Sunday, 19 March 2017

Visit to Sweden and a pelargonium nursery in March

My pelargonium friend Anne invited me back to Sweden specifically to visit the Sune Trygg pelargonium nursery which was opening early in the year specifically for the pelargonium societies.   Liga was also invited, and I was so pleased to be meeting her at last after quite a few years of corresponding via Facebook and emails.   Anne met me at Arlanda Airport and we waited about an hour for Liga to arrive from Dublin.    The drive to Anne's home took a lot longer than expected - we stopped at two Garden Centres and a nursery on the way.   The nursery had a wonderful display of orchids, one of Liga's passions.

An odd looking succulent
 It was a complete surprise to wake up the next morning to find it had been snowing.  It snows so rarely here in the UK, at least in recent years, that both Liga and myself were delighted.

 After breakfast we set off in the car to visit the Sune Trygg pelargonium nursery, picking up Gunilla on the way.  The nursery was open specifically for the local pelargonium societies to buy plants.     Liga and I were like two kids in a sweet shop! 


Anne and Gunilla chatting to the owner

Part of the outside of the nursery - it was twice the size you can see in the above photo.

When we got back to Anne's, Liga and I went outside with our cameras.    It was a bit dull and the light was beginning to fade.

Anne cooked us a wonderful curry supper
 Sunday morning we all went for a walk - the sun was out and the snow was crisp.

Anne with her three dogs

Thank you Anne for a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Polesden Lacey in February

We had intended to visit Polesden Lacey last Tuesday, but on checking the website for the opening time discovered that it was closed for the day for ‘staff training’.  On Friday morning Brian suggested we visit Polesden Lacey.  I can’t say I was overly keen; the weather outside looked awful.  Anyway, chores finished we set off, calling at a local garden centre on the way for a cup of coffee and hoping that the light drizzle would have stopped by the time we got to our destination.    Sadly the weather only got worse as the day wore on – the light drizzle became a steady drizzle with flurries of occasional sleet.   We took the winding walk to the House with hood up, cap on and heads down.   Not that we could see anything anyway – everything was shrouded in a heavy drizzly mist.

Polesden Lacey is the first National Trust property to be open every day  (apart from 'staff training' days which turned out to be an AGM at Dorking Halls!).   It seems they are now doing tours of the house and we had to wait until 11.30 for the first tour.  We were both a tad disappointed not to be able to see the whole house, and we particularly wanted to see Polesden Lacey’s first exhibition of Lady Greville artefacts that had not been seen by the public before.  It seems this would not be open until 12.30.  We actually enjoyed the tour. Our guide, Elizabeth, really set the scene on life at Polesden Lacey when Maggie Greville lived there.    After the tour we set off back to the entrance and a warming bowl of butternut squash and chilli soup.  We really needed it as the house is not overly warm and, of course, we had walked back through the heavy drizzle.   We set off again back to the house to see the exhibition.  Again, we were a bit disappointed, it was rather sparse and we seemed to whizz round it in no time.   We did think that the staff were not well organised.  There were no signs to the exhibition.  We were just told it was 'upstairs', so up we went only to find we should have gone up a different stairway which was off a small room we had not gone into.    

Polesden Lacey was the country retreat of Lady Greville who entertained lavishly both there and at her London House.  She became friends with King Edward VII and the late Queen Mother, who were often guests.  King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey.

Puddles and mist on our way to the house

Roller skates.  Apparently the staff used to roller skate in the long corridor when Lady Greville was away!

From a distance I wondered what these 'statues' were.  On closer inspection I am non the wiser - they are covered in some sort of  protective sheeting.

Some flowers braving the wet and cold

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A winter's walk along The River Wey from Shalford to St. Catherine's Lock - 2nd January 2017

On a sunny, if rather chilly, day we decided on a short walk along the River Wey.  

View taken from St. Catherine's Lock back along the way we came.   The lock was opened in 1764 and is the shallowest lock on the Wey.

Reflection  in the glass wall of an office block at the start and end of our walk.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Watts Chapel and Cemetery, Compton - Novembe 2016

Cranleigh Camera Club Ladies visit in November was to Watts Chapel and Cemetery in Compton.    

Mary Watts, second wife of George Frederick. Watts, was the artistic force behind the creation of the Chapel. Her husband, the Victoria era painter and sculptor, financed the building of the it.  Mary and George Watts presented the Chapel to the village of Compton as their gift and it remains a working village chapel.

This bright red brick Arts and Crafts masterpiece is a Grade 1 listed building.    I found the design and decorations to be quite fascinating.    The chapel was constructed between 1896 and 1898 by a group of local amateurs and enthusiasts guided by Mary.  George Watts painted a version of “The All-Pervading” for the altar only three months before his death.   Both Mary and George have memorials in the Cloister a few yards from the Chapel.

A couple of amusing gravestones