Sunday, 30 May 2010

More country jaunts

Just getting ready for a day running chicken and garden errands. Have looked on the RHS plant finder database, and a nursery I like going to (Hopleys in Hertfordshire) is listed as having the iris (Action Front) that was used in the top show garden at Chelsea. I need to replace the Spring seasonal container in the front garden (ie. a big pot over a drain cover) and as that spot is a sun trap, I reckon a mix of iris, eryngium and cirsium would be bold and quirky enough to fit in, and stand out from the 2 foot square wild flower meadow in front of it.

Had a lovely day yesterday, despite what the weather threw at us. Went to the Heathfield show in Sussex. It was quite a journey, but it's a part of the country we love, so just being there was good. (One day, must take the time to visit Heathfield Hight Street - LOADS of charity shops). Spent the first hour or so watching horse classes - Mountain and Moorland, and an unaffiliated coloured horse & pony class, which in this instance included palaminos, roans and duns, three colours I'm a sucker for. Having finally seen on close up, Howard now wants a Nowegian Fjord pony Laughing

Shortly after we decoded to take a walk round the rest of the show, the rain started. We had a quick look round the poultry stands, but didn't see anything we could immediately justify buying. At around half past one, the rain became torrential, so we headed for the food tent, as did everyone who wasn't heading for the car parks. As it was lunch time, joined the queue for a Welsh Oggie (pasty). A lovely warming meal, with pastry that was firm enough to hold the contents without the ribbed part breaking your teeth.

Once we'd seen and bought all we wanted to, we headed back out of the tent. The show is held on a hillside, and as I emerged I could hear the clinking of chains in the mist. The heavy horse turnouts were in the main ring. Any other time we'd have stopped to watch & take photos, but by now not only was the rain torrential, it was also horizontal - going straight into my eyes and ears. We retreated to the sheep tent. I have realised that, with the exception of Zwartbles (which look and act like big Balwens), I don't like continental sheep breeds. There was one there (one of the French breeds), and it looked more like a Staffie than a sheep! Being East Sussex, there were plenty of lovely teddy bear like Southdowns, and quite a few Romneys. Made some woolly friends, then braved the outdoors again.

The rain had stopped - I think we were actually in the clouds. The horse classes had continued throughout the rain - I should think that soaked with rain, a side saddle habit must be really heavy, yet the riders still managed to keep their composure. Some of the stands were closing up, so we went for a further look round. Didn't buy much - just a couple of plants and some jodhpurs Surprised Found the High Weald Dairy stand and bought another block of the lovely St Giles. Watched a leading rein pony class, then some terrier racing before heading for the van. Sat in the back of the van for a while to dry off. Howard brewed a tea and we listened to the storm blowing outside. Once the wind died down we headed home.

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