WordlessWednesday. Walled garden doors 

Found at the National Trust’s Calke Abbey. We love the panel sides. Someone took a pride in this job. It’s right next to the Orangery, which dates back to 1777.

 How many gardeners have walked through this doorway into the walled kitchen garden over the past 250  or so years. It’s good to stop and ponder as we close one door on 2016 and think about opening new doors in 2017. 

Day 20 of my #AdventCalendar for gardeners- a visit to Calke Abbey. 

Mossy roofed potting shed in the walled garden at  the national Trust’s Calke Abbey. There’s a tiny bed in there for the garden boy whose job it was to keep the greenhouse boilers stoked. Alison and I have started a tradition to walk the gardens in the week before Christmas, and reflect on what life was like for the gardeners. Then there’s a food fair in the old riding school where we sample local honey, Leicestershire cheese, home made fudge and chocolates- and we stock up for the festive season. It’s rather a wonderful tradition to have started. 



The walled kitchen garden is looking beautifully tidy. The beds are mulched and weeded.  All set for the spring sowing season. Quite a cheerful sight to behold.


It’s nice to find something new in a favourite- much visited garden. This area was being excavated last time we stopped by.  What treasures  were under the mounds of earth, we wondered.  It looks like a boiler for the hypocaust heated wall. Isn’t it amazing it’s still here. And the beautiful  brick floor is still intact.


We mooched in the peach house. I think this blue paint  is my all-time favourite colour. I’d love to paint my potting shed the same hue. It reminds me of the Mediterranean.




We peered through the misty  peach house  windows. In the summer these open right up. There are deckchairs to sit and gaze at the wild flowers and waist high grass.


View of the peach house /orangery  from the church. We spotted these glorious giant white-painted cloches. And coveted them! 


A few ancient espalier  fruit trees  remain in the walled garden. We love their mossy-covered boughs. 


We hadn’t noticed this door in the walled garden before. In summer there’s so much to see. But in winter,  we notice the bare bones of the garden and home in on  wonderful details like this.

We’ve never seen the sheep grazing right to the house before. We like this seasonal change. The sheep set a scene that could easily grace any Christmas card. We just need some snow to complete the picture. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour of Calke Abbey and the kitchen gardens. Do you have a garden that you love to visit as often as you can? Do you find new treasures each time you visit? Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to comment- so I know I’m not just talking to myself. 

Day 16 of my #AdventCalendar for gardeners. Spiders web in the middle of my pergola. Snow from last winter. Have a great weekend, all x

The pergola goes from the back patio to the corner of the house and then round to the front drive. On the corner turn, there’s a spiders web. It’s totally overgrown with ivy and Montana clematis at the moment. Another winter renovation project. I’m choosing lots of new climbing roses and clematis for the replanting. 

In a Vase on Monday – 28th November 2016 

Yellow flowers brighten even the gloomiest day in November. And my “Aunty Doris” chrysanthemum is still going strong. 


I would love to know more about Aunty Doris.  I’m searching family archives to find photos of her greenhouse and garden.  I’m sure we have a lot in common. We both love growing flowers and arranging them. And I think of her often. 


When I’m cutting and arranging these flowers, I think about her doing the same – only 40 ago. We would have taken cuttings, grown the plants and watered them. And would both be harvesting them at the same time of the year. 


I wonder if she loved them as much as I do. 


I’ve arranged my yellow chrysanths with dogwood stems, phormium and ferns from the garden. The creamy white button chrysanthemums are called Stallion and are growing through the sweet pea canes in the cut flower patch.  These flowers, as always, are for my wonderful MIL Joan.  She loves any signs of spring-  so I have added tiny hazel catkins. Together with the cheerful yellow chrysanths- they are guaranteed to make her smile. I just wish Doris could see them too. 


Thanks to Cathy for hosting this meme. Why not go over and see what the others are growing and how they are using  flowers from their gardens. Are you growing any plants passed down through the family, as I am? Or do any of your flowers remind you of friends and family? 

Wordless Wednesday 

Still mild enough to sit in the summerhouse. Heaps of cosy woollen blankets to hide under. So I made an autumn wreath out of beech leaves, rosehips and cowparsley seed heads.


My wreath is made from a woven willow base. I learned how to make them from  Georgie Newbery at Common Farm Flowers. I can highly recommend the courses. I attended one for creating a cut flower patch and posy tying. I’ve never had to buy any flowers for my house and family since. I’m planning to attend one next year on growing flowers for weddings and special occasions. I’ve already bought my voucher for the course. It’s great to have something to look forward to as winter starts to bite.




The Persian ironwood shrub, Parrotia Persica still looks like a bonfire of colour.


Orange tulips, a present from a friend- the view inside the summerhouse today.

Have you got a favourite place you like to sit in the garden?