Sunday 30 April 2017

An English cottage garden

We were invited for Sunday lunch with friends today.
Can you see the row of insect homes on the window ledge?
And a very healthy patch of white bleeding heart.

Their garden is in the true spirit of English cottage planting, where fruit and vegetables mix freely with both cultivated and wild flowers, the latter grown not only because they look lovely but also because they attract a variety of beneficial insects.
This method of planting creates healthy plants, 
all chemical free!

After a good wander round the garden we went inside for a delicious lunch.  On the table a bunch of flowers from the garden, honesty, forget-me-not, ragged robin, red campion and bluebells.
Please note that it is ILLEGAL to pick wild bluebells. These are  Spanish bluebells planted by the previous owners and are going to be removed at the end of the flowering period because bees pollinate them as well as our native wild ones to the ultimate detriment of our more delicate native species.
I had brought a bouquet from my garden of pink bluebells, abutilon, camellia and tree peony.
What pleasure there is in a garden!

Thursday 27 April 2017

Saying goodbye

We were all set to travel to Yorkshire when we heard that our friend in Cornwall had died. But the funeral details were unresolved and, with family scattered, the service might take some time, so we headed north for the Easter weekend. The First Born had booked her train ticket from London many months ago and opportunities for us to be together are rare. Then, of course, the funeral plans quickly came together and we had to rush back down to the south-west.
I like old graveyards, the old-fashioned names and the stories that can be gleaned from reading the headstones. This one in St Ives, as befits a fishing community, has gravestones with a good view out to sea.
Our friend lived further down the coast in a village that had been peopled by tin miners and the church and it's graveyard is set away from the sea with the hills at it's back. The vicar was keen to tell us that David was to be interred in the very last space, after which the graveyard would be closed. It's a lovely place.

The ground was carpeted with a profusion of spring flowers, violets, primroses and bluebells.
The old stone headstones are beautifully carved.

Here's the last plot.

St Michael's Mount

On Sunday morning we left the west coast and drove the short distance to the east coast, parking in Marazion outside the rather fine town hall
where someone had done a good job of polishing the brass!
We had a warm welcome at the Godolphin Arms for breakfast, a 'full Cornish' for Himself and more fish for me.
And a wonderful view from the window of St Michael's Mount. 
The tide was out and the causeway would be dry for long enough for us to finish breakfast and saunter over ourselves - even if we might have to paddle back afterwards!
I have a childlike pleasure in walking along a pathway that I know spends much of it's time submerged under the sea. The island is managed by the National Trust.

The tide had turned, time to head back to the mainland.
Such a lovely day
but, as you can see from this photo, it's not always the case!

Monday 24 April 2017

St Ives

We've just returned from a few days in St Ives, one of our favourite places. At short notice we managed to get room only at a hotel with parking that didn't involve having to drive in and out of the narrow town streets. We were able to walk along the coastal path to reach the town centre.
The landscape is a natural garden,
with cushions of pinks

and a carpet of other wild flowers.
I loved this small allotment that we passed each day.

Breakfast at our favourite place overlooking Porthmeor beach.
Fish for breakfast,
and for midday starters gurnard, clam and lobster sauce.
Fried sea bass with chilli caramel, pineapple and Asian salad for my tapas supper, delicious!
The sea always looks inviting
although far too cold for swimming,
but these children loved dodging the waves.
St Ives is a great place for wandering
up and down the narrow streets
never too sure exactly where you are 
or what you will discover.
A garden in Victoria Street
and two little girls decorated with garlands and posies who were going to a wedding.
The street names are  amusing and descriptive; 'Teetotal Street', 'Virgin Street' and an area called, 'Downalong' which was supplied with water from this well until the 1840's.

The patina on this old door was a work of art!
Not repainted since 1802?!!

We found a quiet spot in the harbour to read the weekend paper.

And were back at the tapas bar as the sun went down.