Weekly photo challenge: bluebell blur

Bluebell meadow

Bluebells. For me, they’re a sign of home. My tiny garden is so full of the sturdy, Spanish ones that I can’t plant anything else without digging a few up, no matter how careful I try to be.

We stumbled upon these ones growing wild on Darwen moor, not far from Sunnyhurst Woods, on our way to the Jubilee Tower last spring. A field of bluebells is enough to stop even the most experienced of ramblers in their tracks. It makes me happy to think that this year’s flowers aren’t far away now. Continue reading

Moorland ponies

Moorland ponies

Lovely to meet these three ponies during a walk on Darwen moors. One was bold, eager to meet two passing strangers and find out what we had to offer – ideally food but failing that, affection. The second was patiently waiting to see how things turned out, and the little one was poised to run even further away. The bold one took all we had – just pats, compliments and a few other whispered words!

Gresgarth Hall Gardens: review and photo gallery

Wild boar at Gresgarth Hall GardensGresgarth Hall is home to landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd and her husband Mark. Her private garden, open to visitors ten days each year, has been shaped by her artist’s eye for colour, a scholar’s understanding of structure and a seemingly effortless attention to detail.

A wild boar statue greets visitors: ‘Gresgarth’ is Norse for ‘enclosure of wild boar’. The original building dates from the 14th century – more modern additions have made it elegant as well as imposing. The hillside garden, cut through by Artle Beck, presented challenges that have drawn out all the designer’s ingenuity.  Continue reading