Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


6 Comments

The Road North

Thirty Days Wild, a post each day throughout June, something that is grounded in our wild world.

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_01

I’m up for this, I’ve done it before, I’ve a bit of a cop out on the delivery though this year.  Mr Uphilldowndale and I are on the road, with Spud the dog of course. We’re taking a three week tour in the campervan, a week visiting  the Orkney Islands, and driving the North Coast 500 route around the northern coast of Scotland. Daily delivery of posts may not be possible,  there are so many variables, when I find an Internet connection, expect a flurry of posts. Posts will not be exclusively ‘wild’  as there is so much to share, but nature will be here in all its glory.

20170601_142625 (2)

Post box, Isle of Sanday

First of all how did we get here? It’s a long drive from Derbyshire (over 500m),  we waved as we tootled along past Tootlepedal’s patch, and broke our journey by calling to see the magnificent  Kelpie sculptures at Falkirk, I’d wanted to see them ever since I saw the video of their construction. I was not disappointed.

IMG_9106

How skilful to get such shape and tone to the muscle structure out of sheets of metal.

Kelpies 3

Mr Uphilldowndale wanted to know the nuts and bolts of their construction

Kelpie nuts and bolts_

The Kelpies were having a little grooming

Kelpies 4

We then went on to call, unannounced, on M and J in Kincardine,  M used to work with me in my ‘wee flower shop’, in Alloa, some 26 years ago, we had not seen them since then. We had a lovely evening with them, and camped out on their drive for the night, their kindness and generosity was just as I remembered. A wonderful start to our adventure

Kelpies 5

As we travelled north we were struck by the gorse, it was prolific

20170527_115039

and its vivid colour and perfume,  sweet with notes of coconut, swept along with us.

20170527_125911

Advertisements


7 Comments

Early Doors

We were down in London last weekend. We took some time out to visit Kew  Botanical Gardens, it was three days after my annual pass expired. Sigh.

As we renewed the pass one of the staff commented ‘You’ll need that, you’ll be wanting to come to the orchid festival’

Yes, I thought, that’s why we’re here today. 

It starts tomorrow’ she continued. I was crest fallen, I’d really been looking forward to seeing it, I’ve often managed to ‘just miss’ finding out about  exhibitions, I’d never managed to arrive before one started before! I really should pay more attention…

And whilst the staff were in the throws of the final ‘set dressing’ of the displays, we could still access the glass houses, so all was not lost.

Kew orchid 9

a floating wheelbarrow, how cool is that. Some of the displays certainly took me back to my days worked as a florist (this one reminded me of a funeral tribute we made for a traveller family, it was so big that after we’d finished it we realised we couldn’t get it up the stairs from the basement workroom!)

Kew 13

The scent of this stephanotis, was a flash back to the 1970’s and many hours spent  as a junior  florist wiring the individual florets to be used in bridal bouquets

Kew orchid 8

And there were delicately strung dried helichrysum blooms, waiting to be artistically draped, what a labour of love.

Kew 16

But enough of them, we’re here for the orchids

Kew orchid 6

we were not disappointed,

Kew 15

they were everywhere even strung from the roof.

Kew orchid 4

Another floristry flash back, cymbidium orchids, the ‘go to’ flower for the mother of the bride in the 1980’s, not one bloom but two, as my colleague used to say, ‘that’s not a corsage its a ‘bustenklamper’.

Kew 14

I think this slipper orchid was my favourite

Kew 10

Or was it this one? I like growing orchids, it always seems like I’ve achieved something clever when they flower, although it’s not magic on my part,

Kew orchid 7

I do tend to guild the lily a little sometimes. But the greatest orchid thrill was the wild orchid that randomly, just popped up in the lawn a few years ago,  sadly it’s never made another appearance.

We may have missed out a little on the final flourishes of the festival, but that really didn’t matter.

* Early doors


11 Comments

All Loved Up

It isn’t very often I get out my florist wires and ribbons these days, but I had a lovely time a couple of weeks ago making bouquets for a wedding.

Wedding 2

I used beautiful blue love-in-the-mist,  which I’d grown grown from seeds that Flighty kindly sent me,

The brief had a lovely relaxed, country feel about it. I’d masses of hydrangea’s in the garden, which were just the thing

20160824_192112

For the  ceremony, which was outside, in a stunning location. 

Wedding_

There was such a wonderful vibe about the place during the preparation, everyone beavering away, hanging bunting and paper lanterns, assembling luscious cakes, the band doing sound checks and banter.

Someone even managed to find time to get the kettle on

20160827_104046

Wonderful.

Ladies and gentlemen; the bride and groom ( Photo Credit Phil Sproson).


1 Comment

Thirty days wild. June 23rd

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

Oh dear, I’m behind with my posting, if not my communing with nature.

It seems to be a fine year for foxgloves, especially white ones.

Fox glove header_

I do have a very fast new laptop, I’m not sure it will be quick enough for me to catch up before midnight though, and I have misplaced the lovely daily graphics that Derbyshire Wildlife Trust sent me.


1 Comment

Thirty days wild. June 14th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14

 

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

Daz’s delightful little nice made a posy of wild flowers with her Nanna, a simple pleasure.

posy


2 Comments

Thirty days wild. June 11th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_11

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

The hawthorn blossom took its time arriving this year, but its here now.

Hawthorn_

and looking rather spectacular.

And the first ox-eye daisy is in flower in the field. I do like a daisy.

ox-eye


6 Comments

Thirty Days Wild. June 7th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_07

 

‘The best thing that you can do for nature is to make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

A long and busy day, but I managed to squeeze in a little nature break.  At the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, they have a profusion of daisies

Gardens daisy_

It would be a shame to put them through the lawn mower.

daisy._

There was a photogenic puppy dashing around

Puppy and daisy 3

(it looked very small to be in a public park, I hope it’s had its inoculations?)

Puppy and daisy_

Later on i noticed lots of families picnicking amongst the flowers, I think that would be rather lovely. 

I’m going to sit in the garden with a nice cup of tea.