Tag Archives: Cumbria

Stars of last week’s show

Only one week until our next NGS open garden event.

Our visitors last week were particularly interested in two of our unusual specimens;

Sinocalycalycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’

Dwarf Horse Chestnut, Aesculus Pavia ‘Koehnei’

And not forgetting Shackleton.

Here’s hoping for better weather!

Rain didn’t stop play

Saturday we opened the garden in support of the National Gardens Scheme.

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The day had a promising start with bright sunshine and not a cloud in the sky but the humidity heralded the torrential rain and thunder storm that was to hit mid-afternoon.

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5070d7f8-de42-48de-8e08-f0e1fafb81e5Some came armed with umbrellas and rain coats and some with nothing but a positive attitude and much laughter as they resigned themselves to getting absolutely soaked through!


Huge thanks to The Pot Place for loaning five ’emergency’ hanging baskets. We had ordered some self watering ‘cup and saucer’ ones which have an inbuilt reservoir and only require watering twice a week,  but they didn’t arrive and the courtyard wouldn’t have looked as good without the lovely flowers.

Thanks go to Phil’s Mum  who helped with last minute weeding, tidying and ticket sales and his Dad who counted legs, divided by two and kept the visitors entertained in the garden.

cd2f57da-8d0f-4451-88cb-76ce86d20bbcThanks also to our lovely friends who paid to come in although they have seen the garden many times before.

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We turned the summerhouse into a pop-up gallery to display some of Phil’s work.

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And we get to do it all again for NGS on Sunday 11th June 12-5pm … hope to see you then!

Pot luck!

We were sorting through our tree pots on Sunday in preparation for next Saturday’s NGS open garden event and were about to move the trestle …..


Phil spotted her just in time …


We should have some new blackbird chicks very soon!

Prior to discovery, we had been watering with the hose so she’s had a daily drenching and still she remained. Phil has already named the chicks (answers on a postcard please) but there will be no Rush to return your entries!

Hand to mouth…

On a recent visit to  The Brunswick Yard in Penrith, we got chatting to Sam; a vintner who runs his business Black Hand Wine from there. He describes his business as ‘real wine, organic wine, biodynamic wine, local spirits, local beers, real wine know-how, wine tastings, wine advice, food and wine matching, wine making’. We came away with a couple of bottles of inspiration…

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He also sells bottles straight from the barrel. This week he was offering  a tasty organic vin rouge.

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You buy the bottle as part of your initial purchase then bring it back for a refill.

Upfront Open 2017

Upfront 2017 Open Exhibition, Unthank Farm, Unthank, Penrith, CA11 9TG

Tuesday 24th January – Sunday 19th March 2017

The gallery has a vegetarian coffee shop and gift shop.

The Upfront Open Exhibition for 2017 welcomes entries from all artists. The purpose of the show is to exhibit a wealth and wide cross section of artistic talent. The panel of judges choose an eclectic mix of work in various media and styles, both 2D and 3D. The exhibition displays around 100 selected works at Upfront’s various gallery spaces.

Phil has had 2 paintings accepted. The judges will select a winner and award a prize.

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‘Nether Denton Roman Fort (Northern Topographic Series)’, Carved relief into board/metal leaf and oil paint, 607mm X 787mm.

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‘Hope & Glory’ Carved relief into board/metal leaf and oil paint, 595mm X 362mm

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Neo-Dada Constructivist Assemblage ‘Nativity’ …expialidocious !

This year’s Christmas card is of a Nativity scene constructed from carefully selected redundant tools. It was entered in the Christmas decoration section in the Armathwaite Village show but was unplaced.

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Perhaps the judges just  couldn’t see Mary cradling the baby  Jesus with an attentive Joseph looking on adoringly?

Summing up!

I recently had the pleasure of working at ‘Our Lady and St Wilfrid’s Church’ Warwick bridge Carlisle.

It is the only church in Cumbria  designed by Augustus Pugin. The building was completed in 1841 with a construction cost of £2,586. The church is currently undergoing major renovations with the aid of a National Lottery grant in the order of £240.000.

During a brief delay in the re-Installation of two stained glass panels (the stonemason making some sizing adjustment to the new sandstone cill), I took the opportunity to take a couple of snaps of the interior with my phone.

The Palace of Westminster was designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. Building work began in 1840 originally estimated to take six years and cost £700.000 it was formally opened in 1852. The building work wasn’t  finished until 1870 when the clock tower housing the bell ‘Big Ben’ was finally completed. The construction cost was closer to £2000,000.

Recent proposals for much needed renovation work to The Palace of Westminster have suggested a 32 year rolling program of work with an estimate of £5.7 bn. If the work was to run over 40 years the cost would rise to £7.1 bn.