20 August 2017

19 August 2017

Backhouse Rossie garden

When Dad and I were in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, a leaflet caught my eye. "Walled garden with themes of art and science"; it sounded right up my street. Then, when I saw where it was, I realised it was only a short drive from home, so I headed up to Backhouse Rossie on one of the few sunny days of my summer holidays!
When I arrived, one of the owners, Caroline, immediately greeted me and gave me lots of information about the estate and what there was to see and do. As well as the walled garden, there's a cafe, a walk to a Covenanter's tomb, a putting green, a children's walk with animal sculptures, plants for sale, and the toilets are very nice indeed!
I immediately made my way to the walled garden, and I wasn't disappointed. It was beautifully laid out with so many paths and seating places, and lots of plants in flower. 
There was an infinity symbol, a labyrinth with a standing stone at the centre, a shell path based on the structure of DNA with a sculpture at the middle of it, a long rose arch, a pond, a greenhouse, and so many trees laden with fruit. And at the centre of the orchard area was a tree grafted from Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree!
After that I explored the rest of the estate. I didn't spot any of the red squirrels, unfortunately, but I did see a robin (unfortunately just as my camera battery ran out!) and lots of beautiful butterflies!
I'd love to go back to the garden at other times of the year to see what plants were in flower. I think it would be lovely at any time.

17 August 2017

Aberdour and the Hygge Hut

A friend of mine had told me about a shop that she thought I would like, the Hygge Hut in Aberdour. So one afternoon I headed there for a look. It also turned out to be the first day in weeks that it hadn't rained, and, in fact, it was gloriously sunny!
I don't remember having looked around Aberdour before, so it was lovely to have a look at somewhere different that's not far from home. I parked then headed along part of the coastal path towards the harbour area where the Hygge Hut is located.

The Hygge Hut is in a really cute wee building right at the harbour. It's quite modern and Scandinavian looking, so it's the perfect setting for a shop based on the Danish idea of hygge. 
And it's a lovely contrast to the old building opposite that houses the boat club. The Hygge Hut was lovely inside too, with lots of things I'd love to have bought. I ended up buying a notebook with a really retro print design on the cover, and a scented candle in a tin.
Along my way I saw some amazing houses, to add to my list of dream houses to live in! The beach area was lovely too, and I managed to gather a few pieces of sea glass and pottery there.
I really enjoyed my afternoon. I didn't have time to go and have a look at the castle, so I'll have to go back and do that another time!

15 August 2017

#happyseptemberhappyme Instagram challenge

Hi everyone! My friend Chrissie (@storiesfromthesummerhouse) and I have come up with an Instagram photo challenge for the month of September, #happyseptemberhappyme, and we'd love for as many people as possible to get involved!

The challenge is all about finding the little things in life that make us happy on a daily basis and taking photos that show our appreciation of them. You can do as many or as few days as you like. Since in September most people's summer holidays are over, children are all back at school, and everything has returned to a busy routine, it can sometimes be a bit of a stressful or boring time so we hope that this challenge will bring some fun and help you to appreciate all the good things in your life.

It all started back in June when Chrissie set herself a happiness challenge for the month, called #happyjunehappyme. I enjoyed looking at her photos every day, and thought I'd like to do the same challenge. We had also been trying to think of ways to collaborate since we both attended the Edinburgh Blogger Conference back in June, and we loved the sense of community that Instagram challenges can bring. Then I had the idea that we could open up the happiness challenge to everybody, and we've been excitedly planning it ever since!

At the end of each week of the challenge we'll choose four of our favourite photos to feature. We can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for the different prompts.

It would be really amazing if you could share the graphic above, with the list of photo prompts, to help let people know about the challenge!

I really hope you will get involved with the #happyseptemberhappyme challenge, and I really look forward to seeing your photos if you do! It's going to be so much fun!

11 August 2017

Doors of the New Town

On my way to the botanic garden recently I saw some lovely doors around the New Town area of Edinburgh. Photographing doors has become a little project of mine recently, and the doors around this area are particularly stylish, with bold coloured glossy doors, and lots of flowerpots!
I was also delighted to come across a tiny library, complete with a succulent garden on top, and a couple of fabulously faded old shop signs!

08 August 2017

New Reekie

A few weeks ago I headed to Edinburgh to have a look round the glasshouses at the botanic garden. My main reason was to see the Titan Arum, which rarely flowers, and, when it does, has a huge stinky flower! The plant is nicknamed New Reekie, as opposed to Auld Reekie, the nickname for Edinburgh (a reek being a strong and unpleasant smell!).

I also wanted to have a good look round the paid part of the glasshouses. I remember going round them as a student, and one of my favourite photos of myself was taken in one of the glasshouses that day, but, since then I have tended to stick to the areas you can get into for free!
It was really nostalgic to visit these areas that I had been to all those years ago. I particularly remembered the ponds, the cacti, and the carnivorous plants.
The highlight at the end of the glasshouses was New Reekie itself, standing at over 2 metres tall!
It was really interesting to look at the plant and see how similar in shape it is to arum lilies, despite being so much bigger than they are!
The flower hadn't actually opened at that point, so it didn't reek! It was also not busy, so I didn't have to queue up to see it. 
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