Sweetbriar Dreams

Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Time to Take a Summer Break


The end of July hovers on the horizon and those who have being reading my little corner of Blogland will know what's coming... my least favourite month of the year is about to start.  It is the time I call my S.A.D time (summer absolute dislike). My creativity and inspiration completely abandons me for the month of August due to...

 flies buzzing around, 
heat (which is NOT good at my age and time of life!!), 
flies buzzing around, 
humidity, 
flies buzzing around, 
teenagers saying they are bored and... you guessed it...
flies buzzing around!!!


Yes, I know that Britain has only had a taster of summer so far, but those pesky flies still survive!!



Yes Mr Frog, you need to be busy rather than basking by the pond!


And leave these ones alone!


Reading past posts at this time of year, I seem to be following a pattern (nearly to the day!) so it seems the perfect time to have a little blog break and occupy myself with a huge change in my life that begins in August.  I am changing my work role so I am going to focus on re-programming my mind and taking on new challenges.  I will be saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new.  New working relationships, new friendships, new challenges for my two teens and new hours that will free up time to let me be me, catch up on reading, re-focus on my writing and revamp Sweetbriar Dreams and its content.  


Of course, Big Bertha (the camera) will be with me to capture moments along the way and, once I have put all my 'ducks in a row', I will be back in September (the BEST of months!) for a summer catch up... without the flies!


I will be finding my dappled shade that greets me under the gazebo and enjoying the shadows it forms.


And the fragrance from my Grandma's lavender in my corner hidey hole.


Little snippets will appear on the Sweetbriar Dreams Facebook page and my favourite... Instagram, I won't be completely out of touch, so follow along and I can follow you too! (Just pop over to my side bar under "I'm over here too").


But for now my dear and faithful readers, have a wonderful Summer and I will see you in the most inspiring and uplifting season I know - Autumn! (which I class as the first sunrise of  September!!).


Have a happy and fly free Summer

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Visit to Castle Howard - Part 2


Carrying on from last week's post showing you the beautiful interior of Castle Howard and the Flower Festival, as promised, here are some shots I took of the outside of this spectacular building.


So beautiful in its enormity and incredible grandeur in immaculate surroundings.



The fountain was equal in grand scale to the building that it looked upon.  The water incessant as it raised up in the air and fell to the pool below.



This is a capture that makes me smile.  A couple of photographers were waiting to take a beautiful shot of the house and fountain, the sun came out intermittently, another photographer comes along... and plants his tripod in mid shot!!  Oh how we laughed and joked!!!  NOT!!  Well, I thought of the positive (as I do) and decided that was life, there were no orange and red t-shirts worn and it gives a more human angle of this majestic setting.  So photos were taken and to be honest, it gives you the scale of this setting.  Thank you Mr Tripod photographer, all was good in the end!



Walking along the pathways of the gardens we came across a frame in the middle of a wildflower border.  What a great idea!


I preferred getting a little lower to look through the weeds wildflowers and onto the house.


Then looking through trees at the recognisable dome.


Onto the rose garden where the beautiful blooms were starting to face the ground, tired of their burst of fragrance and vibrant heavy petals.


Well manicured hedges and old brick walls surrounded this gorgeous haven.



The lily pond brightened my day with its cheery colours and was a fitting end to such an amazing visit to a house I have longed to look around for so long.


Castle Howard, another tick off the list, so many more stately homes to visit and Blenheim Palace will be the next in Autumn.

I hope you have had a good week and looking forward to a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Castle Howard - A Fantastic Setting for a Flower Festival


If there is one thing that I love about stately homes apart from the exquisite architecture and furnishings, is the carefully placed flower arrangements all skillfully put together to give a softness to the often austere rooms.  When we visited Castle Howard in its magnificent Yorkshire surroundings, we were greeted with even more intricate designs for their flower festival.  So, with this in mind dear readers, I have decided to write about Castle Howard in two parts.  The first being the internal decorations, and the second will be external grandeur.  My photos are all jumping and itching to get into this blog post so this is going to be a bit picture heavy.  As usual, grab yourself something nice to drink, maybe a Pimms and a slice of Victoria sponge and walk with me (making sure your crown doesn't slip) through the most amazing rooms.


The long halls full of sculptures and paintings.  Rich beauty on show against the historical stonework.


The enchanting staircase greets you, adorned with carefully crafted vegetation.  Against the illuminated lantern, the banisters shone with the artwork surrounding them.


The bedrooms full of sumptuous furnishings and cleverly crafted flower arrangements.




I think this is a bust of Silenus, the Greek God of drunkenness and wine making - what a happy chap!   

The Great Hall was incredibly crowded so a lot of patience was needed before I could take any photos, but here are some of this particular area.








Even the smaller staircases were adorned with bursts of beautiful, fragrant colour...


Of course, I can't go to a stately home and not capture a chandelier or two.  These glittering jewels that hang from grand ceilings are a joy to my eyes.



The glimmering glass also reflected in the goblets below.  Lunch anyone?


I loved this arrangement... S is for... Sweetbriar!!


This turquoise room was so vibrant and beautifully furnished.


Each room in turn showed the amazing craftsmanship of those who had put the arrangements together.  Beautiful!







By far, my favourite display was in a huge hall like room with books lining the walls...


 A coronet cascading its flowers from the ceiling...




At the bottom of the coronet... pages... fluttering in any breeze that caught the single pages as they hung from the exquisite flower structure.


Phew!  Are you still with me?! Well done!!  Well, that was part one.  Part two will be coming shortly showing the external magnificence of this house along with the spectacular gardens.


In the meantime, have a wonderful week.

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