The Gardens at Hampton Court

110eI mentioned how amazing the palace gardens at Hampton Court were in my last post, and they really were beautiful, even in midwinter. There were a couple of small signs of spring on its way too…

111eTiny buds that will become blossom

114eGreen shoots and tiny flowers

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124eThe kitchen gardens were so impressive, even though not much was growing. There were some cabbages and greens, and some lovely rainbow chard.

126eI love this idea for using old plant pots as markers for herbs

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101eI cannot wait to visit Hampton Court again sometime in the summer. It will be great to spend the day exploring the grounds properly. The gardens run all the way down to the River Thames, link up with Henry VIII’s deer park, that still has a herd of fallow deer, and there is a rose garden too. I think a sunny day with a picnic and some garden wandering would be pretty much perfect.

 

Hampton Court

073eI have been watching the wonderful adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall on tv recently, and reading her novel Bring up the Bodies. It seems that I just cannot get enough of the Tudors at the moment. I always was a bit of a history geek! I realised that despite living only an hour away from Henry VIII’s wonderful palace, Hampton Court, I had never visited…so we did!

027eMuch of the palace is open to the public, including Henry’s living quarters, kitchen and stunning banqueting hall.

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191eI loved the dark stone-floored corridors connecting the different sections of the palace.

008eAs did Joe, who had so much fun exploring

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020eAn idea of the scale!

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153e149eBeautiful detail of the Tudor rose in a ceiling

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The number of chimneys, and the variety of designs, was amazing

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159eMia’s favourite part was the dressing up! There were velvet capes, in lovely jewel colours, available to borrow and wear around the palace. Seeing people wandering through the corridors in their capes really gave a feel of what the place would have been like as a royal court.

The gardens at Hampton Court are stunning too, and worth a visit in their own right. I am putting together a separate post on the gardens…I saw my first snowdrops and daffodils of the season!

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IMG_3032 (2)eA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015

Mia: this is the look that best reflects her character…thoughtful mischief

Joseph: colander hat…imperfect photography (and on my phone too) but I had to capture this!

Joining in with Jodi and the other lovely bloggers at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.

An Allotment

aefc6653e103f9d0c7c2e80fd902f510At the end of last year I received the most exciting news…I had reached the top of the waiting list for an allotment in the village! I have been patiently waiting since 2013, and from early Feb I will be the proud tenant of my own plot!

When we first bought our house six years ago, it had the perfect garden for veg growing, with a large and ready-dug allotment-style plot, and three(!) greenhouses. However, this left us with very little garden to use for sitting, eating, playing with Mia, so we completed a massive garden renovation project and made the whole garden lawn! At the time we were also thinking of selling the house, and we thought a lawn would be more buyer-friendly. After re-homing two of the greenhouses and demolishing the other, picking hundreds of tulips, and hours of laying lawn turf, which are amusingly called ‘sods’, we had a beautiful garden.

But, I missed my veg growing so much, and we decided not to move, so I added my name to waiting list for an allotment in our village. There are only 15 plots, so I knew it could be a long wait! I spent the following few summers squashing in grobags of tomatoes against the shed, building a raised bed under Mia’s playhouse and planting a selection of herbs in small tubs. It has been alright, but not ideal, and with a small baby I’ve not had huge amounts of free time for gardening. So the timing of this news is perfect, and I am so excited. I am busy planning my plot, buying seeds and preparing to start digging as soon as the very cold weather passes. I have created a new allotment Pinterest board, with lots of exciting and inspiring ideas and photos, take a look.

Do let me know if you have any allotment advice, veg growing tips…is there anything you have grown really successfully? Whilst I’m not a total beginner at this, I’m certainly no expert, so any advice or ideas are really appreciated!

P.S If anyone knows the link to the image above, please let me know and I will update Pinterest x

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IMG_2903(1)eA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015

Mia: singing along

Joseph: looking at his toes, they are covered in Ready Brek…I left him for one minute and when I returned it had ‘snowed’…

Joining in with Jodi and the other lovely bloggers at Practising Simplicity for the 52 project.