Negotiating The Levels

Today’s weather was dull, dry, and warm.

This afternoon we ventured into the forest, finding ourselves in MacPenny’s Garden Centre where Jackie shopped for a climbing hydrangea and sat in the car with her puzzles while I wandered around the open garden.

Offering free access all the year round with proceeds of donations dedicated to the National Garden Scheme, I have to say that this splendid facility was looking very much in need of care. A notice at the entrance warns of uneven surfaces which need negotiation, but my impression is that these are more precarious, the steps lacking handrails once in place.

It is of course comparatively early in the year. Last year I spoke to a gentleman volunteer who was tending some of the beds. Today there were heaps of compost awaiting spreading, but no real signs of activity.

Nevertheless shrubs such as camellias,


and magnolias bloomed happily, while

hellebores and

snakes head fritillaries flew the flags for smaller species.

A small tree I didn’t recognise

bore pendulous fruit.

One was never very far from a bench

or steps, most of which I thought best avoided.

Paths wound around and between banks offering vistas on different levels.

Rotting stumps made offerings to the garden ecology;

a probably currently redundant hose lay coiled on a leaf-laden path;

branches of naked trees writhed against the skies.

Any readers concerned about my safety may be reassured by the walking stick that Elizabeth gave me for my birthday last year which does wonders for my balance.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well-filled toothsome beef pie; roast potatoes and butternut squash; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes de Bourg.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

71 thoughts on “Negotiating The Levels

  1. Pleasant walk! I have to say my husband would love your walking stick. He picks up branches lying by paths and shortens then makes them do the work for his needs.
    Every meal you mention has my mouth watering–yet I am a rather small eater and could not manage all that in a sitting!

  2. What a lovely place to wander. I’m glad you got a good look at it, thanks to the walking stick. I was hoping someone would know what that tree was. A palm of some sort?

  3. I forgot to mention that your walking stick looks like one my grandmother had. In her mid-80s she took that stick, marched down the dirt road she lived on and shook it at some road workers who were putting in a drainage pipe that was going to send water into her field. She was about 4 foot tall so it was pretty funny to watch. I stayed up at the house so she didn’t shake it at me too ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a gorgeous place to visit. I do hope the centre receives enough donations to cover the cost of handrails and the repair and clean up of dangerous steps. I would imagine that if they charged an entrance fee, Health and Safety would be upon them in a shot!

    One of my late husband’s hobbies was carving walking sticks, he had quite a collection and sold many. A week after he died, someone I didn’t know and hadn’t heard of contacted us to say my husband had promised him a walking stick and could he come over and choose one, I said NO! I was amazed at the cheek of the man and barely a week after Graham’s death.

    I think they are still hanging in his workshop, I should take photos of them.

  5. What a beautiful wooded-place! Love all the trees and branches and greenery and that cute little tree! It’s leaves do look palm-like. ???
    I’m so glad your cool walking stick got to go on the walk with you! The mossy paths and the leafy paths can be slick at times.
    So good to see their are benches and picnic-tables!
    The rotting stumps can be good homes to little bugs and creatures. ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…we had another rainy day.

  6. Like others, I hope that funding becomes available for maintenance of these gardens. I truly enjoyed browsing through your montage. (I like your walking stick!)

  7. Looks a lovely walk – great to have this addition to the garden centre. Iโ€™m glad you avoided the mossy rocks. Two falls in a week doesnโ€™t do!

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