In the Dry Garden at Hyde Hall

The flowers for today’s Flowers on Friday post were taken in the summer last year at the RHS garden in Essex. Usually I head there while MOH does a mad, hundred mile cycle around the Essex countryside, but I didn’t make it this year as after dropping him off, I headed out for lunch. So in a belated attempt to get my Hyde Hall fix, and to remember how warm the sun was on my visit, here’s a selection of photos from the Dry Garden, which shows how plants can cope, or adapt to cope, with less water.

allium flower heads

They can also look pretty too. The allium heads, which have gone to seed above echo the heads of the blue agapanthus below. Yes, more agapanthus, they’re taking over on my blog at least, as the replacements for hydrangeas, and they’re lovely too, but I have less opportunities to photograph them these days. Maybe it’s the gardens I’m visiting, or maybe there are fewer of them around following their peak as the plant trend a year or so ago. Who knows.

lining the pathway with agapanthus

The yellow fronds of the plants below reaching towards the blue skies make a great photo, but looking at the leaves, I’m pretty sure many of us would give them the weed treatment, I’m certain MOH would!

structural plants in the dry garden at hyde hall

The grasses which edged - and colour matched - the path which winds its way through this garden. They look, and were, sun baked - and so was I on this visit.

dry grasses at hyde hall

Did you know?

The smaller and thinner the leaves of the plant, the more likely your plant will cope with less water. Think heathers, rosemary, thyme and of course succulents which buck the small, thin leaf advice! Even cistus though are good in coastal and are also drought tolerant, their leaves adapt becoming smaller and more lustrous than they would be in the UK. The ones we saw in Portugal, in the Alentejo region were outstanding, and the fragrance was more concentrated too.

a path through the dry garden
blue skies at rhs hyde hall.jpg

The photo above is one of my all time favourite photos. To me, it just shrieks summer. When I first saw it I thought I could enter it into a photo competition, I forget which now, but in the end the deadline came and went. Maybe another time, or maybe I’ll just keep popping back to this post and “ahhing!”

Mowgli, Indian street food in Liverpool

We had some great food in Liverpool and discovered some great restaurants. After a Moroccan feast for lunch, sumptuous steak Saturday night, on the Sunday were were up for something different. After some internet searching I kept coming back to one restaurant, or actually restaurants, and that was Mowgli, which promised Indian Street Food, and didn’t disappoint, we struggled to finish everything we’d ordered - but clearly tried our best.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be so wowed by the decor. The photos are darker than I’d usually post here, and it was quite a dark and moody space, but one lit with plenty of fairy lights, which gave it an almost magical feel. The birdcage lamp shades threw shadows across the walls and ceiling, adding to the overall atmosphere.

the bar at mowgli in Liverpool

Even on the staircase, there was ropes and more fairy lights. We started with cocktails - a Mowgli G&T for me, complete with ginger and a Smokey Cardamom Old Fashioned for him. When it comes to cocktails, we’re pretty straight forward and can often guess which one each will order. For the food there was so many options we could have chosen, and the menu definitely encourages an ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ approach if you’re not careful. We just about finished ours, though I’m not sure which of them we’d have left out.

twinkly lights in the restaurant
starting with cocktails at Mowgli
heading back from the loos, more sparkly lights
Tiffins for our indian feast
tables in the restaurant at the end of the evening

The bar caught my eye, look at the end of it below, it’s made from stacked sleepers on their end, and is a really effective and natural looking addition. It was of course, finished off with more fairy lights. Ropes hung from the ceiling and pulled taut were used to divide spaces between tables, in open kind of booths.

the bar made of sleepers
ropes hung from the ceilings divided the spaces

And walking around the rooms, was Mowgli himself, painted onto walls, and featured on the menus. He’s walking (in a stationary way) with purpose isn’t he?

mowgli of course
in mowgli in liverpool

So a great space, and great food. If you’re in Liverpool, or visiting, then one of their restaurants is definitely worth a visit.

Cascades of colour

The flowers today are full of colour, and were a welcome burst of colour as we turned one of the corners on the second day of our Portuguese walk earlier in the summer. I didn’t know what they were at the time, but have since identified them as a Lantana.



The multi-coloured flower head is completely natural, they open yellow and mature to red. So the close up of the one above indicates it’s been flowering for a while, as there’s little yellow, much more of an orange. But it’s exquisite isn’t it?

Stepping back, the effect is stunning. Imagine facing that as you emerge from a cork forest, which was completely fascinating for other reasons, though obviously not as colourful.

a pretty portuguese corner

Definitely a welcome burst of colour.