Sunday, 8 May 2011

Forde Abbey in April

The day after The Royal Wedding we headed to Forde Abbey, near Chard in Somerset.
The wisteria was in bloom and looked wonderful next to the mellow stone-work.

As you set off on your journey around this lovely garden there is a set of steps used by the gentry in the olden days to mount a horse. Our Daughter always makes a mad dash for them and it is by now a ritual that she will have her photo taken on them. How quickly children grow I remember as if it were yesterday when I wouldn't let her climb the steps in case she fell off!

This gazebo is at the top end of the long pond.

The azaeleas were out - a flash of bright colour lured us towards them.

This rhodedendrom was also in full bloom. You normally see these big bushes in pinks, whites and lilac colours. I don't think I've seen a yellow one before.

Our Daughter was intent on doing the garden quiz - where you have to follow a map of the garden and find boxes with individual letters in them. There are usually ten to twelve letters to collect and then you have to work out what the word is once you have collected all the letters. Our very own "Countdown" in fabulous surroundings.

We had purchased some food to feed the rainbow trout in the big pond. The fish are very big and very, very greedy. They almost jump out of the water to get at the food. With such delights to feast your eyes upon it was a bit optimistic of me to hope that the dog would ever look at the camera! True to form, he didn't!

Our Daughter feeding the fish.

I had hoped that you could see some of the fish when I took this one but they must have been camera shy! They really do hover very close to the surface and swish their tails angrily to frighten each other away from the food!

The dog was mesmerized!

We walked around the big pond. You can see that the beech hideout is now green. It was only a few months ago that we were last at Forde Abbey and the hideout was brown. Isn't nature wonderful.

Our Daughter pauses on a log to find out where the next box should be located.

We head for the bog garden. The dog dashes into the little stream for a drink. Remarkably he looks at the camera - "I'd better obey her command as I'm not too sure if I should have gone into the water!"

We follow the big pond. Here is a photo of Our Daughter with my Mum and Dad.
Normally my Mum shuts her eyes for photographs so this is a rare moment when she hasn't!

Our Daughter with her Grandad!

Another view of the big pond.

There were some bluebells.

"Will you help me look for the boxes Grandad? I'm sure there's supposed to be one down here somewhere?"

We pass a statue.

We head for the rockery.

We spot some lovely alliums.

A view of Forde Abbey.

The tulips were still open but not at their very best. Another week and the tulips will be gone for another year. Shortly after I took this photo it began to drizzle. We were very lucky as we had just finished our walk.

In the evening we spruced ourselves up and went to the Bath House Hotel in Chard for a Chinese meal. My Mum managed not to close her eyes for this photo!
Our Daughter loves this restaurant. There is shredded smoked chicken as a starter and Our Daughter would eat this every day if she could! She also loves the Crispy Duck and the pancakes that you can make up with cucumber - "I don't want the soy sauce. I don't like it!" (She's never tried it!)
For dessert - Our Daughter has to have the Raspberry Sorbet! One scoop is enough though as we have eaten far too much!
We make our way back home with our bellies full.
We have a cup of coffee before retiring to bed. Tomorrow my parents go back to Wales.
The following morning after they have left we make plans to find a bluebell wood and set off shortly after lunch.
More on that next time.

Until then.


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