Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Little Bit Of This, And A Little Bit Of That

As usual, the week started off with a drive to work. Although virtually all of the gardens we tend are along the coast, due to the amount of traffic at this time in the morning I prefer to take the much longer, but much more quiet and scenic route inland to get to my destination. Part of the route follows a narrow and raised road, the Avon Causeway. In dryer weather such as in the video, it is simply a road that cuts across the flood plain of the River Avon, a major river of the area, but come heavy rainfall and the whole area floods completely, leaving a very surreal line of tarmac as the only thing visible above the water, and the only real way towards the east of the area. Nonetheless, at any time, a beautiful spot to drive through, especially with some Rolling Stones to liven one up in preparation for the day ahead.

Due to the storms we are having at the moment, trees have shed pretty much all of their leaves quickly this year, and we shall enter December with all of the gardening 'donkey work' done well ahead of time.
The wet weather has meant that moss and algae have been a much worse problem than usual, with an algaecide needing to be applied two or three times, instead of just the once. It has been a very wet week, and to keep on track we have had to work come what may. By Friday we were both somewhat damp and demoralised, and faced the last job of the week, the largest garden we look after.
It was particularly hard as almost the entire place was covered in it's last leaf fall of the year, and the grass was sopping wet. Although the mower was set at it's highest setting, traction was almost non-existent, and the mower had to be pushed most of the time to prevent it skidding. After nearly five hours of this I had certainly had enough. Amanda had volunteered to do the leaf blowing of all the hard standing areas, no small task! In the picture she has blown leaf litter away from the grass, and is aiming to take it all through to some much larger areas to the right, out of picture shot. If you look hard, you can just see her in the backgroud, working her way through the borders. She really is the 'Mistress of the Blower', as once finished many hours later, there are miraculously no piles to pick up, as she has worked very hard indeed to get all of the leaves into the backs of the larger perimeter borders, and totally out of sight to rot down and provide humous for next year.
Come the weekend and we rewarded ourselves with a little hunting for our individual hobbies. Mine being antique and vintage wine and champagne glasses. My latest acquisition has been a champagne glass by my favourite Italian designer Salviati, of the Murano glass works. Maybe a little champagne to fill it one day eh? I am also soon to be the lucky owner of a very beautiful cordial glass, also by Salviati, once it arrives from a collector in the USA, but that will be kept out of my hands until my birthday in January apparently.....grmmpphh!!
As well as those by famous designers in this field, I go for anything that in my own judgement is just beautiful. Some have cost just 20p from a car boot sale such as this champagne glass.
Or this Absinthe glass.

Others, such as this 1820's  Bristol amethyst wine glass purchased in London a little more.
Charity shops, car boot sales, antique and vintage shops, wherever there may be glass, then so am I. And so we spent a day exploring some antique and vintage shops.
Some had coffee and cake! Amanda found a collection of posters by David Hockney, but having spent soooo much time searching, and eating cake, did I find something that caught my magpie like eye?.......nope! Still, half the fun is in the searching.

We have also just discovered somewhere new that is very special about ten minutes away from our home, Molly's Den, and they sell tea and cake as well!!
Bye for now.


  1. Gary, it's strange watching you drive on the opposite side of the road. I got nervous watching you in the "wrong" lane which for everyone back there is the correct lane:) Best I never drive when I finally make it over there one day. You have such a wonderful job. And like you, I'd take that beautiful long way to work as often as I could....probably with a cup of coffee at my side. It sure is misty cloudy rainy! I don't know how you all do it without the sun but I know that's the way it is. Hope you had a good start to your week. Chris

  2. Hi Chris,
    I have to say that it's been wet here in the UK for so long now, that people are getting really depressed. There is serious flooding, deaths etc. Using a pleasant route to work helps a little.

  3. Sometimes I wonder why we didn’t choose to settle in Arizona as my brother did. Instead I went from growing up in rainy England to growing old in rainy Oregon.

  4. I'm really a fair weather gardener. .I'm not sure I would enjoy it so much when I HAD to go out and the climate was miserable!! Bless you for that!! We enjoyed hunting through a few antique stores as well over Thanksgiving holiday. .a totally addicting hobby. .and one of my favorites too. .love the amythest wine glass!! have a great week!

  5. I love that clear etched champagne glass and of course Molly's den. So nice you two shop together, take care.

  6. Hi Doc,
    It's been a horible year weatherwise, and I must say that I was seriously tempted to stay in Granada when we were there, and enjoy a warmer gardening job at the Alhambra.

  7. Hi Melanie,
    It really is an addictive hobby, and one that doesn't have to cost much at all, although when temptation is there......

  8. Hi Gina,
    It is nice to be able to share this sort of time together, even though we collect different things. I am quite focussed on glasses, while Amanda collects vintage/antique tea cups...and get's tempted by anything else that takes her fancy. We came home once with an antique folding screen on one occasion!

  9. I've heard about all the rain you all have been getting. Hope you dry out soon. Love those glasses you collect. You both deserve a nice break after all that hard work!

  10. Hi there Jean,
    Most in the UK are totally fed up with the rain now. Having said that, I am looking out of the window now to a beautiful sunrise of orange and pink clouds, so not all bad I guess.

  11. Hello Gary, thanks for taking us on a drive with you :) I love all those narrow, twisty turns. It's not fun when it rains non-stop, but it's better than seeing everything burnt to a crisp from drought. That last garden you were working on is gorgeous and must take a lot of work to maintain! You have a beautiful collection of glassware, must be a joy to look at lit by the rays of the sun (when the sun finally does shine over there :)

  12. Hi Rosemary,
    I do enjoy my morning drive to work. The weather appears to have broken at last, giving way to clear skies and icy days.....perfect!

  13. Gary,
    I'm a big fan of glass too and that champagne glass is a beauty. The leaves are still dropping here. I was looking at the mess in the garden yesterday afternoon thinking I really need to get busy.

  14. Hi Randy,
    Although it's one of my cheaper purchases, and from a collectors point of view not worth much, it is also one of my favourites for it's delicate beauty. My latest 'proper' acquisition from a collector in the USA is being held by UK customs as we speak.....arrgghh!