Away from home.

Having just returned home from a few days near London with our son and dil, which followed a few days in Bristol over Christmas with our daughter and family, I need to catch up with the garden, the house and all your posts!

On our last trip away we went for a walk in a public walled garden in Sunbury-on-Thames. First glance round showed a very neat, tidy garden, very  formal, looking as if it was waiting for something to happen.

Sunbury-on-Thames walled garden

Winter Flowering urns

There were lots of urns planted up with winter planting,

Witch Hazel

and when I looked closer, I began to see all sorts braving the cold wind that was blowing the day we visited. I found a lovely witch hazel which had quite a perfume when I got close and personal.

Witch Hazel

I couldn’t see any labels to tell me which one it was, but according to our dil, most of the plants have been donated in memory of loved ones.


I don’t think any of my Muscari are anywhere near flowering, but some of these have gone over already.


I managed to find a lonely Hellebore in one of the borders, looking rather pretty.


While bending down to photograph the Hellebore I found that I had company, such a beautiful cat with the softest fur and such a cute face!


In a corner of the garden I found a Camellia which I think is the same as mine that is flowering so early this year . When I got home I checked that any frost hadn’t damaged any petals while I had been away, all was safe, the bush is looking better than ever.

Dragonfly sculpture

We spotted this dragonfly sculpture on the wall in memory of a young man who had tragically died a few years ago.

Sunbury Embroiderers Gallery

In the same corner of the garden where I found the Camellia, we also discovered a gallery built by the Sunbury Embroiderers to house this wonderful panel created for the Millenium. There were lots of other embroideries hanging in the gallery, but this one was done by people with various experience, some raw beginners, some almost professional, it was stunning.

The Knot

You know how I can’t resist a bit of sculpture, this one , for obvious reasons, is called The Knot!


I was fascinated by this painting of poppies, it will be auctioned off in a couple of weeks to raise money for the Royal Marines Benevolent Fund. I was told that the lady who painted it was blind and that her paints  tell her which  colour they are when she picks them up – fantastic!

River Thames

We then left the walled garden and a short walk brought us to a rather grey, cold looking River Thames. It was too cold to linger, so we quickly returned home.

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20 Responses to Away from home.

  1. How fun to have a trip after the holidays! I wondered what you were up to. I’ve been under the weather (again) and so very inattentive to my blog; so glad to hear you had a much better reason for your absence. What a wonder the poppy painting is, the artist’s resourcefulness is certainly a gift to others.

    • Pauline says:

      We decided to have a technology free time away, the only downside to that is catching up with everyone when we return! Sorry to hear that you haven’t been too well, I hope you recover soon.
      The artist must be amazing that did the poppy painting, she used to be able to see, so she knew the shapes she was trying to paint. I’d never heard of paints that tell the artist what colour they are, fantastic what they can produce to help any disadvantaged person these days.

  2. Christina says:

    Glad all is well, I’d missed you. I hope you had a good time with your children and that you found the garden really to welcome you home. It is amazing about the Muscari, mine aren’t showing any buds yet and they are usually quite early, the garden you saw must have been very sheltered.

    • Pauline says:

      Time without technology is rather nice. Our two breaks with the family were really good, lovely to catch up on all their news.
      The muscari were by the south facing wall of the garden, so I imagine they would be nice and cosy away from the wind.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Welcome back! Glad you had a chance for a nice visit with family and how appropriate to work in a trip to a garden as well.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, I was just told that we were going for a walk in one of the many parks that are in and around London, I had no idea that I would find so many flowers, it was my lucky day!

  4. rusty duck says:

    So good to see a garden full of colour at this time of year. Such a cheering sight. Glad you had a nice time away too Pauline & welcome back.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s nice to be back Jennifer! The first thing I usually do when we’ve been away is to check on the garden here, but it was dark when we got home, so it had to wait until the next day. More snowdrops and a few other flowers have opened, but I think with the weather turning colder, the flowers will stay closed for a bit!

  5. Chloris says:

    How lovely to spend time with your family. I love the garden you visited with all its winter- flowering plants and beautiful formal structure.

    • Pauline says:

      Visiting family is always good Chloris, but it is also nice to be home again.
      The formal structure was nice, you could see it was just waiting for some warmer weather, before all the little hedges would sprout new growth.

  6. Cathy says:

    Glad you enjoyed your visiting and that your garden survived your absence – welcome back! The structure of formal gardens really stand out in the winter – oh, in all our gardens of course, as I realised her a couple of weeks ago. How intriguing to see the muscari – I think I have some clumps of very green muscari leaves but they seem to have been shorn across the top so someone has been nibbling them, no idea what! What a bonus to find the sculpture and embroideries, Pauline 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Winter is a good time to be away Cathy, no need to get my neighbour organised to water plants! I just have leaves on my Muscari, so signs at all of any flowers.
      The embroideries were beautiful, I used to do a lot when I was younger, maybe I will be inspired to take up a needle once more, in between gardening of course!

  7. Anna says:

    It’s a good time of year to get away for a few days Pauline without worrying about what may be going on in the garden. What a fine looking cat . No muscari here yet but today I noticed to my horror a couple of daffodils in flower on the other side of our little stream! I’ve never seen them come out that early.

    • Pauline says:

      Very true Anna, I didn’t think about my garden once! The cat was so beautiful and very friendly, such a lovely coloured coat too. I’m glad to hear that someone else has daffodils misbehaving!

  8. Glad you had a good time with family. Technology free time is GOOD in my humble opinion. That garden is so far ahead – and the urn with the winter planting almost looks sub-tropical/summery in effect. Muscari – mine are just tatty leaves at the moment, so nice to see the blue peeping through. Take care!

    • Pauline says:

      It was a lovely time Cathy, without our laptops we had a wonderful time! My Muscari aren’t showing yet, just leaves at the moment, but I suppose being in a walled garden is nice and sheltered.

  9. Looks like a fun visit if bleak due to the weather. Technology free sounds great.

    • Pauline says:

      It was cold and windy Carolyn, but once into the walled garden, it felt very sheltered.
      It was good to be away without laptops, but I’m still trying to catch up with everything now!

  10. AnnetteM says:

    It is always good to spend time with family – at least gardens don’t look so neglected if left at this time of the year. Isn’t it interesting how we are all saying how good it sounds to have a break from technology and yet here we all are. Good to have a break, but good also to use it to catch up with friends again. Thanks for sharing your garden visit – it looked very interesting with all the sculptures as well as plants.

    • Pauline says:

      The garden certainly didn’t miss me Annette, so good to be away at this time of year, no need to worry about it.
      Technology free was wonderful for a few days. but I’m still trying to catch up with everyone now!

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