A spring walk at Kingston Lacy

Tuesday 19th April 2016

So we have been to see the bluebells at Badbury Rings, and we’ve been to see the bluebells at Pamphill, both of which are part of the National Trust Kingston Lacy estate, and today it was the turn of Kingston Lacy itself.

Kingston Lacy House

Max and I wandered across to the Woodland Walk, and today decided to explore the section north of the play area, towards the main road. It’s looked too muddy up until now to go that way. I have to say, though, it was a tad boring and I’m not sure I’ll bother again unless I’m looking for a slightly longer walk. There are nowhere near as many bluebells in the woods here, but there were one or two banks of them, like this one here.

Bluebells in the Woodland Walk

And I quite like this photo of the individual flowers.


Further on round the wild garlic is coming into flower, and the smell was really pungent.

Wild Garlic

Such a pretty little flower.

In the formal gardens the blossom is out: seen here with daffodils.

Blossom and daffodils

And here, on it’s own.


The Japanese garden is starting to look pretty too.

Japanese Garden

And last, but by no means least, a near-perfect camellia bloom.

A near-perfect Camellia

Isn’t that beautiful?

A year ago today

I don’t have any photos of a year ago today, so instead I’ll include another one from a year ago yesterday: this time of Chesil Bank (leading out to Portland Bill) and The Fleet.

Chesil Bank and the Fleet


A walk around Kingston Lacy

Tuesday 15th March 2016

Max and I went back to Kingston Lacy for a walk today. It was nice to have sunshine for our visit.

Kingston Lacy House

Today we did a clockwise walk again, which means that we head from the house to the Woodland Walk. En route there is a horse chestnut tree. I’ve tried to get a reasonable photo of it before, but it has looked a bit cluttered and didn’t show what I hoped you would be able to see. So today I think I’ve just about achieved what I wanted: does this tree remind anyone else of a Whomping Willow!

Does this remind anyone else of a Whomping Willow?

Moving on round, here’s another fascinating tree (well, at least to me).

Lime with mistletoe

It’s a lime tree, but if you think it’s starting to get it’s leaves you’d be wrong. That green on it is mistletoe (!), lit up nicely by the sun this morning. Today Max went off to explore the play area (he had to investigate a helium balloon left there), and it meant that I spotted this lovely carved tortoise.

Tortoise in the Play Area

Further on round the Woodland Walk I was rather taken by this moss-covered tree stump.

Moss covered stump

And here I loved the shadows of the trees on the young green leaves that cover the woodland floor.

Spring Greens

Moving on, and in the gardens the daffodils are out.

Daffodil bench

The camellias are also in flower.


One last shot of the house to finish.

Kingston Lacy House

It had been a lovely walk this morning.

A year ago today

It’s Max in a pond on Canford Heath (Jez was with us on the walk too).

Max in the 'new' pond

Spring blooms at Broadstone Rec.

Tuesday 8th March 2016

Sorry for the delay in posting everyone. I’ve been quite busy recently (a short spell of fine weather means I’ve been starting to try and tidy the garden up). I’ve also got into the doldrums again with my photography. I have a total absence of inspiration and find I am taking the same photos over and over again. So I’ve had my camera with me less, and on occasion, when I have had the camera, I’ve not really ended up with anything worth sharing. Sunday was a case in point. We went to Wareham Forest for our walk and the only photo I ended up with was one of Jez in her jumper!

So onto today, and when Jez decided she wanted to come for a walk this morning I took both dogs to Broadstone Rec. I didn’t take my camera. I knew there were likely to be shrubs in bloom, but the light was poor so I didn’t this I’d get any decent shots. In the end I used by iPhone.

So we start off with a Magnolia bloom, covered in dew.

Magnolia bud

Here’s a Camellia bud.

Camelia Bud

And some Camellia flowers that are open.

Camelia Camelia

Even some of the Azaleas are already in flower.


And I’m not sure what this is, but I thought it was very pretty.

Pretty shrub

And lastly, to finish, a photo of Jez. A dog barking up the hill has caught her attention.

Something has caught Jez's attention

It wasn’t a particularly long walk, but it was plenty long enough for Jez nowadays.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Canford Heath.

View of the old tip

Another walk at Kingston Lacy

Tuesday 16th February 2016

It was a frosty, sunny morning again today and for some reason I felt like taking Max back to Kingston Lacy for a walk. It is half term here, so the place was really busy today.

Kingston Lacy House

Today, though, I rang the changes by putting my 100mm Macro lens on the EOS 6D. I’m pleased I did. As I said, it was frosty first thing and the frost was still on the rhododendrons which were in the shade.

Frosted Rhododendron

Elsewhere there are still quite a lot of camellia buds…

Camelia Bud

.. and I was surprised to find a bud opening on a magnolia.

Magnolia Bud

In this same part of the gardens some of the blossom is coming out.


And then, of course, there were the snowdrops, seen here as a clump…


… and here in isolation.


Further on round the walk where the snowdrops were on the higher banks I was able to take them against the blue of the sky.

Snowdrops against a blue sky

This one still had dew on it.


And here is one of my favourite photos, of a single snowdrop covered in dew against a blue sky.

Dew drenched against a blue sky

I think, though, that the snowdrops are starting to go over, so I’m unlikely to get such nice photos if I go back next week (not sure about that yet).

A year ago today

Max and I walked along the River Allen in Wimborne, where I took this photo of a swan drinking.


A trip to see the snowdrops at Kingston Lacy

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Poor Max has been in a bad way. He’s having short walks again now, but on Monday when we saw the vet he couldn’t really put any weight on his front leg. The vet thinks it’s another arthritis flare up and gave him a Metacam injection and told me to increase his Tramadol dose to 100mg 3 times a day, which I’ve done.

So I haven’t been out walking any dogs (Chris has taken Jez out in the afternoon). And as sunshine was forecast for this morning I thought I’d take myself off to Kingston Lacy House, which is a nearby National Trust property, to see the snowdrops.

As you can see, although it was very cold, it was sunny when I arrived.

Kingston Lacy House (rear)

And one of the gardeners was cutting the big hedges.

Cutting the hedge

I made my way to the Victorian Fernery first.

The Victorian Fernery

Here I found lots of snowdrops…

Snowdrops in the Fernery

… cyclamen…


… primroses…


… and Hellebores.


And here’s a close up of the snowdrops for you.


In the Lime Avenue there were daffodils out too …

Daffodils and snowdrops in the Lime Avenue

… and some Camellias.


By this time the sun had gone in, but i pressed on with my walk and was rewarded with banks of snowdrops.

Bank of snowdrops

After that I doubled back a short way and made my way around the Woodland Walk, finally returning to the house where they had lots of snowdrops for sale.

Snowdrops for sale

By then I was frozen so I headed back to the car and came home.

There are a few more photos on my Flickr stream if you want to take a look at them.

A year ago today

The dogs had great fun walking in the snow on Upton Heath.

Looking towards the old railway line

Spring is on its way

Thursday 5th March 2015

Max and I went to Upton Country Park for our walk this morning while Jez stayed snoozing in the sun. It was really good to see signs that Spring is on the way at long last.

In the gardens I found these buds bursting on a tree.

Spring is coming

And there was a bee busy gathering nectar from a camellia.

The bees know spring is on the way

Further on round I also found that the buds are starting to burst on the hawthorns. This is over a week later than last year when they were particularly early.

Hawthorn bud burst

The sun and clouds made for a nice photo across Upton Lake today.

View over Upton Lake

And Max was happy to show off his new hair cut. Here he is on the boardwalk by the shoreline.

Max sunning himself on the boardwalk

And here he is again on the boardwalk by the lake.

Max on the other boardwalk

All we need now is to get rid of this cold, blustery wind and for it to warm up a little.

A year ago today

Continuing on the spring theme, we had frog spawn in the pond at home. We haven’t got any yet this year.

Frogspawn in our pond

Sunshine and flowers at Upton Country Park

Wednesday 12th March 2014

It was a lovely sunny morning this morning. I took Max our early (Jez chose to lie in the sun) as I had to take my Dad to the eye clinic early in the afternoon. Here’s the promised photo of my very smart looking boy after his trim.

Smart boy after his trim

It was a lovely walk in the sun. There was blossom out along the shoreline.


We even saw two of the buzzards, although I didn’t manage to photograph them. At the end of our walk I took Max into the gardens as I realised the camellias would be out. Those of you like my husband who don’t like flower photos can stop reading at this point.

So a white Camellia.


And a pink Camellia.


And another pink Camellia.


There was also one of the early, cultivated rhododendrons out.

Early Rhododendron

The trip to the eye clinic went well, although traffic was really bad driving to Dad’s once again. And I managed to get home in time for Chris to take Jez and Max over to Upton Heath before dinner.

On this day a year ago

Max and I went to Ham Common and Hamworthy beach. The snow seems to have disappeared.