Yippee….. from Midday today Summer arrived (again!)


Midday and the sun that had been trying so hard to break through a thin layer of cloud eventually  won the fight.  And with the sun the temperature start to shoot up the scale.

The Met. Office had placed an order for a mini heatwave…it just showed up rather late. Still better late than never.  Cool down by the lake and rather pleasant.

All sounds very good.  But we have already enjoyed a yo-yo weather for too many days now….. summer then something approaching winter then back to summer.  So when the forecast is for more sun tomorrow you would think we would be shouting with joy……  but all good news has a sting in its tail –  Thunderstorms tomorrow evening and a damp weekend ahead.  Joy of joys.

The seasons move on.  Seed heads of the Cow Parsley make their own contributions to a late summers day and a reminder that August is on the way.


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th July

(C) David Oakes 2020

Summer…by the tranquil Avon


The River Mill Avon, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

It was one of those incredibly hot summers days, when if we were being sensible, we would be looking for the shade.  The tranquil waters  of the Mill Avon* did bring that touch of freshness to the afternoon.  Whilst perhaps it is too hot to have been out and about, the benefit is that you do tend to have these places pretty much to yourselves.

* Mill Avon is the name of this ‘river’.  Just up stream ,the River Avon joins the River Severn. Just before that junction the River Avon has this cut, through which it passes, created to power Water Powered Mills.  Having completed its task, it then moves on to join the River Severn.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

2nd  July

(C) David Oakes 2020





Saturday….So Another Grand Day Out


Let me take you on a virtual walk round the Rose Garden.  Hopton Hall Rose Gardens to be precise. Hopton Hall is located above Carsington Water on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District.  Dating back to 1414, it has had a number of owners, many of whom have left their mark with various additions, to the house over the centuries…..hence its unique frontage.


Some years ago a new owner arrived and has set about restoring and improving the estate.  One of the key tasks and a major achievement was the restoration of the old Walled Rose Garden.  It was indeed in a sorry state when I first viewed the garden, and  I heard that this was the next big project. I did wonder how and if it would be successful.

Indeed it has, and the gardens are opened for the public to view.  I should mention that the Hall is a private residence and the Rose Gardens are only open for a few weeks over the summer.  NOT this year though….CV19 has seen to that.  So lets enjoy a virtual tour.



There is also much more to enjoy.  After pausing in the Pavilion at the top of the Rose Garden for Tea and Cakes and then suitably refreshed, you can explore the Herbaceous Gardens and the Lake.

Then before heading for home…. take another pause.  Maybe past guests, who include  Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots have also paused here.


( The Grounds are also open for a few weeks in the Spring so you can enjoy a mass display of Woodland Snowdrops.)

One day, virtual will become a reality again, till then

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

27th June

(C) David Oakes 2020

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge ….. Summer Scenes


Mevagissey, Cornwall

This Weeks Fun Foto Challenge- Summer Scenes,  gives me an excuse to look forward to summer days and take a visually escape from these damp dark winter

Join in the fun and use this link:-



22nd January

(C) David Oakes 2020



Its been a strange summer…..


Its has not been a bad summer, nor has it been brilliant…it has been a little like the Curates Egg…. Good in Places!

The extremes from extreme heat to monsoon like rains did bring us a few surprises in the gardens, mostly good surprises. However there have been some disappointments.  The heavy rains did cause some damage with there ferocity.  The sun really stimulated lots of lush growth. The colours have been spectacular…but there have been some disappointing results.  Some of those plants we have as staples of the summer garden took off fast, growth was much thicker than usual, then sadly have ‘flowered themselves out’ long before they would normally vanish for another year….. petunias long gone

The Hydrangeas have been the stars, particularly pleasing this season.  During the heatwave they did for the most part survive that scorching heat. The large lush bushes then had to stand firm against the heavy rains, rains which were often accompanied by high winds.  Of all the colours the White varieties seem to have come thru the best of all…  but here we are nearly at September, and whilst some Hydrangea’s look stressed, most will be here till the first frosts…..

But till autumn arrives lets continue to enjoy the colour of summer and the first hints of seasonal change…. just thinking of all those berries and fruits to come..

24th August

(C) David Oakes 2019