Downton Abbey…the movie

  Highclere Castle, in Newbury England (70 miles from London), is the setting for the fictional Masterpiece Theatre series and newly released movie, Downton Abbey. I, like millions of others, watched every episode (six seasons 2011-2016) of the Masterpiece Theatre series of Downton Abbey.  To say, "I loved it", would be the ultimate understatement!  Julian Fellows, the… Continue reading Downton Abbey…the movie

The most wonderful time of the year…

I'm sure you've seen the "Staples" commercial, (The Most Wonderful Time of the Year) that plays on TV during the back to school season.  Parents gleefully wheeling their carts down the aisles, loading up on school supplies, barely concealing their enthusiasm about the kids going back to school! I, too, was always happy to see… Continue reading The most wonderful time of the year…

Espalier…

  The technique of espaliering trees or plants against a flat surface originated in ancient Rome.  In the northern hemisphere, a south-facing wall is best for espalier and vice versa for the southern hemisphere.  South or west-facing walls (northern hemisphere) reflect sunlight and also retain heat which extends the growing season.   Taking advantage of… Continue reading Espalier…

The Wind in the Willows…

  "The Wind in the Willows" is a much-loved children's book by Kenneth Grahame about four animal friends.   This photo of a Weeping Willow almost mirrors the scene of the first meeting of Mole and Rat (characters from the book) at the river.  Rat then takes Mole for a boat ride. Weeping Willow trees… Continue reading The Wind in the Willows…

A Kitchen Garden…

    The interiors of the movies written and directed by Nancy Meyers... "Something's Gotta Give", "The Holiday", "The Intern", and many more... are the envy of most of us, but it's the kitchen garden in "It's Complicated" that I have coveted.  That garden had the formal "bones" consistent with the French style potager. I… Continue reading A Kitchen Garden…

The Greenhouse…

      Ahhh...Spring the season of unpredictable weather!  We've seen it all where I live...warm, sunny days followed by wild winds and rain and my favourite...the snowy, sleet and sunshine mix within minutes of each other! I've spent the week in the greenhouse transplanting the seedlings I started in March.  The fireplace has been… Continue reading The Greenhouse…

Dahlias…

  Dahlias were discovered by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century growing wild on the Mexican hillsides. Botanists were brought along on these excursions to the New World to bring new plant species back to the homeland.  Empress Josephine, who had a special fondness for dahlias, first introduced them to France (in the 1800s) and… Continue reading Dahlias…

Sowing beauty…

    When I was in London several years back,  I fell in love with the floral displays lavishly spilling out of the window boxes on the elegant townhouses (home to many of the foreign embassies),  lining many of the streets in the upscale neighbourhoods.  That Spring the colour scheme included white and blue/lavender flowers (pansies,… Continue reading Sowing beauty…

Spring…at last!

I'm not one to complain about the weather because there isn't anything that can be done about it...we are not in charge.  In fact, I love winter and the beauty that freshly fallen snow brings to the landscape.   Is there anything more beautiful than hoar frost on your favourite tree on a clear sunny… Continue reading Spring…at last!