A Grand Day Out – 100th Wensleydale Agricultural Show, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. And a Poem/Paeon to the Yorkshire Pudding

A Grand Day Out - 100th Wensleydale Agricultural Show, 23rd August 2014 Leyburn, North Yorkshire A traditional agricultural show - rather a very excellent Agricultural Show with sheep, cows, horses (and carts) and poultry on show, sheep dog trials, baking to outshine any Bake-Off, knitting, painting and home crafts being expertly judged, tractors and steam…

A poor old widow in her weeds, Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds, Not too shallow, and not too deep, And down came April drip-drip-drip. Up shone May, like gold, and soon Green as an arbour grew leafy June. And now all Summer she sits and sews Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows, Teasle and tansy, meadowsweet, Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit, Brown bee orchid, and Peals of Bells, Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells, Like Oberons meadows her garden is Drowsy from dawn till dusk with bees. Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs, And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes, A poor old Widow in her weeds.

A Widows Weeds Walter De La Mare A poor old widow in her weeds, Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds, Not too shallow, and not too deep, And down came April drip-drip-drip. Up shone May, like gold, and soon Green as an arbour grew leafy June. And now all Summer she sits and sews Where…

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode, The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road. A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire, And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire; A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head. I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire, And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire; But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made, Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands, The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands. His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun? The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which, But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch. God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier. My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage, Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age, But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth, And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death; For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen, Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

Rolling roads there were, to these rolling hills above Muker, deep in the heart of Swaledale. The poem, 'The Rolling English Road' by GK Chesterton http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/jun/13/poem-week-g-k-chesterton    

NOT in rich glebe and ripe green garden only Does Summer weave her sweet resistless spells, But in high hills, and moorlands waste and lonely, The vast enchantment of her presence dwells. Wide sky, and sky-wide waste of thyme and heather, Perpetual sleepy hum of golden bees…

the cycling references are for Le Tour de France, which recently triumphed through Yorkshire and finally, mad cow, no, though a little eccentric... A break from the strictly horticultural life and out amongst Natural Beauty, this time in the Yorkshire Dales and here, Swaledale in particular. A walk starting in Reeth, taking in Marrick Priory,…

Richmond Hill – green & pleasant/I can sing a Rainbow

A pale view from Richmond Hill this morning - towards Petersham and Ham - and something rather more hectic, the summer display at the Roebuck watering hole... Petunias, fuchsias, begonias, lobelia, verbena, lysimachia and more - a waterfall of colour which will be going strong until the frosts.

I think an Ark is needed….

Campsis radicans, a vigorous tropical-looking climber with orange trumpet flowers. Requires a sunny, sheltered site - and room to grow. A mature specimen is a glorious thing. Penstemon Riding Hood Purple (below), intense colour on a shorter plant, happy in the front of a sunny, well-drained border, even an alpine bed. Crocosmia Emily McKenzie (below)…

A well-earned rest in the midst of a Bamboo jungle…

Looking up from a near horizontal position in my new zero-gravity recliner this evening - half hidden by these glorious bamboos - Phyllostachys nigra, (the Black Bamboo), Phyllostachys aurea (the Golden Bamboo) and at the back, Pseudosassa japonica. They have loved the mild wet winter and put on some stonking growth. I've thinned this, a…

Exciting Redhead seeks dynamic partner for fun and friendship, maybe more?

Royal Bumble is a shrubby salvia with intense, dimunitive, cherry-red flowers and fragrant leaves, flowering from August through to the frosts, and teamed up here with the fine feathery stems of the grass Stipa tenuissima - wonderful, wispy, pale yellow-green leaves topped with fluffy plumes of silver-green flowers, maturing to blonde-buff. This versatile deciduous grass…