Spring Flowers

I really love this time of year as the garden is finally awaking from winter ❄️and the flowers 🌺🌸are starting to come out.  We went for a wander round the garden 🐶🌳, just after it had rained and founds lots of delightful colours, the daffodils 🌻 are out in force and the rhododendrons 🌺and magnolias 🌸 are starting to appear 😊.  Also do follow the new High Beeches Garden instagram account for lots of photo updates @highbeechesgardensAlice xxx

Narcissus Bulbocodium

Narcissus Cyclamineus

Rhododendron

Rhododendron Oredoxa

Magnolia Sargentiana

  

Daffodils at Home

Time for a Snooze

A Little More Autumn

I really do like Autumn 🍂🍁.  There are just so many amazing colours 💚💛❤️ in the garden at this time of year and I really couldn't resist taking many many photos this weekend 📷.We went for a walk 👧, Pip 🐶 came too of course, and we found all sorts of shades - browns, reds, yellows, oranges, magenta, burgundy, purple - I love the cascade of leaves at the foot of trees, and the incredible variation in colour on just one tree.  The garden is looking really very beautiful right now, Autumn always reminds me how special a place it is.  All those trees carefully chosen and planted to create different vistas at different times of the year.  Almost like an ever changing work of art, each variety of tree takes it's turn to be the focal point of the painting throughout the year.  And Autumn always surprises me, just when you think winter is setting in, suddenly the garden has a last hurrah and is ablaze with all sorts of amazing colour. 💖🌳.Sunday was very exciting, not only was the sun out so the Acer Palmatum was looking quite wonderful 🌴❤️- a bright bright red - the garden was also photographed with a drone 🎥- the large spindly bug like creature took off and photographed the garden from above ⛲️, and also caught us on camera too 👧👦👧!I hope the wonderful colours, brighten up a rather chilly week 💕.Alice xxxPhotos taken at High Beeches Gardenimg_2238 img_2237img_2357img_2286 img_2342img_2292 img_2293img_2311img_2302 img_2297img_2305 img_2307img_2322img_2328 img_2370img_2445 img_2339img_2340    img_2341img_2358 img_2353img_2430img_2416 img_2417img_2422 img_2424img_2415 img_2425img_2241img_2567 img_2249img_2365 img_2373img_2394 img_2397img_2380img_2411 img_2412img_2386 img_2385img_2451img_2517img_2497img_2452img_2464img_2472img_2482img_2510img_2524  

Autumn at High Beeches Garden

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year.  I love that the garden produces brightly coloured flowers through the year, and then, when it starts to get a little colder in October, and it feels like it is time to pack up for the winter, it suddenly become ablaze  with brilliant colour. It starts slowly, a little orange here, a little red there, and then suddenly colour starts to appear everywhere.  I like the way the trees produce a multi coloured effect - the Red Oak is currently a wonderful combination of green, yellow and orange.  I love it when a tree has turned completely one colour - a red Acer next to a yellow betula lenta.  And it is always amazing to watch the changing tone of colour in one tree - the Acer turning from a deep purpley red one day, to a bright brilliant red the next, and finally to an fiery orange.  It is so difficult to pick a favourite - the magenta heart shape leaves of the Disanthus cercidifolia are definitely one, and the curling Cornus leaves in their variegated shades another.  The trees in their Autumn colour contrast so beautifully against the greens of the garden.  You've got to be quick though, the colours change so fast, and are gone before you know it.  I love that they change at different times - the Acers are well on their way, the Nyssas not quite started.  This week and next is the time to go and see the colour at High Beeches Garden which is looking absolutely splendid.So of course I put a dress on and we took some photos in the garden.  I appear to have not managed to smile at any point, but I really did enjoy the walk about the garden!Country Life recently wrote a piece about Autumn Colour at High Beeches Garden, which you can read here -  Country Life Article: sept-28-high-beeches Cover - sept-28-coverAlice xxxPhotos taken by Sarah BrayI am wearing a Jaeger dress, Elia B shoes and Patrick Mavros earrings img_7692img_7694img_7703img_7706img_7714img_7721img_7725img_7736img_7739img_7750img_7753 

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas 💐 are maybe one of my favourite flowers, and they are coming into flower right now at High Beeches Garden.  I like that whilst the rest of the garden is almost completely green, you turn a corner and are suddenly presented with all sorts of blues, purples and pinks.  And the most exciting thing about hydrangeas are their variation in colour.  The flowers on just one plant can be pink, purple blue and yellow, and when you stand back from the plant, it looks almost as though they have been painted on, by someone wishing for a tree with flowers in all their favourite colours.  When you get close the petals on each flowerhead are just so perfectly arranged.  Right now as they are  flowering, you get to the see the whole process from buds, to small flowers to complete flowerheads.The flower pigment variation is due to the presence of aluminium ions in the soil.  Hydrangeas are hyper-accumulating and they are able to take in the aluminium ions in the soil, which are either available or tied up depending on the soil pH.  An acidic soil (pH below 7) will usually produce blue and purples flowers, an alkaline soil (pH above 7) will produce pink and red flowers.   Changing the pH tends not to make a difference to the colour of the flower - the soil needs to contain aluminium ions.  Most hydrangeas are actually white, it is only some species, most notably Hydrangea Macrophylla that is affected by the aluminium ions.  And they can also be also bred to a certain colour.I really love this variation of colour in nature.  I think colours are never better than when they are completely natural, and I find it so exciting that this one plant produces all sorts of pinks, purples and blues.  So I took many photos, and I hope you enjoy them 😊.Alice xxxIMG_8816 IMG_8817 IMG_8884 IMG_8819 IMG_8820 IMG_8833 IMG_8834IMG_8842 IMG_8844 IMG_8846 IMG_8847 IMG_8849IMG_8857 IMG_8859 IMG_8860 IMG_8864 IMG_8865 IMG_8868 IMG_8870 IMG_8871 IMG_8874 IMG_8880 IMG_8881 IMG_8883IMG_8877

Tresco Abbey Gardens

Today we had a tour around the Tresco Abbey Gardens with Mike Nelhams the curator, which was fascinating.  The Abbey Gardens are really quite amazing - due to the unique climate (it doesn't freeze, or at least it's not supposed to, and it doesn't get too hot) they are able to grow all sorts of plants from all over the world.  So sitting next to each other are plants and trees from South Africa, New Zealand, Chile and Burma.  There are all sorts of weird and quite wonderful things - and it does feel very tropical, there are palm trees galore.  In 1987, and in 1991 the weather was unkind to the garden and they lost a lot of trees and plants and have been replanting since then - it is a 'heavy planting' so the beds are full of all sorts - a camellia next to a giant dandelion, surrounded by many aeomiums, under a Norfolk Island Pine.The puya was in flower which is the most amazing dark turquoise, I have never seen flowers quite like them.  The sparrows are quite taken with the pollen of these flowers, and sometimes you see a sparrow with an orange head, having got a little bit too intimate with the pollen of the puya flower.Thank you for showing us the garden Mike!Alice xxxIMG_8266 

The Wildflower Meadow

This weekend we spent some time in the wildflower meadow 🌸🌺🌷🌾at High Beeches Garden.  The meadow has been there for at least 145 years, most likely longer and it is a natural acid wildflower meadow.  The natural 🌷🌾 part is important - it has been growing all by itself for all these years - the only help it has had is being cut once a year, and the hay removed 🌾.  Many wildflower meadows you see and hear about now have been purposely planted (rumour has it Prince Charles 👑 carefully cultivates his at Highgrove), but the one at High Beeches grows every year, without any help at all and is really quite magnificent.I love it most at this time of year, as it is completely covered in ox-eye daisies 🌼 - I always associate June with daisies 🌼 (my birthday is today - hurrah! and June and my birthday mean the daisies  are out.  But I actually know very little about the rest of the flowers 🌷 and grasses 🌾 that make up the meadow (there are 45 wildflowers and 12 grasses!) so we went on a little wildflower hunt through the meadow, Pip and Barney 🐶 came too.In between Pip and Barney 🐶digging holes where they weren't supposed (there was a stern telling off) we found a number of quite delightful flora 🌷🌻.  So I know the daisy 🌼 - the ox-eye daisy or leucanthemum vulgare is a larger version of the common daisy, and I can recognise the sunshine yellow of the buttercup 🌻.  I also recognised the purple of the clover 🍀 flower once it had been pointed out, and there are many lovely little purply orchids  🌷- dactylorhiza fuchsii .Other wildflowers we discovered were the knapweed centaurea 🌺(I have looked at these for years and have had no idea what they were) and the same goes for the little yellow, common birdsfoot trefoil lotus corbicula 💐 (I think quite a hard name for a very charming flower).But the yellow rattle rhianthus minor 🌱 is completely new to me, and so was the common twayblade listers ovata 🌾.  There really are all sorts, and it can be very easy to miss them - but we did spot the tiny lesser stichwort 🌸.I have to say we didn't even begin on grasses 🌾 (I have some vague grass knowledge from Pony Club - the times when it was raining and we sat inside and learnt about things our ponies were and weren't allowed to eat) - and grass is for another day.The meadow is changing all the time and is really very beautiful - do go and see the daisies 😍🌼!And if you want some more information have a look at High Beeches Garden blog.Alice xxxIMG_7448IMG_7426IMG_7370[1]IMG_7435IMG_7450IMG_7433IMG_7431IMG_7438IMG_7432IMG_7390[1]IMG_7436IMG_7444IMG_7440IMG_7451

The Bank Holiday

This bank holiday I was in the countryside and it was sunny ☺️.  We did countryside 🌳things such as walking to the pub and drinking pimms 🍹, eating lunch outside 🍴🍻, having tea outside ☕️🍰, going for another walk 🌲, losing the dog 🐶😳, finding the dog 🐶😃, having some more tea 🍰☕️.  It was a very good weekend.  On Monday I went to watch the polo 🐎at Guards Polo Club (thank you Alice and James 😃) and I wore my new Maruti ankle boots I am so pleased with 😘 (I found them in the Clapham Junction TK Maxx, last Thursday 😍).Alice xxxIMG_2550IMG_6640IMG_6963IMG_6972IMG_6999IMG_7080IMG_7022IMG_7020IMG_7026IMG_7030IMG_7044IMG_7064IMG_7070IMG_7053IMG_7074IMG_7052IMG_7082IMG_7083

Alhambra

One of my main reasons for wanting to go to this part of Spain was to see the Alhambra ⭐️.  You need to book very very early and we had not done this 😳.  Two weeks before we went, the kind man over the phone ☎️ tried to fob us off  with tickets to the Generalife garden 🌳'does this include entry to the Nasrid Palaces 🏤?' 'No' 'Are the Nasrid Palaces 🏤 the best part' 'Yes' - it is important to preserve.   After a fair bit of probing he did admit that the best way to get a ticket was to ring him the day before we wanted to go, as they always have tickets the day before ☎️.  I wasn't superbly happy about this, but we had no choice but to chance it.  The day arrived - I called up the lady 💁 in the ticket office - and NO tickets 😭.  Our only hope now was to go and queue the following morning (the ticket office opens at 8am, and she suggested getting there VERY early 😳).So I may have made Andy, Max and Laura wake up at 6am ⏰ to drive over to Granada to get into the disneylandesque queue so we could get into the Alhambra ⭐️ - sometimes it's important to do these things.  It was slightly drizzling ☔️ when we arrived at 7.30am ⏰there was already a monstrous queue 👬👭👭👬.  We split into two parties - 2 to queue for the actual ticket office 👭, and 2 to queue to buy tickets from a machine 👬, and drank some terrible coffee while we waited ☕️.  I am pleased to tell you we did get tickets - the ticket machine queue won and Andy and Max came back triumphantly 🎉.My two favourite parts of the Alhambra were the Generalife Gardens  🌳- the roses 🌹 were out and it had recently rained ☔️ and they are rather beautiful.And then of course the Nasrid Palaces 🏤 - there are just so many patterns ⭐️ everywhere, they are quite splendid.And they have a good gift shop 🏰 - I bought a glasses 👓 case covered in an Alhambra ⭐️ inspired pattern.  Andy suggested they should be selling Al - ham - bras 🐷👙 (that would be bras made of ham in a nice pattern) - sorry for giving your idea away Andy...I am SO pleased we made it 😍.  And I suggest you book in advance if you do decide to go.Alice xxxIMG_3170IMG_3171IMG_3173IMG_3174IMG_3176IMG_3177IMG_3182Photo 07-05-2016Photo 07-05-2016-2Photo 07-05-2016-3Photo 07-05-2016-5Photo 07-05-2016-7Photo 07-05-2016-8Photo 07-05-2016-10Photo 07-05-2016-11Photo 07-05-2016-12Photo 07-05-2016-14Photo 07-05-2016-15Photo 07-05-2016-16Photo 07-05-2016-17Photo 07-05-2016-18Photo 07-05-2016-19Photo 07-05-2016-20Photo 07-05-2016-21Photo 07-05-2016-22Photo 07-05-2016-23Photo 07-05-2016-24IMG_3191Photo 07-05-2016-27Photo 07-05-2016-28Photo 07-05-2016-29Photo 07-05-2016-31Photo 07-05-2016-32Photo 07-05-2016-33Photo 07-05-2016-35Photo 07-05-2016-36Photo 07-05-2016-37Photo 07-05-2016-38Photo 07-05-2016-39Photo 07-05-2016-40

A Riot of Rhododendrons

A quick interlude from my travels (there is lots more Spain to come!), but the rhododendrons are out and they are looking marvellous.High Beeches Garden has a huge array of Rhododendrons and what I love most is the contrast of colours - pinks, oranges,reds and yellows sit side by side - some with huge flowers, other absolutely tiny.Below are just some of the very many - they are all rhododendrons unless I have stated otherwise, and they are all in flower at the moment.Alice xxx Photo 15-05-2016-2Photo 15-05-2016-11 Photo 15-05-2016-6Photo 15-05-2016-8Photo 15-05-2016-10Photo 15-05-2016Pieris FormosaPhoto 15-05-2016-22Photo 15-05-2016-15Photo 15-05-2016-12Photo 15-05-2016-13  Photo 15-05-2016-17Photo 15-05-2016-19Photo 15-05-2016-20Photo 15-05-2016-23Davidia - The Handkerchief TreePhoto 15-05-2016-21