A Woodland Walk amongst the Daffodils…


The Long Walk, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Kedleston is set in the middle of its own Park Land, lots of walks. There is no formal flower garden but instead what they name ‘Pleasure Grounds’. My favourite walk is through the old woodland, here Beech, Oak and Chestnut dominate, tall and on a sunny day casting long shadows. Right now daffodils line much of the woodland approaches.  .We were luck to catch them as this warm spell of sunny weather will soon turn the Daffs and they will be gone foe another year. Soon Bluebells will cover much of the floor. So join us on a brief April afternoon tour of the grounds and garden, …a garden that has its own Church…

Thoughtfully the Estate have lots of well placed seats to pause, sit and enjoy the expansive Derbyshire views and like the Hare above time to take in a bit of sun.


23rd April

(C) David Oakes 2018


Silent Sunday….So Off to Church


Saint Anne’s Church, Beeley, Derbyshire

Spring comes to Beeley, a small village on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire. The Church of Saint Anne, with is squat square Norman Tower dates back to around 1150AD.  It’s dark interior is cool on a warm day and an ideal spot for quiet contemplation.

The Gravestones also tell there own stories of the village and worth an exploration on its own all the more fulfilling in spring when the Daffodils are at there best.

22nd April

(C) David Oakes 2018



Glorious Spring…at last



Bluebells, another of those special indicators that Spring has arrived. From nowhere the green leaves appear then literally ‘out of the blue’ the Blue Bells on tall stems start to appear.  At the moment it is the occasional clump standing proud in the dry autumn leaves…soon we will have a woodland floor that for a week or so will be a carpet of blue….be patient and I will try to share our woodland glory with you.

It is of course a race against the inevitable.  Soon the woodland that is now showing its own signs of regeneration will cast dark shadows and stifle growth on the woodland floor.  But at the moment its is a very fresh feel to those woods…even those that show signs of the ravages of winters woods are looking fine…

Whilst Bluebells will soon be the flower of the woods, right now it is the Wood Anemone that is having one of its best spring seasons that I can remember, creating there very own white carpet with their jewel like yellow centres…


Marsh Marigolds and Daisies add some yellow to the spectrum whilst elsewhere Magnolia are big and blousy in their short lived displays…


All around the Lake Spring is coming and adding another dimension to the views. The dark surface of the Lake is now dusted with pollen seeds and those cases that have encased the new leaves over the winter….



There is a saying that ” summer is two good days and then a thunderstorm” ….so guess what our forecaster are predicting for later today. But why worry this is only Spring!

But there is another Spring indicator that is more of a worry.  It is another old country saying which is still held as ringing true with many folk…. it goes like this…

The Oak before the Ash

we are in for a Splash 

Ash before the Oak

and we are in for a Soak

This year, the first for many the Ash appears to be winning the race to burst into leaf..

Whilst one can debate the relative difference between a Splash and a Soak it does seem to ring true.

Still lets not worry about the weather ahead…lets enjoy the day and today was the perfect start…


21st April

(C) David Oakes 2018

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Seating


Spring is Here…Summer cannot be far behind

A seat in the sun….my suggestion for this weeks Cees B&W Photo Challenge on Seating.

Go and see what others have suggested at :-



20th April

(C) David Oakes 2018


Spring is Bursting Out All Over…


Evening light over Allestree Lake, something of a first this year.  Sunshine a near clear blue sky and a warmth in the air.  You can also see the growth literally bursting from the trees as you explore the Park and Woods.  Daffodils are nearing the end of their reign but there is a mass of Bluebells to come. But I guess it is the greens and blues that left the biggest impression after what has been the first two real days of Spring.

 My favourite Silver Birch has a head of red buds….the tulips are fading….the furry Pussy Willow is now producing light green leaves….Cheery Blossom is full of promise.

20th April

(C) David Oakes 2018