Thursday, 31 October 2013

Seems it's still warm enough

to plant holly and other stuff.

Yesterday's walk was in the rolling countryside around Preston. I wanted to visit the Plant centre that had advised me on the slowest-growing variegated holly to see if there was any in stock and if it could be planted now.

The start of the climb

We parked at The Rusty Gun car park and headed off across the farmer's field. The first section was done in the shade of the hedgerow. Then it was out into brilliant sunshine and the beginning of a steep climb up to  Poynder's End Farm in the Parish of St Ippolyts.

The hill may not be that high, but this was the first time in over a year that we have walked anywhere that wasn't more or less flat.

Nearing the top

We spent quite a long time climbing the hill (well I did, MWNN plodded steadily with Ron.) The views were spectacular. Even before we reached the top, I could see the wind farm on the distant horizon behind us, possibly the new wind farm at Langford, 17 miles to the North. MWNN had forgotten to bring his monokular so couldn't identify large buildings on the horizon, that would have helped with the position of what we were seeing.

I kept stopping and looking back, across the valley in which the Codicote Road ran, connecting Hitchin to Codicote and further South.

View from the top, across the valley and Letchworth

The sky was a deep, deep, blue and criss-crossed with jet trails of planes going in and out of Luton or Stansted. From the top of the hill, beside Poynder's End Farm, the view back across the valley was breathtaking. The camera never does justice to landscape, as far as I'm concerned. Even with a good camera, there is a loss of depth and absence of three dimensional quality.

I had only my mobile phone with me. Even so, the pictures give some idea of the beauty of the place and time of day.

We had planned to have a drink at The Rusty Gun but, when we got back to the car, it was about 15 minutes to opening time. We drove on to Vanstone Park, where I sought advice from the very knowledgeable assistant, on a variety of shrubs to plant in the front garden. MWNN and I finally decided on a variegated Euonymus to join the cream and green variety already in place. A Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'  made it onto the short-list, as did the slow-growing Ilex Golden King. As we made our way to the check-out MWNN appeared clutching one of his favourite plants - a fuscia that was in full flower. Now all that's needed is the time and energy to plant them before the frosts really set in.

As we packed the plants into the car, MWNN drew my attention to the Park's 'guard geese' that were attempting to mug the passengers in a nearby car for a share of lunch.

Blue is deeper, more saturated in real life

After a lunch of our own, at home, we returned to the Post Office in town to collect a parcel that had been 'too big to deliver' while we were out on Tuesday. It turned out to be a Posh Pink Package (PPP) with yarn I'd ordered to make a shawl to replace the one I gave to Irish Sis-in-Law recently. What a magnificent, kingfisher blue this is - just as rich as the description on the Posh Yarn Shop Page for Sunday's sale.

Gatward's Bench, clock and shop in background
I waited in the Market Square for MWNN to pick me up after the quick collection of the PPP. There is a bench I'd wanted to inspect for some time. It is Gatward's bench commemorating 250 of Gatwards' Jewellers in the town. Gatwards gave the town a Millenium Clock for Market Square. Now we have a lovely stylised clock-mechanism, double-sided bench, sited beside the old Cabbie's Shelter. Each of the 'clock hands' commemorates a proprietor from 1760 to present day.

We live in a lovely environment, in a lovely town, with beautiful colours all around us.