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Stavanger: Gateway to Fjord Norway

Pop by 'n say hi!Stavanger: gateway to Fjord Norway Stavanger, in the county Rogaland, is the third largest urban zone in Norway (after Oslo and Bergen), but don’t let the big-city status deter you! Central Stavanger is easily negotiable on foot, from the small, wooden white house of the old town (Gamle Stavanger) to Øvre Holmegate in the centre – the famous shopping street with characteristically coloured constructions across the harbour. Stavanger is considered the centre of the oil industry in Norway, but this hasn’t in any way taken from it’s charm. The city is towards the south of Fjord Norway with the Lysefjord, just a short boat ride from the the city centre harbour. But you don’t even have to step outside the city to find something to do, or even have to splash out a lot of cash. The compact size of the city makes discovering the city on foot a piece of cake (or perhaps a skolleboller – don’t leave without trying one in a konditori) – be sure to take in Øvre Holmegate, the 900-year old Stavanger Catherdal, Old Stavanger and Breiavatnet: the lovely lake in the centre of the city. If you’re worried about missing […]
Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia x Soulangiana ‘Lennei’, Hybrid Magnolia

Saucer Magnolia: Lennei Magnolia Hybrid

Pop by 'n say hi!Saucer Magnolia: Magnolia x Soulangiana ‘Lennei’ Saucer Magnolia is a hybrid plant in the genus Magnolia and one of the most commonly used magnolias in horticulture in the British Isles and beyond. The saucer magnolia or Magnolia x Soulangiana was initially bred by Étienne Soulange-Bodin, one of Napoleon’s soldiers. The French crossed Magnolia denudata with M. liliiflora in 1820 at his château, close to Paris. The saucer magnolia is also known as ‘Lennei’. It is a large shrub, growing up to 6 m, with large leaves and flowers. The large leaves are ovate and can reach 25 cm. The flowers are goblet-shaped, deep rose-purple outside and white on the inside. Saucer magnolia, unlike many other magnolias is known for it’s tolerance to wind and alkaline soils, making it easy to cultivate. They grow well in moist, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shelter. The Royal Horticultural Society have much more information on cultivating magnolias. The post capture shows a Saucer Magnolia captures last weekend at Westonbirt Arboretum close to the Roman city of Bath in the South-West of Great Britain. We post regularly on exhibitions at London photography galleries. We also post on a wide […]
Enkianthus Campanulatus

Enkianthus Campanulatus: Redvein Enkianthus

Pop by 'n say hi!Enkianthus Campanulatus Enkianthus Campanulatus (also known as Redvein Enkianthus) is the hardiest of the Enkianthus species, rewarding cultivators with bell-shaped (campanula), creamy white flowers with red veins. The plant was brought to England by Charles Maries (British botanist) from Japan. The Enkianthus Campanulatus plant is native to north-east Asia, in fact growing in the same kinds of places as rhododendrons: the King of the Shrubs. Since introduction, it has been used as an ornamental plant in parks and gardens the up and down the country. In fact, Enkianthus Campanulatus has been granted the status of an Award of Garden Merit, by the Royal Horticultural Society in recognition of its excellence for garden use, consistency of the delicious autumn colour which it is renowned for. Enkianthus Campanulatus grows in acid or neutral soil and is quite easy to care for, mostly just needing pruning and for dead wood to me removed once the plant has flowered. Enkianthus Campanulatus are happiest in partial shade and can be bought from the Royal Horticultural Society’s online shop. They can also be bought at plant nurseries in Cornwall, Surrey and Sussex. The post image shows an Enkianthus Campanulatus plant captured at […]

Rhododendron: the King of Shrubs

Pop by 'n say hi!Rhododendron: the King of Shrubs Rhododendrons are considered the best flowering evergreen plants for the temperate landscape. For plants of interest with vibrancy and variability of flower colour, few groups of plants can better [than] Rhododendrons. The rhododendron genus contains around 800 species, although mainly found in Asia, thanks to the work of plant collectors such as Sir Joseph Hooker, George Forrest, Ernest Wilson and Joseph Rock, amongst others, they can be grown in Britain. The Holford family, who were responsible for establishing the National Arboretum in South-West England, not only cultivated rhododendron, but also grew new interesting hybrids. Many of these unusual hybrids can be found today at the Westonbirt Arboretum. In it’s native Asia the rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal. The name rhododendron, though, comes from the Ancient Greek for ‘rose tree’: when the rhododendron was first introduced to Britain in 1656 they were know as the Alpine Rose. The post photograph shows a rhododendron shot at the Westonbirt Arboretum over the weekend. Of the many species I came across, without doubt, the most popular rhododendron with the bees was the the Rhododendron Cynthia! We post regularly on exhibitions at London photography […]

Arboretum: what is an arboretum?

Pop by 'n say hi!Arboretum: what is an arboretum? Yesterday we posted an image of a Dotted Hawthorn (Crataegus punctata) shot at the Westonbirt Arboretum in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (South-West Britain), but what is an arboretum? In the narrowest sense an arboretum is a collection of trees, though modern arboreta are typically Botanical Gardens containing collections of woody plants. The Scottish botanist, John Claudius Loudon was the first to use the term arboretum in an English publication, though it’s though the term was already long-established at that point. In Britain, the best known arboreta are the Westonbirt Arboretum (or National Aboretum), close to the Roman city of Bath, and Kew Gardens in West London, which is a Botanical Garden set within an arboretum. At 300 acres (121 hectares), the arboretum at Kew Gardens has about half the area of the National Arboretum, though Kew Gardens is the older of the two with original botanical garden dating back to 1759. The post photograph shows a wildflower shot at the Westonbirt Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission. You will find wildflowers peppered across the 600 acre arboretum. Westonbirt is one of the top gardens to visit in the […]
Westonbirt Arboretum, National Aboretum, Forestry Commission England, Hawthorn, Crataegus punctata

Westonbirt Arboretum – National Arboretum

Pop by 'n say hi!Westonbirt Arboretum Westonbirt Arboretum, close to the historic Cotswolds market town of Tetbury is a Grade One listed landscape consisting of 600 acres (240 hectares) of land on which 18,000 plants and shrubs of 3,000 different species are planted. The arboretum was started in 1829 by Robert Stayner Holford. Westonbirt Arboretum is a stone’s throw from Westonbirt House, once the Holford family country house, now Westonbirt School. It was the Victorian era and ever curious Brits were keen to explore the furthest reaches of the British Empire. Holford financed expeditions to bring plants and trees from the four corners of the globe, founding the Old Arboretum. Robert Holford’s son, Sir George, picked up where his father left off and continued to develop the arboretum from the 1880s. The Forestry Commission was handed the Westonbirt Arboretum in 1956 and today the National Arboretum receives 350,000 visitors a year. Today Westonbirt Arboretum is a venue for the annual Westonbirt 10 K race, concerts, weddings and other private functions and concerts. In fact this June, British singer-songwriter, Tom Odell is performing for one night only. Westonbirt Arboretum is close to Cirencester in the Cotswolds, Bath and Bristol, just 20 […]
St. Beuno's Church, Culbone, Culbone church, england's smallest church

England’s smallest Church? Culbone Church

Pop by 'n say hi!England’s Smallest Church? England’s smallest church is St Beuno’s Church in Culbone according to some sources. Culbone is a Somerset Hamlet located in Exmoor National Park. The contender for England’s smallest church is only accessible by foot; a two mile walk from Porlock Weir, one of the most beautiful places in Somerset. A little more research reveals that St. Beuno’s may, no longer, hold the title of England’s smallest church! Slightly more famous in Britain are St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Gloucester Cathedral (popular with Harry Potter fans) or even St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. Sir Chrisptoher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is 158 m long, with the 111 m high dome visible from much of central London. In contrast St. Beuno’s is a mere ten metres (35 feet) long, seats just 30 people and is inaccessible by road. Though only 10 feet wide, Culbone Church is not the smallest church in England according to the Guinness Book of Records. That title is held by Bremilham Church near Malmesbury in Wiltshire. England’s smallest church is 4 m by 3.4 m. The church was consecrated 30 years ago and the building was used by its previous owners for […]
Porlock Weir

Porlock Weir, West Somerset

Pop by 'n say hi!Porlock Weir, West Somerset Porlock Weir is a charming coastal, West Somerset settlement. Somerset is a county in the South West of the United Kingdom. Porlock Weir is in the heart of Exmoor National Park and lies just 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the pretty, picture-postard village of Porlock – the Jewel in Exmoor’s crown. The port has existed for over 100 years and some cottages date back to the 17th century. The thatched-roofed Gibraltar Cottages are Grade II listed, themselves an English Heritage designated Conservation Area. As Porlock Weir is one of the most beautiful places in Somerset, it is a popular visitor attraction with much to do. The best way to enjoy the area is to hike along one of the many well-maintained paths. There are walks to suit both hiking enthusiasts as well as those after a short, leisurely stroll. Just a few miles from Porlock Weir is the smallest church in England, which is inaccessible by road and has seats for no more than 30 people! Much of the walk is under the cover of ancient trees, which will provide some shade on a hot day. This doesn’t by any means detract […]
Buttercream Cake recipe, fiona cairns, buttercream topped cakes

Buttercream cake recipe: Easter treats

Pop by 'n say hi!Buttercream cake recipe: Easter treats Buttercream cake recipe: over the last few days we have posted Easter treats recipes: a macaroons recipe and some chocolate recipes, both ideal for impressing guests. Beyond recipes, on the Easter treats theme, we wrote about Easter traditions: Easter egg history and hot cross buns. Finally we have posted on chocolate and its health benefits: bean to bar chocolate, artisan chocolate makers, Heart Healthy Chocolate Perks and ethical, ‘fairtransport’ chocolate. Today we take the focus off chocolate and look at a buttercream cake recipe. Fiona Cairns cakes are shown in the post picture. Fiona Cairns made a cake to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee. We have chosen a buttercream cake recipe from another British queen; Mary Berry, the Queen of British Baking. As well as writing the book of that name, Mary Berry has stared in the Great British Bake Off. The recipe takes about 35 minutes to make (including preparation time) and the ingredients should cost no more than a few pounds. For the icing, it is important to use caster sugar which is finely ground. Golden caster sugar is ideal as it unrefined. For the full buttercream cake recipe see […]
chocolate recipes, paul a young, chilli, peppermint, dark chocolate with stem ginger, dominican republic

Chocolate recipes: chocolate Easter treats to impress

Pop by 'n say hi!Chocolate recipes: chocolate Easter treats to impress Chocolate recipes is theme of this latest Easter treats post, on how to make chocolate Easter treats to impress, friends, family and guests. In recent Easter treats posts we have written about bean to bar chocolate and artisan chocolate makers with further posts on Heart Healthy Chocolate Perks and ethical, ‘fairtransport’ chocolate. We have also investigated the origins of some Easter traditions: Easter egg history, and hot cross buns yesterday . Yesterday, we also posted a macaroons recipe for anyone looking for Easter treats on a budget. We continue on that theme today, looking at some chocolate recipes. Chocolate recipes Here is a list of a few chocolate recipes to impress friends and family. Enjoy! Hot chocolate made from bean to bar chocolate from artisan chocolatier Åkesson’s Passion Fruit & Raspberry Chocolate Ganache from award winning bean to bar chocolate maker, Rococo Chocolate truffles from Paul A Young’s book Adventures with Chocolate Chocolate bowl from Choccywoccydoodah to leave even the hardest to impress guests’ mouths watering Fondant filled cream eggs from Paul A Young, prepare for any guests who weren’t happy about the recent change in recipe of a […]