France 2017

We went back to France for our summery holiday, after a slight aberration last year when we spent a few days in a caravan in Cornwall - any mention of that holiday now gets us both whistling the theme tune to Peter Kaye's Phoenix Nights, given the quality of the evening entertainment the caravan park laid on... We went back to a gite we've been to a couple of times before - it's nice, it's a good size for the two of us, it's quiet, it's very close to the local wine producer and it's got very clear views of the night sky. So here's a few different sets: Giverny On the way down through France, we stopped off at Giverny to visit the Monet gardens - we'd been a couple of times about 15 years ago now and thought it time for another visit. The last image is a little different - not taken at Giverny but fairly close by. Slightly inspired by the...
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Hestercombe

A few weeks ago we saw a Gardeners' World feature on Hestercombe in Somerset, so we decided to pay a visit. We've found giving up our National Trust membership quite liberating - we'd only tend to consider going to their sites on the grounds we'd have to pay for anywhere else, so having to pay everywhere means we can go (theoretically) anywhere. Anyway, Hestercombe is lovely, well worth a visit. ...
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Fast Rabbit Farm

On Saturday I visited Fast Rabbit Farm in Devon with friends - a large garden (no rabbits that I saw), almost too large to photograph well! It's not the sort of formally planted garden I often visit - much more of a sprawling wild place. Rather nice though, and I didn't even get round all of it. There's also a plant centre, where I took most of the flower photos. The afternoon was further improved by a viola recital from my friend Rachel, which was particularly lovely in the setting. Oh yes, and it was a clothes-optional day so we were all able to enjoy the garden as nature intended. ...
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Summer Holiday, pt 3

We had two main stops on the drive back through France. The first was the chateau at Villandry, not far from Tours, which was amazing - huge formal gardens, quite spectacular. The other was a visit to Pegasus Bridge just north of Caen, one of the first places (the first?) liberated on D-Day. As it turned out, the hotel we booked happened to be in the village of Benouville so the bridge was only about 5 minutes walk away. ...
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