Saturday, March 8, 2014

It Started with a Seed Packet and Postcard! My Visit with Ros in England in 2013-Part One!

Blogger friends come and go in our lives I have discovered.  This postcard and seed packet arrived a couple of years ago from my blogging friend, Ros from Rosa-Munda.  She got my packet of seeds from Renee's Garden Seeds for catmint that I got from entering my cat photo in their contest.  Not having a cat (only the outdoor kind), I thought that Ros would enjoy the catmint for her cat.  So a friendship was born.  When I decided to go to England last year, she kindly said that she would love to meet me during my visit.

The Postcard and Seed Packet from Ros!
As you may recall, I met Debs from Herbal Haven early in my 10-day trip and wrote about our visit in two posts, one called My Day in Derby with Debs, Simon and One Very Entertaining Cat! and the second one called Derby Part Two--Herb Plant and Book Collector and Poppy!  I blogged through most of the trip in 2013 except for my wonderful day with Ros.  So here is our adventure together.

What I love most about England is that a train ride whether short or long gets you to your destination.  It is always an adventure.  I even went passed Wembley Stadium.  It is massive as the English like to say.  Ros was waiting at the station when I got there.  We started off with the cup of tea and a tour of her gardens.

Lovely Front Bed Full of Flowering Shrubs!
Raised Beds of Veggies!
Ros is Lucky to Have a Greenhouse As Well!
Her Cat Posing Just for Me!
A Very Tranquil Setting with Herbs Near Her Patio!
Her Pet Rabbits!
Ros has a very traditional English garden for me, long and narrow, but still with room for lots of different plants and yet cozy.  When reviewing my photos, I didn't take any of her herbs around the patio.  Maybe you can just tell in the long shot of her garden, the chives are coming into flower!  She also has the pink flowered comfrey which is what I need!  I have the purple flowered one which may take over the garden some day soon!

When we first talked about our visit, Ros mentioned John Milton's Cottage and gardens and Cliveden House.  I said I thought I would like to do both!  Fortunately Ros was up for doing both.  So here is John Milton's Cottage and gardens first and I'll do a post on Cliveden House in the coming days.  We also stopped at the Quaker Meeting House that was in the neighborhood of John Milton's Cottage because it is the burial place of William Penn and a Victorian/Edwardian House called Oak Lodge.

John Milton's Neighbors
Decorative Touches Throughout the Garden!
A Sundial and Topiary Shrubs!
A Rustic Arbor Makes a Destination in the Garden!
A Plan of John Milton's Cottage Garden!

William Penn is Buried at the Quaker Meeting House in England!

Oak Lodge!
Very Ornate Building, Oak Lodge!
So Ros warned me about the host or guide at John Milton's Cottage.  He is quite a character.  I really knew very little about Milton and his life except for some of his writings including Paradise Lost.  The guide was very informative but he asked questions that I had no idea what the answers might be.  Fortunately we had a grad student join us and he got most the questions answered.  We were making our way from room to room and ended in the dining room.  There was a leather bound book on the table entitled The Friends of Milton's Cottage.  I opened the book and I couldn't believe my eyes.  There was the signature of my next door neighbor from my childhood!  He and his family had given a contribution in the 1970's to repair the cottage roof.  I think my visit with Ros was meant to be.  Then when I told the guide and he asked where I was from, Pennsylvania, he asked if we had seen William Penn's grave site.  He thought it was a must.  So when we got a chance (more people came into the cottage), we ducked out the back door to enjoy the garden.  A wider lot but with seating and vignettes of plantings to enjoy and of course, you can't miss the neighbors in the field.

We headed over to the Quaker Meeting House and walked among the gravestones of William Penn, his wife and five children.  We also saw the grave of Thomas Ellwood who was the editor of George Fox's Journal and a reader for John Milton when he became blind.  My mother's middle name before she was married to my father was Elwood.  Not the same spelling, but you understand that it was a surprise to see the name in connection with William Penn.

Ros also thought I would enjoy seeing Oak Lodge.  It seemed to be a Victorian/Edwardian house.  What a great shop or restaurant it would be.  Really love the old architecture in England.  Here in America we are so likely to demolish than save buildings.  So this was Part One of my adventure with Ros.  Part Two will be our afternoon at Cliveden House!  Please stay tuned.

We have finally had a mild day or two here in the 'Burgh!  Hope you having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.


Terra said...

I like Oak Lodge and everything you describe; how nice to meet your blog friend in person and visit with her.

taylorsoutback said...

What a treat to be taken on your English tour...sigh....looking forward to the next chapter. Pink comfrey!! The hunt is on...

We have broken free of the polar vortex - 40 degrees later today.
(My secret little lunch box now holds enough quarters to get me to Chicago O'Hare - Need a few more to have me land on English soil across the Atlantic - should have started saving years ago)

lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks Terra! I just wished I had posted something a bit sooner! xo

Hi TO, Yes, I almost always hear about the plant I should really have purchased the day after the other is in the ground. Thank goodness you are out of the polar vortex! Hope you do get there some day! We should meet up. That would be fun! xo

Thanks ladies for stopping by. Hope spring comes quickly for all of us. Although we woke up to SNOW again! xo