25 December 2015

Christmas Decorations

Here are some of our Christmas decorations for this year, all of which are Vicki's handy work.

The nativity set on the dresser.
Note the lampshade, you will spot the same design on the wall on another picture, Vicki made the shade out of left over wall paper.

The tree on the mantle over the fireplace.
Note the wall paper.

A small basket by the fireplace.

This years Christmas tree in the sitting room.

The kitchen window sill.

The window at the top of the stairs.
Merry Christmas to you all.

24 December 2015

The Illusive Christmas Present.

People ask, 'what would you like for Christmas'?
Or maybe, 'What can I get you for a Christmas present'?
I can tell they get frustrated when I don't answer.
The truth is there is only one thing I really want for Christmas but there is no one who can give it to me so why cause upset by saying what it is?

1 December 2015

Sale Day.

Today is the sale in London of some of the contents of the hall. If anyone is interested you can see what is being sold and the price it makes by clicking [HERE].

According to the two people that left recently this is all part of the bosses plans to sell up in five years time. It's not the first time that this rumour as surfaced but the boss has always denied it. It makes you wonder about the smoke and fire saying though doesn't it.

27 November 2015

My Little Helper

Tess likes to help in the garden, here she is helping keep an eye on the ball.

Off to fill the log box.

That's that job done, now I'm off to fill up the log box in the hall. This entails carrying logs up from the cellar in a basket and loading them in to a big wooden chest. I will probably have around ten baskets full to carry up after which I may get offered a coffee.

Soil Removal

I managed to get one of the greenhouses fully insulated yesterday and this is where I am at the moment, in the middle of removing the soil from the border. I change the soil every year so as to avoid any build up of bugs and disease in the soil. I will refill the bed with fresh soil in late winter. I could do it now but  the depth of the empty bed helps when storing taller plants for the winter. These plants and others will be brought from the conservatory where there is no heating and will spent the winter in this warm greenhouse.

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26 November 2015


Preparing the bubble wrap involves measuring, cutting out to size and then joining the bits together with staples. I like to do this on a flat surface before taking to the greenhouse for fitting.

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Today I am going to be insulating this greenhouse. I have been putting it off with the weather being so mild but last weekends cold snap made me think that I've put it off long enough.

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21 November 2015

A few questions answered from my last post.

A few questions answered from yesterday.

Yes Tess and Blondie get along fine Janneke I even have them together in the garden sometimes.

Blondie is just a big softie Doc, she does need watching though or she tends to run riot but her heart is in the right place and will usually do as she is told once she understands what it is you want her to do.

Hi Sara, They aren't all over each other all the time but I can tell when I first bring them together that they are pleased to see one another.

20 November 2015

Dog walking time.

For the time being I am walking the bosses dog as part of my duties. He did have someone else doing it but they went and left. I also make use of the time to take Tess along too. I know I shouldn't really walk my dog in works time but I do work on a weekend that I don't get paid for so it all evens itself out in the long run.

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18 November 2015

First Job

The first job for me at the moment is to open up the front gates which I then close again in the evening.

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16 November 2015

A Busy Return To Work.

Today was my first full day back at work although I didn't get to spend much more than a couple of hours in the garden. I am having to take care of the dogs at the moment. Also there were logs to be taken to the hall and someone came to fit a new fireplace in the garden house ready for any wedding parties in the future and he needed a hand so I obliged by giving the use of mine. In the garden I managed to clear some leaves and rake over the gravel on the North Front where local youths had been practising their doughnut skills. All of this has to be squeezed in to my shorter winter working hours.

New fireplace and fire guard.

15 November 2015

Too Much Water.

When we came back through Callender on Friday the river was just starting to burst it's banks with all the rain we had during the previous few days.

The river encroaching into the car park.

12 November 2015

11 November 2015


Being on holiday is very tiring. I'm glad that I'm not the one is going to have to make her move over a bit.

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10 November 2015

9 November 2015

Having a drive out.

Today we are having a drive out Oban way. The weather is being  wet again which stops us doing as much stopping and exploring as we would like but we are keeping busy looking at shops and stuff. Tess has been out with us at Lochgilphead but I think she is best left in the car while we look around Oban as the rain is coming down quite heavy again now. She doesn't mind the rain too much but it means me standing out side with her whenever Vicki wants to take a look round.

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7 November 2015

Off on holiday.

Today we are off to Minard near Inveraray in Scotland for a weeks holiday. We traveled part way last night and stayed at the Moffat House Hotel in Moffat.

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29 August 2015

Afternoon dog walk.

‎View over towards Doncaster taken during our walk to meet Vicki at Pickburn.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

22 August 2015

The long Dahlia border.

‎This is what I call the long Dahlia border. It started off when I first came here with just Dahlias but over the years I've added different annuals to accompany  the Dahlias. The first and only addition for a few years was Cosmos. This year I have added three foot Sunflower and also Gladioli. The Sunflowers have done fine but as yet there is no sign of the Gladioli, I think they may have been overwhelmed. At the back of the border growing against the brick wall are Roses, Sweet Peas and Fig trees. The Roses and the Fig being the only permanent residence in the border. I like this border because first of all I love the versatility and range of colour and flowering length that Dahlias provide . Also I like that every year can be a little different. There is quite a bit of work involved lifting, storing and then replace ting the Dahlias but no more work than is involved with Roses etc.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Produce for the big house.

Tomatoes for the hall.

Apricots and Grapes.

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16 August 2015

Easton Walled Gardens

‎Today we are at Easton Walled Gardens. These are proving to be a big improvement to the ones at Burghley House.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Burley House

‎We are taking a weekend break so yesterday visited Burghley House. As is usually the case we went mainly for the gardens which to be honest were a little disappointing from a gardeners point of view. The house on the other hand looks impressive when viewed from across the park.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

29 July 2015

Storm Clouds Gathering Over Doncaster.

‎I took this picture on a recent dog walk of storm clouds gathering over Doncaster.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

27 May 2015

Deutzia growing along the avenue.

I took this picture of one of several Deutzia's that are growing along the avenue. In this instance the flowers are pink but in other parts of the gardens we also have white flowered varieties.

25 May 2015

One of the bridges at Boughton On The Water

‎A picture taken last Saturday at Boughton On The Water during our visit to the Cotswolds.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

22 May 2015

A two day trip to the Cotswolds.

I'm sorry to have to say that all the ducklings in my last post are dead, they got eaten by the bosses dogs the day after I took the photo of them. It's sad to say that many young birds fall victim to the dogs at this time of year.

Tomorrow Vicki and I are going on a two day trip to the Cotswolds. This is a coach trip so so no driving for me so I will get to relax and watch the countryside go by during the journey. If you wish to view the trip click [HERE].

19 May 2015

Twelve ducklings

For some time now I have been seeing a duck wandering around in the garden and thought it must be nesting somewhere, it seems I was right because this afternoon it appeared again only this time it had something like twelve ducklings tagging along with it.

17 May 2015

Wild Garlic.

A nice bed of wild garlic growing on the sides of the avenue.
This could be used in some home baked bread.

14 May 2015

The gardeners little helper.

This is Blonde.
She belongs to the family of the big house.
Of late she has been helping me in the garden.
She is very good at pruning Fig trees,
Shredding sticks and old Parsnips,
and keeping pigeons off the cabbages.
Her favourite treats are anything edible,
fussy ears and a tummy rub.

10 May 2015

Colourful Field

The countryside is very bright with oilseed rape flowers at the moment.

Sent from my Windows Phone

23 March 2015

This week I am taking a break from work.

This week I am taking a break from work so this morning Vicki and I went in to Doncaster to buy some shoes for Vicki. We had great success and returned with two pairs of shoes and a new coat.

After lunch we took the dogs to Cusworth park, something they consider to be a treat. There are different smells and things to see. Vicki took bread to feed the ducks, there were some sideways looks from the dogs, I think they thought that they were expected to in in the water to get a share. Neither took the plunge.

One of many different water foul to be found on the lake.

22 March 2015

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my dog Tommy passing which still makes me feel sad. Today though we are going out to lunch with the family to celebrate my mum's birthday which is tomorrow.

Before setting off to Derbyshire I managed to lose my car keys. Everyone saw them on my coat which was on the kitchen table ready to depart but when the time came to pick them up  to leave they were missing which is a bit of a mystery. I suspect I must have picked them up and put them somewhere without thinking, hopefully they will turn up eventually.

Sent from my Windows Phone

7 March 2015

Shared from Photos app

I spotted this Daffodil in the garden yesterday, it's the first one of the year.

Sent from Windows Mail

26 February 2015

The bits I've never been able to show you.

Hello everyone. Today I have a little treat for some of you. As my long time blogging friends will know my posts relating to my work here in the estate gardens have been sort of tinged with misgivings in relation to respecting my employers privacy and getting across what I want to say. I hope that I managed to walk a fine line of showing enough to make things interesting and get my point across but at the same time not show too much so as to invade anyone's privacy. Well as of the past few months plans have been drawn up to facilitate using the big house and it's grounds as an exclusive wedding venue, just a handful each year. So to help get the word out that the big house is open for business and also show what can be expected the estate have opened up their own website so I am now thinking that this lets me off the hook as far as showing things on my own little blog. In fact a lot of the pictures on the site were actually taken by me over the years so if they can show my pictures on their site I see now reason why I can't now show my pictures on my site.

Anyway if you click [HERE] you can take a look at all the bits I've never been able to show you in the past.

10 February 2015


I found this picture today and thought I would share it with you. The cat in the picture was called Sooty and started off as my sisters cat but somehow ended up as my mums. As you will no doubt be able to tell from the picture that her favourite place to relax and take a nap was in the oven of the range. Before you start to worry it wasn't so hot that it could cause her any harm - provided no one closed the door. 

1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy new year to you all.

The picture is of a bowl of Hyacinths I grew for the big house to enjoy over Christmas but for whatever reason they never left the greenhouse.

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