Claire and I spent a very happy couple of hours at a tree nursery called Specimen Trees over towards Knutsford last week. We had the exciting task of helping the client choose the semi-mature trees they would like planted in their garden. The tree chap showed us their best examples, as well as introducing us to trees we might not otherwise have considered, and then tagged our favourites - we were like kids in a sweet shop!
There has been lots of interest in getting gardens back in order by the lovely people of Chester over the last few weeks. I have spent many happy mornings in the sunshine visiting people, measuring gardens, dodging the showers and ignoring the unseasonably cool temperatures. Lots of exciting projects in the pipeline - I can't wait to get stuck in!
Tragically excited to crack open my lovely new tape measure today, it is muddy already though and I already managed to get it in a knot. But a productive day spent in the sunshine in two different gardens around Chester. Can't wait to get started on the designs for these enthusiastic clients.
Here is a little virtual tour of the Basilica from ground level up to the rooftop.
Left, The large public square outside the Basilica looking down towards the Danube, excellent for a spot of people watching!
Middle, The enormous main door into the Basilica, glad this was open for us - looks a bit heavy to push.
Right, The Basilica at dusk, the bells can be heard ringing throughout the day - there seems to be some sort of life going on around it 24/7.
The phenomenal main dome in the centre of the Basilica. The amount of gold on show is very different from the much plainer look in British cathedrals.
We braved the 300+ step climb to the top of the dome, enjoying the structure of the building on the way. Our thighs enjoyed it a little less...but it was worth it for the fantastic views across Budapest.
These beautiful and vibrant camellia flowers have burst out in my garden this weekend - a sure sign Spring is just around the corner, even the sunshine feels warmer today.
These flowers are part of a large camellia tree, which was planted in 1962 as a wedding anniversary present by my children's great-grandparents. And although the camellia needs a little help with support now, and the couple who planted it have since passed on, it provides a wonderful reminder of the love between the people who planted it.
The Central Library in Liverpool, originally built in the 1860's with expansions in 1879 and 1906, has been extensively remodelled starting in 2010, reopening to the public in 2013.
Standing on the pavement looking up the building you would be forgiven for thinking the inside of the building would reflect the Victorian architecture and design - however, you would be mistaken!
Inside the library is a bit like an Escher drawing with stairs criss-crossing each other towards a curved wood and glass dome. It is open, fresh and exciting.
It is easy to imagine gardens during the winter being bare and colourless places - but with careful plant selection, it is possible to provide a striking and beautiful array of colours and textures, as these photos of the gardens at Chirk Castle, North Wales hopefully show. The presence of many snowdrops and the shooting up of bulbs show us that longed-for Spring is just around the corner.