23 June 2008

Delphiniums, Nostalgia and a 21st Birthday

If you are a gardener I'm sure you'll have heard of Blackmore and Langdon - a family firm established in 1901 - from Pensford just outside Bristol. You can read all about them and view their website here.

When hubby No 1 and I had a nursery (briefly) 33/34 years ago in Northamptonshire we used their seed for much of our stock. You can imagine how delighted I was to find the nursery not too far away now I live in the West Country.

A few years ago I took Mum for a drive round that area as her grandparents used to live at Pensford.

We wandered round their delphinium field - isn't it fabulous? Join us in our wanderings!

We also toured round the houses where Mum lived from birth to the age of 7 before she moved to Northamptonshire with her parents and 7 siblings. This is the only one I took a photo of:

On Saturday we went back to Dilton Marsh, the village where we lived before moving to Somerton. Our next door neighbours there were great, and we don't meet up anywhere near as regularly as we would like. They've moved from their little cottage next to our little cottage into a much larger property in the village and this weekend was Rosie's 21st birthday. There was a super mix of Rosie's uni friends, rellies, old neighbours, and long-standing friends. (Gillie came too, as she got to know them well through her 'holidays' with us over the years in DM. It was good to catch up with her as we don't see much of her since she moved into her new home.)

Sadly it rained on and off all night, but we all went out quite happily to the garden gazebo for our food. Rosie's Mum and some old friends played their guitars, joined by some of the younger ones - I was quite in awe of these late teen/early 20s lads and their brilliant improvisation on the keyboard and accomplished guitar strumming. The rest of us, having lost our inhibitions through maybe too much red wine, sang along without a care in the world. No-one cared if we sang out of tune - just like the song we sang 'with a little help from our friends'!!

Helen and Mike are both ECPs (Emergency Care Practitioners) and so their rest time is very important to them. Helen is a superb artist and had hoped to concentrate on her stained glass work when they moved to Dilton Marsh about 6 years ago. Sadly she doesn't get much time, but a new shed has been erected as her workshop and hopefully she'll soon be able to do a bit more. However, her artistic talents are still being used. Look at these photos of Rosie's amazing cake! Personally I think she should give up the day job!


Ex-Shammickite said...

Wow Sue, what lovely pictures!
Didn't Acker Bilk come from Pensford?
I'm back from 3 weeks in UK. It was lovely, didn't get to Somerset, I'm saving that for next time! But I spent 3 days with my cousin in Northampton, looking round places that would have been familiar to our parents, including St Crispin's (Berrywood) where our grandfather was an attendant and also worked in the print shop. I'll be posting some pics very soon.

Ex-Shammickite said...

and what a FABULOUS cake!!!!

Sal said...

Gorgeous Delphiniums and an even more gorgeous cake ;-)

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Sue, well I can't be much of a gardener as I hadn't heard of B & L. Those delphiniums are just gorgeous, puts my one plant with 3 stalks to shame! As for the cake, it's just stunning, must have taken days of work. What a talented lady. Thank's for letting me know about the extra Shepton Flea, not sure if I'll go, need to start curbing my treasure-hunting as I simply don't have room for any more stuff.
Lucy x

cd&m said...

Hello Sue those delphiniums are amazing en masse like that. I alsowanted to let you know that I'm moving our blog to:


hope to see you there.

Zoƫ said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog, and leaving a comment.

She wasnt at Eden when I saw her though, she was part of Marney Hall's garden 'To Sleep, perchance to dream ... ' at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show.

I think there is another one by the same earth sculpters at Heligan too. I did a blog about it a while back here if you want to know more http://scattymare.blogspot.com/2008/05/to-sleep-perchance-to-dream.html.

Now I am going to snoop around your site, seeing the word kitchenalia made my ears prick up!


Fern said...

Hi Sue,
Thanks for visiting me too. I was actually in your area last June, we stayed in a little place called Tolland. We thought Somerset was gorgeous and the weather a bit kinder than the Lakes.

Love your blog, lots to explore!

The delphiniums are wonderful and the cake amazing.


Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
Thanks for the tour of the Delphinium field - truly stunning (and not a slug in sight?) - I can see why they win medals at Chelsea. You should have told me you would be in Pensford - you could have called in for a cuppa and helped me sort out my teenagers!!! ;-))

Love the cake too - a work of art!
Glad that you had such a fun time,
Niki x

Linen & Roses said...

Wow those delphiniums are absolutely gorgeous. They're one of my favourite flowers. I always remember seeing displays of them in the floral tent at the Yorkshire Show when I was a little girl and they stunned me even then. Sounds like you had a lovely time at the party. The cake is really amazing.

the homely year said...

What fabulous delphiniums...they're a real show. And the party sounds like great fun.
Margaret and Noreen

Cowboys & Custard said...

What a lot of loveliness to look at on this post Sue..
My father was a big fan of Blackmore and Langdon and always promised to take me there but alas he never managed it. Pete and I did drive past it on the way to Bristol airport last year at 6.a.m.. just a bit early for opening hours!
That cake is truly amazing.. How could anyone eat such a work of art!?
P.s So sorry I have been a latent blog visitor of late.. I just can't keep up with everyone. Hope all is well with you and the emporium?

lettuce said...

those are wonderful delphinium photos!

i had some beautiful ones for about 5 years in my garden - then they disappeared and i've not been able to grow them since!