Holiday time…..

We have just been on holiday in the north east of England, close by Newcastle upon Tyne.  The sights that have caught my eye whilst up there include:

Northumberlandia – The Lady of the North

This is a wonderful sculpture in the landscape adjacent to the site of a working open cast coal mine.   You can walk round gently curving paths with grasses and wild flowers sweeping in the wind.  The paths are on a landform shaped to be a woman’s body and they gently envelope pools.  It is hard to imagine without seeing it and even the pictures on the website don’t really do it justice.  If you are ever in the Cramlington area do go.  The history and purpose are described on the website:

This project is known as restoration first – taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner, the Blagdon Estate, adjacent to the mine and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is still operational. ……..The inspiration for the landform comes from the distant Cheviot Hills, which are pulled into the foreground by the curves and shapes of the female form used for Northumberlandia.  We naturally look for patterns and shapes in the landscape around us and the scale of the landform means the female form is not seen as a figure all of the time. As you walk around the paths you have to use this natural recognition of the human form to pick out the shape of the figure. For much of the time it appears just as a series of graceful sweeping curves and interlocking shapes.

When I am on holiday I love to see other people’s gardens.  They don’t have to be fancy or large gardens, I like to just discover little bits and pieces that attract my attention.  I particularly enjoyed coming across these two:

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

In the very small patch of ground around the base of the lighthouse is a small garden with raised beds.  They are packed with herbs and flowers in a very windy and exposed position, but look great nevertheless.

DSCN6438 lighthouse garden


DSCN6440 lighthouse garden


DSCN6435 lighthouse garden DSCN6438 lighthouse garden DSCN6440 lighthouse garden

This lovely sea kale caught my eye – I think it is probably the variety ‘Lily White’.  It made me want to try growing sea kale again – when I tried before it always died, but I would love one like this.

DSCN6441 sea kale

Bede’s World Herb Garden

Bede’s World is primarily a museum about the ‘Venerable’ Bede – a 7th century British monk and scholar.  It is shows a fascinating account of his life and times which includes a herb garden – unfortunately it was a bit windy and my photos of the garden were blurred.  There is also a fascinating reconstruction of a farm and buildings from that time.

DSCN6451 bw farmDSCN6452 bw farm

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
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