Jul 122017 0 Responses

Fragrance in my winter garden

I went around the garden quickly after work the other night – had guests coming for dinner…  What to grab for a couple of vases?   Well, I can honestly say there wasn’t much out there mid-July!   I wanted some fragrance as the little vases would be sitting opposite the dining table and in the living room.  It’s so nice to come into a home and be met with some fragrance wafting from a vase or two.

However I did find three different shrubs that were full of flower AND fragrance and I thought I’d share these with you:

Osmanthus “Pearly Gates” happily lives on a bank in my garden.  A neat little evergreen shrub with tightly packed foliage that can be trimmed to any shape – they can even be trimmed to balls.  For a long time over winter it is covered with small, extremely fragrant pure white flowers.  Ideal for the small vase.

Daphne “Perfume Princess” – a new comer to my garden, planted just last year.  This is a robust Daphne with flowers on the ends of it’s branches – unlike the old Daphne leucanthe.  This makes it brilliant for picking for middle sized vases – and a heavy perfume indeed.  My three year old plant is absolutely smothered in blooms this year and it’s only been planted one year.

Camellia “Transnokoensis” was my final find.  I love this willowy Camellia with it’s tiny, fragrant blooms.  So dainty.

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May 292017 0 Responses

Segovia – stunning last stop

Segovia – chosen by default as close to Madrid airport.  We had wanted to finish up with another walking destination as neither of us are city lovers, but Segovia is so well situated, only an hour from Madrid and what a history we found.

A small walled pedestrianised village with a Roman aqueduct that is nearly a kilometre long!  So large in fact that you can’t get it all in a photo.  The stones aren’t even set in mortar!  Be sure to visit the museum which has a fabullus exhibition on the aqueduct and how it was built.

Segovia is steeped in history – churches, plaza, castle and very good shopping all in one little town.  Not to mention the Palace and gardens of Jardines del Palacio de San Ildefonso with its 20-odd fountains which is only 12km away and makes for a pleasant day trip.

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May 292017 0 Responses

Santillana del Mar

We like to mix it up a bit on these trips so our next stop was the historic village of Santillana del Mar near the coast in the Bay of Biscay.

What a treat of a place to stay and pamper yourself for a few days.  The village is walled and pedestrianised- only residents and those staying overnight are allowed to bring their cars in.

This forward-thinking village of 4000 has had town planning since the 16th century!!!!  Everything looks in place with nothing spoiling the old look.  It is perfectly placed for investigating the northern coast and the many historic sights nearby including the caves of El Castillo.

We stayed in Legado de Santillana – fabulous little apartment right in the centre. A bargain too.

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May 292017 Tagged with , , , , 0 Responses

Alpine lakes of Somiedo

On the last day of our stay in Pola de Somiedo we drove the 20km up to the pass La Farrapona 1700m asl.  An easy way to get to the higher alpine pastures I must say.  After a short walk down hill we were rewarded with a view of this huge alpine lake.  Surrounding the lake were banks and banks of bright blue Gentian, Primula, Anemone and alpine Daphne to name just a few.  It was freezing… but well worth it.  I donned my Hilda Ogden scarf and set out around the lake to see what I could find and came across drifts of sweet little yellow orchids in full flower.  What a treat for our last day.

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