Saturday, 31 May 2014

Silent Saturday - Aquilegia Appreciation

The Aquilegia is an amazing plant, so beautiful, so varied in their colouring, and flowers.  I love them and hope that one day there will be more in the garden.



Friday, 30 May 2014

Five on Friday

My Five on Friday is a little different this week.  Following the death of Maya Angelou I reflected on one of her famous quotes and went looking for others written by her.  Here are 5 of those that I found to be very inspiring and why.  I found these quotes here.

1.  “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  

This is of course probably one of Maya Angelou's most famous quotes, often quoted by Oprah Winfrey.  This was the quote that I first thought of and which set me off to look for other words of wisdom by Angelou.

I try to bear this in mind when looking back at things I did in the past.  I cannot change the past, but I can strive to do better and be better in the future.  When I look back at some of my blog posts I wish that I had written them better, or said different things - or not said them! - but I cannot change those and although I could delete them that would be dishonest and would not show the truth of the past.  I can and will do better in the future as I learn.  Not by simply pressing the delete button.

2. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”  

This was a revelation for me when I read it.  So many times I have ignored this.  I am someone who believes what people tell me and as I always try to see the good in others and to be kind and caring and most of all honest with others, I assume that they are, and will be, the same.

Sadly however, I have been proved wrong in this.  In future I will try and remember that the first time they show me that they are not what I would want them to be I will indeed believe that they are that way.  I will also steer a wide berth around them if at all possible.

3. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”  

Another great lesson indeed.  I have definite control freak tendencies.  I need to learn to let things go a lot more and to relax.  These are perhaps the most valuable of these words of Maya Angelou that I could learn today.

4. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”  

Being someone whose natural instinct is to care for and love others I can indeed spend a lot of time with my focus in the wrong direction.  I have very recently made someone a priority, at times to the exclusion of all else, including myself.  However, I came to realise that they did not care that I was doing this, and that my actions were making no difference to that person.  The only person affected was me, and not in a good way.

I am not an option, if you want me, you want me.  If not, that is fine, but you will therefore only become an option to me to be fitted into what I want and need.

5. “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”  

What inspiring words these are.  So often it feels as though all we can do is survive, we are drowning in the events of everyday life and what is going on around us.  I love the idea that thriving is elegant.  I will strive to thrive with elegance!

I could of course have chosen many other quotes for many other reasons, but these were the first five that I came across that really spoke to me.

I hope that you are never an option to anyone, that you will thrive with elegance and never be reduced by anyone.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Nuffield Place Part 2

I was so glad that you enjoyed Part 1 of our visit to Nuffield Place yesterday, it really is a lovely house - as I said several times! - and does indeed have a very homely feel.  Thank you for your kind comments, really all of the credit goes to the house!
Today I will take you around the garden and outside of the house.
First of all we stopped off at the garage to see Lady Nuffield's car and this great collection of tax discs from the car - these are a bit like car tags in the USA.  Lady Nuffield's car has only recently returned to Nuffield Place, and it is a Wolsley.

We then started our walk to the house through the lovely gardens.  There are so many different plants to see, behind this wall is a work area with a greenhouse and garden tools and plants waiting to be put out into the flower beds.  All sorts of action!

I loved this little pot of Marguerite Daisies, it just looked so pretty and just fitted the spot perfectly. 

Further along there is more shade and the type of plants changes.

The Aquilegias were beautiful and so abundant in their blooms.  I hope that mine start to spread like this as they look so lovely en masse.

This is an MG which was parked outside the front of the house.  If you arrive in a Morris car you can park outside the front of the house if you arrange it before you visit.  Sometimes other historic cars and car clubs visit and they can also park outside the front of the house.

There were lots of Alliums in the gardens all around the house and they were so beautiful and looked lovely in the sunshine.  Once they are all blooming the display must be really stunning.

This is one side of the house with a lovely terrace, sadly though it needs a lot of work as the flagstones that make up the terrace are in poor condition as the roots of trees and plants has made the surface uneven and caused some collapses around the edge.  I am sure that this will all be attended to in due course though.

It was lovely to see this amazing sun clock too.

This is a new pergola and has small climbers planted at the base of each of the posts, so in a few years it will be an even more beautiful sight.  You can see a little more of another terrace below, this is in slightly better condition and is much easier to walk on.

This little pond looks to be in the process of being renovated as there was very little water in it, but with signs of activity around it.

There were so many lovely wrought iron gates all around the house and gardens and I could not resist photographing most all of them as the details on the gates were so pretty.

Originally the gardens were designed by the architect of the house Oswald Partridge Milne, and are very similar in layout now to his original plan.  The gardens are all undergoing renovations with overgrown hedges being removed, the dry stone walls repaired and plantings renovated.

You can see that a lot of work is being put into the gardens, and they are already very pretty, but will be even more stunning in a few years time.  At the moment the bones of the garden are being put in place with the new pergolas and frames for climbing plants and once the actual plants are added the effect will be complete.

This rock garden is undergoing a lot of work and will be a lovely place to visit when it is complete as it is a real suntrap by the house.  The plants will be very happy here.

Plants that are already in place and growing are very happy.  This Cardoon was enormous!

More Alliums!  There were also lots of Welsh Poppies around the gardens too.

There are sweet peas growing up this amazing garden structure, it looks as though it took a lot of work to put together!

You can see some more of the uneven paths and terraces here, the old stones are so lovely though and give a real feeling of having been there for so long and just part of the garden in the most lovely way.

The Wisteria that clad the back of the house was stunning too.  As was this gate.

I especially liked the piece over the top.

Having walked all around the house we started to head back to the car park.

But not before we stopped to admire these pedal cars which are available for children to drive around a track.  There didn't seem to be any takers when we were there, but I am pretty sure that if my hubby had been able to fit them he would have taken them both for a spin around the course!

One thing that surprised me was the quantity of boot scrapers all around the garden.  It didn't occur to me to photograph them all - thank goodness I hear you saying! - but I had to get a picture of this one as it was so unusual.  I have seen these by doors, and even gates sometimes, but never just all around the garden.  It was most unusual I thought.

This brick edging was covered in moss and looked so furry and made you just want to stroke it.

That was the end of our visit as we went back to the car park.  It really was a great visit and somewhere that I would definitely visit again - house and gardens.  If you are ever in the area I strongly recommend a trip there as there is interest for all of the family.