Tag Archives: garden

A visit to Corfe Castle Model Village

Son2 and I took a fairly brief visit to Corfe Castle Model Village on our recent weekend in Dorset. We would have liked to have spent longer there, but I was conscious of the fact that my other half and son1 were waiting for us. We liked it there and I’m sure son1 would have enjoyed it too, but he was far too tired to come on the visit. Having visited Bekonscot Model Village earlier this year, this was on a much smaller scale, but just as nice. Also a much more modest entry price, plus we were told that our tickets were valid for 7 days if we wished to come back. Corfe Castle model village The garden was divided into several areas. Naturally there were the models of Corfe Castle and the other buildings in the village. These were in the second part of the garden and son2 marched puposefully through the first section of the garden unti we reached this part. He immediately spotted that there was even Doctor Who’s Tardis at the Castle. There were two talking life-size soldiers guarding the castle. Plus working stocks and pillories. We didn’t try them out, as son2 had already been put in the stocks the previous day at the real castle. And we could hear music from the church. Corfe Castle model village We then carried on to the rear which was a wildlife garden with a pond and teepee and a bird hide window. Plenty of giant garden games here although we didn’t stop for a play. Then moving onto the side was the enchanted fairy garden. Son2 wasn’t as impressed here, moving swiftly past the fairies. Even Winnie the Pooh was here. Corfe Castle model village We then returned to the first part of the garden where there were more giant garden games. Whilst son2 built a tower, I went into the potting shed. This had been converted into a mini museum. I learnt that all the models apart from the castle had been built in the potting shed. The castle was built in situ on the mound. Corfe Castle model village There was also a cafe and gift-shop. And we had the place almost to ourselves, apart from one family sitting in the garden and a group breakfasting on the cafe terrace. A lovely place to visit if you’re in Dorset. I’d love to hear about your favourite places to visit. And watch out for another post coming soon about the rest of our weekend.

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Flowerbeds in Boats

Whilst on holiday in Norfolk, I came across a trend of using old boats as flowerbeds. I was quite taken with this idea. An attractive way of upcycling boats that were no longer sea-worthy. I didn’t get photos of many as mostly they were seen on roundabouts from the car, but here are a couple. The canoe was on the road we were staying at and the sailing boat was outside a nearby caravan site.

upcycled canoe

upcycled sailing boat

When I was a child, there was a sailing boat hidden under a tarpaulin for years in our back garden. My dad had used to sail it many years ago, but I don’t recall it ever being used whilst I was growing up. Eventually it got scrapped due to mice having eaten it. But wouldn’t it have been nice to upcycle into a flowerbed?

There must be a thing for me about boats and flowers. I’ve always admired the roof-top gardens of the barges when strolling alongside canals.

I’d love to hear what unusual items you’ve seen upcycled into flowerbeds or planters?

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Mammsaurus HDYGG

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A visit to Butterfly World

Last month whilst visiting my sister and family, we joined them for a visit to Butterfly World. We had never been before and really enjoyed our visit.

First we went into the insect house, where the boys declined to participate in creepy crawlie handling, although they enjoyed looking. Their young cousin was less reticent, making a grab for an African Giant Snail. This building also housed the heated display cases containing newly hatched butterflies, fresh from the pupae. We then went nextdoor into the ant house. It was amazing watching ants carrying leaves much bigger than themselves.

We then went into the butterfly house, where we were surrounded by 100s of beautiful butterflies. None landed on us, but I still got some lovely photographs. Fascinating to see them feeding on half oranges. And it was nice and tropical in there, compared to the rather chilly day outside.

Butterfly World

Then we went for a walk round the caterpillar shaped gardens. Some unusual themes. Son2 was desperate to grab the key, about 3 times as tall as him, to unlock the door in the other flowerpot. He wouldn’t have had much luck if he had tried, as the key would have been much too big for the lock. And then he ventured inside a giant box of matches.Butterfly World Butterfly World

And then a play in their natural play area. The slide was wide enough for the boys and their cousin to all slide down together. A willow hedge tunnel to walk through. And even I had a go on the wobbly bridge. Then lunch and more time in the play area. A lovely family day out.


My Dream Family Garden

I’m going fantasy shopping with £750 to buy toys, plants and features for my dream family garden.

This is what our garden looks like currently.  We need to replace the toddler toys with something more interesting.

Our garden

Our garden

I asked son2 to draw his dream play area and he came back with this picture of a climbing frame.

Climbing frame, by son2

Climbing frame, by son2

So I have browsed round the Activity Toys Direct website and chosen this climbing frame and slide set for £412.

TP Toys Challenger Complete Set #2 Climbing Frame

I would also buy the following accessories to go with the climbing frame and slide.
A slide extension for £23.50 and a rope swing for £22.50

TP Toys Green Straight Slide Extension

TP Toys Twizzler 2 Rope Swing Attachment

And then I keep dabbling in trying to grow a few vegetables like tomatoes and courgettes in pots on the patio. But they suffer from pests, the wind, being too wet, so we don’t get much of a crop.

Our vegetable plants before the pests destroyed them

My vegetable plants before the pests destroyed them

This is a real shame and it was made more poignant this year, as son1 planted the seeds on the first day he complained of pains back in April, 3 weeks before he was diagnosed with leukaemia.  I tried as best as I could in brief visits back home from the hospital to keep his plants growing.

son1 planting vegetable seeds

Son1 planting vegetable seeds

So I would love to get a greenhouse and try to get a few decent crops.  A step towards self-sufficiency.  I would buy one like this which costs £224.25

Baroness Greenhouse – Horticultural Glass – Natural Frame

And finally I would love to grow my own fruit. We had apple and plum trees at our old house and I really miss them.  So I’ve chosen an apple tree for £34.99 and a gooseberry bush for £9.99

Cox’s Orange Pippin Self-fertile=’Cox’s Selfing’ Apple – 12 litre

Ribes uva-crispa ‘Hinnonmaki Green’ Gooseberry – 3 litres

This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition