Monday, 2 May 2016

Steam - and camera phone

Last week we visited the Steam museum in Swindon - the website is here.  It is the museum of the Great Western Railway whose works were in Swindon.

I have some photos to share, but not really so much about the museum.  It was interesting and if you are "into" steam trains I am sure that it would be fascinating place to visit.

You start off in the offices, not something that you necessarily think of when thinking about steam trains, but it was a good reminder that building trains required all sorts of skills and many different personnel would be involved.

Then we moved on to the Pattern Shop, this is where the different pieces were cast after wooden pattern pieces had been made.  This allowed the same item to be produced again and again in cast iron.

There was also a display of different door handles used on the trains.  This is just a small selection.  Some of them easier to use than others.  I can totally see why some didn't remain in use long term!

There were reminders of the work that women did during the war years.  There was also an interesting exhibit of this train - below - where you could walk underneath it to see all of the workings of the train.

It isn't every day that you see a ceremonial wheelbarrow so I had to photograph this.  A bit fancy for use in the garden.

Fortunately the sheep didn't jump!

Just a few brief photos, all taken on my phone.  It was convenient not to be lugging my "big" camera around with me, but I definitely prefer to DSLR I think the pictures are a much better quality and it is also easier to download them to my computer from the DSLR than the phone.

Sorry this is rather a brief post about our visit.  It isn't a reflection of the museum which I do recommend!


Sunday, 1 May 2016

May Day

Happy May Day!

The weather has picked up again today - so far! - and the flowers are enjoying the sunshine so I thought you might enjoy seeing them too.

This little pot of violas was free from our garden centre and they are doing so well!  I have a theory about plants, they don't like being sold!  We always do so well with free plants, much more so than ones we have bought.  These violas are proof of that!!

The tulips are finally out!  Well, these ones anyway, the others don't seem to have any buds and look a bit munched on.  I am blaming the squirrel although I don't suppose it was him.  Probably some bug or other.  Anyway, these look great don't they!!

We have no need to go hunting bluebell woods.  We have loads of them right here in our garden!  They look so pretty right now and seem to be blooming more than ever this year.  This makes me very happy!!!

I never pick bluebells though.  Even though these are in our garden.  When I was a child I picked on once and got into so much trouble I would never dare pick another one in my life!!

They are actually protected and you are not supposed to dig up true English Bluebells.


This bed looks OK right now with the wallflowers flowering, but it is soon going to need some new plants.

So that is what is blooming here for May Day!  I hope that you have a great day and that the sun shines on you.

Unlike the weather we had a couple of days ago when this came down.

This is hail.  Giant hail!

My "seasonal cactus" doesn't seem to mind though.  It is flowering again.  Again!!!!  I think it chooses its own seasons although with the way the weather is so up and down perhaps it is just really confused...  I am!

Hope you have a great day whatever you are doing!!


Saturday, 30 April 2016

West Green House Garden

As I promised yesterday, today I have the rest of our visit to West Green House Garden to share with you.  There were far too many pictures for Five On Friday and I have to stick to the rules don't I!
You can find out more information about the gardens here if you are interested.
You enter the garden just past the tea room - which we didn't visit, but I understand they have some great things to eat and drink.  There is a lovely courtyard area where you can sit and enjoy your cuppa and slice of cake. 

Just after the first courtyard area is a walled garden with more tables and chairs for sitting and having your tea.  There are also some beautiful pots of tulips and many box hedges and topiaries.

From there you go into the main formal garden.  It looked really great and there were lots of plants to see, but I can imagine that it is even better in the summer.  Hopefully we will return to see it again then.

The house isn't open as the property is leased to a tenant, but you can see the outside from various places.

There are so many different paths and focal points to enjoy.  The tulips were the main plant of interest and so lovely to see.  Ours are behind these.

There are several water areas in the garden and this wonderful circular Moon Gate leads to one of them.  I adore this opening in the wall!

Just as we walked through the Moon Gate the water started to flow and you can just see in the picture below the water coming down at the top and it is still dry at the bottom of the rill.

This is the main focal point for this part of the garden.  You cannot walk up to the fountain at the end, although we did walk past it a little later via a different path, so we will come to that in a little bit.

The path up to the fountain was laid with these amazing mill stones.

This is where the water disappears underground to be pumped back up to the start to flow all over again.  So simply, but elegantly done.

We then wandered around another path back along the other side of the formal gardens and admired some of the lovely flowers as we walked.  Forgetmenots and bluebells.

Again, more tulips and many topiaries.

Then we stepped through into the wilder areas of the gardens.

There are some large lakes and had obviously been lots of daffodils out in bloom, but we had missed those sadly.

We then came across another water feature area.  There were two of these features next to each other, each identical to the other.

I am not sure what these beautiful yellow flowers are.  I think for some reason that they are erythroniums?  Perhaps someone can tell me.

We then reached the water fountain that I mentioned before.  This is what the main fountain looks like and you can read the plaque above it.

Above is looking out across the formal garden from a higher view point.  You can see how large it is, this is only a small part of it.

This is a chicken house.  Yes.  A Chinese Palace for chickens!!!

We then went for a wander through the Oriental section of the garden.

There were some nice features and touches, but I think there is more to come later in the year that will make this area more spectacular to visit.

Another water feature.  There were many aspects of water in the garden.

This garden is a Chelsea Flower Show Garden which has been moved here.  Apparently it is a Work In Progress.

We then sort of retraced some our steps from earlier.

Finally we ended up back in the formal garden where I just had to photograph these spectacular tulips.  They are so pretty, I love the speckles and the frilly edges.  Amazing plants!

That was the end of our visit.  If you are ever in the area of the garden it is well worth a visit and I would certainly return again and hope that I will!