Six word Saturday

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What to do when seeking inspiration?

For me, it usually means a trip to my photo files

For me, it usually means a trip to my photo files

On a recent visit to Durham, I decided to seek out Old Durham Gardens.  I had known of the existence of these 350 year old gardens for a long time, but they’re a little off the beaten track. When I arrived, on a warm and sunny Wednesday morning, I discovered that the gardens only open between 2 and 4pm on Thursdays and Saturdays in Summer.  After initial disappointment (and a peer through the gates), I discovered that there was more than enough to keep me happy from the outside.

Fragments of colour were everywhere

Fragments of colour were everywhere

The old walls themselves are full of characterful whirls and sworls, causing the eye to drift from the gentle planting.  The place has a past and the walls reflect that.  In the 12th century this was a rectory.  The walls were added in the 1700s to enable the cultivation of south facing fruit trees, and in the 1750s music concerts were held within.   Glamorous times were ahead when the gardens were owned by an artist and icecream maker, Victor Mazzini Walton.  The gardens were described in 1921 as having tennis courts, putting green, running track and a tea garden, and dances were held at weekends.

After the Second World War, Mr. Walton sold up and the gardens fell into decline.  Happily, in 1985, Durham City Council purchased Old Durham and began a programme of restoration.  When this lapsed, Friends of Old Durham was born and the gardens today are run by this group of volunteers.

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After wandering the boundaries, it’s down the steps, and a gentle meander back to the river.

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Always a source of inspiration!

Always a source of inspiration!

I hope you enjoyed my Saturday amble.  Next weekend I’ll be in Bristol for the Hot Air Balloon festival and I suspect I’ll be too busy to join you.  I hope so, anyway!

Meantime, there’s Cate at Show My Face to visit with your six words.  I was browsing my photos wondering what to show you today and looking for inspiration.  I think I found it.

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132 comments

  1. Ahh Jo, how I love English gardens at this time of year, and even if you couldn’t go inside, I would have never have known from your gorgeous photos 🙂 Beautiful close ups, love how vivid the colours look of the flowers against the wall. A breath of fresh air on this grey, wet Tuesday morning 😦 Yay, you got to go to Bristol and the hot air balloons at long last! You were only an hour away from me, but I was in London for the Bloggers Bash! Wasn’t sure about going at first, but glad I did. Hope you had a fantastic time, as I’m sure you did. Did you go up in a balloon? Braver than me if you did, I can’t bear heights and I couldn’t do it :/

    1. Hi Sherri! The balloon fest is this weekend, starting Thursday and I’m up, up and away early doors at 8.30 that morning (but with Easyjet- not in a basket, unfortunately 😦 though I have been described as a basket case before, I believe!) I thought the 2 events coincided so I did not approach you to arrange a meeting, as I knew you were a nominee. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      1. Have a wonderful time Jo! I look forward to all your amazing pics and so happy for you. Happy travels whether by plane or basket and we’ll have to plan that tea in Bath for another day. Look forward to it 🙂

  2. VERY lovely gathering of photos, Jo. I love the wall all by itself. I thought at first it was dried mud. Then I put on my glasses!! Lesson learned. Hot air balloon sounds good. Can’t wait

  3. And now I’m here at last, Jo. I see what Paula means about the fabulous walls. They give the plants such a dramatic backdrop. I’ve always rather yearned for a walled garden. All the things one could grow in such a sheltered space.

    1. You’re obviously much more green fingered than me, Tish! I’m only good at looking 😦
      I seem to be running faster and faster today and getting absolutely nowhere! My head’s full of Bristol and balloons. A lot of hot air, in fact! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get chance to come over and have a look at yours before I float away. Thanks, again! 🙂

    1. I would like a project to be committed to, Pauline, but I don’t know of anything local and because I don’t drive it’s not so easy. I should try harder! 🙂

  4. Well you certainly managed to get some lovely shots of the gardens Jo even if you couldn’t go in! I use photos as my inspiration too – they are a wonderful way of reminding me of all the many things I’ve done and can feel grateful for plus now I’m blogging they provide inspiration for posts too! Hope you have a nice break down in Bristol and enjoy some time off (I don’t know how you manage to fit everything in with all the posts you do and replies to everyone so enjoy a well earned break!) 🙂

      1. I can well imagine it – with modern technology we are all so accessible 24/7 and sometimes we need a break. Still the beauty of the blogging is that you can set your own agenda and posting schedule and if you need to wind it down a bit for a little while your readers will understand! 🙂

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