Gallanthus, the Latin name for Snowdrops. They are out in force at Rode Hall gardens near Scholar Green, on the North Staffordshire/ Cheshire border. It’s off the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton. The snowdrops are in flower right now and you can buy little bags of them (in the green) wjuch means you get bulbs with the leaves and flowers and you plant them directly into the ground under trees so they can spread out. They have many different sorts of the flowers that brighten the grounds of the hall. The snowdrop walks are on till March 3rd? And open till 4pm.
We walked through the grounds and gardens of the hall. Winding paths lead through bushes and trees, up and down little hills and slopes, past pools and woven willow sculptures down to the lake at the end of the longest path. There you can see a wooded island where Herons are starting to nest. I got blurry shots of four herons flying around the tree tops.
Back up past the hall we had a meal and coffee at the cafe and then on to an old barn to see an Exhibition by three local art groups that is on till the start of March.
It’s great to get out into the world and see it changing. The snowdrops were in such great clumps on the ground that it truly did look like they were patches of snow under the bare trees. It’s a great place to explore.
It’s windy and sunny today. I should be out in the fresh air drawing with urban sketchers. Instead I’m inside with a runny, snotty nose and head cold.
I could still go out, but I’m tired. I have a friend visiting tomorrow and the house needs tidying.
The cat just came and stretched up and sharpened her claws on my leg (her way of being friendly) ow!
Shall I go or stay? Or just go back to bed….
Get some asprin or paracetamol and decide….. To sleep
I’m sitting here this evening feeling cold. I put on the electric fan heater after putting on a thick jumper. Also fluffy slippers. I didn’t understand why the temperature was falling. Yes it’s cold, wet and windy outside but the central heating was on. I checked to make sure the door was shut…. Yes, all OK.
Then my husband who was gently toasting his hands over the oil heater said….
Oh I left the window open upstairs!
Now I’m getting too hot.
Funny what shutting a window will do.
The Exhibition of Blue opened tonight at Spode Site at Eleanora Street in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent..
As you can see from the photos there was a great variety of work on the breif Blue. Everyone had to produce art in Blue with only the addition of white, black and grey.
There were glass and resin pieces, acrylic pours and paintings. Drawings and photos, installations with blue lighting and wall painting and fabrics. We were also entertained by an artist with a beautiful voice who sang the blues.
There were also blue cocktails for people who attended the exhibition. The only real downside was the temperature. The Spode studios are inside an old pottery building. The place was once filled with pottery kilns so it was not built with much insulation. It can sometimes be colder inside than it is outside. The exhibition continues till at least Sunday. It may continue next week but it has yet to be decided.
Inside the garden centre cafe, looking out over the Trent valley. A little patch of blue amid the grey clouds. The cafe lights reflected on the window are causing the two white patches.
We walked round and bought bird food a planter and some seeds for chrysanthemums, geraniums and other flowers to put in later in the year.
Most of the outside area was taped off with striped tape, a bit like a massive crime scene. This was a concrete area covered in ice and snow.
After a hot chocolate and a coffee we came back out into the freezing cold air and a low sun slanting it’s brilliant rays through the trees. You have to be an optimist if you do gardening. Looking forward to growth and new life. Thinking about opportunities for trying to grow new plants and exotic fruits.
I’m back home in the warm now. But going back out in the cold soon……
As we came out of choir group tonight it was cold and icy. The snow that had fallen earlier had turned from slush on the car park to hard ridges and furrows and ice.
I walked across to the car, managing not to slip. The car started reassuringly. The cold air from the heater took a few minutes to warm up. Then the screen started to demist. A car flew past in the dark. It’s headlights were not switched on so I flashed mine to try and get their attention.
I carefully drove off the car park and onto the road. Luckily it was wet but not slippery. The gritter lorries had clearly been past. Up to the traffic lights, turn right. Now I was on the main road, safe for a moment to drive at normal speed. But I live in a hill so I wanted to park up facing downhill. The only way to do that was to drive up the other side of the hill But I had a plan. Drive halfway up then take a short, flat, side road through the housing estate to get to my street half way down the hill. .. Well I got to the side road, and it was covered in a thick icy snowy layer. Solid, slippery. A steep slope to one side. I dropped into a lower gear. I did not want to slide across the road, on black ice. Keeping to the centre of the road, I drove at the slowest pace I could. Parked cars on either side made me fear hitting their wing mirrors. Nothing happened. My car slid and glided past, slowly and gently. My heart was thudding and I felt my neck tensing. Half way. A road bisecting my slippery route…. Anything coming fast up the hill and I would not have been able to stop safely. Now the road started to twist and turn. The slope increasingly downhill. The grip between the tyres and the asphalt was reducing. I applied the breaks gently. Close to the hill where I had to turn down onto my street. Nothing coming. The snow transformed into moisture, salted and defrosted. Slow turn. Almost in slow motion. It was too dark to see any frosty patches. So I carefully drove down hill in first gear. I got home slightly shaken.
I got my partner to read this. He said “it’s a bit boring” which is honest.
Another inspiration. I may do a painting of this. The fresh colours of a winter sky against the dark silhouette of the room.
A low sun makes for startling shadows and highlights. Sometimes overwhelming brilliance can burn out even the darkest tones.
I should try and take more pictures!