On Wednesday Mark and I went to explore deepest darkest Gloucestershire. We had heard great things about the National Trust’s Newark Park – and we weren’t disappointed!
First things first – lunch at the pavilion. We had to fight off the chickens, who were keen to deprive us of our paninis.
One brave robin realised extreme measures were necessary to compete with the chickens and took the food from my hand.
On to the formal garden, elegantly adorned with peacocks – both living and topiary. There was even a zebra-sheep; most unusual!
The peacock made a rather wonderful car bonnet ornament.
The views from the house and formal gardens are awesome.
On to through the woodland gardens…
…to the Summer house…
…and the lake.
Admiring the bees and the birds as we went.
Then back up to the folly…
…and on to the house. It is a homely house; not so overwhelming you couldn’t imagine living there – and the great volunteer guides told lovely stories of the past residents, and pointed out artefacts.
The best view from a National Trust shop I have ever seen!
We never can resist dressing up…sorry about the poor quality photos, I struggled in the low light with my DSLR without a tripod; did better with my phone.
Just time for a cup of tea and a piece of cake (actually Mark had Marshfield Farm ice cream) before heading home.
Mark did try to take a photo of me…to prove I was there.
It rained most of the afternoon, but there were odd bursts of sunshine. Long enough to pop in to the garden with my macro filters.
Today we took Mark’s mum and dad for breakfast at Neston Park before wandering around Lacock Abbey – got there early so went to say hello to the pigs.
Time to explore the Wild Wood Walk too.
Making use of the binoculars left out for wildlife explorers.
A yummy breakfast and then on to Lacock…
Lots of lovely bees!
The delphiniums in the walled garden are looking amazing!
Wildflowers in the orchard…
Compulsory larks on the rope swing.
A sit down for Don.
Just chance to appreciate a blackbird’s song before we headed home in the rain.
I love Lacock Abbey all year round, but particularly in the Spring! Even walking from the car park to the village we spotted a nuthatch attacking the bark of the tree like a woodpecker.
There were frames around the grounds to help capture images of Lacock and the request to use #framinglacock when sharing.
Natural frames work well too.
Just time for a Marshfield ice cream while Mark watched the village cricket and I watched the birds.
On bank holiday Monday, had a lovely couple of hours with our wonderful next door neighbour. Starting at Cambridge House..
With a sit down and a cup of tea and piece of cake.
Then on to The Ferns and Garden Cottage.
Finally back to our own garden
Yeo Valley gardens opened for the season on Thursday so yesterday we picked up Mark’s mum and dad and headed off to wander around yet another garden…with lunch first, of course. Delicious veggie tart and salad at the restaurant.
Clearly 75 is the new 25 as Mark’s Mum and Dad head straight for the rope swing over the brook.
Naturally, at Yeo Valley there are cows.
I am a big fan of camassia – we bought some a few years back from Highgrove and they are gently spreading across our garden, but are not a patch on this lovely field of blue.
Up on to the viewing platform, through the avenue of blossom trees and on to the gravel garden.
All that swinging from trees is clearly tiring – Mark’s dad takes a breather.
Mark and I really covet this water feature…
Father and son.
Through the trees.
If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…!
Back through the camass field.
Just time to admire the rainbow of tulips…
…before tea and cake and a chance to sit and admire the view.
I was so looking forward to wandering through bluebell woods in Cornwall, but it turns out we had tonnes of them almost on our doorstep at Westonbirt Arboretum.
We started off on the treetop walkway – a great way to get close to the trees and the birds.
These jackdaws were so close I felt I could have reached out and touched them!
I do love a bit of fungi…in the right place.
We wandered ‘off-piste’ following the lure of patches of purple.
The blossom isn’t half bad either…
Found this intriguing seat – sadly with a notice that it is not for public use.
A last chance to admire our feathered friends before heading to the cafe for a vegetable Thai curry…and jolly nice it was too!