Saturday, August 08, 2020

Weekend Adventures :: Speke Hall Liverpool

 Hello, my lovelies! How lovely to be back here talking to you. Since starting back at work my time is stretched and no longer all my own. I'd love to spend more time blogging, creating, and dyeing yarn but life is always a bit of a mix isn't it?
I wanted to take you along to a National Trust property we visited recently. We haven't been exploring nearly as much as we would have liked for obvious reasons and National Trust is only offering timed and limited tickets to their properties which you have to book online. They release their tickets each Friday and each Friday comes and goes and I forget, remembering a little too late when all the tickets have been snapped up.
Amazingly, I managed to get myself together one Friday and booked tickets for us to visit Speke Hall in Liverpool. Thankfully the ended up being beautiful, you always risk drippy weather here in England, its the nature of living on an island.
We decided to take a picnic along with us which I'm so very happy that we did. It was simply marvelous! The first picnic of the summer - hopefully, we can squeeze in another before the autumn arrives!
Speke Hall is a wood-framed, wattle-and-daub Tudor manor house. It really is very impressive and very wonky! The house was not open due to covid so we enjoyed walking through the gardens and viewing the house from the outside.

This is what I love about England, would you just look at that picture, the atmospheric summer sky, the greenery, a building hundreds of years old that has presided over countless lives of people we will never know. Witnessing the passing of time and private moments of ordinary lives. It's all quite amazing and I feel incredibly blessed to be living in a land with so much history. I'll never ever tire of it and I will never lose the appreciation I have to live here.

Walking around the house in the peaceful gardens, I imagined what it must have been like to live in this house as a little girl. I'd imagine that Alice in Wonderland would have had similar lovely gardens to play in and it would be a garden like this that she would spy the white rabbit and follow him down the rabbit hole.

Yes, my imagination has been molded by great British authors for when I read these books this was exactly what was conjured in my very fertile imagination!

Along the outer edges of the garden surrounding the lawn in front of the house were these magnificent hydrangeas. A tumbling wall of them. Right then and there I decided that this is what I want in my own garden. I love hydrangeas and have three much smaller shrubs. Three is simply not enough! 

They are quite an old fashioned flower, aren't they? I remember them being prolific in my grandmother's garden and I think that is perhaps why I'm always drawn to them and roses. They are a link to my family, my past. If you haven't noticed by now I'm quite a traditional 'old soul'. I'm absolutely convinced I was born in the wrong era 😂. I love everything old, slow and simple and would be quite happy checking out of the modern world and exchanging it for a Georgian, Victorian, or at a push, Edwardian existence.

So, in a bid to build my hydrangea collection I have taken slips of my current three bushes and am propagating 6 more. I fully intend to take a walk around my neighbourhood and ask for slips from my neighbours as there are quite a few varieties that I wouldn't mind adding to my garden.

Propagating Hydrangeas

Anyhoo, I have meandered off track, back to Speke Hall...after having wandered around the gardens we settled down on the lawn in front of the house and enjoyed a wonderful picnic that would have satisfied the Famous Five on one of their adventures or perhaps the Secret Seven who always seemed to have the most delicious spread at their secret meetings.

Iced tea, scotch eggs, cold grapes, pork pies, and chicken and salad wraps were enjoyed by all. We sat chatting about this and that and resolved to try and get in a few more picnic days in National Trust gardens before the end of summer.

I feel very blessed that our adult daughters still love 'exploring days' with us and that they want us to keep these times together. I love that they still love visiting these properties and don't find them old and boring. I love that a simple picnic can still bring so much joy. The best things in life are absolutely free!

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