"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

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Highlights - Part 6 August

I returned to Temple Balsall on yet another hot summer day (one of the few we had!) because the village is steeped in around 800 years of history with connections to the Knights Templar. It is like a land that time forgot where nature and humanity appear to live in harmony. Its a beautiful and very atmospheric place.


The twelfth century Old Hall - headquarters of the Knights Templar in this area.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin was built between 1320 and 1330 and was not a Templar church as they worshipped in a chapel in the Old Hall. The church was originally built as a chapel for the religious Order of the Knights Hospitallers who took over properties following the dissolution of the Knights Templar.

Fox and Cubs again! or Orange Hawkbit (Thanks Emma!)

St Johns Wort

The pulpit dates from the Gilbert Scott church restoration during the 1840's.

West Window

Rose Window

Another churchyard with areas left to grow "wild" to encourage wildlife

July Visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens - a garden that looks beautiful through the seasons.

My Lady's Border

Green House

Unusual to see a Rowan tree with berries and blossom!

August Visit

Lady Bridgeman's Garden


More Fox and Cubs!

South Kitchen Garden


David, my son, had entered every ballot going to try and get tickets for the Olympics and he finally struck lucky and managed to get some tickets for Badminton at Wembley Arena about two days before the event! I was really pleased for him as I know how much he had wanted to go and I was the only person free to accompany him :) The train fares would have been extortionate so I decided to take the car in the end as I managed to prebook a car park space and its not far from the end of the M1. I didn't take my camera as I wasn't sure if photos would be allowed but in the end David took the Fuji.

Wembley Stadium - very impressive!

Wembley Arena

Badminton matches

In August my friend and I had another day out at a National Trust property neither of us had visited before. Upton House and Gardens. What a beautiful place! I shall never forget reaching the Ha Ha at the end of the long lawn and suddenly a superb terraced garden and pool stretch out in front of you.

Small Tortoiseshell on lavender. I saw a lot of butterflies - Small and Large White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and my first Green Veined White of the year. Devoid of butterflies the year in general has been but nearly every time I have visited a NT property I have seen many flying about.

I shall certainly return hopefully next year.

Finally, a fun day out. Brian had been given a voucher for the hire of a Caterham 7 for the day for one of those birthdays ending in 0 - he is a massive "Prisoner" fan. So we had a great day (luckily the rain held off!) driving through the countryside and pretty villages of Leicestershire.

We had a pub lunch here.

Sorry again for the length of posts - I think September was quite busy but then I had a much quieter 3 months so hopefully I will get the highlights finished by the 31st!!


Tricia said...

Another wonderful post... all that colour still. You've taken on quite a task with your 'highlight' posts :D

Ragged Robin said...

Tricia - Many thanks. Must admit the "highlights" posts are a lot more work than I remembered :) I think I've got a little too carried away:)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely, colourful photos again Caroline. You certainly managed to take advantage of the very few nice days we had. Temple Balsall did look and sound a fascinating place, I remember thinking that when you first posted it.

If you do go back to Upton House the bog garden is worth a look, at least it used to be, I haven't been recently.

Is that you I spy in the Caterham 7? ;-) How fortunate you had good weather that day!

Re. The mini meadow, due to so much bad weather and the fact I had another 'episode' similar to the one in June of 2011, the garden has been rather neglected again this year....at this rate it will revert to meadowland anyway ;-)

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - thank you Jan :) If you ever revisit Baddesley and Packwood it would be worth visiting Temple Balsall as its only a few miles away. I found it a totally magical place and there is a car park close by near the primary school. The history of the place is fascinating.

Thanks for the tip re: Upton House. We didn't have that long and there is so much to see that the bog garden was missed and I also missed a painting exhibition in the house. Will try and go back with Brian - as we've mentioned before we need to get more value out of our membership :)

Yes, it is me. One of the rare photos you are likely to see on this blog!! :)

I'm ever so sorry to hear that you were unwell again Jan - I do hope you have recovered now and feel a lot better. It must be very frightening at the time and especially awful on top of everything else you have had to contend with.

It would be interesting to see what wildflowers did come up :)