Monday, July 13, 2009

Stratford-upon-Avon I

Stratford-upon-Avon--the home of Shakespeare.
Tudor-ish architecture.

Person freeing a pigeon caught in netting.
This took a long time and there was much applause at the end :).

Candy shop---note Shakespeare's visage on the bottles.

I was introduced to Liquorice allsorts this trip. Yum!

Shakespeare's birthplace. Big place--came from a wealthy family. His father, a glove-maker, was mayor at one time.

Stratford-upon-Avon II

Interior of Shakespeare's birthplace. [Not my photo--this is from the official guide. Photos were not allowed inside.] The bed, in which Shakespeare's parents would have slept, was about the size of a full bed. Shakespeare would have slept in a trundle bed to the side. The canopy would have been to keep the bugs, sticks, etc. falling out of the thatch roof off the bed. The tapestry design--paint on canvas not embroidered--was both lovely and historically correct.

Exterior of Shakespeare's birthplace.

Garden around the cottage. Gardens, gardens, gardens!

Herb borders. The roses would have been used for perfumes and food flavoring [rose water, granitas, rose-hip tea].

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hathaway Cottage II

Vegetable garden outside the back of the house. Not as extensive as it once probably was. Not as large as the flower portion and assuredly that would no have been the case in the late 1500s. Recognized lettuce, swiss chard, arugula? Some cukes not in this picture. If anyone can identify plants, feel free to weigh in :) Florida can be lush and green--but it always bears witness to the fact that some of the year it's a desert. England has it's own enchantingly lush greeness.

Borage, which I have grown. Beautiful blue flowers. Bees love them. Among other things growing them with your tomatoes are supposed to improve the flavor. You can read more about it

Love the huge, blue flowers. The size of humans. Delphiniums, delphiniums, delphiniums. Scattered with some poppies and other things I couldn't identify.

Hathaway Cottage I

Hathaway Cottage is where Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife grew up. [Note: this is not my picture, this is from the official guide.] Big, 12 room cottage. Family was very well off.

Again, not my photo-they wouldn't let you take pictures inside. But, this one was worth scanning in from the guidebook for two notable things. One, check out the floor timbers. Some of them were easily 20 inches wide. Big trees! Two, does anyone know the origination of the canopy bed? Well, it seems that insects, feces, small animals and various organic matters regularly fell through thatched roofs. Hence, a covering over your bed so that it did not rain down on you at night.

MY NEW FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD. Some of the paths in the land around Hathaway's cottage were lined with Sweet Peas for sale. Tall as a person. Incredible smell that varied by variety--somewhat like Frangipani. Maybe 20? 30? Varieties in all. Amazing. Must try this winter. No fruit, but what a glorious scent.

A living Willow Arbor. Inside you could listen to sonnets, except when it rains a lot--as it just recently had. So, if you wanted to listen to a recitation of sonnets you had to go inside and inform the staff who would come out and read one for you. Neat!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kew Gardens

Clematis! ID from Al :)

My new fave, the Sweet Pea.

Some type of Rattlesnake Master.

Another unidentifed plant loved by bees [there's one center top of this picture].

Kew Gardens

Hosta [thanks Beth and Moira for the ID]

Huge lily--every bit of 6 feet tall. I think it's some type of Japanese lily.

Temple of Aeolus [God of the wind.]

Someone has left an offering!

As fragrant as a Star Gazer lily, but some other variant.

Some type of salvia. They're common in Florida, but I've not seen any this size or color range. Notice the huge bumblebee. This salvia variant was swarming with them--easily dozens. You can see another in the lower left of this picture.

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens! Cephalaria gigantea 'giant scabious.' Odd name, lovely flower.

Some huge plant that I haven't been able to figure out what it is yet. It looks a little like elephant ear but the spikes look a little like a Coontie seed pod.

Late breaking news Moira IDs it : Gunnera tinctoria. Also known as Chilean Rhubarb. According to this post might even be edible.

How big? Moira takes a break.

Male torrent duck and chick. The ducks are native to South America.

A black peony. Gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kenilworth Castle IV

The Privy [private] Garden was a Tudor-style garden built explicitly for Elizabeth I and her retinue at Kenilworth Castle. Above is the design of the garden. In large part, it was intended to be a scent garden. At the time, it would have been hedged in for privacy.

View from Leicester's Building. On the fence posts--the white Bears with Staffs--were Leicester's heraldic symbol.

Knot 3 of the garden. The front border is Armeria maritima or ‘common thrift.’ [Okay, I'm having trouble with my keyboard and can't make double quotes anymore.] Lower right is dianthus, middle right is 'sweet rocket.' In the middle of the image are beds lined with strawberries. Very fragrant. The building in the back was the Aviary.

Something I thought was a carnation but is actually called Lychnis.

Clove-scented carnations [an array of scented flowers were sometimes referred to as gilly flowers]. This was a poor-man's scent substitute for actual, expensive cloves which nobles chewed to freshen their breath. [Karen Harper features this distinction in one of her Elizabethean murder mysteries.]

The Tudor Rose.

'At the culmination of the 100 year war, later to be known as the Battle of the Roses, Henry, of Lancastrian descent, defeated Richard the III at the Battle of Bosworth field in 1485 and thus gained the throne. Soon after the families reunited when Henry married Elizabeth of York and in respect of this Henry symbolically pasted together the red and white rose, the heraldic emblem we now recognise as the Tudor Rose.'

The Privy Garden plant list.