Allotment Things :)

The second allotment post 🙂 The last one I showed some of the things that don’t appear to be working quite so well. So before you all panic and think that we are completely failing I thought I should show some success’.

Elephant garlic: This was Reiss’ choice and we have overwintered it, it looks healthy and strong and hopefully better than the purple garlic that was my choice!elephant garlic

Golden Courgette: These are my beauties, the funny thing is I don’t actually like courgette! They are fairly simple to grow and seem to be doing really well in this ‘patch’.courgettre

Brightlights Chard: This is a beautiful plant and will eventually have different coloured stems, however, only the leaf may be eaten. Which is such a shame.Chard brightlights

Finally, these are my Purple Brussel Sprouts. They are still babies at the moment and are residing in the poly tunnel waiting to be planted out.brussels

Reiss purchased a new ‘toy’ recently. Part of the land is dense forest, a lot of it is dead and it desperately needs felling to allow light in and trees to grow. I find it really oppressive when I have to venture into it, Reiss doesn’t seem to mind.

Reiss Chopped

Allotment Things

I haven’t posted about the allotment before and thought that it was about time that I did. Reiss and I have a little bit of land thanks to his mum 🙂 We currently have 5 beds, a poly tunnel, a courgette patch, a bath full of strawberries, one full of herbs, some fruit trees/bushes and 4 chickens.

Last weekend we decided that we would start to document our progress and failures through photography and film.

Some weeding was desperately needed! This is a long and backbreaking job but extremely rewarding!

before and after

If anyone can identify this extremely annoying weed and a way to keep it at bay, please help! Why does it only grow in the beds and not in the grass? I have been told it is bindweed but am not entirely sure?

bindweed onions

Whilst we were weeding we pulled some of the smaller onions as they were fallen over and apparently ‘ready’. However, as you can see they are still not much bigger than the bulbs… Again any thoughts as to why this could be? They have been overwintered.

harvest

These garlics were overwintered also, as you can see nothing has developed. The evidence above ground was healthy and strong. I am very confused!

garlic

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 

Kew Part 4 – The lilypond

This is my favourite part of Kew Gardens with the Tropics running a close second. The colours are so vibrant and fantastic, the size of the pads are amazing and the overall feel to this special place is unlike any other…

White Pink 2 Pink 1 Leaves 1 bud Leaves 2 Purple

Some fairy spirit with his wand,
I think, has hovered o’er the dell,
And spread this film upon the pond,
And touched it with this drowsy spell.

For here the musing soul is merged
In moods no other scene can bring,
And sweeter seems the air when scourged
With wandering wild-bees’ murmuring.

One ripple streaks the little lake,
Sharp purple-blue; the birches, thin
And silvery, crowd the edge, yet break
To let a straying sunbeam in.

How came we through the yielding wood,
That day, to this sweet-rustling shore?
Oh, there together while we stood,
A butterfly was wafted o’er,

In sleepy light; and even now
His glimmering beauty doth return
Upon me, when the soft winds blow,
And lilies toward the sunlight yearn.

The yielding wood? And yet ‘t was both
To yield unto our happy march;
Doubtful it seemed, at times, if both
Could pass its green, elastic arch.

Yet there, at last, upon the marge
We found ourselves, and there, behold,
In hosts the lilies, white and large,
Lay close, with hearts of downy gold!

Deep in the weedy waters spread
The rootlets of the placid bloom:
So sprung my love’s flower, that was bred
In deep, still waters of heart’s-gloom.

So sprung; and so that morn was nursed
To live in light, and on the pool
Wherein its roots were deep immersed
Burst into beauty broad and cool.

Few words were said; a moment passed;
I know not how it came–that awe
And ardor of a glance that cast
Our love in universal law!

But all at once a bird sang loud,
From dead twigs of the gleamy beech;
His notes dropped dewy, as out of a cloud,
A blessing on our married speech.

Ah, Love! how fresh and rare, even now,
That moment and that mood return
Upon me, when the soft winds blow,
And lilies toward the sunlight yearn!

George Parsons Lathrop’s poem: Lily-Pond

 

Kew Gardens

The weather the weekend just gone was beautiful and to celebrate this, Reiss and I went to Kew Gardens.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Kew Gardens is one of London’s top visitor attractions and Wakehurst, the second garden in West Sussex, is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.

Over the past 250 years Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has made innumerable contributions to increasing the understanding of plants and fungus with many benefits for mankind.

‘Our science and conservation work helps to discover and describe the world’s plant and fungal diversity, safeguards the world’s plant life for our future and promotes the sustainable use of plants.’

The area covers 300 acres and is divided into many sections, covering a diverse range of plant life. Also to be seen are many different exhibitions and wildlife such as peacocks, geese and squirrels. Due to this diverse range I will be splitting my posts into 4 areas to break up a large amount of photos taken.

I am going to start with the outdoor gardens.

The classic image of the Palm House at Kew Gardens, this is the rainforest conservatory and is the most important surviving Victorian Iron and Glass structure in the world. It was designed to accommodate the exotic palms being collected and introduced to Europe in the early Victorian times. (sorry about the people :P)

 

Conservatory

Japanese garden

The Japanese garden area is dominated by a massive structure shown above, it can be seen across the park. Although impressive, it is extremely difficult to capture! I much preferred the texture underneath 🙂

Red

Finally, outside the Lillypond House there were some beautiful flowers being pollinated by some wonderful bees! Again hard to capture but I gave it a go!

Bumblebee

 

 

North Weald Redoubt 2nd visit

This is the second time that I have visited North Weald Redoubt, for information about the site please see my previous post. This time there was the three of us, Reiss, Tom and myself and the weather was much better, however it is still heavily flooded as you will see from the photos. We managed to explore the whole site this time, minus the underground vaults, due to the flooding.

Cable

wood Wall

Hook

door

Grate

Reiss

Power

Beams

Grafitti Grafitti 2

Eyes

 

 

 

Coalhouse Fort – Tilbury

Saturday 5th April

Reiss and I decided to take the dog for a family outing/photography trip to Coalhouse Fort situated in East Tilbury on The Thames’ Estuary.

524365426

Strategically placed on the Essex peninsular, Coalhouse Point, this unique site has been developed as a defensive position from 1402.  With a near 180 degree arc of fire across the bend in the River Thames at Stanford-le-Hope and back towards London this location was chosen as earthwork defences, Henrician blockhouse and the Victorian Coastal Defence fortress which stands today.”

There are many aspects to the area now, which include; a park area with a zip wire and picnic benches, marshland areas, the coastal area on the estuary including the watch tower, the Fort itself and some inlet water areas. Reiss and I didn’t venture into the Fort as it is only open on set days throughout the year, however the surrounding area is fascinating and offered fantastic photography opportunities.

Estuary Fort1 Skyward StepsIn the opposite direction, a power plant is in full view. A stark contrast to the natural beauty around you in the park area.

Handstand

Powerstation Powerstation2

The lookout tower has fallen into disrepair and has had some railings removed to stop the public getting to it.

Lookout

Lookout2 Handrail Brickwork Strut Strut2

Lastly their was the ‘beach’ area, it had so many wooden structures that have just been left to rot. They really were beautiful.

Waves Fingers in the sand Estury 1 Estuary 1 Estuary Reiss I don’t know if Reiss was aware that I was taking this picture, but he looked straight at me 🙂

 

Seaweed

 

 

North Weald Redoubt

Reiss and I finally had a weekend off where the weather was ok! We did some research and found a new site to explore. It isn’t too far from us and this visit was to scout it out and get a feel for the area.

It is called North Weald redoubt. Between 1889 and 1903 13 Mobilisation Centres were built as part of the London Defence Scheme. Their main function was as a store for guns, small arms ammunition, tools and other equipment required for the batteries and infantry. The North Weald Redoubt was the first of the mobilisation centres to be constructed and the only centre north of the Thames. It is situated on high ground to the south of North Weald Bassett.

It is abandoned and derelict now. It has been heavily vandalised and is flooded at the moment. However, we will be returning when the weather clears up further.

dangersign

blue

house

Metal 2

Metal b+w

pipe

wire

Block

The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Sunday 8th December, Reiss and I ventured to a museum in London called The Horniman Museum and Gardens. We weren’t sure what we were expecting to see but I was delighted by the range and scope of this museum. The gardens include a small petting zoo and an allotment. The Museum itself houses a taxidermy wing, and assortment of curiosities, a music wing, a photography exhibition and an aquarium.

All of the grounds and exhibitions are free to enter except a small fee of £3 per person for the aquarium, for the upkeep of the tanks. We spent around 3/4 hours here and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greenhouse and clocktower

Greenhouse

Bird

Rodent

My favourite thing in the museum was the jellyfish tank in the aquarium. They were beautiful and mesmerising.

Jellyfish 1

Jellyfish 2

Jellyfish 3

Cambridge

Saturday 21st, Reiss and I did a day trip into Cambridge. I have wanted to go for a while after having seen the cathedral from a distance. We took peoples advice and used the park and ride service which was brilliant. £2.90 each for the day and we didn’t wait at all.

I did some prior research and we had decided to visit some museums, have a wander around the market, see the cathedral and walk along the river and the backs of the colleges. We visited the Sedgwick Museum, which was full of fossils. It was really well laid out and I enjoyed it a lot. We also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is an impressive building but sadly was covered with scaffolding. However, I did get this image of one of the pillars holding up the dome inside.

FitzWilliam museum 1

The main photography was done at King’s College Cathedral. It was a beautifully inspiring place. The grandeur of architecture amazes me.

kings college cathedral

Dragon

ceiling

cathedral

kings college cathedral 2

The outside was just as spectacular.

outside

cathedral b=w

Cathedral outside

Overall it was a good day, I also bought a book at the market (which I love) and we walked along the river watching the punters. It’s always fun to visit new places and get a chance at photographing different scenery.

A Lonely Walk

At the moment I am signed off work and cannot go to public places. Im starting to get a little cabin fever so I decided to go for a walk around my local nature reserve. I know the walks where your not likely to see anyone. For my birthday I got a new lens the 55mm – 250mm and some of my shots were experimental with this new lens.

Firstly I walked to The Plotlands, the museum is called Little Haven and is a house that was used originally as holiday homes for wealthy Londoners and then as shelters for children during the air raids. Although it was closed you can still go into the gardens. I found a wheel barrow full of glass bottles.

Bottles

Bottles 2

Through the window I could see this medicine cabinet, I love the vintage advertising.

Medicine cabenet

soap copy

I walked from here through a pathway that is seldom used. I had forgotten why. It has the remains of other Plotland houses that have collapsed to the right of the path. There was a keep out sign, but I ignored that.

I only scratched the surface of this area as I didn’t have a respirator and the air quality was poor. I will be going back.

fallen house

Jacket

Bread

Next I walked over to the lake. The usual stuff here but I did pluck up the courage to venture through the cow field on my own. Reiss you should be proud!

Mallard 2

Cow

Cows 2

From the top of the lake and up the hill, there is an amazing view of the landscape between Langdon Hills and London. As the crow flies, The City Of London is about 30  miles.

view copy