Saturday, 14 July 2018

The best laid plans.......

It's funny but sometimes those days when one has little or nothing planned turn out to be really enjoyable.   Such a day was today.

First of all, after weeks of drought we had a couple of hours of good, steady rain on Friday.   Nothing like enough for our thirsty gardens, but a start.   It set me off thinking about how useful a water butt would be on my patio.   So this morning, early, I rang my gardener and on his way to do a nearby garden he called in with his tape measure.   There is just room for a 100litre butt between my bedroom window and the down pipe.
So off Tess and I tootled to the garden shop and bought a smart, black plastic butt with a lid  and a tap.   There are fittings to connect it to the downpipe too but my gardener will do that - my practical skills in that department stop at hoeing up a weed.

Then my son rang to say that he and his wife were going (as they often do) to the National Trust property, Acorn Bank, in Cumbria.   Did I want to go with them? So I took Tess for her second walk of the day, made sure that her water bowl was filled and off the three of us went.

 I knew nothing about the place and when I asked my son who had lived in the house he said 'the Acorn-Banks's presumably' so it was obvious that he knew nothing either.   I am sure he only goes for the magnificent drive there through the most spectacular scenery (from the road through the top Dales there is a clear view of The Howgills and of Nine Standards Rigg), and the N T Tea room which does serve rather good cake.

My daughter in law is quite handicapped and only walks with crutches or travels in her wheelchair.  I am not exactly nimble any longer.   But we did enjoy the walled garden - although past its best because of lack of water there was a faded splendour to it all,   The herb garden smelled divine, the orchards were brimming with fruit, especially apples, oh and did I mention the good cake in the tea shop? 

Reading the N T Book I see that the house belonged to the war poet Dorothy Una Ratcliffe.
She left it to the National Trust some time in the fifties, and - as with all their properties - it has been kept up to perfection. 

Here are three photographs of the garden.   They don't do it justice really but it gives you some idea.


The first two pictures are of the walled garden and the third of inside the greenhouses.   Newts and water lilies abound in the pond.

17 comments:

justjill said...

Lovely!

wherethejourneytakesme said...

I have never been to Acorn Bank but it is on the list for one day. Glad you had a lovely day out and I presume you also went to the tea room - the National Trust always do delicious food.

thelma said...

It is so sad that even gardens are beginning to slump under this weather, but you had a good day out with cake at the end.

the veg artist said...

Walled garden, old greenhouses and tea shop. Sounds absolutely perfect.

Jill said...

Sounds and looks like a beautiful trip.

Barbara said...

Any day that includes cake just has to be enjoyable!
But, seriously, it looks like a lovely place to visit.

Joanne Noragon said...

Shame about the lack of rain. On the other hand, I can imagine the hot smell of autumn in the air, and it is a coming.

Cro Magnon said...

There's very little to compare with a well managed English walled garden.

Rachel Phillips said...

Looks quiet. Not a human in sight.

Derek Faulkner said...

A nice day out has clearly been a good tonic for you. I'll be interested in the progress of your water butt because down here at the moment they are totally useless and have been for a couple of months. I thought Kent was dry but it's nothing like as bad as Surrey where I'm at my partner's this weekend. It looks like someone's gone round the countryside with a flame gun, lawns and verges are a golden yellow rather than green and trees have their leaves hanging on them limp and brittle, everything seems to be dying. Today it is forecast to be 31 degrees and rain is something that just crops up in dreams.
Farmers are harvesting the rape crop now but when I had a look inside some of the pods, the seeds inside are very small and the corn is looking similar.

Frugal in Essex said...

Water butts are a real saving. I really need to read my meter to see if watering the garden during this drought has been worth it. I do throw every drop of sink water in the garden too.

Librarian said...

What a beautiful park/garden, it looks enchanted in its faded splendour! Can one go inside the house, too?
I have just checked on google maps how long it would take to drive there from Ripon. It says about 1 1/4 hours, so it is doable - an idea for our Yorkshire Holiday later this year.

Ivy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivy said...

Too bad it's that dry, isn't it? Nevertheless very beautiful. Good to have such a nice day out with your son and his wife.
Have a nice Sunday as well.

https://ruraltownliving.blogspot.com/

Heather said...

That must have been a delightful day out with your son and daughter-in-law. The photos are beautiful.
The water butt will make watering easier for you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - it was quiet because by the time I took these photos it was only a quarter of an hour to closing time. We had lingered in the tea room!

Derek Faulkner said...

just been to a National Trust place here in Surrey called Hinton Ampner, where they had a jazz band playing outside the house. Unfortunately sitting on the lawns enjoying the music was a tad trying in a relentless 30 degree sunshine, it soon got the better of us I'm afraid - gawd it's hot here!