Aug 14, 2008

I see London, I see France.....

My sister, Jen, came to visit me for a week and we drove to as many different areas as we could. We spent a day in the Southeastern region of England exploring the beauty of the countryside.

Welcome to the White Cliffs of Dover, which are on the South Eastern end of England. When you look across the Strait of Dover you can see France in the distance. The water was an intense blue with areas of white due to the eroding of the cliffs. The clouds cast huge shadows over the cliffs which you can see in the second photo. The immense scale of the cliffs can be seen by looking for the people on the footpaths.

Up close you can see the layers of chalk that make up the cliffs.

The winds that come up off the Strait of Dover can be very strong and give each shrub that grows here a windswept look, causing it to growing in the direction the wind blows.
This is a common look that is used when people train bonsais.

Here is some common ragwort, Senecio jacobeae, growing on the edge of the cliffs. In the background you can see all the ships and ferries that come and go between England and France, from the port near the cliffs.

Here is your wild marjoram, Origanum vulgare, growing in abundance on top of the cliffs. They like to grow on dry grassland on lime.

Once you have walked 2 miles along the cliffs you come across the South Foreland Lighthouse, which was nice to look at but the ripening wheat fields caught my eyes instead. The countryside is ablaze in golden fields of ripening wheat which ripple with each passing wind. But look closer in the wheat field and you will see a few of my favorite flowers. Poppies only germinate in soil that gets disturbed which is why these flowers will come back annually in agricultural fields. These are either Papaver dubium or Papaver lecoqii.....

Here is the Canterbury Cathedral. Beautiful outside and stunning inside.

Park bench with an interesting detail.

We went to Charleston Farmhouse, in Southern England, which was owned by Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell. The house is very artistically designed with great paintings throughout the home. Here, Virginia and her husband were accomplished painters and used this home as a countryside retreat for their friends, the Bloomsbury Group. Here are some shots of the statues in the garden. Same statue, different angle. I almost felt as if I was intruding.

The garden was filled with plants that provided beautiful flowers for them to paint.

Here is one of the many busts on top of the walled garden.

This is the front gate to the house, but I am showing this because Fuschias are hardy here in England and can grow to be a decent size shrub. I only ever thought of it as a houseplant my grandmother grew.

This was a nicely planted window box I had seen on a side street in Canterbury. Nice when it all ties together.......

1 comment:

  1. Jimmy , nice drawing of the red poppies. Your restlessness pays off you are getting to see so much of England. Thanks for all the photos and words. Daniel