Monday, 2 September 2019

Lemon Pips and Other Things

I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos recently.  It is great for tutorials and learning things although you do have to be discerning and sort the wheat from the chaff!  A new to me YouTuber uploads Project Diaries. He is very informative and shows hints and tips on growing things.  After binge watching a few of his videos I decided to follow his instructions on growing lemons from seeds.  Two weeks later I have the beginnings of two tiny lemon trees from a couple of pips from a discarded lemon.  It is so exciting to see life created before my eyes!

Away from the garden and back to the home I was looking for an affordable way to freshen the carpets.  I had an out of date container of Bicarbonate of Soda and some essential oils that went out of date a long time ago.  Although I wouldn't want to use them for cosmetic use I thought they would be perfectly acceptable to mix with the bicarb.  I mixed 30 drops of geranium and 10 drops of peppermint oil into the bicarb of soda.  I let it rest, meanwhile vacuuming the carpet.  I then sprinkled the carpet all over with the mixture and left it for a couple of hours before vacuuming again.  The house smells clean and fresh and I didn't have to pay out for a specific carpet freshener with synthetic fragrance.

I am in a cleaning and tidying up frame of mind at the moment but really want to get back to my watercolour painting and other creative outlets.  I will just have to find space in my day and fit them in! 

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The Folly in the Park

We returned to Hatfield House Park and Gardens once more and followed the woodland walk.  During the walk we came across a castle folly that dates from the 1780's. 

Peeking in from the closed wrought iron gate in the centre of the folly, I managed to squeeze in my camera to take a couple of pictures of the room inside.  A neglected room with a couple of  'modern' wicker chairs and a fireplace each end.

 Most of the windows were boarded up.

A lovely tiled floor with a chequerboard design.

Straight opposite me was another gated doorway that led to the secret garden beyond.  So secret that all we could make out was water and another building in the distance.

The wall around the secret garden, which was once a vineyard, was built much earlier than the folly back in 1633.  I wonder who, if anyone, visits the secret garden today.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Flower Face

I often see faces in things.  Can you see the face in this Viola?  It's the reason I bought a whole tray of 20 plants - just to have the one with the face.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Hatfield House Gardens Part Four - The Final Part

I hope you have enjoyed these last few posts about Hatfield House and the gardens.

I was certainly inspired by my visit and have taken ideas from the house and garden to apply in my own home.

I didn't grow any nasturtiums this year and this display of them in the kitchen garden have reminded me to grow them again.  I think the cream ones are especially delightful.

They were growing various varieties of runner beans including purple podded ones.  Next year I think I will grow them up a framework like that shown above.

Great face on the a pillar of a gateway.

I think this plant is eryngium or sea holly.  The insects loved it!

 A lovely entrance to the gates.  Look at all that perfumed lavender either side.

 A gently bubbling water feature.

 A beautiful modern sun dial.  We couldn't see a shadow due to cloud cover.

 Calming water ripples.

Flower beds inside the kitchen garden and some lovely painted hen houses.  Chickens were seen but were elusive when it came to taking their pictures.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Hatfield House Part Three

A section of the long gallery.  The ceiling was originally white but covered in gold leaf by the 2nd Marquess after seeing a gold ceiling in Venice.

The Library. This is just a small part of the library which was full of over 100,000 books going back as far as the 16th century to the present day.  It;s a pity that we couldn't explore the shelves!

 A replica of Charles I death mask on the right.

 A suit of armour.  I was half expecting it to walk!

Stained glass windows in the private chapel depicting scenes from the Old Testament.  The chapel is still used by the family each Sunday.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Hatfield House Part Two Around The Gardens

This post focuses on the outside of the house showing parts of the main garden and also the private garden which is only open on a Wednesday.

 The garden above is directly outside the The Old Palace where Queen Elizabeth I played as a child.

I believe this is nicotiana or tobacco plant.  I used to grow it many years ago and remember its heady evening scent.

Not sure what the plant above is.  Can anyone help?

We walked along a wild orchid path.

 Looking out across the lake from above the boathouse.

Nature left to go wild beyond the topiary.

 Magnificent topiary elephants in the private garden.

 That's the private East Wing behind the elephants.

 Love that little baby one!

 Horseshoes that adorn the topiary.

 Tree seat.

Massive sculpture. Neptune?  I still have more photos to share including back inside the house and of the private kitchen garden. 

Thursday, 1 August 2019

A Taste of Hatfield House Part One

Hatfield House is an historical landmark in Hertfordshire.  You can read more about visiting it on the website here. 

It was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, who was one of Elizabeth I's most important advisors. He used material from the Old Palace, part of which is still standing today, to build the present house. (Info from here.)

We visited on a Wednesday afternoon.

 It was all so very grand.

 Knowledgeable guides stood in every room and were keen to impart lots of information.

 There were so many interesting paintings and lots of doors hidden in the oak paneled walls.

Whoever carved the staircase didn't do it with cleaning in mind!  So intricate with many unreachable nooks and crannies.

 Up to the first floor.

 The first floor landing.

 This room was wall to wall and floor to ceiling with paintings.  So much to see.

Ornate ceilings in every room.

All the photos are taken in the west wing.  The east wing and the third floor are out of bounds as they are still in use by the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family.