Monday, 19 June 2017


In July 2009, I wrote a post in which I introduced the very small group of Orchids, which we had discovered growing in our woodland. A few years later, I  wrote about a new small colony nearer the house, in great excitement. One plant on what we laughingly call The Croquet Lawn. This year, we have 48 Orchids flowering, and 4 more as basal rosettes. ( They should flower next year).
Another discovery was of 3 small groups of Ragged Robin, another scarce wildflower, not far from the many Orchids. With the Cuckoo Flowers ( Ladies Smock, Cardamine pratens ) the lawn is developing into a wildflower meadow. Very satisfying.
Last week saw Best Beloved and I make a day trip long planned, and frequently put off. The Rose Gardens of David Austen. The staff were all most welcoming, especially towards our spaniels. Dogs are welcome throughout the site, except the Tea room and Restaurant.

The gardens are set out in a number of different styles. Formal, country, linear, many of the roses repeated in the different setting, displaying their versatility. There were two roses which I had intended to buy, 'Munstead Wood'  and 'Wild Eve'. I also bought 'The Albrighton Rambler', which I had been thinking about. The superb scent swung the decision.
(Above- 'Munstead Wood')
David Austen roses are known for their delicious scents, as well as their old-fashioned form, with improved health. We spent a delightful day wandering around, smelling all the different rose scents, admiring the beautifully maintained gardens, and having a relaxed lunch. Water was provided for the spaniels.

This proud beauty was wandering around the gardens, making a tremendous racket. Apparently there are several pairs. The spaniels kept a vey close eye on this one.... could it be a pheasant in disguise?
The weather was beautiful, we could not have asked for more. A lovely day in a beautiful place.

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