"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

Monday, 28 June 2021

Herefordshire Part 3: Wildflower Meadow plus Garden flowers and Baking.


Before leaving Herefordshire on the Thursday we had a walk down to the wildflower meadow on the caravan site.  It was full of flowers such as ox-eye daisies, self heal, buttercups, common and bird's foot trefoil and a few orchids.


The tree I have been watching for nearly a year in a nearby field.

Dark Arches moth

Back home a few photos from the garden - first of all the wild flower "meadow" which is still full of Red Campion plus Buttercups, Ribwort Plantain, Common Sorrel and LOADS of Yellow Rattle which is slowly but surely suppressing the couch grass!

Clematis on the patio.  There is a smaller climbing variety further up the garden with smaller purple flowers.


Red Valerian

Mock Orange


A type of cranesbill geranium I think! I call it "Strawberries and Cream".

Canterbury Bells

Honeysuckle flowers have been smothering an arch on the second lawn but I forgot to take a photo before going to Herefordshire and when we returned home they had all gone past their best.

We have a small "No mow zone" on the main lawn which B cuts late summer. It is full of Cat's Ear, Common Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil and a few Ragwort plants.

Small posy of flowers from the garden.


I am not sure if I have posted a photo before of the Classic Chocolate Cake D and E made from a Great British Bake Off came box.  Bake off provide the recipe, instructions, and the dry ingredients and in this box there was a cake stand. You just provide the fresh ingredients and make the cake.

We had the first of the garden strawberries last week - there were not enough for four of us to have a decent serving so I made a Strawberry, Almond and Polenta cake (recipe from the BBC Good Food website).  I was quite pleased that using gluten free self raising flour seemed to work!

B was 70 last Thursday and D and E made him his favourite Black Forest Gateau.  

It looks a bit messy once cut! but it was delicious.

Stay safe and well everyone.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Another Trip to Herefordshire - Part 2: Berrington Hall


Tuesday last week was hotter and sunnier!  I had prebooked tickets for NT Berrington Hall which we hadn't visited before.  It turned out to be as close as Hampton Court Castle and only 20 minutes drive away.

When we arrived in the car park I watched a Spotted Flycatcher catching flies from one of the lower branches of the tree in the second photo.

Thomas Harley, 3rd son of the 3rd Earl of Oxford purchased Berrington Hall from the Cornewall family c1775.  His family had for many years had connections with Herefordshire.  Harley had made his fortune in London as a banker and government contractor.  In 1767/8 he was elected as MP for Herefordshire.

Harley commissioned "Capability" Brown to create the parkland with its view towards the Black Mountains and around 1778 Harley asked Henry Holland to design him a house in the new French Neo-Classical style.

Harley had no male heir but in 1781 his 2nd daughter Anne married the son of Admiral Lord Rodney and after Harley's death the estate came into the hands of the Rodney family for the next 95 years.

The estate was sold to settle gambling debts in 1901 to Frederick Cawley, later Lord Cawley, a wealthy Lancashire cotton finisher.  The house came to the National Trust in 1957.

You enter via the lodge which resembles a Triumphal Arch.

An avenue of golden clipped yews leads to the walled garden.

The walled garden was delightful with a kitchen garden, herbaceous borders and the National Trust has created an orchard area with pre 20th century apple varieties which have fell out of cultivation.

A bed of Sweet Williams again :)

The auricula theatre was filled with different varieties of geranium.

Aren't the names of apples superb?

Out of the walled garden into a woodland garden.

Parkland created towards the very end of Capability Brown's career.

Berrington Hall (if I am honest the Neo-Classical style does not do a lot for me - give me the charm of Packwood or Baddesley Clinton any day!).  The house was open but again I didn't go in for the same reasons as not visiting Hampton Court Castle.

We decided to walk down to and round Berrington Pool which is a 14 acre lake with a wooded island. By now it was hot! The walk down was not so bad but coming back up to the house was hard work!

It was a relief to see at long last quite a few dragon and damselflies. Herons were nesting on the island so the route took a detour to avoid the area.

Mute swan with the first cygnets I have seen this year.

Hall with the recently restored ha-ha.

This is the laundry garden which we had missed earlier.

Heavily cropped shot of a Red Kite flying high over the car park area.

There was a label by this tree to say it was one of five London planes planted at Berrington in 1775 by five sisters of the Harley family of Brampton Bryan.

It was a good afternoon out and we shall certainly be returning.

I left Timothy at the caravan and he was not happy so to compensate I gave him a glass of wine at tea-time!!!! :)  Do you like his new t-shirt?

Stay safe and well everyone.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.

Reference: Berrington Hall Guidebook

Pevsner - "Buildings of Herefordshire"