"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 Highlights - Part 3

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens were developed as formal walled gardens in the 17th and eighteenth centuries. They were neglected for many decades in the middle of the last century but were "rediscovered" and a trust was formed in 1985 with the aim of restoring the gardens to their splendour. I try and visit the Gardens once a month as they are such a peaceful and relaxing haven and full of beauty.

"In green old gardens hidden away
From sight of revel, and sound of strife......"

Violet Fane
1843 - 1905

April Visit

Bleeding Heart - I love this plant and managed to obtain a few for more my own garden last year.


Crown Imperial - Fritillaria imperialis

My Lady's Border

Fruit Blossom



Orange Tip


Snakeshead Fritillary


I visited again a few days later as Brian wanted to have a look round. I took the macro lens this time but we were only able to stay a short while as the heavens opened and we got soaked!

May Visit

I saw my first ever Tree Bumble Bee

After this first sighting I saw Tree Bumbles everywhere I went and had to release several from the garage at home

Back at the Gardens there was still plenty of blossom

and Marsh Marigolds were blooming

June Visit

Lower Wilderness

I spent ages trying to get a record shot of this Chimney Sweeper Moth found in the Extra Gardens

Visit to a Medieval Market Town - Henley-in-Arden
Not only is it very pretty there with lots of old buildings, there is also an icecream parlour and tearoom well worth a visit

White Swan - 16th century coaching inn

Remains of a fifeenth century market cross which was once 17 feet tall

George House - a timber framed building possibly sixteenth century

Guild Hall

Millennium Wood - another visit in April. Not many birds on this visit but a pleasant walk

Fairy Door with the latest adornments - sadly I think the decorations have now gone rather over the top.

Brandon Marsh

A visit to my favourite Nature Reserve in April resulted in several new species for the year - Peacock butterfly, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Swallow and Chiffchaff

Fungi - I now think these are Turkeytail having identified some at CBHG

Coots and nest

St Giles, Baddesley Clinton and Packwood

In April I had a day out with a friend. I took her to see St Giles churchyard at Packwood and there were still plenty of Primroses in flower plus this Yellow Archangel

We had lunch at Baddesley and then looked round the gardens at Packwood House with its famous Yew Garden said to represent the Sermon on the Mount.

In May I paid a couple of visits to places connected with JRR Tolkien - author of "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" trilogy - again some of my favourite books.

Tolkien spend the years between 1896 and 1900 (when he was aged 4-8) at 5 Gracewell Cottages (now 264 Wake Green Road), Sarehole, and often used to play at the Mill. It has been suggested that this area which was then rural and a village provided him with inspiration for the Shire and The Great Mill.

Sarehole Mill

Tolkien also lived for a while in nearby Edgbaston where two towers can be found which may have provided inspiration for Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith (the Two Towers)

Victorian Tower part of Edgbaston Water Works

and a few hundred yards away can be found Perrott's Folly

Next year I plan to visit Moseley Bog - another place said to have provided Tolkien with inspiration.


Dartford Warbler said...

What a wonderful collection of photographs! Thank you for brightening up a very wet, dreary, late December day with your memories of flowers, wildlife and interesting places.

Hoping that 2013 brings you more opportunities for exploring with your camera.

The Tolkien link was interesting too.

Rohrerbot said...

Hello!!!! I remember all of these from this past year. Such lovely memories of all your moths, nesting bird, historical adventures and gardens....plus the Olympics! I so enjoy drinking my coffee with music on in the background while reading your posts. I hope you continue into 2013!

Just got back from our vacation and it was BUSY! Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Chris

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Many thanks for such a lovely comment - so pleased I have brightened up such a rainy day :)

Hoping to get out exploring again next year.

Rohrerbot - Hi again Chris. Thanks so much for another lovely comment.

Plan to continue next year although as you know mum isn't well. Just hoping I don't have to sell her house to pay for care as it will take months to clear - its stuffed to the rafters!!!

Hope you enjoyed your vacation and family time. Loved reading your reviews of the year too and about your Christmas Bird Count - a superb idea :)

Had great Christmas thanks :)

Em Parkinson said...

Fabulous photos. That Chimney Sweep Moth is amazing. I've never seen one before. So pleased to have found you. Your posts are a joy to browse.

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Thank you so much :) I was rather pleased with the Chimney Sweeper though it led me a merry dance! So glad you are enjoying the posts. I am afraid I have got rather carried away - not really just highlights but a collection of bits of most of my posts!