A bit of colour….

I love this gladioli.  It came up suddenly last year after we had lived in this house for 9 years. 

pink gladioli

We had a blustery day and it got blown over and the stem broke so I had to bring it in and put it in a vase.  Oh well…. silver linings and all that!

close up of pink gladioli

Chaumont Garden Festival

When we went to France in the summer, because we were in the Loire Valley we visited a lot of chateaux.  Unsurprisingly, after a few days of this the kids (and I) began to get chateauitis.  So we started to find ways that DH could indulge his passion for looking round them while entertaining the kids in other ways.

At Chaumont there was a brilliant garden festival in the grounds.  The kids were a bit dubious as to the entertainment value, but they soon decided it was worth it.   The grounds were divided into several different sections, like small rooms and each had been made into an original garden by a sponsor.   The Garden Festival website has a link to each garden with an English version.

The entrance to the festival interested me especially.  It had sculptures made from rusty poles.

rust sculpture

rusty sculpture

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will not be surprised to hear that I wanted to enhance it with some fabric!

They especially liked the one sponsored by the French railway company, SNCF, called Just Move It.  It had tubs and sections on bits of railway line which you could push and pull about to rearrange it to suit the way you wanted it.

garden planters on railway tracks

Another noteworthy garden had lots of planters up in the air suspended by wires:

planters up in the air on wires

And yet another made the garden look bigger using mirrors:

garden with mirrors

They also had an interesting garden where you could move various ‘screens’ to frame the flowers planted behind.  This made me think of the use of aperture cards to find interesting portions of a design which we learnt about at City & Guilds.

garden with 'frames' in front

I also liked this garden where they had painted tree trunks blue to make a very sculptural, and rather eery set of figures…

blue tree trunk figures

They marched off across this lake as well:

sculptural blue figures across lake

They had a graffiti garden, too!

fence with graffiti

An amazing tree trunk

While we were at Avon Valley Country Park, I saw this amazing tree trunk:

knarled tree trunk

As you can see, it’s the one the obliging angora goat was hiding in:

plaited tree trunk

Here is a photo of the whole thing:

old tree

I wonder if it had been coppiced in the past. What an inspiration!

Tiny flowers

I thought it was time for a bit of visual relief so I took the camera for a walk in the garden this afternoon and turned the macro setting on.  

blue flower

Not sure what this flower is but it is on a very long stem and looks a bit like a harebell.   We got lots of free packets of wild flowers at a Springwatch ‘Breathing Places’ open day last year in Newport and I think this is one of them.  In fact it is the only new wild flower I have noticed growing in the garden and I’ve scattered a lot of seeds around!

herb robert

This is herb robert but it is pinker than the photo shows.

yellow weed!

Don’t know what this is but it is one of those weeds that you mean to pull up and then it flowers and you change your mind!