Just a little word of explanation, though, before I proceed. The round-up of outfits in my previous post was from the weeks before we were hit by the heatwave. My actual heatwave outfits will feature in a future post and will not contain any polyester or - god forbid! - cardigans and jackets!
But let's pick up where I left off, which was at the end of our first holiday week.
Having made a foray into Wales to visit Powis Castle on Friday, our original plan was to continue to Welshpool, the nearest town of any significance, in the afternoon. However, as we couldn't tear ourselves away from the splendour of the castle's garden, we decided to leave Welshpool for another day.
Well, that day came already on Saturday, which turned out to be another glorious summer's day.
But why did we choose to spend it in a town, you might ask? Well, we wanted to pay a return visit to Ashmans Antique and Old Lace, the treasure trove of a vintage shop we'd discovered last year, and as the shop is only open on certain days of the week, our visit couldn't be put off any longer.
We were chuffed to bits when it turned out that the shop's lovely owner, Diane, recognized and remembered us from last year. And even if this was our second visit and thus we were well prepared for the sight that would greet us, we still felt quite overwhelmed and lacked several pairs of eyes to register all the delectable vintage goodies on display and crammed into every nook and cranny.
While we were browsing, a small girl came into the shop. Her name was Poppy, and she turned out to be daughter of the hairdressers next door. Diane told us she was in there all the time, and frankly speaking, who can blame her?
And even though trying things while the temparature was rising was quite a sticky business, there was no way we could have left empty handed.
Jos selected a bright green waistcoat, while I fell head over heels for this Viyalla dress, by which I will remember this dreamy summer's day come winter.
Having made our purchases, Diane gave us both scarves as presents. Aww, isn't she sweet?
After saying our goodbyes, we walked back along the High Street, where I found a delightful Zara blazer in one of the charity shops, which you will get to see in one of my next posts.
By then it was time for lunch, which we had at a café, after which we walked back to our car. But not before wandering into the indoor market based on the lower level of the Town Hall. There was a stall selling all manner of vintage cameras at small prices, where Jos selected these two for our collection.
Looking for somewhere to visit in the afternoon, I'd stumbled upon Glansevern Gardens, less than a 10-minute drive from Welshpool.
Romantically positioned on the banks of the River Severn, the gardens offer 25 acres of diverse landscape and imaginitve planting in a beautiful parkland setting with sweeping views over the Kerry Hills and Mid Wales.
Once we'd stepped into the original walled garden through the ornamental Ginkgo gates created by local blacksmith William O'Brien, it became clear that quite by accident we'd discoverd a gem of a secret garden.
Near the house the gardens are quite formal, with carefully laid out garden beds. There is a Wisteria Walk, a Georgian orangery, lushly planted herbaceous beds and traditional long borders.
The walled gardens are laid out as a series of themed rooms, including a White Garden, Cutting Garden and Rose Garden.
From the walled garden you pass to the Victorian Grotto and Rockery, first laid out in the 1840s, but alas these were currently being restored, so that we will have to pay a return visit next year to see them.
From here, a path leads to the Folly Garden and Wildflower Meadow. With its wildflowers growing among tall grasses and its dappled shade provided by trees, this part of the garden particulary appealed to me. And at every turn there were sculptures to admire or benches to rest upon.
My heart belongs to this kind of garden, where a timeless magic seems to linger, making one's heart leap for joy, and finding peace in its primeval lushness and greenness, before the inevitable draught of high summer kickstarts the irrevocable process of decay.
I stepped inside the coolness and tranquility of the folly, indulging my inner child by making use of the chalks and chalkboards provided.
Then we proceeded towards the 5-acre lake, catching glimpses of Glansevern Hall along the way.
The house itself, built by architect Joseph Bromfield for Sir Arthur Davies Owen between 1801 and 1806, and one of the best examples of Greek revival style, cannot be visited. The Owen family was one of the most powerful - and most ancient - families in Wales.
My favourite sculpture was this hare which seems to be framing the distant hills with its ears. How utterly enchanting! This made us both think of the uncanny uncounter with a hare late at night on one of our first days. Glimpsing into the darkened garden before going off to bed, I thought I detected some movement at its far end. When the mysterious creature lifted its head, I could see its enormous ears, prompting me to call out to Jos that there was a giant rabbit in the garden. Then we realized it must have been a hare. Never having met one face to face (so to speak) before, I was quite unprepared for its size.
The lake has been called "the biggest bathtub in Wales", and for good reason. When it was dredged and 200 years worth of silt removed, the owners found a huge oak plug at the very bottom, stopping the entrance to an oak drainpipe. The plug measured 18 inches across and was fitted with iron handles. And just like a bathtub plug, when it was removed, the lake did indeed drain.
The Lakeside Walk is a delight, meandering through dappled, wooded shade, with plenty of peaceful places to sit and stare. At the end it takes you over an iron footbridge offering splendid views across the lake.
The path then continues through mixed woodland and a water garden planted lushly with a variety of water-loving plants.
At one point it leads you past the island and its iron gazebo, a haven for visiting waterfowl. There's a boardwalk leading up to the island, but this too was being repaired, offering yet another reason for a return visit.
This peaceful and tranquil garden has it all and it's certainly the ideal place to while away time on a warm summer’s day.
At the end of our walk, the Potting Shed Café in the courtyard awaited us with a selection of delectible cakes. We opted for white chocolate filled brownies, which we washed away with the inevitable cappuccinos.
In a shed near the courtyard all manner of bric-a-brac and vintage objects were on sale. We had a chat with the friendly chap who owned the place and told us he'd just opened a matter of weeks before.
The red 1980s design telephone found its way into our hearts and was obtained by us for a very reasonable price. We only realized how reasonable when we spied its rather indescript beige twin being sold for a much higher price in an antique centre in Shrewbury.
I'll end this post by telling you some more about my outfit.
The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted that this is one of the dresses Vix gave me as a present when we met up. It was the perfect day for wearing it and an utter joy to do so. I combined it with my stretchy orange belt and orange beaded necklace which I'd brought with me.
And isn't the hat delightful? Here I have to admit that it's actually a retail buy. I bought it in the National Trust shop at Powis Castle as I'd stupidly forgotten my hat in the car. But I didn't have a wide brimmed one like this yet. Plus, it will help pay for the upkeep of the property. I know, excuses!
I've got something rather special coming up in my next post, so I hope you'll travel with me again!
Oh you seem to love that country as much as I do! What a beautiful photos, just want to be there. The hat is forgiven.ReplyDelete
Thank you Nancy, I certainly do! xxxDelete
I find myself breathing deeper and feeling more relaxed as I virtually walk through these gardens with you. Every frame reminds me of a painting. The photos of you in those gardens wearing your great outfits only adds to that sense of classic art. Honestly, I think you *needed* that hat to complete these pictures so perfectly. :)ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see how you style your find at Diane's shop. That little bow is so charming! I'm also looking forward to the special surprise you have for us in your next post!
I've been feeling a bit stressed lately, so maybe I should re-read my own blog post and look at those photos! It was such a lovely day, certainly one of our holiday's highlights! xxxDelete
that green waistcoat and super cool dress with peter pan collar AND pussy bow!!! swoooon****ReplyDelete
and the park and gardens are dreamy - a place where elves live :-D
here it is still very hot..... sigh.
sweaty hugsies! xxxxxx
Thank you my dear, and of course I knew you'd love the garden! xxxDelete
I think I am going to have to add Welshpool to my list for 2020, it looks lovely.ReplyDelete
I think Jos would have had a tussle with Philip for that waistcoat if Philip bad been there.
The gardens are beautiful Ann and being among the trees is where I’m hapoiest. That’s why we love our caravan so much, it’s surro by them
I can sort of imagine the tussle between Philip and Jos ;-) Welshpool isn't too far from Montgomery, so the two can be easily combined! xxxDelete
Oh! I love everything about this post! The vintage centre in Welshpool, Jos's green waistcoat, your dress, and the gorgeous secret garden! We have just spent a few days in Snowdonia, North Wales and are very keen to go back and explore more of Wales. I will definitely remember the secret garden for a visit!ReplyDelete
Thank you Linda! The garden's definitely worth a visit! Oh, and I love Snowdonia! xxxDelete
How fabulous that Diane remembered you both and gave you scarves with your purchases - what brilliant customer service. She looks a very stylish lady and Poppy is gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Love the Viyella dress and Jos's amazing green waistcoat.
Glansevern looks amazing, what a tranquil spot to roam on such a hot day. You both look fabulous and I'm thrilled as to how well that cotton midi dress fits you.
What a find that phone was, we'd have fought over that if we'd been with you! xxx
I was totally chuffed that Diane remembered us. She is such a genuinely nice person! You should check out that garden. It's not much further than Powis Castle. Not NT though ... xxxDelete
That is so sweet that the shop owner remembered you. You must have made an impression in your snazzy attire! What beautiful gardens, you look most at home in the little wooden arbour with your feet up. The Viyella dress purchase was a great choice, I look forward to seeing you model it when the season's right.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I really had to tear myself away from that delightful wooden arbour, I could have sat there for hours! xxxDelete
I'm fascinated by the bathtub lake story! What a discovery that must have been.ReplyDelete
You found wonderful treasures to bring home, the phone is brilliant.
I only found out about the bathtub story when I was researching this post. Too good not to share! xxxDelete
I love that the lake had a plug and a drain - how ingenious! That hare statue is amazing - I have never seen a hare either, and probably would have been freaked out if I'd seen one!ReplyDelete
This looks like such a tranquil day of enjoying nature. Just lovely. I hope your week's stresses get better, Ann - sending a hug to you from Canada!
It was such a perfect day, I'm feeling relaxed just thinking about it! xxxDelete
The garden and park and bathtub :) is realy amazing. You look gorgeous in this gifted floral dress Ann! And I ve never seen such a telephone! Great find and great you had luck with the price :)ReplyDelete
Looking forward to travel with you again ;)
A very huge hug Tina
Thank you so much Tina! The phone is amazing, isn't it? xxxDelete
That vintage shop looks amazing, Ann! That's so great that the shop owner remembered you! What a sweet photo of you both and Poppy! I can definitely understand why she'd visit the shop often: it looks like a treasure trove for all ages! ;) I love that dress that Vix gave you and that green waistcoat that Jos bought is fabulous! Love that green! ;) Hope you're having a great week. XXXReplyDelete
I'm sure Poppy will grow up to be a stylish lady, having spent so much of her time in that amazing shop! xxxDelete
What a wonderful day! I like your outfit, I like blue and orange together! I've never seen a hare either!ReplyDelete
Love the vintage shop you got to explore again!
Hope that your week is going well :)
Away From Blue
Thank you so much Mica! I'm loving blue and orange together too! xxxDelete
The garden is just glorious! I love gardens and this sounds like it has everything. The hare sculpture is beautiful. I absolutely love hares and I'm very pleased that where we stay in Ireland hares abound. If I look out of the caravan windows at twilight or very early in the morning I nearly always see a hare or two!ReplyDelete
Love your vintage dress buy and Jos' waistcoat is magnificent. Loved the dress you wore especially with the orange belt and necklace.
The telephone is fab!
Thank you Vronni! How amazing that you're able to see hares at close quarter at your place in Ireland. Such lovely creatures, they are! xxxDelete
It was a pleasure taking a virtual walk through these gardens. UK 's gardens are always something special. That story about that lake that was called the biggest bathtube in Wales absolutely fascinated me. Isn't that something? The way nature can resemble a bathtube and an oak can be a cork to keep it in place. The hare sculpture is quite a sight too. So beautiful. I like what you said about its ears framing the landscape- very poetical.ReplyDelete
You two made great purchases. I like that green vest Jos bought, such a statement piece. The dress you bough is beautiful. So nice how the lady that owns the shop recognized you and gifted you scarves. Plus, that vintage telephone is adorable! Great find as well.
The dress Vix gave you is so pretty. I like how you styled it with an orange belt and an orange necklace. The hat is very stylish as well. Beautiful, feminine and elegant summer styling.
You made some really cool
It was my pleasure, Ivana! I do love visiting English gardens. They don't do them quite like that anywhere else! xxxDelete
What a glorious garden, my favourite statue would have been the hare too, I adore hares!ReplyDelete
I remember the vintage shop from last time you wrote about it, it's such a treasure trove. The green waistcoat is very fetching and I just love your dress, it's an absolute gem xxx
That garden was an unexpected gem, and I simply adored the hare sculpture! xxxDelete
I can't get over the idea of a lake with a huge plug! The gardens do look lovely.ReplyDelete
It's an amazing story isn't it? xxxDelete
Isn't that telephone cool? The best shade of red too!ReplyDelete
Your photos are just so full of poetry, I wish I was there strolling with you! The hare sculpture is such an adorable surprise to find!
You and Jos have the best taste. I adore his green vest and your new romantic dress - such a charming couple you are!
Lovely to see you Natalia, and thank you for your sweet comment. xxxDelete
have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
Thank you dear, I hope yours was great too! xxxDelete
spot on for choosing the Viyalla dress Ann. Those peter pan collars are everywhere in the shops for the aw19 collections. I think the dress is beautiful xxReplyDelete
Thank you Laurie! I'd no idea I would be on trend for aw19. xxxDelete
OOh, the Secret Garden is JUST what was needed on such a hot day! I LOVE gardens like that- you found all the beautiful resting places too! Love your beautiful writing! That vintage shop is amazing and your chosen dress is utterly beautiful!xReplyDelete
That's such a sweet comment about my writing Kezzie, thank you so much! I could have stayed in that garden forever! xxxDelete