchester NH, our second of the day and we think our fourth in all. We quickly found the place we had booked to stay - Ash Street Inn - and it is lovely We were made very welcome by proprietors, Eric and Darlene Johnston. They gave us loads of local information including some suggestions for dinner. We chose 11Eleven Bistro and dined on Beef fillet crostini, Duck Spring Rolls followed by Shrimp Linguine and Crabmeat stuffed Sole. It was all delicious.

Manchester by the Sea
America's Stonehenge
Manchester NH
Ash Street Inn
11Eleven Bistro

Friday, May 31, 2013

Boston Day 5

Today took us across the river on the T to Cambridge and Harvard. We set off with great plans for breakfast, but greatly overestimated the hospitality the town could provide. One place we thought of was now closed and there were not many others to choose from, but we finally found some coffee and breakfasty stuff in a Peet's coffee shop off the main square. Suitably refreshed on this hot day, we eventually found our way into Harvard Yard. Here we discovered that it was Commencement Day, yesterday and Oprah Winfrey had addressed The Quad as she received an honorary doctorate. There were empty easy-up tents and chairs in rows all over the area, that the estate staff were starting to clear away.
We had read about the glass flowers at the Natural History Museum, and so that was our next visit. These are really amazing, made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, between 1887 and 1936. The father and son team came from a long line of jewellers and glassmakers from Dresden in Germany. There are life-size models of some 847 species and also some enlarged anatomical sections and flower parts. It was quite nerve wracking to watch some of the school children also visiting, careering up and down the display cases. We also saw some wonderful beetles

The galleries of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums are closed from 1 June for a fabulous renovation designed by Renzo Piano, much to our surprise. So we hurried off to visit the Sackler Museum where there was a display of Islamic Art as well as several other exhibitions. Now we needed some more coffee to keep us going and called in at Peet's Coffee again, which was very welcome, before we made our way back to Boston.
Tonight we went down to Charles St. again and popped into the Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro for dinner. We were not disappointed and ate a delicious dinner - our last one in Boston before we move on tomorrow.

Harvard Yard
Harvard Natural History Museum
Harvard Art Museums
Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Boston Day 4

Today we had two destinations in mind. First off we took the first tour of the Massachusetts State House (1790s). Its dome is under renovation just now, but that didn't detract from the spectacular stained glass ceiling we could view from the inside. The central hall (Nurses' Hall) has several inspirational sculptures around the edge including one to US Army nurses (of course) and one that is a bust of Mr Ames, of our hotel building fame. We visited the Hall of Flags, where the flags of the towns of Massachusetts are displayed, and found one of Manchester by the Sea, where we will visit in a few days. There is an impressive staircase leading to the upper floor, and apparently after the iron balustrade was cast, the mould was broken so no-one else could use the design. There is a commemorative stained glass window halfway up.

Upstairs we visited the legislative rooms. The House of Representatives has the Sacred Cod hanging in it to remind the members how important the fishing industry was to Massachusetts. The Senate Chamber occupies the space under the gilded dome which is being renovated. Downstairs again we went to see Sheila de Bretteville and Susan Sellers' piece, "HEAR US,"that honours all Massachusetts women who were active in public life from Dorothea Dix to Florence Luscomb. The latter was not only able to vote, but also stood for office four times. Quite an awe inspiring display.

Now we took the T down to The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.This is the private collection of Mrs. Gardner and is housed in a Venetian Palazzo surrounding a green courtyard. Everything has it's place, according to Mrs. Gardner's wishes who was very precise about how her collection should be displayed. No photographs are allowed. We enjoyed coffee and amazing cakes before we began our visit in the new visitors' centre. They also hold concerts here.

After our visit we 'whizzed' back to town and walked around, stumbling across the delightful tea shop that is David's Tea. Later on we dined at Clink, the lovely restaurant at The Liberty Hotel at the end of Charles St. This used to be one of the town jails, hence the name. Well worth a visit!

Massachusetts State House
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
David's Tea

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boston Day 3

It was very wet this morning and we arrived for breakfast at the Four Seasons rather drowned! Nevertheless, they made us very welcome and we had a great breakfast and benefited from some insider advice from our waiter. At last the rain seemed to be letting up and we made our way out onto Newbury Street, known for it's posh shops housed in mansions that line the road. There were shops up the steps on the first floor as well as down steps at a sort of sub-basement level - but all the well known brands are here.

It was a long walk down to the Museum of Fine Arts and we were glad to arrive! It is a really great Museum to visit, housing some outstanding art and it was difficult to know what to see on our first and only visit this time. One of the first things we saw was a Dale Chihuly glass tower (lime green icicle tower) hanging in the café. We decided to look at some of the special exhibitions being held at the moment and found ourselves, via several areas, in an exhibition called 'New Blue and White'. Very interesting how modern artists and designers view and use this ancient art. We also saw a poster display and a fascinating installation called 'Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism' by Josiah McElheny, 2007. He placed hand blown glass vessels in a mirror box, so that they are endlessly reflected. There was a van Gogh, some Tiffany glass and fascinating Asian galleries. So much to see!

At last we left and walked down Boylston Street to Copley Square. We had hoped to see the Singer Sargent murals at the Public Library, but arrived just too late! Instead we saw many interesting buildings, including, of course the John Hancock Tower. Then we retraced our steps through the Public Gardens and Boston Common, where we at last took some photos of the sculpture, Make Way for the Ducklings (Nancy Schön).

Tonight we had dinner at Lala Rokh, a Persian Restaurant on Mt Vernon St., Beacon Hill. This was a super experience with its warm welcoming atmosphere, attentive, but far from intrusive service and delicious flavourful food.

Museum of Fine Arts 
Dale Chihuly
Boston Public Library
Lala Rokh

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boston Day 2

We had a great breakfast down at the Boston Hilton, then picked up the Freedom Trail visiting the Quincy Market early before it got too crowded. We enjoyed the central hall with its domed ceiling and the old traders' signs decorating the walls. The Trail, today, took us across the river to Charlestown City Square, then up the hill to the Bunker Hill Monument. This is a granite obelisk commemorating the 17 June 1775 battle, won by the English, but with heavy losses. Those losses were of great importance as the colonial forces eventually gained from them. Then we made our way down to the Charlestown Navy Yard. On the way we kept spotting some 'Tree Gardens', by Jake. Sort of guerilla gardens planted in slim boxes attached to trees, bringing colour to the streets.
At the Navy Yard we looked for a café, but ended up popping into the local store for a press button coffee and sandwich, which we ate on a bench on the street. Then we were off to view USS Constitution or 'Old Ironsides' to give her her nickname. This is the flagship of the US Navy and was built in 1797, her hull made of live oak that is incredible hard - even resisting cannonballs. She has been completely restored (1997) and we were able to climb all over under the supervision of various guides stationed throughout the ship, above and below decks!

The lovely day tempted us to walk back over the bridge and along wharves, which brought us to the Institute of Contemporary Art where we saw the exhibition of 2013 James and Audrey Foster Prize, a biennial award recognizing a Boston-area artist of exceptional promise. There was a display all about a fictional female Bauhaus architect complete with model buildings, press cuttings and life history. Katarina Burin was the winner of the prize with this installation.

On we strolled eventually coming to the Boston Tea Party Museum complete with tea ship and teapot weather vane, before we turned for the hotel. We decided dinner would be at the Hungry I on Charles St. We were deeply disappointed with the offhand service and definitely second rate dinner compared with the previous two evenings. Maybe too many rave reviews have led to complacency. Not a place we would recommend.

Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall
Bunker Hill Monument
Charlestown Navy Yard
Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston Tea Party Museum

Monday, May 27, 2013

Boston Day 1

We are visiting Boston for a few days on the way to stay with friends in New Hampshire. We arrived last night and we are staying at Ames Hotel. Strangely the taxi driver couldn't find it and we now learn that the restaurant has closed, but it means we have to get out and about for breakfast and dinner, which is a good thing. The room is lovely, quite small, but we won't be spending a lot of time in it, so that's fine.
Today we began with breakfast at the famous Parker House, now the Omni hotel. It dates from 1855 and has a colourful history especially involving JFK. The Breakfast was great and seems popular as it was quite busy, but not over-crowded. As it was on the Freedom Trail, we felt we had already started our dyas 'entertainment'.
When we were ready, we set off for the Public Gardens and Boston Common to the start of the Freedom Trail. Here we saw the 33,000 or so flags painstakingly planted into the ground representing every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending the country since the Civil War. What an amazing and moving sight. We walked on eventually and made our way across to the famous sculpture 'Make Way for the Ducklings' by Nancy Schön, representing Robert McCloskey’s popular children book, written in 1941. It was mobbed by families all wanting photos of their children with the cute ducklings.

We were side tracked up Charles St.in the wonderful shopping and dining area of Beacon Hill, before we started following the first part of the Freedom Trail. Although the State House (new) was closed, we could return to visit it another day, and we strolled on looking at cemeteries, buildings and memorials all associated with the time of the Civil War; and we should not have been surprised by the glee of the Americans also visiting these places as they read of their ancestors' victories, who were, afterall, British themselves for the most part. The last place we saw was Paul Revere House. It is downtown Boston's oldest building and was built of wood around 1680. Paul Revere and his family moved in in 1770.
After this, we began making our way back to the hotel, but wanted to go via City Hall, a building designed by architect I M Pei. Well, it was an eye-opener, and perhaps even an eye sore. I'm sorry to say that we were not greatly taken with this building after liking quite a lot of this man's work.
So, we had to find a place to eat, and found a great place just around the corner from the hotel, which seems to have changed its name several times recently. However, Hillstone, as it is now called, is a great place and we sat at a table overlooking the bar area for a delicious dinner and some wonderful information from our waiter. Lots of ideas about what we should go and see.

Omni Parker House
Boston Common
The Paul Revere House
Boston City Hall

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Centenary Flower Show at Chelsea

This year the RHS is celebrating one hundred years of Chelsea Flower Show, and it is carefully worded thus as there were a few show missed during two World Wars, making it the 92nd show in the one hundred years. It was cold, today and the volunteers were shivering in their special orchid motif T-shirts, even with long sleeves underneath. Nevertheless, there was a sell-out crowd. In fact every day to the close on Saturday is a sell out and has been since just after Christmas.

This orchid is the motif on the volunteer T-shirts

 The gardens are looking wonderful and all the designers have pulled out all the stops to try and gain one of those prestigious medals at this centenary show. That also applies to the exhibitors in the Great Pavilion where the plant displays are equally stunning - perhaps even more so.

The Best Artisan Garden was awarded to Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory for the Tokonoma Garden,representing an alcove within a traditional Japanese tatami room.


The Best in Show Award went to Flemings Trailfinders Garden, who always put on a wonderful Aussie display. This is their last year at Chelsea, so it is very fitting they get this huge accolade.

In the Great Pavilion there were stunning displays from flower arrangers, countries, nurseries and plantsmen.

Hillier Nurseries

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanic Garden, Thailand

Fabulous flower arranging from young florists

NAFAS - an underwater theme

 A couple of other gardens we like:

M&G's Centenary Garden - Windows through Time
Stoke- on Trent - Story of Transformation
Arthritis Research UK, Chris Beardshaw

There was so much to see, I can't show it all here!

 Well, they seem to have had a good time at Chelsea.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 - This link will not last for ever

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Loseley Park Spring Garden Show

We had a visitor to stay this weekend and decided that a great place to visit would be Loseley Park as they were holding their Spring Garden Show. We were not disappointed, least of all with the scorchingly good weather. We arrived quite early but even so plenty of people were already there and true to form, we went looking for coffee to start with. The courtyard café wasn't yet open, only the coffee tent in the garden, so we went straight in and found the end of the queue. Before long we had our drinks and began to look around.

There are loads of nurseries at the show as well as garden related artisans and goods stalls.The garden is also looking good despite the lateness of our spring. We spent ages looking at all the different things, eventually buying some little dianthus to go in the front garden. We stopped for a sandwich, which we ate on the wall above the canal, enjoying a bit of shade from a strong sun.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Orchid and Botanical Art Show

The last show of the spring at the Hort Halls. Its all to Orchids and Botanical Art this time - with the Botanical Art really stunning, but no photos, naturally. The orchids more than made up for that!
In Lawrence Hall

Phalaenopsis Btother Pico ' Sweetheart'

Dendrobium nobile Stardust ' Orange Gem'
Baptistonia sylvana

Dendrobium fimbriatum 'oculatum

Paphiopedium Sweet Sunrise

Paphiopedium Tiger;s Eye 'Downland'

Paphoipedium 'Saint Swithin'
Coelogyne cristata alba