Posts Tagged ‘days out’

Dunham Massey

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a free family pass for any National Trust property from Emma at Alternative Kitchen Garden.  So as it was a lovely bright day on Saturday we decided to go over to Dunham Massey, somewhere we had never been before.

Unfortunately the buildings are closed at this time of the year but we did get to visit the grounds and the winter garden.

Part of the grounds are a large deer park but it seems some of the deer are quite tame and like to lounge around near the old gardeners’ cottages.

 

The moat has a huge collection of water birds, mostly Canada Geese

This is the house itself, I would have liked to have had a look inside

And then into the winter garden where there were some lovely autumn colours on display

There was a small orangery which had two small veg beds in front of it.  These were being cleared to save the grass around them, as the wet ground was being worn down by people walking around the edges.  There were some impressive veggies left in them though including very bright red chard and (as you can see by the scale indicator – Mr Veg’s hand!) some large cabbages.

These seed pods are from a lily which I didn’t write down the name of (- doh!) which only flowers after 7 years and then only once ever!  It was at least 10 ft tall.

And finally in the fallen leaves of the woodland was a bed of tiny cyclamen.  There were hundreds of them.  I remember my mum always having an indoor one around Christmas and never knew they actually grew outdoors.

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A short local walk, first turnips & last tomatoes

Chester has a cycle path that runs between Connah’s Quay in Deeside to Mickle Trafford a few miles east of Chester.  It is along the route of an old railway track so is very flat and ideal for strolling along.  I have walked a couple of miles of it from the nearest access point to our house before but had never been to the Mickle Trafford end, so yesterday morning we packed the dog into the car and parked at the far end.  There is no official parking area but the owner of a nearby industrial unit allowed us to park on his forecourt as long as we didn’t break an ankle and sue him as a previous person had done!!

We walked for about half an hour along the track to where it goes under the A55, and then the skies were darkening a bit so we headed back.  Along the route were some interesting pieces of art…

This morning I had a mooch about the garden and found that the last of the tomatoes are ripening up finally, possibly because I gave them a good drenching after not watering for a good 10 days.

I picked the ripest and I think I’ll give the rest another week.

In the patio bag I noticed a couple of the turnips pushing back up through the compost I had earthed them up with a couple of weeks ago, so I investigated and pulled out these two

I don’t remember ever having eaten a turnip so this will be a new experience for me.  I’ll probably just roast them in some olive oil this evening.

My onions are coming up quite well now, there are about 20 little green shoots, but no sign of the garlic yet.  The peas are doing ok and the cabbages now have collars.

I picked some of the French bean pods that have been drying in the shed and shelled them.  I’ve got plenty of seed to attempt to grow in the spring now.

Finally I sowed a few more sweet peas in the growhouse, Tall Mixed this time, and that’s about it.