A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Saturday, 29 September 2012

West Dorset Autumn Break Part 2 Forde Abbey

This part deals mainly with our visit to Forde Abbey near Chard Somerset. The house itself we visited in May so this visit concentrated on the gardens, the stars of which are undeniably the huge variety of Dhalias. Please excuse any flower names or descriptions that I have missed, and apologies for the amount of pictures. We heartily recommend this splendid house and garden for a days visit

I have posted large file pictures for best results view them full size by clicking on them
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on a Convulvulus 

Dahlias in the walled garden

I love raindrops on a flower

Dahlia `Eveline`

Rudbeckia Goldsturm

Dahlia `Moonfire`

Convulvulus `Blue Ensign`

Part of the walled garden the front borders flowers the rear vegetables on both sides

A very large white Rhododendron with just three flowers growing on the south facing wall of the house

My favourite of all the dahlias in the garden

Grasses make a welcome change

Two views of the house from one of the three lakes

A little hide-away with a bench and a window with a view of the top lake

It had a use one day but not sure what

No room for me on this great swing seat

Forde Abbey now a private family home

Knockout colour

This dear lady had the job of dead-heading all the flowers in the walled garden

The climber Mina `Spanish Flag` in the foreground

Hibiscus `Trionum`

Lake holding the Emperor fountain

Stepping stone

Emperor fountain
Salvia `Phyllis Fancy`

All photos on this post Canon Ixus SD1300 IS set on auto

West Dorset Autumn Break Part 1 Golden Cap

I am splitting this into two separate posts because of the amount of photos involved on our weeks holiday at Golden Cap Chideock on the Dorset /Devon borders in a mobile home we shared with lifelong friends.
The weather on the Sunday 23rd was awful couldn`t get out all day, thankfully the unsettled weather of sunshine and showers for the rest of the week didn`t stop us from getting out and about to various places. Mixed weather patterns and different lighting conditions make far more interesting photo subjects.

I do recommend for the best effect viewing the pictures full screen by clicking on them
Golden Cap from Seatown beach it`s the highest peak on the Jurassic coast the spume from the sea is  making the photo hazy in the background

A double rainbow (just) shows the very unsettled weather this is Seatown beach looking west

single rainbow
The sun not long from setting on Seatown beach I couldn`t prevent the lens flare completely


The sun was not long from setting behind my right shoulder it does cast a golden glow

A couple and collie dog enjoying the fishing just as the sun is setting
Golden Cap (centre picture) viewed from the beach at Lyme Regis ( the seagull was a bonus)

 I am standing some way up on the opposite hill the pub is our local, the site being a couple of minutes away to the right, due to the very wet summer there have been several falls of rock from the cliff face causing some of the Jurassic coastal paths to be closed, you can see a recent fall in this picture
Golden Cap Holiday Park, the pub and beach is just out of shot to the left of picture

Found this huge toadstool/mushroom (about 130mm across) on one of my walks across the field

Walk up the hill a climb of several hundred feet traverse across some way, down and over the little bridge to home and a cup of tea

Photos  Sony DSC-R1 apart from bottom four (Canon ixus SD1300)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Gnat or Mosquito?

Caught in a web which is the best place for it, the globules are the spiders sticky stuff, macro with flash

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Using flash with a macro lens

I mentioned the Nikon 60mm 2.8 Micro-Nikkor macro lens in a previous post. I used it for this photograph of the centre of a helianthus Lemon Queen but mounted a Nikon SB50DX speedlight on the camera that has the advantage of a tilting head that points downward.
The advantage of this is the f number in this case f45 (although interestingly the lens is only marked at f32) can be held as high as possible for the best depth of field possible. A ring flash that mounts around the lens would be better still but costs a lot of money beyond my means anyway. The photo shows more detail by this method of lighting.

Monday, 17 September 2012

A hard mornings work

A full mornings work at the plot this morning weeding, repairing the wire back fence, cutting back and tying in the raspberries, a chat with Linda about the merits of organic produce. I also picked some Bramley apples and beans. The greenhouse plastic has gone again so maybe the time has come to re-consider the options. Some good news, the neglected plot next to me has had some work done to remove some of the jungle. I also noticed another plot holder has grown this little sunflower that I have in my garden. My thanks also to Elaine and Mark who have pointed me in the direction of Picassa and PicMonkey.com very good photo editing programmes

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Italian Garden Holywell Eastbourne

A little tour from west to east on the upper and lower promenades

Created in the early part of the twentieth century by landscaping an old chalk quarry it occupies a secluded sheltered spot at the western end of the promenade it is used by a amateur dramatic company every year to put on one of Shakespeare`s plays this year it was Macbeth
It was also very popular in Edwardian times for putting on open air plays and shows at the far end where you can see in one of the photos a stage area no longer used sadly, as the trees are now quite intrusive and need cutting back.
A popular picnic spot by families in the summer who don`t want the beach which is down the hill a short way.
The following pictures I took today do not show it at it`s best because most of the bedding plants are gone.

The steps and sloping bank on the left of picture are retained in the old postcard below
The old theatre shame somebody decided to grow palm trees there to obscure the view
A very old postcard of the Italian garden showing the old theatre at the very end, the area then bears hardly any resemblance to the photo below. The overall contour of the garden and surrounding area has not changed for over a hundred years.

The garden sits down in the centre among the trees, down the hill we find the Holywell tea chalet

As it is now
The tea chalet in the 1950`s

some young guests for breakfast at our 1920`s brick chalet, chalet number two was stayed in by King Edward and Queen Mary in 1935 on their visit to Eastbourne. It is said that the borough has not got Regis after it because the King insisted on no publicity on the visit but the local council and press could not oblige and so therefore we are not Eastbourne Regis.
and finally a 20 min healthy walk east we get to the pier and carpet gardens