HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Busy Weekend

Posted by HelenEdith on September 21, 2009

Garden of Remembrance, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel

Garden of Remembrance, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel

The weekend just gone was London Open House Weekend. I had lots of plans, including some of the places with connections to Napoleon III, who lived in Chislehurst, but in the event, my plans were bigger than my capacity for carrying them out.

On Saturday, we visited the Oakley Hotel for Cats, where Rolo and Monty will be taking a holiday while we are taking a holiday in Wales. We wanted to have a look at where they will be staying. It comes very well recommended and they look after the cats very well there. I think that Rolo and Monty will prefer it when they get back home, though – although one never knows: they might enjoy the chance to socialise with other cats!

Then I delivered Stephen to the Harris HospisCare shop in Biggin Hil and I went to the pet shop in Biggin Hill for some dry kitten food. I stopped off in the library as well and selected some library books. I still haven’t finished reading the Michael Jecks book I bought at Polhill. It’s a hardcover book with a pristine dust jacket and I don’t dare chuck it in my backpack or it won’t stay pristine. So I really need some reading matter for the train.

I then decided to visit the RAF Chapel of Remembrance. It is a participant in London Open House, but it turns out that you can visit at any time. Anyway, I was going right by, so I turned in and found it to be very interesting. The picture at the beginning of this entry was taken in the Garden of Remembrance, where there is a rose garden planted completely with one variety of yellow roses. There is also a huge wisteria there. I will have to make a return visit in the spring, when that will be absolutely gorgeous.

Altar and honour rolls, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel of Remembrance

Altar and honour rolls, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel of Remembrance

Having strolled around the garden, I went inside, where the caretaker had no objection to me setting up my tripod, although he did tell me to take care of the floor. I ensured that the soft feet on my tripod legs were screwed down! There was lots of interest in the chapel and I will make a return visit at some time – possibly when the wisteria is out in the Garden of Remembrance – as I didn’t photography nearly everything of interest.

As you might expect, the predominant colour scheme was red, white, and Airforce blue. There was also a lot of Spitfire and Hurricane symbolry to be seen. The caretaker told me that the large candles on the altar were a gift from Australia. There is also a memorial to American airmen who volunteered to fight in the RAF before America entered WWII.

The stained glass in the main chapel is themed, with windows of matching colours on opposite sides of the chapel. I only photographed one of these windows, but may return to photograph some more.

There is an area to the rear of the chapel where a display was set out, where I found out that several Biggin Hill streets are named after women who were decorated during WWII. I also found out that the Spitfire and Hurricane replicas which guard the chapel are 20 years old and showing their age and an appeal has been launched to replace them. There is some stained glass in the rear area which I would like to go back and photograph: in one window, women radio operators are depicted, while in the opposite window, parachute packers are shown.

I spent so long in the RAF Chapel of Remembrance that I didn’t have time to go back to Chislehurst before Stephen was ready for collection from the Harris HospisCare shop, so I returned to the High Street and went into Waitrose to pick up some shopping and Stephen met me in the car park. We went home and spent a quiet evening with Rolo and Monty.

The Sunday agenda involved a car boot sale in a field on the outskirts of Biggin Hill. We were rather late arriving and ended up splitting up and doing the boot sale separately. I came home with 6 paperbacks (I’ve got plenty of train reading now!) for £2, some plastic cooking utensils (Stephen wanted to know why I bought them and I said it was because I could never find a clean utensil when I wanted one so we obviously needed some more 🙂 ) and a small one-cup black cat teapot which can join Jessie’s teapot collection. My carrier bag also had a few things that Stephen found. Stephen seems to find larger items at car boot sales than I do. He lugged a couple of briefcase-sized items back to the car!

The car in question was the VW Golf, as Stephen was having some 4-wheeled driving practice. We need to start making sure he goes out in it as near to daily as possible. He should be ready for “finishing” by a driving school soon – provided that he takes his theory and hazard perception tests. I would have thought that as he already holds a motorcycle licence that those could have been dispensed with, but apparently not. 😦

We returned from the boot sale via a garden centre where we stocked up on yet more dry kitten food. On arrival home, we flopped on the sofa. Stephen ended up with Monty and I ended up with Rolo. Eventually I left the sofa and cooked two of the three beef escalopes that I bought in Waitrose on Saturday. Stephen had microwaved vegetables with his, but I had a salad with mine, and the salad took longer to prepare than I had anticipated and the steaks therefore ended up a bit more well done than I’d intended. There’s a third steak left which Stephen can eat. I have a load of smoked fish to keep me fed for several days. I succumbed while I was in Waitrose, and it’s making a tasty kedgeree-type meal for me.

Rolo has learned how to do a tiny but definitely audible and very pitiful little mew. He was using it on Stephen when he was shut in the back bedroom where there are far too many things for little paws to get into for Rolo and Monty to be granted access. I think it may sometimes mean “I’m hungry” but I’m not altogether sure. Sometimes it might just be a call for attention. He does have other calls. He’s been using a vocalised purr-type chirp almost since we’ve had him. Monty can do it too, but Monty is usually silent until he is angry about something.

And on that note, I’d better say a final goodnight to our two little hooligans and take myself up the stairs to bed, where I should have been at least an hour ago!

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Website Update: Visit to RHS Wisley Gardens, Saturday 9th May 2009

Posted by HelenEdith on May 16, 2009

Stephen and I wanted a day out to enjoy the beauty of nature and maybe find some water to sit and look at; and we went to the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley. Although there was water there, the ponds weren’t as interesting as some that I’ve visited, but the spring flowers were lovely and we had the sort of day out that we were looking for.

The pictures I took during our visit are now up on my website here: RHS Wisley Garden Pictures – May 9th, 2009 – Index. They are spread out over three pages linked from this index, and have been grouped as indoor plants, outdoor plants, and everything else. The everything else includes buildings, statues, water features and fish!

Here are a few of the pictures you can find on the page linked above:

RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6505_ed_cr_3x2 The main house at Wisley, which forms the backdrop to the major water feature at the front of the gardens.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6401_ed Fish in one of the small ponds further into the garden.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6416_ed Wisteria. This one was growing on a rustic bridge near the fish, but there was wisteria in bloom anywhere that it had something to climb up.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6423_ed Rhododendron flowers. We visited during prime rhododendron time and saw them with flowers in a variety of colours throughout the central section of the garden.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6500_ed Our favourite peony. This flower was massive.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6308_ed Orchid. There were numerous varieties in the Greenhouse.
RHS_Wisley_20090509_IMGP6332_ed A rather pretty pink flower in the Greenhouse, whose name I didn’t write down. (Or photograph. The name, that is.)

You’ll have to visit the link provided if you want to see the rest of my pictures!

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Website update: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Posted by HelenEdith on August 10, 2008

The first full day of our Yorkshire holiday last year was spent visiting Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden.

My pictures have now belatedly arrived on my website, and can be viewed by visiting Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden.

I’ve got two or three particular favourites, including these:

Fountains_Abbey_20071007_IMGP2810_ed Fountains_Abbey_20071007_IMGP2823_raw_ed Fountains_Abbey_20071007_IMGP2866_ed

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Website update: Garden Bird Pictures, Winter/Spring 2006

Posted by HelenEdith on July 28, 2007

In my continuing efforts to remove my content from Yahoo Photos before it closes in October, I’ve just “rescued” the pictures I took of some of the visitors to our back yard bird feeders during the winter and spring of 2006.

Click here to view them.

As well as the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, whose photo appears at the top of this blog entry, the other “exotic” visitor is the ring necked parakeet. Here’s a thumbnail picture of one of the images on the webpage:

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Website update:Kew Garden pictures from October 14th, 2005

Posted by HelenEdith on July 20, 2007

I’ve made a bit of headway with my project to remove my images from Yahoo Photos.

Today I’ve uploaded about 100 pictures taken at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew on October 14th, 2005.

They include pictures of cacti, waterlilies, orchids, other flowers, both indoors and out, autumn colour, some of the statuary around the gardens, and some of the glass installations by Dale Chihuly, which were being exhibited around the gardens in October, 2005.

Click here to view them.

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Website update: Garden pictures

Posted by HelenEdith on July 15, 2007

I’ve been outside taking pictures in the front garden.

It all started because someone wanted to see a picture of one of our agave plants. In the end, I photographed “Son of Spikey” rather than the original and largest “Spikey” because of accessibility.

Then I went on and photographed a buddleia, some roses, the passionflower, and the flowering spike of a sempervivium. The latter is a plant which is also known as a house leek or as “hens and chicks”.

Click here to go to the pictures.

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Entry for June 07, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on June 7, 2007

Today was notable because I did not have a car accident. I was leaving the M25 at Junction 29 like I do four mornings a week (unless I decide it’s an A13 sort of a day and leave at Junction 30 instead) and a Jaguar pulled across from the middle lane and attempted to occupy the same piece of slip road as I was occupying. Fortunately I saw him coming and took evasive action.

We had a fire drill at work. That’s the first one I’ve been involved in since being banished to Basildon. We all straggled out to the far side of the car park and then we all straggled back in again.

Ana Ivanovic beat Maria Sharapova in the first womens single semi-final at the French Open. Unfortunately Jelena Jankovic was unable to make it an all Serb final on Saturday as she was beaten by Justine Henin. I notice that although she has gone back to her maiden name that she is Madame Henin and not Mademoiselle Henin. I seem to remember that Chris Evert asked to be called Mrs Evert at Wimbledon one year after reverting to her maiden name following her divorce from John Lloyd.

Today’s picture was taken last Sunday afternoon in the herb garden at Hall Place. We sat down on a garden bench in there to take the weight off our feet and I’m sure that’s where something crawled up inside my trousers and took a nibble out of my thigh. I’ve still got the mark, but as miniskirts aren’t in fashion, it’s not where people can see it an offer sympathy… 😎

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Entry for May 11, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on May 11, 2007

This morning the traffic reports were unbelievably good – and they lived up to expectations. I wasn’t quite so lucky on the way home, as there was an “incident” between J29 and J30 of the M25, so I decided to use the A13 and join the M25 at J30. Unfortunately, they were replacing armco on the A13 and there was a bottleneck where the traffic had to merge into one lane. Fortunately I was soon past that and traffic was flowing so freely on the M25 when I joined that I wondered whether I should have taken my usual route up the A127 to J29 after all.

It looks like being a wet weekend, which is a shame, because the Ravens Wood Custom & Classic Car Show & Fayre 2007 is on this Sunday, and we’d enjoy going so long as we aren’t going to get wet through. It’s also Mr Punch’s birthday this weekend, so there will be lots of Punch & Judy Shows at Covent Garden. That’s also probably more interesting if the weather co-operates.

Today’s picture is one I came across when hunting out yesterday’s picture; and with a new Harry Potter book due out any day now, I thought a line of Anglias was quite topical. 🙂

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