Last week I took a friend to the Chelsea Physic Garden for lunch and a wander. I'm a member of the garden and I love to pop in there to sit and read, have lunch or tea & cake, or a wander. I find it a real little oasis in the middle of Chelsea and a source of inspiration.
We parked in Battersea Park and walked over the prettiest of the bridges over the Thames, the Albert Bridge. I whizz over the bridge on my moped but can't stop to admire it or the view so it was a treat to be able to walk over it and take some photos.
We sauntered along Cheyne Walk nosing through every fence and up the paths admiring the architecture and their front doors!
A rather grand letterbox!
A post box built into the brick wall of one of the houses
Cheyne Mews is off Cheyne Walk and wedged between two houses by a narrow entrance. Don't you love the sign on the wall?!
A lone flower on this huge magnolia tree
Just opposite the Chelsea Physic Garden on Royal Hospital Road are these stunning buildings with a real mix of architecture. Notice the cockerel on the top
We decided to have lunch on arrival. As a member I can reserve a table so we sat outside under the awning and enjoyed a salmon en croute, home made sausage rolls and delicious salads washed down with a glass of rose. Each table had a little vase of flowers picked from the garden.
Sausage rolls with roasted tomatoes and lentil salad
There are plenty of paths and walkways between the flower beds with strategically placed benches
It was pond cleaning day and this lady was up to her waist in rubber waders.
I love the ferns as they remind me of home (NZ). There are outdoor ones and then those in the Victorian glasshouse
The trees and tall shrubs in the garden are spectacular
A tall magnolia still with a few flowers
Pomegranate tree covered with flowers
One tree in particular is quite stunning, this weeping beech
There are a lot of nooks and crannies in the garden and little paved areas like this one which make the garden so much more interesting
There's a whole area devoted to sweet peas. Weirdly not all of them have a scent; those that do are simply divine!
My favourite coloured flowers are blue or mauve and the garden is full of these colours at this time of the year:
The agapanthus are well past their best but still beautiful
There are also the fabulous autumnal colours - orange and yellow which add a burst of colour
And a few closeups of some of the more spectacular flowers
Such a subtle shade of yellow of this sunflower
This Clerondendrum is quite spectacular
Believe it or not this is a coriander
One of the little glasshouses which holds an array of pelargoniums
If you've never been to the Chelsea Physic Garden try and visit them and stay for lunch. This time of you is particularly lovely right up until winter. However I enjoy the garden at any time of year even in winter as there's always something in flower. I am particularly fond of the New Zealand Kowhai tree when it's in flower - it stands tall and proud in the NZ and Australia section of the garden along with a lot of other natives.
If you have been fortunate enough to visit the garden, I'd love to know what you love most about it so do drop me a line.
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Day 4 on the 13th August, less than a week after my previous day out, started as an invite from my sister and husband to go to Great Dixter with them. It’s a favourite garden of ours which I try and visit every year. Given that it’s a fair schlep to Great Dixter, my sister identified three churches that we could visit in the vicinity before lunch. Great Dixter is in Sussex close to the Kent border but the three churches we visited were all in Kent:
I was really starting to enjoy these days out on my own with my camera so decided to venture back into Sussex a week after the previous trip, armed with another list of churches. I’m always tempted to include a stop at Charleston House or Monks House given my passion for anything Bloomsbury Group and this time the temptation was too strong when I found myself within a few miles of Monks House.
If you read my previous blog post, Visiting Churches in Sussex (day 1), you will know that I am doing day trips to Sussex in search of the little churches often found in woodland, at the end of lanes, in hamlets or villages – steeped in history. I’ve focused on Sussex as it’s not too far to travel by car and it’s a beautiful county. The first day trip was 9th July.
I decided not to have a summer holiday this year and instead do day trips to Sussex which is only about 80-90 minutes from home, on my own with my DSLR camera for company. I wanted to focus on visiting historic little Sussex churches in obscure places. I’ve done four of these day trips so far and I have another planned for this week.
I’ve focused on churches with historic interest, be it for their age (some as old as 9th century), their features or even their setting. I have been the only person at every church I’ve visited so far as these are off the beaten track for tourists. That was one of their attractions for me. I could have visited large churches, cathedrals or castles in towns where there would be loads of visitors but I find crowds of people so unappealing.
We are in mid winter here in London. Temperatures plummeted a week or so ago and we barely reach 6 Celsius most days. However I won’t complain as when it’s so cold there is less of the debilitating grey skies and more of blue skies and sunshine which really do elevate the spirits.
Monday 21 January was Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year. What a load of twaddle, isn’t it?! Why would you identify a day as the most depressing? Most of us stuck two fingers up at Blue Monday, smiled and got on with our lives.
January started with a vengeance from a work perspective so I’ve had no time to feel the post Christmas blues. And I have a trip to Sydney to look forward to in a few weeks - family, sun, sand and sea and loads of oysters and Riesling!
Between a lot of client meetings and client work at home, I managed to squeeze in some outings. First up, a day of sourcing for clients started with a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park with an interiors friend. I enjoy a wander around the stalls as they are all so beautifully styled but everything is eyewateringly expensive!
This post is for all you garden lovers. If you are lucky enough to live in London you have the chance to see the gardens of Petersham House, the home of the owners of Petersham Nurseries, Gael and Francesco Boglione. Their home is adjacent to the Nurseries and is a stunning Georgian house with extensive gardens, swimming pool and tennis court. They have a substantial vegetable garden which is used for the restaurant in the Nurseries.
This week has been action packed. I’m furiously trying to finish a two-bedroom flat which the owners want to put on the market asap (they are moving out of London and already put in an offer on a house).
Sorry for my radio silence since my last post on 31 October - in the run up to Christmas I was manically busy with client work and in January I headed to Sydney for five weeks.
I thought I'd kick off with one of the highlights of my Sydney sojourn - the coastal walk from South Coogee (where I was staying) to Bondi, a distance of about 10k with some of the most spectacular scenery. I did this walk last year with a friend but this time it was just me, my iPhone and my DSLR. The weather was cloudy, windy and about 26C so perfect for a long walk.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group, to do a lampshade painting workshop with Cressida Bell who is the talented artist granddaughter of the artist Vanessa Bell and daughter of Quentin Bell. I wonder if you are as passionate about the Bloomsbury Group as I am? I devour books about them and have often visited Charleston, Berwick, Firle and Monk's House.