Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kensington roof gardens

A couple of weekends ago we went up to London for Open Squares Weekend. In this annual event there are over 200 gardens in the capital open for visiting, many of them usually closed to the general public.

I first heard about Kensington roof gardens many years ago and they have been on my list of things to do. There is a one and a half acre garden, 100 feet up above London and all the plants are grown in just 18 inches of soil. Here are a few of my photographs.

The spanish garden was very striking with mediterranean plants and colours.

With water features

and shady places to sit, it was amazing - I almost forgot how high we were until I got glimpses of London buildings on the skyline.

Possibly London's highest vegetable plot with courgettes, sweetcorn and peas.

The famous flamingoes obligingly posed for photographs.

The garden was created in 1938 and many of the trees are seventy years old.

This oak tree was one of the larger ones - and all in 18 inches of soil!

There was a small meadow area complete with cow!

Views of the London skyline reminded us of where we were.

Back down at ground level, there is little indication of the secret garden on top of this building.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

the gardens at Barrington Court

We stopped at Barrington Court on the way to visit my parents last weekend. Here are a few photographs. It is laid out as a series of gardens with herbaceous borders, a walled vegetable garden, a rose garden and a white garden. All looked perfect, June is such a wonderful month for garden visiting.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

family thoughts

Some more photographs of the New Forest as we were returning from our regular family visiting last Sunday. Everything looks so fresh and green now in contrast to when we had our rather chilly picnics there earlier in the year.

 It was lovely to walk in the fresh air for a while before driving home.

Two days of driving this weekend. On Saturday we were going in a different direction on a different motorway to pick up youngest son from University. This was our second trip to bring him home. There was too much to pack into our car so last weekend we brought back some of his belongings and this week we brought back more and there was room for him in the car as well!

His university time has passed quickly and it doesn't seem three years since I posted about my "empty nest". Of course, the current economic and job situation has meant that the nest hasn't been empty. Two years ago, eldest son returned from university and has since been living at home, working but still looking for a graduate job. Youngest son is now back and is busy looking for jobs, either temporary or permanent, living at home or moving to where he can find something. It is not easy for them, so different from when I graduated and everybody on my university course had a job to go to within a few weeks of finishing. I felt pleased to be starting out on my career, although even back then most of my money went on rent. At least I was in a job with prospect of promotion whereas now there are so many young graduates working minimum wage jobs.

I have heard my generation called the "sandwich generation", sandwiched between the joint concerns about elderly parents becoming frail and our grown children trying to find employment and to afford somewhere to live.
It feels like this here sometimes. Last weekend it was my husbands family, next weekend we will being spending the weekend in the West Country visiting my parents. There is a lot to think about.

All the more reason to pause and notice the little details of life. Whatever life throws at us, the seasons change, summer follows spring, the flowers bloom and then fade and the cycle of the year continues - good to walk in the countryside and take a break from worrying and overthinking.

This little mouse in the car park was quietly chewing on a piece of discarded tissue while we were eating our lunch. He looked content, I wonder if mice have worries too?