The secret garden in February

It’s been a beautiful day here on the Island, warm, sunny and dry. I’ve not really been able to get into the secret garden for a few weeks so today was a bit of a treat. I’ve started to cut down some of saplings and prune some very wild branches. Clearing the brambles is well underway and I’m managing to to dig up some of the roots, though that’s not so easy to do. Although I’ve got some plants waiting in the wings ready to plant it’s going to be a while until I’ve got all the ivy and bramble roots cleared and the ground suitable for planting again.

I’m going to need to find some plants to hide the fence, I’ve put a call out for some bamboo so hopefully before long it’ll be hidden.

More from the pile!


Cleater Moor, old library and civic hall.


Cleater Moor


Bewcastle Cross.


The old antique shop, Temple Sowerby.


Kirby Stephen.





Sepulchre Lane, Kendal.

IMG_20160514_0946274_rewind_kindlephoto-700330674Ashness Bridge.


The Old Mill and Church, Aysgarth, Wensleydale. 


At the top of our little Island is Osborne House. It was designed by Prince Albert as a summer retreat for him and his wife (Queen Victoria) and their large family. As palaces go it’s not particularly big, the whole idea was that the family could lead as normal a life as possible……well as normal as you can when you’ve got umpteen children married into most of the royal families of Europe. When you rule over most of the world and have a line of dignitaries in a constant stream wanting your opinion about everything! ………..anyway they did their best. Obviously they are all long gone and now the plebs have the chance to look around. And jolly nice it is, the location is pretty special, the views spectacular. The gardens are beautifully looked after and so is the once private beach.

If I’m completely honest a few of the items in the house are a bit naff ……….but then it was a family home, full of things they collected, we’re given and made themselves, and that’s the whole point it was a family home. Let’s face it we’ve all got ‘treasures’ in our homes of dubious taste that we keep because they mean something special to us.

The guide’s are pretty special, knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. When we took my parents to look around a few years ago one part of the kitchen wasn’t open for viewing because there weren’t enough guides that day. Mum had wanted to see where all the china was kept, all the dinner services etc and they opened it all up specially for her!

I spent a very happy Autumn drawing the house and gardens, particularly the wonderful walled garden.