Monday, August 24, 2020

What a Summer


Summer used to be a favorite season of mine.  I guess it was a carryover of summer vacation from school.  Carefree days going barefoot and lazily enjoying endless days biking and roller skating with my sisters and friends.  Even after getting married and having children, I remember summer days were wonderful carefree days on our boat water skiing and looking forward to our annual week at the beach.  Did I care about the heat and humidity then?  I honestly don't remember that.  I did not grow up with central air conditioning.  We had a window unit that my Daddy would allow us to use on the most hot evenings in our upstairs bedroom.  Well, that was then and this is now.  I have a love hate relationship with summer in Virginia. 



I do love the pleasant days spent on the patio.  We have had the hottest, driest July that I can remember.  Only during early mornings could you find us enjoying time reading and gardening this year.


A baby cardinal was perplexed by his reflection and flew into the window incessantly.  Reading about this behavior revealed that he was demonstrating his need to defend his territory.  The poor fellow kept up this action for over a week!

As soon as the calendar page was turned to August we received rain.  Glorious rain from the heavens!  We have had over 9 inches of rain this month after having hardly a drop in July.  The mushrooms are popping up all over.

 The jasmine has been blooming and sending its wonderful fragrance onto the patio.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly enjoys the white buddleia blossoms.  It is Virginia's state insect and is one of the largest butterflies.

The elusive Monarch showed up to our delight.

The Sphinx Moth enjoys nectar on the patio vinca. These little moths are wonderful to view as they go from blossom to blossom gathering nectar.

The Black Swallowtail shows erratic behavior that we haven't observed before.


A darling little Pearl Cresent butterfly visited the nearby azalea.  He is quite small, only 1 inch wide. 

Grayden came to my rescue one morning and helped me clean out the periwinkle and lily of the valley that was completely taking over this garden.  With all the rain we've had it made for easy digging, though the tough roots of the invaders made huge masses of roots.  

The Dragon's Head is just beginning to blossom.  It's nice to have plants growing that were given to me by a friend years ago. 

From my research this may be a Fiery Skipper if I'm not mistaken.  If you know please comment.

Yes it's been an unusual summer, but still much beauty to enjoy.  We still walk the trail every morning at the crack of dawn and otherwise stay home tending to our home and garden.  I'm thankful for diversions during this time in history.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Trelissick in Cornwall, England

Today I'd like to continue our Golden Anniversary visit to Great Britain.  Though this trip took place almost three years ago, I want to share it with you and remember the amazing places we visited.  I'm so glad I keep a journal when we travel.  How else would I remember all these special moments along the way?  As usual I am posting these visits in the order in which we traveled.  So from my journal I wrote:

Fog filled every low spot as we drove down to Cornwall to visit several National Trust properties.

The first property we wanted to visit was Trelissick in Feock, Cornwall.  This enormous property was owned by the Copelands, the family that bought Spode China.

Before entering the holiday home I wanted to explore the lovely gardens full of huge rhododendrons, azaleas, and beautiful trees and flowers.

The Hydrangea Walk offers lovely garden views of the garden and the water that this property overlooks.  Come with me as we go through the gate to the garden.

This darling lab puppy was waiting to enter as well.

Inside the walled garden our senses are delighted with the fragrances and the sights of lovely October florals.

The garden is full of interesting plant specimens that have been added to the garden over the years.  

Palms can be seen in quite a few of the gardens we visited.  Cornwall's moderate climate supports many different plants that grow happily.

Trelissick sits on a peninsula that overlooks the Fal Estuary.
It has stunning views from the garden as well as the home.

We learned that Henry VIII had chains strung across the opening of the estuary to keep the Spanish Armada from invading!  

As much as I'd like to linger in the garden, let's go visit the inside of Trelissick.

The Copeland family gallery is a feature to enjoy inside as we view their extensive home and china. 

If you love china, this is the place for you!  So many different patterns and all gorgeous.

Many of the flowers that are painted on the Spode China were grown at Trelissick. 

The lounge has interesting porcelain pieces from the family.  Note the reflection of the estuary in the framed piece above the mantel.  

There were so many treasures in this home it was hard not to take photos of them all.

The current home changed many hands over the centuries.  It was originally built in 1755.  The main building was designed by architect Edmund Davey and built for John Lawrence.  The Copelands lived in Staffordshire where Mr. Copeland was managing director of the WT Copeland and Sons, Ltd. china company that produced Spode.  This holiday home eventually became the families main residence until 1955 when Mrs. Ida Copeland gave 376 acres of gardens to the National Trust but not the home.  It wasn't until 2013 that the home was given to the National Trust.

I fell in love with the kitchen and would feel right at home there!

A handsome solarium full of lovely palms and pines lived happily in their sunny home. 

The stables serve as an entrance to more gardens and the car park on the property.

Trelissick was a delightful visit for us.  We won't soon forget the lovely mansion and the beautiful views from the windows!  Thank you for coming along with us as we remember our 50th wedding anniversary.