Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Beauty of Now...Part 2

So, this is the scene as I write this morning...
pouring rain...which is a great shame, as the past week has been filled with sunshine. I feel so sorry for all the revellers taking part in the annual Roald Dahl Festival in the town today...especially the schoolchildren, who have spent weeks making flags, costumes and banners for the big parade. But they'll have fun anyway...we're used to rain after all, and it's still very warm. And the garden is soaking up the precious drops and sighing with pleasure, I just know it is!

Talking of gardens, as you know I love to do...a few weeks ago we visited one of our favourites, Queen Mary's Rose Garden in Regent's Park, London...
 so many varieties..
filling the air with perfume and bees....absolutely glorious!
It's wonderful to see so many people of all ages & nationalities wandering through, just enjoying the sight and scent.
I love the entrance gate too...
so...royal! If you know the fabulous movie, 'The King's Speech' (& if by any chance you haven't seen it, you really should...it's moving, uplifting and very beautiful...I defy you not to cry just a little bit at the end!) then you may recognise the Italian Garden below...
Even though the film was shot at a very different time of year, you will probably recognise it as the path where Lionel & the Duke of York had a big argument!
Even though I wouldn't like our own garden to be so formal and regimented, I do admire these landscaped wonders...
You may remember that last year I took lots of pictures at the farm, in the wildflower field that my Dad sowed years ago. It was always his dream to have a meadow full of native British wildflowers...and now he does!
Mum and I took a walk up there at the peak of its beauty, along with the farm dogs, of course. Millie was rescued just under a year ago, from a horrible life as a breeding bitch in a puppy mill. She was frightened of everything and everyone. She cowered and shook and hid behind doors and couches, trying to make herself as invisible as possible. But little by little, with patience, routine, consistency, kindness and lots of love...this is her today...
Happy and carefree..just as a dog deserves! Isn't that a great picture?
and here...

you can see her smile! Remember little Cora? Well she was there too....
the wildflower meadow has too much long grass for her tiny little legs...so she had a special lift from Mum (her favourite person)...and here are those flowers...
the pale mauve spikes are wild orchids. You can imagine the butterflies and bees that proliferate here, too...so much, in fact, that a friend who owns a honey business has sited 6 of his hives here! This is the perfect spot for them as they also have a pond to drink from right outside their front door...
and it obviously suits them as we were just given our first precious glowing jars of unfiltered farm honey...
..a strangely touching moment.
Midsummer is just beautiful anywhere you are right now...my daily walk with Alice on the hill is flower-filled too...

and I also love the wild grasses that ripple on the breeze like a moving carpet...
Lots to explore on our walks...
 I have to keep a close eye on this grubby little fox terrier to make sure she doesn't disappear down the interesting holes!
 The tiny purple flowers above are those of the wild thyme that mass in cushions on the side of the hill...I crush some as I walk and the scent filters through the warm air and smells delicious...
 ..this little beetle obviously loves it too...
 and this is birds-foot trefoil...such a singing colour for a tiny flower...'come and get me, bees!'
 It's reputed that on a clear day you can see 7 counties from this hill...
 We head for cooler spots halfway through....so lush & green, gentler than the unshaded chalk land...
 Wild scabious lasts until well into the autumn...but, much as I love that season,I can't think of summer being over just yet!

And now, the giveaway that was promised in my last post. I haven't done one of these for a long time, and as it's also my 200th post this is a special celebration! Firstly, some of the most delicious chocolate I've tasted...
 made in Wales & bought in Wales, in Hay-on-Wye while we were at the festival. Next, some very pretty little cupcake wrappers and toppers...
 so sweet and summery, I love them and hope you will too...and finally...
 a delightful little transfer mug...it's not vintage, but it looks the part...lovely to drink from of course, but I also see it as a vase for a sweet nosegay of wildflowers to sit on a windowsill or bedside table...
So there you have it! A Mozart's Girl giveaway at last. And all you have to do to be entered into the draw is to leave me a comment on this post. I'll make the draw in 2 weeks time, on the 19th...and I'm happy to send the package anywhere in the world, so don't worry about that! Just be sure to check back, and enjoy your weekend!

With love x

23 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures, as usual. I don't mind a bit of rain, I often find rain beautiful.

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  2. Queen Mary's rose garden is spectacular, Rachel! What a wonderful time you must have had on your walk in the wildflower garden. I love all the furry friends enjoying their day in the sunshine! Alice looks so cute out in the rain. Thanks for sharing! ♥

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  3. What gorgeous gardens you have taken us through, as well as wonderful fields of lovely flowers! I'm sure the dogs had a great time, particularly with the company and attention. You've a great giveaway, Rachel, and I'm thrilled to leave a comment on your blog! xo Nellie

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  4. I so enjoy your blog I discovered it about a year ago and fell hard for alice. thanks for the lovely pictures I too have always wanted a wildflower field yours is very inspiring. I think it will be a rainy summer here too in the mountains of western north carolina.

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  5. I remember visiting Hay on Wye in 1998. A special place to visit on our big holiday from New Zealand.

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  6. I always love fields of flowers. Bet that honey is delicious!!

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  7. What a beautiful, uplifting post! So enjoyed strolling through Queen Mary's Garden with you and seeing those gorgeous wildflowers. Hug those adorable doggies for me, will you? :)

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  8. Thank you so much for such a delightful journey this morning. I especially loved your father's meadow, beautiful. I've always wanted one too!

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  9. Such a sweet post, Rachel. I love your countryside, the wildflowers and your happy pets. You are so very blessed! We have been, too, as our flowers are blooming and we just spent an idyllic week with my sister. Her lovely garden will be posted on my Facebook page soon! Missing my FB and SB friends but there are good reasons and I'll be back!! xoxo

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  10. Thank you for the lovely post this morning. Your words and pictures are so inviting that I could smelll the flowers as you dicribed them,feel the sun on my face strolling the wild flower meadow and taste that delicious honey....what a treat!
    And, what a wonderful ending to the dogs story....safe and sound in loving homes.

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  11. Just got back from the UK. Love it, love it, love it. Am
    already trying to figure how I can get back. The flowers
    are absolutely fab. (Can you tell I went to Liverpool?)
    From your dads beautiful meadow to the roses to the
    formal gardens. I love them all. Have been working in
    my yard since returning. I came back inspired. Thanks
    for your beautiful blog. Julia

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  12. Oh, sweet Rachel, congratulationson your 200th post!!! What gorgeous wildflowers!! How wonderful to know the names of all. I love hiking in our mountains, but cannot name all I see...oh, that I could. Lovely giveaway, but since I have won one, no need to include my name, dear one! Enjoy delicious summer days!!! Love, Sherryxoxo

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  13. Another wonderful post, thank you for sharing. So lovely to take a virtual walk through the fields and flowers, with darling Alice, Cora, and Millie. We went on a ramble this weekend (with Percy, our Cavalier puppy darting all over the place) and I saw several flowers new to me; a favorite was a sort of mini-sized allium in a sharp purple shade~not sure exactly what it was but hope to find it at the garden center. Queen Mary's garden roses are breathtaking; we've had a constant supply of my favorite rose in the house, 'Gertrude Jekyll' which has such an intoxicating sweet and fruity scent that I am sure it's exactly what heaven smells like. Love the items you've curated for your giveaway: chocolate, snappy paper products, and red transferware all make the heart sing :)

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  14. Hi again, Rachel ... I just came from reading and commenting on your previous post. 200 posts - wow! Congratulations, and thank you so much for the time and effort it takes to share. I was especially touched by Millie's rescue; how wonderful for her and your parents. Now that you've pointed out the scene in the Italian Garden, I will again watch The King's Speech with renewed interest! The view of your own garden greatly appeals to me - so lush and inviting. Thanks, too, for another opportunity to participate in one of your delightful giveaways!

    Sharon in Alabama

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  15. Hi dear Rachel,

    I loved catching up and have read raves about Sugar Moon, which I am hoping will be the name of your cookbook. I love it.

    Alice and Millie both looked happy. The wildflower meadow is a dream I've cherished forever.

    Sending love to you, Paul, and of course Alice,
    S

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  16. Dear Rachel,
    I'm Sylvie and I'm writing from France. It's the sweet Susan Branch who introduced me to your lovely blog.
    I enjoy your beautiful country so much that I often cross the Channel to visit it.
    Your blog is really interesting and reminds me of the wonderful holidays that I spent there.
    I'd love to taste the Welsh chocolate and drink my tea in your gorgeous mug !.
    Thanks for all.

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  17. Dear Rachel,
    Congratulations on your 200th post! Sending best wishes for 200 more!!!
    I truly enjoy your delightful descriptions and, of course, the pictures of Alice.
    Thank you for the work you do to keep up your blog.
    With much appreciation,
    Karen

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  18. Beautiful gardens and happy dogs. Thanks for a lovely blog!
    Patricia

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  19. Thank you for sharing the beautiful English gardens. I love reading your blog as well as Susan Branch. It is always a delight to see that you have posted something new on the blog. I love the cup...it reminds me of Emma Bridgewater.

    Paula from Houston, Texas USA

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  20. Rachel, I always enjoy reading your post! This one is so lovely! Queen Mary Rose's garden is beautiful!!! Congratulations on 200 posts!! Happy Summer! ♥

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  21. Reading your posts is like having a friend in England. I enjoy it so much! Thanks for always brightening my day here in Minnesota, USA.
    Carol Delmonio

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  22. Hi Rachel, I always enjoy your garden tour, both at your home and on your travels. I had been thinking about you and your family, so I am glad to read your last 2 posts again. I am so happy to have found you through Susan. Sue in Simi, CA

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  23. Congratulations on your 200th post..no small feat! We haven't had a dog in many years, but if I had the beautiful places to walk...I might would have to get one just for the excuse of taking them for a walk! Love the dogs and the countryside full of flowers.

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