Garden Jul Aug 2016

Been a bit of a mixed summer - not as cold as last year but the odd gale force winds and rain have made it look like a washed out November at times. However when the sun has appeared it has been hot and the exotic dahlias have loved it (despite not being lifted last winter, oops!)

The roses have been really successful. Planted bare rooted they are now on their second summer and are starting to fill out as we train them around the stonework.

The Siberian Irises have flowered for their first time. These will need to be divided this autumn.

Hot colour has been provided by the reds of the Crocosmia Lucifers which almost glow against the dark green of the woods.

The white Delphiniums were lovely as usual but the rains  battered them constantly. Thought they did a  decent job of hiding the oil tank.

As we get into high summer the Sunflowers (with a lot of staking help) have done a lot better than last year. This is "Earth Walker"we also have "Vanilla Ice" mixed in with them.

The apricot and white varietiess of foxgloves from previous years have managed to self seed and remain "true". Some of the white ones managing to even seed in the woods and fifty yards down the lane.

Jun 2016 - Isle of White

Quick weekend away to the Isle of White. We took the car and crossed from Southampton to Cowes East by Red Funnel (Celebrity's Eclipse and Cunard's Queen Victoria were both in port - little did we know we would be booking the Eclipse for our first Transatlantic crossing a few weeks later). Big thumbs up to Red Funnel - we arrived early on the outward and return journey & were simply placed on the earlier ferry with no charge and no fuss.

We had chosen to stay in Ventnor for a few days. A little research seemed to indicate this was the least spoilt resort and (most importantly) had the best and plentiful restaurants. We rented a beautiful house a few minutes walk from the Esplanade (The Palms).
Had excellent meals at the Royal Hotel and Le Bistro - a word of warning though booking is essential in Ventnor even out of the holiday season.

We also had a great time riding the old tube trains that are used on the islands railway connecting Shanklin to Ryde where they terminate at the head of the pier alongside the foot ferry to Portsmouth.

There's also a handy connecting platform to the heritage railway at Smallbrook Junction to get on the steam railway to Haven Street, where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch of cod in crab sauce with chips at The White Hart Inn, in their beer garden. Although the 10 min walk was hair raising as there is no footpath!

 Beautiful weather, lovely cliff walks - a perfect weekend.