Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘gardens

While visiting the Isle of Arran, I was determined to visit Brodick Castle, owned by the Hamilton family for 450 years. It turned out to be a forty-five-minute walk from the town of Brodick to Brodick Castle, but it was worth it.

I walked through a peaceful park

and over a bridge with a swan in the river!

I carefully trampled through a golf course with appropriate warnings,

along a busy road and through gorgeous gardens with fabulous views of the sea.

Convinced I was lost, I walked around a corner and saw…this!

Brodick Castle

I opened the front door and discovered an intriguing world from the past.

The family crest with their motto “through”
My favourite room, the library
The drawing room
The amazing ceiling with a Waterford crystal chandelier!
The kitchen
With bread in the oven
The amazing gardens with the sea in the background
Gardens with a Bavarian summer house built as a place to rest.
And a crow posing for me
The back of the castle towards the end of the day
photo by Terry Tyler

Someone took a picture of someone taking a picture of me!

The original castle was built in the late 1200s and was initially a fortification due to its strategic location overlooking a wide sheltered bay. Over the centuries it has been a defensive stronghold, a hunting lodge and a family home. It has gone through many transformations, but for five generations, the Hamilton family, used the castle as a place of relaxation and pleasure until it was donated to the National Trust in 1957.

I was very glad I made the trek to visit this amazing castle, filled with stories and treasures from around the world. It is also purported to be haunted!

Emily Carr, The Indian Church, 1929

I have long admired the work of Canadian artist and writer, Emily Carr. She was known for her expressive paintings of British Columbia’s coastal forests and the First Nation tribes that lived there. Emily Carr herself was an interesting character and is considered a Canadian icon. I have been to her house in Victoria a few times and have always felt her spirit. I was delighted to see that blogger friend, Rebecca Budd, posted a video of Emily Carr’s garden, which I just had to share. Enjoy.

Emily Carr House, Victoria, B.C.

“Real art is religion, a search for the beauty of God deep in all things.” ~ Emily Carr

Check out some of Emily Carr’s artwork here

 

Inspired by a post about a garden sculpture on Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life , I thought I would share a story about my special garden statue, St Francis of Assisi.

The first time I visited Spain, eleven years ago, I fell in love with the beautiful gardens. The colourful flowers surrounded by ceramics and sculptures, including those of St. Francis, warmed my heart. I was tempted to bring a statue home with me. Of course it was not practical to purchase a large figure and drag it back to Vancouver, Canada.

You can imagine my delight on my next birthday, when my dear husband surprised me with my very own St. Francis. The sculpture lived in our garden for over ten years surrounded by various plants and pets. He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment and I always felt he blessed my garden. It made me very happy to be able to see him from my living room.

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Hidden behind the California lilac

Hidden behind the California lilac

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Last year we decided to move to Spain. Packing up a large heavy figure and moving it to Spain (where they are in abundance,) was not practical. So I rolled him up in a blanket, packed him in my car and took him to my daughter´s island, where I knew she would find a good home for him. She recently sent me a picture of my St. Francis on her property. He looks very much at home, don´t you think?  I believe he is blessing her environment and animals.

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Considering my daughter is a potter, I thought this quote by St. Francis very appropriate.

St. Francis

Someday, many years from now, someone may come upon St. Francis in the forest, on a small gulf island, and wonder how he got there. Perhaps it will become a legend in a hundred years or more.

To read the wonderful story that inspired me to write about my garden sculpture click here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/tales-from-the-garden-little-girl-lost/

Do you have anything special in your garden?

If you haven´t commented on my previous post, Pig on Trial, you have until Friday June 12, when I will make a draw for a free copy of my bi-lingual book.


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