A wallpaper time capsule...

When we stripped all the old plasterboard off the stud walls in the old part of the house we found a treasure trove of wallpapers trapped beneath....

In the hall there was this very yellow floral number.

This green and gold glitzy number was in the living room.

Some more sparkle, this time a leafy design with lots of silver dots.

This one was a little more subtle and one of the only ones that wasn't floral.  Its a sort of chain design with a touch of gold.

This one looks quite tropical!

This one looks quite hawaiian  or surfy!

These roses were in the dining room and are quite dramatic when seen on a whole wall scale!

I can't remember where this was but it's very pink...

This one would give Cath Kidston a run for her money!

This is the last one we found and it's quite delicate with pink cornflowers on a white background.

All the stud walls in the old part of our house are made of tongue and groove.  They had been papered with old newspapers first - I think probably to stop the ridges of the wood from showing through on the wall paper.

We've stripped the wallpaper right back and have repaired bits of the wood that were rotten or simply missing.  There's still lots of work to do before we can paint but I can't help dreaming of what colours to use!  Having stripped all the wallpaper off I'm definitely going to steer clear of putting anymore up, paint all the way!

I've no idea what date any of the wallpapers are from, do leave me a comment if you recognise any of them or know when they might be from!

Renovations!

The old part of our house was built in 1918 and now that we have a new extension (which we pretty much live in) we really notice how cold the old bit feels in comparison.  So now the new bit is more or less finished, we have started to turn our attention to the old bit.

The first thing we needed to do was take down a few walls and strip off all the old plasterboard and ceilings....

This was the hall after the first evening of demolishing.  The hall is going completely and becoming part of the living room, which is how it was originally.



Thankfully we have a handy helper who we can put to work doing all the tidying up!



We had to move all the contents of the old house into the new bit and now it looks like a very disorganised junk shop!


Once we removed the top layer of plasterboard we uncovered a treasure trove of wallpapers from throughout the 20th Century (a detailed post of the wallpaper time capsule to follow!)



There is a new roof to go on and lots of new insulation to keep the place nice and warm, it's a shame we have to cover up the lovely structure of the roof but it will be worth it for the extra heat!



Our stud walls were all originally tongue and groove so we have taken the wood off and hope to be able to reuse it as much as possible.






We decided to reinstate the wall between the front room and the old dining room at the back but rather than just re tongue and groove it all we thought a window would look nice.  We had a look on gumtree and managed to find this one which just happens to fit almost perfectly in the gap that used to be the hall!  It has a broken pane but I'm hoping it won't be too hard to fix.


Although we have been spending most evenings and weekends demolishing, pulling out nails and stripping wallpaper, a tasty hot chocolate and the promise of a much warmer house makes it all worthwhile!

Halloween!

We had a halloween party on actual halloween (since it just happened to be a Saturday).  There were sparklers, a little bonfire, mulled cider and apple juice, a slow cooked ham and lots of autumn fruit pies!


My mum grew the little gourds last year for my sisters wedding and I dried them to use again this year.  The colours aren't as bright as they were last year and they are really light and hollow sounding but I think they still look pretty nice on the mantlepiece.  This year I've added some fresh pumpkins (which will end up in a soup or something in a bit) and some leaves, twigs and pinecones picked up from various walks as well as some poppy seed heads from the garden.


The smaller guests dressed up, George was a cat and meowed lots.


We had sparklers and a little bonfire in our cast iron garden stove outside.  It was so mild we even ate our tea outside too.


The sticks for the bonfire proved more interesting than the sparklers for some of the guests.


There was lots of food, including tonnes of sweets as well as these three pies which are from the left - boozy rhubarb (made with the rhubarb I strained out of my rhubarb liquer), blackberry and apple and the last one is apple.


This one was my favourite - I bought the little leaf cutters on eBay.


No party is complete without bunting in my opinion so I spent the Friday night before the party making some out of the pages of an old book and a sharpie marker!



George makes all sorts of marvellous art projects at nursery so I added these to some black and white string to make a spooky garland.


I love this glittery bat!


My sister gave me some spider web decorations which came with their very own spiders.


An autumny flower arrangement.


I had planned to carve lots of pumpkins but in the end I just did this one simple one.  Will try harder next year!  I made a pumpkin cake with the stuff I scooped out of it but after cooking for what seemed like an eternity it was still the most squishy inedible thing unfortunately.


I made this garland out of a sponge painting that George had done.  It was full of lovely autumn colours so I used my star paper cutter and cut out lots of stars and glued them to some black and white butchers string.  I love the idea that every halloween I'll be able to get this out and hang it up - whereas  the painting would have been up on the fridge for a while and then got put in a pile with the many other masterpieces he has produced. ;-)



Some more bunting, this time it's just ordinary printer paper and a sharpie marker taped to black and white butchers string.


We strung some rope lights along the bench in the hall which I really love.  They are so sparkly!

All in all it was a great party, now the back yard is pretty much finished I'm hoping we can have lots more gatherings out there.

Autumn

It's been such a long time since I posted anything on here but it's been such a lovely autumn over the past few weeks I thought I'd finally get round to posting some pictures of what we've been up to lately....


We've been working on finishing off the patio area at the back of our house, helped abley here by George and ducky.


I tried to go courgettes from a plant my mum gave me. As far a I knew courgettes were supposed to be the most productive plants ever and I figured I would end up with a great glut, but no it wasn't to be, my courgette plant only managed one little courgette! Rather than stir fry it or whatever you do with just one courgette I decided it would be best off as a cake. It was yummy.


We had a lovely sunny day out in rowallane, far sunnier and warmer than most of the actual summer days!


There have been many pies and I have used my enamel dishes at every opportunity! The top one is pork and apple with a creamy calvados sauce and the bottom one is fig, pancetta and goats cheese. They were yummy too.



We had another sunny day out in castle espie looking at the ducks, and a wheel barrow of course.


We had nosy neighbours.

And occasionally Belfast city centre looked a bit like Paris.



We had fun exploring the newly cut field on yet another sunny day.


And inspected the new decking.


We crowned the winner of our first annual sunflower growing competition. (I came last)


I made a lot of jam and chutney!
(Some free downloadable labels will be up soon on the shop)


We had some froggy visitors when we put down the new stones at the back of the house.


I spent a couple of days in the autumny loveliness of stranmillis college for work.


And I treated myself to a new scarf which is as big as a blanket, but what with all the sunshine this autumn I have been roasting wearing it!

We also had a Halloween party but I'll save that for another post!

Bluebell hunting in Castle Ward

On Bank Holiday Monday we took the camper van down to Castle Ward for a picnic and a spot of bluebell hunting.  It was a lovely sunny day but a bit breezy but we found a nice spot by a tree that was a bit sheltered and had a rather nice view of the lough in one direction...


And a view of the gothic side of the house in the other direction.


After a picnic of crusty bread, cheese and ham, George and his dad played a spot of football and we packed up the picnic things then headed off looking for some bluebells.


They weren't hard to find!  We used to come to Castle Ward when I was little and I always remember the seas of blue along the paths.  


Portaferry was looking lovely in the sunshine.


I really liked this little window, it turns out that it was where a person would stand to weigh things that were on the weighbridge.  They would have had the window open and inside there were a set of scales so they could determine the weight of whatever was on the weighbridge outside.


Having a look at the ducks.



And the goats.


Just before this shot a gust of wind blew George's sun hat into the duck pond.  Dee had to rescue it with a branch, and was cheered on by some other visitors!


A view of Audley's Castle from the end of Temple Water.  I love how they must have planned the view so the Castle was framed in the middle!


The wild garlic was amazing, it looks so pretty and smelled fantastic.  In fact after we got home we decided we really wanted some for our garden so I had a look on eBay and found a Scottish lady selling some from her garden so I just had to buy it, I've planted it at the back of our house so hopefully next spring we will have scenes like this in our garden!


More bluebells.


There were some gorgeous patches of daisies too.  I wish we had more daisies in our grass but we are just overrun with dandelions instead. :-(

There were some elegant swans swimming about on the water.


I liked these fancy gates.


When we were walking back to the camper van George fell asleep so we stopped on a bench in front of the house for a cup of tea and a bun.  The camper certainly stood out a bit amongst the cars!

Island Hill

One breezy Sunday George and I took a trip to Island Hill, the last time we were there it was a lovely sunny day but unfortunately the tide was right in so we didn't actually get to go out to the island.  Determined not to make the same mistake twice, this time I actually checked the tide tables to make sure the tide would be out and it certainly was....

The place looks so different when the tide is out.



There was some beautiful blossom in the hedgerows.


This is the path out to the island.



I spotted these walls and steps and wondered if maybe there had been a house on the island at some stage?



The view towards Scrabo tower.




The branches of the hedges had all this moss growing over it, very magical looking


There is a small airport in Newtownards and there were lots of small planes tootling about in the sky.



I loved the mustard yellow of this rock, it reminded me of this coat!

Island Hill is off the dual carriage way between Comber and Newtownards in County Down.  It is free to visit, there is a car park and the walk is pretty accessible apart from the bit from the main path across the lough to the island path which is a pebbly beach.  There are picnic tables near the car park and it would definitely be a good spot for a picnic or even a fish supper ;-)

Picnic at Mount Stewart

As a birthday treat George and I went out to Mount Stewart for a picnic with our friends Kerry and Felix. It was a gorgeous sunny day, the first proper day here you could sit outside in short sleeves.  It was even quite warm in the shade.


We went for a bit of a walk after eating lots of lovely food.. My favourite thing about our buggy is that I can fit my wicker picnic basket underneath it!


and were accosted by some very loud and nosey ducks!


They got really close!  I suspect they maybe wanted some of our picnic!


The National Trust have recently bought more land around the estate and have open up some bits that I hadn't been in before.  This was the dairy which leads of a walled garden.


There were some beautiful tiles on the walls.


I think this was a rather ornate old fridge.



This is the walled garden, it is pretty derelict at the moment, I'm not sure if they have plans to reinstate it.


I loved this cheerful, if slightly grubby door!


My first sighting of a bluebell this year!



Views of the lake.

We managed to get a quick peek round the downstairs of the house which has been newly renovated but we didn't get a look upstairs so I will have to go back another day.

Blossom at Rowallane

On a sunny Tuesday, after a trip to the dentist, me and George along with my mum and her friend Lorna headed to Rowallane to have a walk round.  Mum, George and I had been there back in March to look around the Spring Ground there but when we were there then spring hadn't really sprung and there wasn't much out in bloom.  A month definitely makes a big difference!  The place was full of blossom this time!


Gorgeous apple trees.


I thought this was some sort of big snowdrop but it's actually called summer snowflake.

After watching Gardener's world feature on magnolias the other week I really fancy getting one for our garden, although I'd say it's take a good few years before it was this big!


The branches and blooms made a lovely pattern against the blue skies.


Masses of forget me nots.



Rowallane is well known for its masses of Rhododendrons.  I particularly liked this one, it looks quite like the one in our garden, although our one is no where near blooming yet. 


I think these are woodland anemones.

The courtyard was looking very nice in the sunshine...


So one of us stopped to have a bit of a picnic!


It was a lovely day out although be warned, at this time of the year the cafe isn't open on a Tuesday and for some reason they have closed the shop :-(

Birthday Party!

At the weekend it was someone specials first ever birthday party!  Naturally that meant the bunting and balloons had to come out!




It wouldn't be a proper birthday party without balloons on the gatepost!


I love these marbled balloons from the pound shop!  They don't look very promising in the bag but once you blow them up they look lovely.


More bunting, you really can never have too much in my opinion!


Cheerful top hats.


Pretty butterfly buns.


Some personalised bunting.


This bunting was recycled from my surprise baby shower. 


Even the hall didn't escape buntingification!


A very happy birthday boy!


Unfortunately my massive hair is obscuring the birthday boy in this action cake shot!


This is the inside of the cake, it was rather more massive than I had intended.  The bottom layer is banana, the middle layer is banana and peanut butter and the top layer is banana and nutella.  It was lovely even if I say so myself!


Everyone was so generous, now I just have to find somewhere to put all this!






Delamont

A couple of Sundays ago we took our first day trip of the year in the camper van, down to Delamont near Killyleagh for a bit of a walk before lunch.  It was a bit cloudy and windy but when the sun did come out of hiding it was actually pretty warm.  I hadn't been to Delamont in years.  It's run by Down Council and it costs £4 per car to get in.  We just had a bit of a walk around but there is a little railway for kids and there was a place selling coffee which is always nice on a Sunday morning!
Nice view of the Mournes.
This is the Millenium stone, it was put up by lots of scouts in 1999.

Getting wrapped up... it was pretty breezy at the top of this hill.

It was the start of the spring series yacht races that day, here they all are milling around before the start of the race.

Lovely daffodils.
As you go around Delamont there are bits of green gym equipment to use.  You can get a season ticket for £25 so you can go as many times as you like, definitely much cheaper than a regular gym, but maybe a bit miserable if it's raining!

There were lots of freshly ploughed fields, I wonder what they're going to plant here?  Will have to go back later in the summer to find out I suppose!.


The walk around takes you down close to the shore of Strangford Lough and there are a few pebbly beaches you can get out on to.

There were lots of cute lambs about but as soon as I got the camera out they made a run for it!


Finally we spotted this old walled garden, it's all over grown which is a pity.  There is even an old glass house hidden in there.  It would be great if they could get someone to take this on and run it to grow veggies to sell or use in a local cafe or something.

Anyway, Delamont is well worth a visit, I'm very tempted to invest in a season ticket as I think we might become regular visitors!

Handmade Mother's Day

This year, inspired by Junkaholique's amazing handmade Christmas presents, I am trying to make as many presents handmade as possible. I'm not doing too badly, with a few birthdays under my belt so far I have made a variety of things including some moisturiser and bath salts, but I've always had a bit of 'proper' present like a voucher or something as well.  For Mother's Day I decided that I would just give homemade things so I made a selection of bits and pieces for my mum and my mother in law.  I went with two different soaps, some bath milk and some chocolates....




For the soap I made two different scents - Rose & Vanilla and Jasmine & Rose Geranium.  I had dried my Valentine's Day Roses in the oven and added them to the soap but they lost their lovely deep red colour.  I bought translucent shea butter melt and pour soap so it should be nice and moisturising but I think I might try the opaque version the next time as I think it might look nicer! I wrapped each of the soaps in some greaseproof paper and then made a little card sleeve to go over the top.


For the Rose milk soak I used this recipe from Hello Natural, you were supposed to add red food colouring to make it a light pink colour but I could only find gel food colouring and it just didn't cut the mustard!  I think it still looks pretty nice though.  I got the little glass jars from the poundshop!


For the chocolates I used my new favourite truffle recipe!  They are the same ones I made for my valentines day chocolate box and they were equally as delicious this time round.


A close up of the soap packaging.  I was rather proud of this!

All in all I was pretty happy how it all turned out, I packaged it in a gift bag with some tissue paper and I think it looked lovely.  There were no complaints from the mothers anyway! 

I am now quite addicted to making homemade soap and bath things.  It is incredibly fun and satisfying, I strongly recommend having a look at all the lovely recipes and ideas over at hello natural.

100!


Well actually it's 102! I can't believe I have made it to more than 100 posts. I started this blog five years ago when I was studying for my MA and I was never much of a blogger, always a bit sporadic and never really thought of anything interesting to put up, but I think I'm getting better, I've managed 3 posts this month which is probably some kind of record for me! 

So thank you to every body who bothers to read my ramblings! Here's to another 100 posts, hopefully it won't take me until 2020 to get there!

Summer holiday...

It seems like pretty much everyone in our house has been sick for all of 2015 so far, but last night things started to look up, the sniffles and coughing subsided a bit and there were even a few smiles to be seen. Plus on the weather front there was definitely a glimmer of sunshine and blue skies so I couldn't help but start dreaming of holidays and camping! It's still a bit cold for any overnights in the camper just yet but it's definitely not to early to start dreaming and planning!

Here are some pictures from our summer holiday last year to get us all in the mood!




We took the campervan up the north coast, starting in portrush for the airshow. It's on every September and well worth a visit - airwavesportrush.co.uk


The views from the walk down from the campsite into town are pretty nice.


The harbour at portrush.



Saw this lovely car parked and couldn't resist taking a pic!


Some planes...


Having some refreshments!


I love the red arrows and can't wait to see them every year. They were excellent as always!


The next day after the airshow we headed towards our next campsite which was in Bushmills and stopped off to have a look round Dunluce castle on the way.





Although we were only travelling a few miles each day we always made sure to stop for tea along the way.


We also visited Ballintoy harbour which looked lovely in the sunshine. It's very popular with Game of Thrones fans as it is the setting for the Iron Islands in the show. There is a lovely cafe here too.




The camper parked up in Ballintoy.


We then took a trip over the Carrick a Rede rope bridge which is managed by the National Trust. It was much lest rickety than I remember! 


Although it was September, the weather was amazing and the sea looked positively tropical.


All cosy in the camper.


There were many spectacular views from our various tea stops.



The next camp site we stopped at was in Cushendall and the spaces were pretty much right beside the sea, which was excellent!  This is the view during the day.


And this is the amazing scene at night, the moon was very impressive indeed.



Finally we stopped in Carrickfergus, where we had a tasty picnic lunch and had a look round the famous castle.




And of course finished off with the obligatory cup of tea and a French fancy.

All in all we were only a way for a few days but we packed so much in it felt like ages! The north coast is beautiful and there really is so much to see and do although we were very lucky with the weather.

Now to start planning some trips for 2015!

Homemade chocolate box for valentines...

I am trying my best to make as many presents in 2015 as possible. It saves a little bit of money, it's fun and satisfying and for what little money you do spend you definitely get more bang for your buck than if you'd just gone out and bought the finished thing!

So for valentines I decided to make some chocolates for my beloved. I've made truffles before but this time I treated myself to some silicone chocolate moulds to make the finished article a bit professional looking!  They were only a few pounds each, take a look on eBay, there are tonnes of different designs, I got  a plain round one and one that was described as robots but they are most definitely lego men!


The finished selection. 


These are Oreo truffles, I got the recipe from www.apartmentapothecary.com and they were really easy to put together and dee pinched one out of the fridge as they were setting and proclaimed they were the most delicious thing he'd ever tasted so high praise indeed!


Next up were salted caramel chocolates which I finished off with my favourite gold food spray which makes anything look fancy! These were just melted dark chocolate (from lidl - 35p a bar!) put in the mould and set in the fridge and then I melted some chomps with a little butter and added a teaspoon of sea salt, put that in the chocolate mould and set again then topped with more dark chocolate.  I didn't have enough caramel mixture to fill them all so I improvised and made some peanut cups too 

The peanut cups.

Finally I made some white chocolate and cranberry lego men/ robots. This was just melted white chocolate and some blitzed cranberries mixed in. I had some mixture left over so I set it in some mini bun cases, no point wasting it ;-)


All in all I reckon I spent £10 (£5 of which was for the moulds which I can use again) and it took me less than an hour. So pretty chuffed with the result!

I packaged them up in a left over box from my Christmas cookies (79p for two in home bargains!) and I think they look pretty fancy indeed!









Valentines cards....

It's that romantic time of year again so I've made some Valentine's cards and you can get one for that special someone in your life over in the shop!




They're all printed on recycled kraft card and come with snazzy colourful envelopes!  Plus there's free postage to the UK.  Order by next wednesday to make sure you get it time for the big day!

Royal Ulster Academy Annual Show

I was very chuffed that my work 'Irish Lights' was selected for this years Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibition.  It's up in the Ulster Museum at the moment and you can see the exhibition until the start of January.  Even more exciting that being picked to be in the exhibition is the fact that my book has been sold!  I couldn't believe it when my mum phoned me to say she'd seen a red dot by my piece when she was in looking around the exhibition.  Woohoo! There is no other word for it really.


Detail of the book


Another close up


How the book is displayed in the exhibition.


Cheesy pick of me at the opening of the exhibition with someone looking through my book in the background!


First camping trip as a family...

At the start of September we planned to take a camping trip around the North Coast for a few days but we thought it might be a good idea to do a trial run first.  We decided to try one night at the campsite at Castle Ward as it isn't too far from home so at least if it was a complete disaster we could just pop home without too much bother! In the end it worked out just fine. The weather was lovely although it did get a little nippy at night so definitely need to bring a heater in the future.



All packed up and ready to go.  We did need considerably more stuff having a baby with us but it did all fit, just about!





We bought George ear defenders as the Land Rover is pretty noisy when it's driving.  He absolutely loves them and pretty much falls asleep as soon as they go on!


All parked and set up.



We went down on a Tuesday so the site was pretty empty.  Castleward is really popular and I think you have to book ages in advance to get in at the weekend.


The campsite is surrounded by forrest which will be great for exploring when George is a bit bigger although he seemed pretty taken by the light fluttering through the tree canopy as it is!


A glimpse of Strangford Lough.


A pretty foxglove - all the ones in our garden are long gone by September.


A tunnel under one of the lanes on the estate.


I have been to Castleward so many times and I don't really remember seeing this tree tunnel before, it was pretty cool.


Inside the tree tunnel.


Temple water.  There is a lovely walk all around the water.




The boats in Audley's Bay.


I thought this bit of wood looked a bit like the Lough Ness monster.


We were only there for one night but we packed a lot in, we walked into Strangford and got some ice creams on the first day then headed back for a picnic dinner.  After we packed up we headed in to the Castleward estate and had a cup of tea and a scone then a lovely long walk finished off with a nice lunch, a perfect couple of days and just what we needed to get ready for a bigger camping trip.

Day trip to Mount Stewart

One Saturday Mum, Dad, me & George took a trip to Mount Stewart.  It was a bit of a dull day but the gardens were still very busy.  We had a great walk around then finished it all off with a lovely lunch in the cafe (with good timing as it bucketed as we went in and then the sun came out when we'd finished!)

The house.


Mum, Dad and George.


Some yarn bombing.



Lots of ducks about.


I loved this faded blue hydrangea, it reminded me of a ladies hat from the 1960's!


Totally unimpressed with the scenery.


Swans.


Ducks.


Dad taking photos with his new tablet!


I have one of these plants in a pot by the front door but it looks so pathetic compared to this, think i might need to feed it or move it somewhere better!


I thought this clematis looked a bit like it was covered in lots of tiny Andy Warhol wigs!


The formal gardens are filled with lots of fancy planters, I really like them but I suspect they might look a bit silly in my ordinary garden!


There are lots of different bits of topiary around the place too, I like this boat the best.


There are stone creatures everywhere, it would make a great treasure hunt for kids.


George and mum admiring the lily pond.


These nasturtium put mine to shame, must try harder next year as they looked amazing here.


More stone shapes.





Lovely anemone.


Geraniums.


Island Hill...

One sunny day last week Sarah, George and I decided to take a quick trip to Island Hill.  I hadn't been in ages and thought it would be nice to go for a bit of a walk as George definitely sleeps better at night when we've been out for a walk.


It was very sunny but there was a chilly breeze blowing - we had to tuck George's blanket well in so it didn't blow away!


Blue skies..


Me trying to be vaguely glamorous while wearing my head scarf to try and keep the wind out of my ears - I always get sore ears when its windy!


We hadn't bothered checking the tide tables before we left and the tide was very far in when we arrived, which looked lovely...


...but meant that we couldn't actually walk on the path!


Waves crashing over the path.





Selfie with my new camera.


You can just see the water breaking over the path out to the island in this photo.  Lesson learned  - must check the tide tables next time we go!

Galway adventures...

Last month we took a short trip to Galway.  Dee was sailing and George and I decided to tag along and see the sights.  We just went for the weekend so we packed a lot into two days.  The first day we walked into the city centre and wandered around in the sunshine which was rather nice.  However I didn't get to take as many photos as I liked as George got rather grumpy each time I wanted to stop!


The Spanish arch.  We had a look round the museum which is just round the corner from here.  It was pretty good, they had an exhibition on the cinema in Ireland and another one about Dance halls.  There is a restaurant attached to it which serves a rather nice carrot cake too.






Not all that impressed with the sights.


The boats out racing in the bay.


I was rather taken by this building, it looks a bit like a piece of Wedgewood pottery or something!


We headed out to my favourite restaurant, Trattoria, for tea.  Every time I've been in Galway I've had something to eat here and it's always delicious!


The next day we headed to Kylemore Abbey.  I think I was here once as a child but that was a long time ago, so I've always wanted to go back as a grown up!  Unfortunately the weather was a bit crap and I got soaked quite a bit but it did dry up enough to take a quick scoot round the victorian walled garden.  It's pretty formal with some rather jazzy patterns in the bedding plants!


A rather stylish glass house - they are gradually repairing and rebuilding these, I'm guessing they're probably quite expensive to rebuild.


Some serious sheds.


This is the head gardener's house.  Not too shabby!


Cold frames.


The view over the vegetable gardens.


 Gates out from the walled vegetable garden.


Pink Poppy.


Sweetpea in amongst the beetroots.


This was a whole bed of comfrey used for making comfrey tea to feed the plants.


Another view of the formal gardens.


The abbey.  You can look inside at a few of the rooms that have been refurbished as they would have been in the gardens heyday.


More rain!

All in all it was a lovely weekend and a good first trip to take with George as it involved no planes or anything, just driving in the car which mostly just sends him off to sleep!