Why is it that I can spend 5 weeks in Great Britain visiting gardens and countryside and think that I will be returning to something remotely similar at home? It is a fantasy world I get caught up in and despite having been into fantasy land many times before the reality of this doesn't dawn until we open the gate and I take a look at what is waiting for me.
It has been a wonderful trip and I wouldn't give up one moment of it but now I must face the inevitable. 5 weeks with no rain, temperatures ranging between 90-100º and a drip irrigation system that is worse than useless.
Many plants are dried to a crisp and much is overgrown. We arrived home at 5:30pm so there was time to walk around and take it all in. The pathways are in their usual state....a machete would be a good tool. Everything is crying out 'Water me, water me' In the moment I don't have words so I just go inside and put the kettle on. The British answer to every crisis. I don't even want to look at the two lovely garden magazines I brought home and there is the Hampton Court Flower Show to catch up on................but not for a while.
By morning I am in my 'get out there and get it sorted out mode'. There is work to be done and surely there will be a few nice surprises. The plumeria is blooming. A cutting given to me by Austin Agrodolce. My spirits are already lifting.
And, among the crispy dried leaves, there are butternut squash. So it really worked to cover the plants with those net onion bags. And tomatoes-that is really a surprise. I shall call this my Texas trug.
I begin watering and pulling out. Three big bins in one morning....but morning is the only time I can work outside as the temperatures soar by noon. Then it is time to go inside and download the photos and maybe do a little more dreaming. These are the places we visited this year as we covered 3000 miles around England and Scotland. I'm sure I will be sharing some of these wonderful places over the coming months.
For now I am am back to dreaming a little.
Paycockes- A 16thC house and garden of a wealthy cloth merchant. NT
Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden
Sutton Hoo- Viking burial site and treasure hoard. NT
Flatford Village-Constable country where he painted Flatford Mill NT
East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens. Gardens created by Alan Gray and Graham Robeson
Felbrigg Hall Walled Garden. NT
Cambridge University-Pembroke and Kings College
Grandchester -The church and Orchard Tea Rooms
Peckover House-Quaker home and gardens NT
Scampston Walled Garden-Piet Oudolf
Wallington House and Gardens NT
Cragside House NT
Dunstanburgh Castle NT
Lindisfarne Island and Gertrude Jekyll garden NT
Spey River(fishing) Craigellachie Iron Bridge(Thomas Telford) and Glenfiddich distillery.
John O' Groats. Duncansby Stacks and Sclaites Geo.
Isle of Skye-Quiraing
Isle of Mull
Inverewe Garden NTS
Treshnish Isles(puffins) and Fingall's Cave
Acorn Bank and Garden NT
Wordsworth's House NT
Hill Top Farm-Beatrix Potter's House NT
Beatrix Potter Gallery Hawkeshead NT
Sizerg Castle NT
Holehird Gardens- Lakeland Horticultural Society
Rufford Old Hall NT
Tatton Park NT
Awkward Hill- Victoria Summerley
Barnsley House Garden-Rosemary Verey. Thanks to Victoria Summerley
Greys Court NT