Stone In The Northern English Landscape

Bronte bridge
Brontë bridge as it is now

Today’s post is a celebration of stone. I’ve grown up seeing it used for buildings, country walls, and paths and miss it when I spend time in places where it is not so readily available. Stone is ancient and helpful: it softens, steadies, anchors.

My first stone bridge has pedigree. It’s one that the Brontë family used to cross the river across from the waterfall on the path that leads over the moor from Haworth to Top Withens. Actually the original bridge was swept away in a flood and this is a replacement, made to a similar design.  Continue reading “Stone In The Northern English Landscape”

Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

Eight stone owls with etched details and yellow eyes

If the idea of gardening merely prompts memories of garden chores such as leaf-blowing, mowing, edging, dead-heading, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to engage in large scale owl-shifting.

Hearing Sherra Owen (whose garden these owls inhabit) on MPB radio reminded me that I had not yet shared my picture of her stone owl log. It is unfair of me not to say once again what a wonderful woodland garden she has, but she’s such a lovely person, I feel sure she won’t mind. Even her wooden fence thrills me, to say nothing of her trilliums, hellebores and other woodland ephemerals.

Apparently one of the things about encouraging owls to roost on fallen timber is that the wood decays and the owls fall… or rather they would, if the lady in question did not move them to a freshly fallen log. Continue reading “Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden”

Tuesday Ragtag Prompt: Energy

Margaret has set an interesting RagTag challenge, asking us to convey energy through a still picture. Here are my offerings:

Elvis, dancing alone, with one hand held high

Elvis, faded into a wall in Clarksdale, MS, in a pose that delights in the energy he had in his prime: energy the established order saw as a threat. Layers of lines and textures interested me almost as much as the subject.

Female hood ornament with graceful posture

Curves rule in this hood ornament that has the energy of a skater, seemingly in motion, even when fixed to a parked car. Flowing lines and an energetic posture reflect the smooth power of the machine, although on a yazoo clay road in Jackson, MS, perhaps not!  Continue reading “Tuesday Ragtag Prompt: Energy”

Stone Angel

Angel's face

As a Doctor Who fan, I really ought not to like stone angels as much as I do. My sweetheart loves to visit cemeteries in his quest for tough plants (‘flowers even dead people can grow’). We often see cherubs but the more characterful angels, like this one holding out a lily in remembrance, are rare.  Continue reading “Stone Angel”

Pebble Mosaic Garden Paving At Gresgarth Hall, Lancashire

Part of the joy of visiting Gresgarth Hall Garden is the chance to admire so many well-sourced, premium quality garden accessories – all the bits and bats as we say up North. Each thoughtful touch beautifully enhances the space, from the frog decorated tap (faucet), to garden benches, gates, cloches, terracotta planters, greenhouses – even the plant labels. The lady of the house, Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, includes five gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show gardens amongst her credits as a landscape designer. So the stone mosaic walkways in Gresgarth’s Zodiac Garden are par for the course: superb modern interpretations of an ancient art.

Pebble paving design: lion and sun motif
The Zodiac Garden’s hand-made pebble mosaic pathway features astrological signs (in this case, Leo) representing family members.

Knowing that pebble floor designs of ancient Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia still exist today makes me wonder how many centuries these designs will live on the garden pathway.  Continue reading “Pebble Mosaic Garden Paving At Gresgarth Hall, Lancashire”