Sunday, 30 August 2009

a country mouse in a country park

This afternoon we went to a nearby country park. The park is the gardens and grounds of a large Scots baronial house so there are lots of odd little things to see, such as rickety hothouses (below) and old trees with huge trunks and twisted roots. The root in the photo above looked like a dragon's claw emerging from under the ground. The berries in the photo below looked like they were cuddling up to the hothouse glazing for a bit of warmth and tapping on the door - "let us in!"

The entrance to the walled garden. Shades of Frances Hodgson Burnett. I was looking out for Colin Craven rising from his wheelchair. Sadly there was no robin perched on the wall to show us where the key was buried, and no Dickon surrounded by his creatures. A magical book and one which I look forward to reading to Little R when she's big enough.
One of the last agapanthuses (agapanthi?), braving the wind and rain.
As well as the original hothouses (below) there is lots of Victorian wrought and cast ironwork, walls made of handmade bricks with old apple trees espaliered against them and some beautiful stone carving too. It's all very atmospheric.
The stone bench with wonky steps up to it (below) has been assembled recently from dressed stone pediments and lintels salvaged from some earlier structure. It sits on the edge of what was once an ornamental pond but which has now been turned into a maze (overgrown and very muddy) made of cobbles laid in the pattern of a celtic knot. There are a lot of water weeds and water loving plants around this area. Perhaps the pond was created in the first place because of a high water table in this spot. Little R thought that Tyrannosaurus Drip would love it.
A sweet little bird table, below. It kind of looks like it's been put together from various odds and sods of stone rather than purposely carved.

The rear view of the house (below). Note the solar panels on the roof of Rapunzel's tower. A few years ago, DH and I watched a production of Much Ado About Nothing in the garden of this house and were almost eaten alive by midges. I can hardly look at the place without flinching, even now. There were a lot of midges there today too but we had come prepared with some kick-ass anti-midge potion plus antihistamine cream (I'm allergic).

And back home, I came across a garden gnome painted by Little R with Daddy yesterday. He looks very pagan amongst the flowers. I love the autumnal shades of his hat, his jaunty yellow nose and the jolly red wellies. His name is Gnomie.

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