About Me

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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Mums & Molehills, Badgers & Bunnies

Painshill Park, Cobham, Surrey.

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Sunday, Mother’s Day, daughter had forgotten to send a card & son wondered if I wanted one on that day or when we go out for belated curry later in the week. Hopeless! But happily the sun was shining brightly & the temperature was a bit higher than in recent days so it was time to get out for a bit of fresh air.

If you drive to RHS Wisley from London on the A3, as I frequently do, you will pass a sign to Painshill Park & this is where we decided to go.

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It is quite a few years since we last went, indeed said rubbish children were fairly small & whining at the time if I remember correctly, but in recent years we kept saying we must return, so return we did.

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Unbeknownst to us it was a ‘Mums go free’ day at Painshill. OK, so we did not have to fork out as much cash as we thought (even though I did not have a whining child in tow), always nice but it did mean there were rather a lot of mums around along with myriad other family members. But no worries, it is a place where you can avoid lots of people quite easily.

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Painshill Park, also referred to as "Pains Hill" back in the day, was developed between 1738 and 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton, 9th son and 14th child of the 6th Earl of Abercorn. It is claimed to be one of the finest examples of an 18th Century English Landscape Park. It has a number of follies in various states of repair & views of the ‘living paintings’ that Hamilton was trying to create.

PainshillPark 14 Mar 2010 007PainshillPark 14 Mar 2010 089It has been restored/developed quite a bit since our last visit including the reception & there are now reasonable paths to every area. Despite this it still has a slightly abandoned feel to it which I like. Last year we visited Stowe Landscape Garden & whilst it is beautiful in its way I felt slightly annoyed & manipulated that everything was positioned just so in order to get the best view or vista with the buildings carefully placed within. Painshill is also nowhere as near as ‘grand’.

One of the most interesting areas of restoration is the Grotto which was closed when we last visited. It is now open & the crystal interior is being painstakingly restored, bit by bit. They reckon at least 5-10 man years before completion!

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There were lots of snowdrops still out & daffodils just beginning to open up to the sun.

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It is obviously a perfect place to see nature; lots of evidence of rabbits, badgers ripping up turf & more molehills than I have seen in ages (although I guess SW London is not conducive to mole tunnelling).

PainshillPark 14 Mar 2010 112 The walled garden at the entrance is due to open this Spring.

Was slightly taken aback part way round…….

PainshillPark 14 Mar 2010 083 It was a lovely walk on a glorious day to be rounded off with a cuppa & a little light lunch……………………….wrong, sadly I think the catering was slightly overwhelmed by the success of the ‘Mums go free day’.

We went home.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Guerrilla Gardening Lazy Trollop Style

015  Still no daffodils

Guerrilla gardening is a bit of a political side to gardening where direct action is taken to plant derelict areas of land. There is plenty of advice around about the whys, hows & wheres which I don’t intend to go into. Take a look at this site for more information.

I thought I might give you the Lazy Trollop take on this interesting aspect of gardening, something I am intending to participate in later this year.



Try to ensure you live in a house with a side alley. Terraced houses will provide the best setting for the impact of your surprise attack of floriferousness in which case you will be better situated in the end terrace for ease of access. Don’t make too much effort. If you don’t live in the right place then don’t bother.




001Now take some packets of hardy annual flower seeds; given away free in a magazine, handed out at a flower show some years ago or just festering in a box from goodness knows when. No need to buy specially.



Now you just chuck those seeds artistically along the sides of the alley in question making sure you don’t mess up the right of way . If you can be bothered perhaps mix the seed up with a handful of compost to give it a bit of a start.If you have any seeds left & are lucky enough to live in a street with trees, try a few seeds round the bottom of the tree along with all the usual detritus that hangs around in such places.












I will let you know what happens………………………


022Daphne bholua Jacquline Postill 

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Today’s Special Guest is….

I wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn't have our cake
so we ate each other.

Roger McGough

.. Chocolate & Banana cake.

Enough of gardens, we now have a short interlude, an interruption to normal service, the first of possibly a number of short breaks to settle down with, perhaps a cup of tea &, some  cake.

Today’s cake is  a great favourite & extremely useful for using up those blackening bananas, in fact the riper the better!

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Enjoy! I did!

Monday, 1 March 2010

And yes, I did deliberately bash her back-pack….



We were going stir crazy. The weather was wet, the garden was wet, the roads were wet, the allotment was wet, the cat was wet….. do you get the picture? ‘Lets pop off to Kew’ said the Doofer, it won’t be busy with this weather, we can go & see the orchids’. We are normally early birds & like to go to places as they are opening so as to avoid the lazy slothful stay-a beds but needs must…….

It started well, we parked very close to the gate, the rain had stopped pouring down, the gardens were quiet……but of course everyone who was there was in the Princess of Wales glasshouse. Now the modern parent has to free any small children from the confines of their buggies & let them roam free; the number of times I almost stood on one of these small things as I rounded a corner or tried to take an artistically important photo. That was not all, adult groups without children were as bad; standing talking whilst taking up the entire width of the pathway. And the lady with large back-pack? As I tried to squeeze past whilst she took not a blind bit of notice of this poor  person (me you understand) I suddenly decided to take matters into my own hands & quite deliberately bashed her back-pack as I passed. It made her swing round a bit but did not put her off her long & I am sure essential conversation with the others in her party.

What follows are some pictures of the orchids & other bits of Kew although I am a bit miffed that Ms Sock got to see them before I did & wrote her usual individual take on things, but I do my bit.

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Outside, despite the weather, you could see that spring was if not exactly springing into life, at least making a valiant effort to put on a brave face.

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And a few other pictures for your delectation.

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