Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


from little acorns ....

Last year Eldest, prior to going to university, started volunteering with the National Trust. I would drive him up to Malham Tarn Estate and walk the dog for 8 hours (after which, we would both be shattered) then collect him - he would also be tired, filthy but happy.
He very 'kindly' put my name forward to the rangers when it seemed they needed some help in the walled garden.  He said.... My mum is 'a bit of a gardener' ... thanks son.  Any hoo, to cut a long story short, I have been volunteering in the walled garden since July last year. Apart from the genuine fact it is hard work - I love it.
Last week, as a thank you, the rangers took a minibus-load of volunteers off to Acorn Bank for the day. What a treat!
We were lucky enough to be taken on a tour of the house with plenty of stories of the occupants and owners. It was interesting to hear how a house can morph into what is required of it, from humble beginnings of a Knights Templar pilgrim retreat to a tenancy farm, from being requisitioned during the war for railway managers, to being a home for a wealthy socialite then a home for elderly women. Now, as shell needing lots of tender loving care (and an open wallet) the house is still impressive.
The gardens however more than make up for the house. It has an amazing herb garden with the largest selection of culinary and medical herbs of any of the National Trust properties. Eldest and I lingered here the longest and returned several times during the day.
We wandered through the orchards and vegetable gardens. We took so many photographs!
 Having torn ourselves away the herb garden (again) we went down into the 'Well Garden' 
which houses in it's centre, a circular formal pond full of water lilies.... 
and we discovered something amazing.
It was fascinating watching the dragonfly stretch out it's legs one by one. 
The wings, which had been crinkled and pressed against it's body, slowly flattened out and took shape.
All around the pond were empty nymph cases and in the water - 
small crested newtlets (my name for them) pootling around.
If I mentioned that I took 199 photographs during our jolly out - would you be surprised? There were so many lovely corners and delights as we walked around that it was hard not to become snap happy!

And, I may have even partaken in a little knitting too! Yes it is another shawl like my last one, except this time I am writing down the pattern and doing a bit of a test run. So fingers crossed I can share it soon :)
So - was it a good day? 
It certainly was :)

Thank you National Trust x


  1. How lovely, a new NT one on me. Thought I had done them all in that area. Not surprised you took so many photos. All good.

    1. I thoroughly recommend a visit. Beautifully calm place. They even had a tramper trail and I saw a mobility tramper at the entrance.

  2. So glad you had a fantastic time. I met Mr GBT when we were both conservation volunteers for the NT!

  3. What a wonderful day out, lucky you.


  4. Oh Kate, what a lovely day out, & wish I could have seen it all too. The martagon lily is gorgeous, as is the water garden. Most amazing is the dragonfly coming out of it chrysalis. Thanks for sharing & take care.

  5. It looks fab and the new shawl is gorgeous too

  6. What a perfect day out for you both. Loved all the pictures, especially the dragonfly emerging from its chrysalis. We now need you to share more pictures in another post, especially of the herb garden. Bet you came home inspired! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ xx

  7. Looks like a lovely place to visit. We have NT membership, but don't tend to use a it as much as we should, as we tend to take the dog everwhere with us.x

  8. Hummm...Beautiful....bet you can pick out one or two photos for July's scavenger photo hunt? x

  9. It's always a treat to see emerging dragonflies! Did you collect a few cases to take home?! I've never heard of this garden but it looks lovely, one for the list! After being so keen at the start of the month to join in the scavenger hunt, I'm not convinced I can do it now as we're nearly half way through the month already and between work and renovating a new house, I don't seem to have time to play with my camera... will still try though!

  10. It looks so lovely, I especially like the Well Garden, it looks so pretty!

    I volunteered as a gardener at my local National Trust place for 5 years, it was hard work (I have a vivid memory of tonnes of manure needing to be dug into the allotments!) but amazing to spend so much time in such a gorgeous place!

  11. What beautiful Gardens! I love visiting National Trust gardens ;)

  12. Such beautiful gardens! It must be incredible to pass time around there and help with the work. Thanks for sharing!


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