Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Notes from the sky ...

The kisses in the sky are back.. drawing back the curtains this morning, I saw the familiar criss cross patterns that have evaded our unblemished skies for the last week.
I know for some of you.. it has been a week of frustrations, being stranded at various destinations across the globe, but I for one, I have loved the peace of a plane-less word, hearing nothing but birdsong in the morning and not the usual roar and down shifting of engines as the planes start their descent to Bristol airport. Doesn't it feel good to reclaim the world as it was before air travel became the prerogative of society? I know that B.A would certainly not agree with me!
After the long wasteland of winter.. my blogging spirit seems to have returned along with the longer days and that bright thing in the sky... I have woken up to the fact that there is much to do this next week, with preparations for the 4th Vintage & Handmade Fair looming and a small matter of a photo-shoot days after.. Panic is the order of the day!
Whilst still in holiday mode..Mr Custard and I stepped out to a local open garden last weekend.. a real gem of a place..tucked betwixt Bath and Bristol and never before discovered.. by me at least. So it was... last Saturday that we took the short journey to Hanham Court..and boy was I excited about seeing this place having picked up a brochure in the local garden centre the week before.
It was a perfect day for seeing this special place for the first time.. the sun was warm..almost too warm... and the skies lapis blue..a perfect backdrop for some of the plants you are about to see.
So take my hand and I will lead you through the gates in to this enchanted world....

Turning through the gates we were met by the most beautiful sight.. a display of Snakes Head Fritillaries..

A whole field of them nestling under a large walnut tree..

Down in the valley below lives a Gypsy caravan.. perfect for that weekend in the country.. even if it is in your own back garden..

Now this is what I call high rise living...the dearest little tree house tucked away in branches of an old Yew tree.. I almost expected Hansel & Gretel to appear at the windows..

Far from grotty.. the pretty grotto framing the pond area...

... rich with pots of cheery tulips..

I loved this little lonesome tin caravan..

Sitting on the edge of the gardens and looking so pretty with it's Magnolia neighbours...

Striking a pose against the deep blue sky..

Criss crossing paths.. with surprises around every corner..

Like this beautiful Auricula Theatre which is currently housing pots of Pansies and Violas..

This one leading back to the house...

.... and oh.. what a house....

Part medieval court house and dripping in the largest Wisteria I think I have ever seen..
We have vowed to return throughout the summer to see the latest blooms and have been told that the roses and tree Peonies are something to behold....
So if you are ever in this neck of the woods on a Friday - Sunday... then I urge you to take the time to visit this magical garden.. you will not be disappointed !

There is plenty of floribunda to be seen elsewhere too...
For example in Milly & Dottie's Dovecote where you will find delightful floral puzzles..

...and all manner of garden ephemera.. or in the Library where there is plenty of summer-time reading to brush up your knowledge of flora and fauna..

Before I pick up my trowel for the day and venture out in to my ' not so grand garden' .. I will leave you with this charming Oilette floral still-life By Henri Cheppy a well known 19th century artist ..

One of the Raphael Tuck series of "Jewels from Nature's Garden' series.. This will be coming to the Vintage & Handmade Fair with me on May 1st...if I can bear to part with it!

More about the fair in the next blog post...

Meanwhile I hope you have a wonderful day cultivating your freckles and gardens in this beautiful Spring weather..


lemonade kitty said...

Thanks for taking us on such a wonderfull journey through those gardens, love the gypsy caravan. right I'm off for a browse through Millie and Dotties. Lucey xx

THIS'N'THAT said...

Snap! Snap! Yes, I'm just getting back into regular blogging too. Also, loved the quiet skies and the intense blue. I watched early yesterday morning as the vapour trails increased in number and finally fanned out to put a pale haze right across the sky.
have also been inspired to 'do stuff' with the garden after last week's shed clearout (see blog). really looking forward to the V&H fair. Lidi who helps me in the shop is coming too. Off to look at Millie and Dotty's now. See you soon.
Lesley X

Ragged Roses said...

Right, meet you by the gypsy caravan at 12. Shall I pack sandwiches or shall we take our purses? Hope the grass is dry enough for us to sit amongst the fritillaries and gaze at those auriculas. Just as long as I can be back for the school run, it would be the most perfect day. Just putting on my plimsolls...
Watch out for the balloon amongst the vapour trails x

Pixiedust said...

That garden is beautiful I love the little tree house. xxx

Andi's English Attic said...

That was a lovely trip. Your blog was the first I opened on my return home (we've been stuck abroad and haven't been home to enjoy the empty skies) and what a treat to be taken on a tour. I've got a frown about the tree house though. A tree house in a Yew tree? Aren't they supposed to be poisonous? Did someone not like their kids?!!!

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hi Michele

What a beautiful hidden gem! I have not been there before and yet it's not that far from me really. It's strange, I live in Somerset and yet I have explored Dorset, Devon & Cornwall a lot more than I have Somerset!
The tree house and gypsy caravan really appeal..I am sure that Miss P would love it too.
Good luck with all your preparations for the fair!

I too am really enjoying the arrival of Spring, all this sunny weather makes me feel very cheerful ;-))

By the way, you have taken some beautiful photos.

Warm wishes
Isabelle x

Frances said...

Thank you so much for the introduction to this beautiful garden and house. I would never have know of it without your post!

Perhaps some day I will be lucky enough to see it for myself.

Best wishes.

hensteeth said...

Oh my M...what a glorious house and garden...words fail me!

LOVELY items at Millie & Dottie, very desirable. x

Country Cottage Chic said...

What a lovely garden Michele! must pay it a visit myself.

I can't believe how quickly the fair is approaching now!


Garden Girl said...

how fabulous is that Auricula theatre? I want one!
The gypsy caravan is rather marvelous too. How are you Custardo?

BusyLizzie said...

What an amazing place, thank you for sharing.. see you soon.. xxxx

Ragged Roses said...

Shall send balloon to Salisbury, you can do the rest of Sussex amongst the clouds, lunch at 12pm sharp - custard creams waiting.

Anonymous said...

Simply DREAMY!! What a lovely house. Or is it a mansion? Anyway, another wonderful post. My son says to tell you he particularly likes the tree house!

Sadie at Flea xx

silverpebble said...

An auricula theatre. It's hard to think of anything lovelier. As for those fritillaries they are just exquisite aren't they. I discovered one of the thrift finds of the year last week - a little old teacup with a snakeshead fritillary on it. I couldn't quite believe it. Needless to say it came home with me.

JuicyFig said...

Wow - there isn't an unloved corner to that garden! I would have to visit it in a summer frock and straw hat!

Fantastic photography as well, you really captured the colours

good luck with the fair!

Louise said...

For someone who travels I've rather enjoyed looking up a clear blue sky with no vapour trails! There is lots of inspiration to be taken from this lovely open garden. I have the auriculas but the making of a theatre has been on my to do list for years! You and Kim always have such lovely treasures in Millie and Dottie. Good luck at the fair. x

Emma Bond said...

I must get myself down to Hanham, keep reading about it, still have not been! Looking forward to seeing thee at the vintage fair. I'll be the one with too much stuff...xx

A Bun Can Dance said...

Dear Michele
Hello! Thank you for your lovely long comments over at my place :-)
I've never been to Hanham court but having seen your photos I now know I have to go there very soon indeed - it looks beautiful. Frittilaries are one of my most favourite flowers.
I have morphed into a garden gnome recently - hardly blogging at all but spending all my time amongst seedlings and soil - perfectly heavenly :-)
Can't wait for Saturday's V&H - so exciting! Looking forward to catching up with you during a lull in activity :-)
Have a great week
Denise x
PS: Tell Pete I am very glad to hear he continues to Carry the Flag of Creativity and Fight the Good Fight against the Mundane.

A Time to Dance said...

That house and garden are magical, I would love to wander around there, your pictures are wonderful. Hope you will get a rest next week, good luck with the fair...H

Vintage Fairy Tales Rebecka said...

Oh my godness, the auricula theatre that is housing pots of Pansies and Violas....!!!!
Would love to invite my friends from the Vintage Fairy Tales to such a great show!
With love