Cherries

During Ramadan I watched the cherries on the tree in the garden grow, redden and become ripe. There was no sense in picking them though as there wasn’t a lot of time (or stomach space) for cherries, but on Eid the family all got together and picked the big, juicy cherries that had been tempting us for so long. Here’s some of the hundreds that we picked, and that were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Orchids festival

Recently I took a trip to Kew Gardens with my last visit being a few years ago. I love Kew Gardens and all the different plants, trees and flowers it has from around the world. I can spent hours there and not lose interest or manage to see everything. My trip this time was to specifically see the Orchids Festival which celebrated the rich biodiversity of Brazil.

Upon entry of the conservatory there was a lovely floral scent and my eyes were drawn to the wide range of flowers in artistic displays hanging from the ceilings and wrapped around pillars. A very unusual plant that caught my eye was Nepenthes. Nepenthes is shaped like a pod and is insectivorous, meaning that it traps and digests insects. This plant was used to create shape and colour in archways to walk under.

The bright colours and the different shapes and sizes of the exotic flowers drew my attention and I found myself weaving along the path from one flower to another delighted that I was able to take a closer look.

The Orchid Festival was really popular and I would certainly recommend a visit. The flowers on show were beautiful in various, vibrant colours and really captured the theme of carnival season in Brazil.

Autumn has arrived

Summer has come to an end and Autumn has now arrived, here in England. Autumn is probably my favourite time of year, as the days are cool but still bright and there are less bugs around too which in my opinion is always good! The other things I love about Autumn are the beautiful displays of newly changed leaves, from luscious greens to fiery reds, yellows and oranges.

On one such bright a day, I decided to take a walk in one of the several parks near where I live. This particular park is lovely; it has a nice lake, a grand looking mansion with a pretty flower garden, and a boating and play area. Armed with my camera, I kept my eyes open for any new autumnal displays, and it wasn’t long before I came across lots.

The highlight of my walk was coming across some cute, late summer ducklings (I didn’t get too close in case their protective mother came after me) and several curious, cheeky squirrels who were very interested in my camera. I also loved seeing freshly fallen conkers reminding me of childhood fun-filled contests.

I really enjoyed my walk and as we go deeper into the season I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more interesting developments.

Italian gardens in London

Wondering around Hyde park earlier this year I came across the Italian Gardens. The Gardens have embellished statues, urns and large water fountains, all which create a really nice relaxing space.

The main water fountain leading to the top of the Serpentine lake was a combination of a group of boys holding a huge platter with a woman on either side holding an urn, all pouring water into the lake.

On the far side of the garden is a chapel with really pretty flowers planted on either side in neat geometric rows.

I thought the gardens were laid out nicely and kept in really good condition. I found them to be a calming space with the sound of rushing water from the fountains drowning out some of the background noise and pretty flowers soothing to the eyes. I’ll definitely look to visiting it again at some point.

Trip to the garden centre

Every year in early Spring my mum visits our local garden centre to buy a range of plants for our garden, this year I happened to have a few days of work so decided to tag along. There was a wide range of flower and vegetable plants to choose from.

There were also some interesting garden ornaments; I love the giant chess pieces and the elephants and cheeky gnomes would make a nice addition to any garden too. I was also intrigued to see the old fashioned styled brooms made of straw.

We got a little carried away and it was hard to not buy at least one of everything, but in the end we chose some strawberry and pepper plants and and variety of flowers so we have a range of treats for the eyes and tastebuds to look forward to.

Vegetable patch

IMG_3231 - small
Every Spring my mum, who has very green fingers, grows a variety of herbs and vegetables in our garden, with more varieties being added every year. This year as we are shooting through Summer lots of the plants are now bearing their offerings which are now ripe and ready to be picked. Here we have aubergines, chillies, French beans and tomatoes (you may wonder why some are still green though – my mum likes to add these to cooking to give food a tangy kick). There’s also others in our garden and as we head towards the end of Summer they too will be ready to enjoy

I’d love to hear what others are growing in their gardens and whether you’ve had a chance to enjoy them yet

Brown lines

Image

brown table garden
I got this composition almost by accident; I was out in my garden with my camera and as I went to pick it up off the garden table I noticed that it was pointed in the direction of the fence which had vertical lines like those of the table.
I really like this image because the lines of the table draw your eye up towards the fence which continues the verticle line. The light falling on the table brings a contrast in colour to that of the fence which helps to convey greater depth. I think the top of the chair also helps to break up the image. I think this is an nice example of how simple lines, colours and light can be used to create a a refreshing composition even with ordinary, day to day objects. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are, what you’d change if anything and if you can give me any tips

Kew Gardens – Autumn visit 4

One of the things I was most excited about seeing at Kew Gardens was the Xstrata Treetop Walkway that was constructed a few years ago. The idea behind the walkway was to enable people to walk among the tree tops to get a closer look at the best part of the trees; the branches and leaves which aren’t usually easily accessible. Walking toward the structure it seems to appear suddenly from amongst the trees.

IMG_2363 -small

To access the walkway you have to climb up a winding staircase with mesh sides, allowing you to see the view as you ascend. For those that can’t quite manage the stairs there’s also a lift that will take you to the top. The walkway is 59 feet high from where you get a great view

IMG_2378 -small

IMG_2389 -small

I was able to get really close to some of the branches but as it was Autumn some of the closer trees had already shed their leaves. I expect the walkway is even more enjoyable in Summer when leaves are aplenty

IMG_2373 -small

Another one of the other things I spotted almost immediatley as I entered the Gardens was this tall structure in the distance. I could tell straight away that it looked like a giant Pagoda like those found in Japan and wondered what it was doing in London!

IMG_2406 - small

IMG_2438 - small

It turns out that the Pagoda was completed by Sir William Chambers in 1762 and that there is also a section dedicated to a Japanese landscape, with plants and flowers typically found in the country as well as a structure called the Chokushi-Mon meaning Gateway of the Imperial Messenger

IMG_2424 -small

IMG_2440 -small

I thought the Japanese landscape was really nice and something different. I especially liked how tidy and organised it was (and if you look carefully you can see there is a circular pattern created in the pebbles)

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Kew Gardens, I saw some amazing plants, trees and flowers, some that don’t originate from England and learnt a lot whilst walking around, soaking in the fresh air and peace and quiet. I think the gardens are something really special and the thing I like most is that you could visit at various times over a twelve month period and there would always be something new or different to see. I really hope I will be able to go back later this year when the plants and flowers are in bloom and nature has something else to share.

I hope you have enjoyed my photos and there is still so much I didn’t see or haven’t posted about so please don’t think that I have covered even a fraction of what else can be found at Kew. I would definitely recommend a visit if you like being outdoors and are interested in all things green.

For more on Kew gardens please see my previous posts

Kew Gardens – Autumn Visit 1
Kew Gardens – Autumn Visit 2
Kew Gardens – Autumn Visit 3

Each Peach, Pear Plum

A short time ago I posted a blog about cherries that we had from our neighbours’ garden this summer and I mentioned that we had a couple of fruit trees in our garden too; a pear tree and a plum tree (sorry, no peaches, not in this country anyway). At the time the fruit was just beginning to grow and now after a long hot summer the fruit is finally ripe and ready to eat – well the plums at least anyway, the pears still need a little more time.

I thought I’d share a few photos of the fruit as they look so good. The plums we have are called Victoria

IMG_1829

plums1

My sister’s father-in-law is visiting at the moment and was pleased to be able to pick the ones that were ripe. They were really soft and juicy and enjoyed all round

IMG_1849

Our pear tree grows pears called Conference. The ones in our garden are almost ripe

IMG_1847

IMG_1841

I’d love to hear what others have in their gardens at this time of year