Garden and countryside

We’ve spent plenty of time outside in Northumberland this past week.  It’s been rather cold and windy but with plenty of sunshine, showers and one big storm.  The wind’s been a problem for photography but when you get into the shade of the farm garden or when you are walking on sheltered paths then there’s been a riches of flowers and landscapes.

Here are two flowers from the lovely garden at Warton and a spectacular inverted three sided hook that adorns one of the gate posts.

Out in the country Northumberland often has a big sky.  You can see that in the picture with the silhouettes of the cows.  These two photos were taken on the coastal path north of Boulder.

Late and early spring flowers

A couple of days ago we visited Kate’s sister at Harbottle.  It’s an enchanting village, quite remote at the upper end of Coquetdale, where spring flowers are still to be found in full bloom at the end of May.  I’ve never seen clematis look so enchanting. The air was full of their delicate blossom and they looked like jewelled ropes strewn over the grey stone walls.  The beech and oak woods were full of bluebells: this made for a slow walk with the dog as we just had to stop for photographs.

It was the very start of spring (mid April) when we arrived in Sweden.  Opposite our bedroom window at Valla Folkhögskola in Linköping there’s a south facing bank of wild flowers beneath an avenue of trees.  One morning in late April the light was just perfect and, with the ground being dry, I just had to go out and lie down amongst the flowers to take some pictures.  There were carpets of daisies, scilla, vitsipporna (wood-anemony) and gullvivorna (cowslips).  I’ll never forget the vitsipporna blossoming in Vallaskogen this year: they looked like gentle drifts of snow.