Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gardens and more gardens with some antiques and general indulgence

We've just come back from house-swapping to York, which we've done before, with the same people. House-swapping is great in some ways. You get a free holiday - well, free if you don't count all the lunches out and entrance fees for stately homes and so on - and you know someone is looking after your house so that it's not being burgled, and you know they're watering your plants and so on. It's also good when you come home and find that all the cleaning and tidying you did before you went (because you don't want your swappees to think you're a slob) is still more or less as you left it.

The down side is actually achieving this state of total cleanliness and tidiness all at the same time, while getting ready to go away. Not that packing takes very long these days - a few clean pairs of underclothes and a couple of shirts, some books and away we go. It was much harder when we used to house-swap with three children in tow.

York is a lovely and interesting historic city, so we had fun wandering round and looking at antique shops (I didn't buy anything - go me) and also Goddards, the former home of the Terry family (very desirable indeed, now owned by the National Trust). Chocolate was clearly a very profitable product. Our holiday was enhanced by Daughter 2, who joined us for the weekend. Her baby is due in October, so we had fun buying some little things for Granddaughter 3.

We visited Harlow Carr, the RHS Yorkshire garden, which was slightly past its best but still pretty lovely.

It's built on sloping ground, which gives wonderful vistas.

Then yesterday, Mr L and I went  to Breezy Knees, which is a WONDERFUL garden near York: privately owned and attached to a garden centre. This is our third visit. The owners have a quirky sense of humour!

See below...

But the best thing about it is the planting - so many beds of herbaceous perennials, many of them still blooming even in late summer.

I took dozens of photos. Herbaceous plants are my very favourite kind and, if I had their acres, I'd plant them up just like this (only without the orange ones; I don't like orange). Alas, I have a little garden; but I pack it with plants.

Today we visited Alnwick Castle Gardens, where we've also been before, but it was slightly disappointing because it was definitely too late in the season. Our previous visits have been in, I think, June or July, when they're stunning.

And after a walk to Barter Books - where we bought only three books between us - yes, we were impressed - we came back.

It was a lovely little break - more restful than going away with all the extended family as we did to Norfolk, delightful as the extended family is. However, back to porridge and old clothes, as my mum used to say. (She died five years ago yesterday, as I'm only too aware. I wish she could see her great-grandbabies.)

Back to Zumba tomorrow to work off some of those holiday carbs!


  1. York is a favorite place of ours too. What a great idea to swap homes. I should find someone who'd like to come and live in a swamp for a while.

  2. Sounds blissful, and your photos are wonderful....We have critters who like to eat things we like to grow. They seem uninterested in weeds which grow in abundance. None of them however has been thoughtful enough to leave a note of appreciation.

  3. Those gardens are beautiful -- I'm with you on the oranges -- I prefer reds, blues, pinks and purples -- orange and yellow are not my favorites. Hard to not have them with Zinnias though. DD2 is looking cute -- won't be much longer!!!

  4. How delightful this all looks! You have so many wonderful gardens to visit in the UK! How exciting to be preparing for another grandchild!

  5. Next time I go to York I shall follow your itinerary. Have you ever been to Scampston Hall? We like the Walled garden there.
    I am wondering if GD3 will be a non-blog baby! Quite understandable choice but we do love looking at babies!

  6. I've never been to York, but it looks beautiful. Orange is my favorite color flower. :) There would be no way to get my house neat enough to house swap, not that anyone would really want to live in my town in a housing development cul de sac.

  7. Maravilhosas imagens.
    Adorei conhecer o jardim.


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