Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
No, this is not the Castle, above. It's just "the Priest's House".
BELOW is part of the old castle ruins, originally built in the 1530s , which was restored by famed poet, writer and garden designer,(and interesting lifestyle trend-setter) Vita Sackville-West and her husband, writer and diplomat Harold Nicholson. The two famously collaborated to create the incredible gardens known throughout the gardening world, as Sissinghurst. This life-work began in 1930 and ended with Vita's death in 1962. Harold "survived her by six years, sad and lonely. Visitors would see him sitting in the garden with tears running down his cheeks." The estate was left to their son, Nigel, who couldn't afford the large death taxes nor upkeep of the huge grounds and buildings. In 1967 The National Trust (akin to our National Parks) received Sissinghurst from Nigel. There is much, more history to be learned by the curious.
A small garden by an entrance. Perhaps the Queen came through this very door in August 1573?
The climbing rose, 'Mermaid':
And perpendicular to the wall above, the lovely Purple Border:
A closeup in the Purple Border:
And then the Tower, built in the 1560s. It had 4 rooms on the left as you climbed the 78 stairs to the viewing roof. One of the rooms was Vita Sackville-West's workroom. Yes, I think I could design great gardens, too, in such inspiring digs...sigh...
The view from the Tower was invigorating. I can still remember the warm breeze that smelled of farmland, flowers, and, perhaps, the sea. These are the barns and oasthouses (funny funnel shaped guys). Oasthouses were used to store grain for ale. The long roof in the foreground is part the old castle, which became their library:
Moving to the right of the oasthouses, was this view over the Kent Weald (hills):
Below, the view of the potager (kitchen) garden. And behind it, some un-named, un-important accessory buildings (!). Servant's house, perhaps? Another wing of the castle in the foreground.
Below: The famous White Garden is adjacent to the Tower. I must return in Spring to see this in full bloom. Not much white to see in September. The small building in the upper right of the photo is the Boathouse. It straddles the moat there:
Down the Tower stairs and out into the White Garden. This is under a simple square tubing arbor. (Yes.Yes I did say "I could make that!!"). Nigel Nicholson designed the arbor using paperclips in his model. You can see their arched ends here:
Since Pam had the sense to buy us a picnic lunch earlier, we sat here at an old wooden picnic table in the Boathouse over the moat. We were refreshed by the cool air and relaxing view. Lunch grew a little long...
We ended up a bit later in the Sunken Garden - another cool spot. Originally the Lion Pond was here, but, in true gardener fashion, it was redesigned into a sunken garden by Vita:
Here's a close-up. Note the embossed detail on the ancient galvanized trough. And I love the Baby Tears creeping along the wall. The salmon Fuchsia really brightens this spot.
My last photo: The Red Summer Border that lines a long flagstone path back towards the "house". I must return to Sissinghurst again in Spring, to see these incredible gardens in their full glory. "I simply must!" she wailed, as she ran off into the Nuttery, with her ever-faithful and beautiful companion, JJ the Dog, following her... (from my novel).
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Not that it wasn't enjoyable....
Which brings us to the actual Nationals Conformation competition. First shown was EBBTIDE FENNEL HILL CD in ALTERED OPEN BLACK DOGS - FIRST PLACE and WINNERS DOG!! Again. That's right - it's been almost a year since I had the pleasure of showing him at the Las Vegas ASCA Nationals (where he won the same award). It took us 3 tries in Greeley to get back on our game, but, happily, it came together on Wednesday ;-) By the way, he is now called ALTERED CHAMPION EBBTIDE FENNEL HILL CD ! Nice way to finish a championship!
Next up on Wednesday (after Spencer's awesome Novice B win), was the BROOD BITCH class. EBBTIDE MADAM PRESIDENT CD "Maddie" at 11 years young, WON THIRD PLACE with those over-achieving offspring of hers: CH. SPENCER CD, A-CH FENNEL CD and A-CH GOTCHA CD! It was icing on the cake to look down at those pretty faces and realize all 3 had made a significant win in the Obedience ring the past 2 days!
That was Wednesdays Nationals results...let me catch my breath....
Thursday, EBBTIDE AS YOU WISH "Cali" made a beautiful showing in the BRED BY EXHIBITOR BITCH class, but failed to make a placement. We're not calling it a failure, thanks to our many long-time breeder peers who complimented us on her showing that day. Thank very much to all of you for taking time to give us a thumbs up. It was appreciated.
Friday: EBBTIDE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH "JJ" and I got our game on and were thrilled to win the BRED BY EXHIBITOR DOG class! We missed some of our old cronies in there (but wait: maybe we wouldn't have won...!). What an honor to win that class at Nationals! Later that day we returned to the Winners Dog class and got sooo close, ahhh, oh well - we're happy, too, with RESERVE WINNERS DOG! Yes, the old handler, surrounded by the young, quick and wrinkle-free (I'm not talking dogs here) dug deep and trotted soundly (again: not talking dogs) with that amazingly huggable JJ to the bridesmaid (best man? I need oxygen to think) spot. Yes - oxygen: Did you know Greeley, CO elevation is 4, 860 feet? Did you know Cloverdale, CA is 800? Yes. Yes, I should win an award for not dying. Thank you. But, enough about me...
There was more Friday: JJ's cute cute CUTE (and sound) little sister, EBBTIDE YOUR WISH'S MY COMMAND "Panda" (you know: from Texas) made the final cut and unofficially won 6th place in OPEN BLACK BITCH. There were, like, 20 in that class. Nice job, Nancy & Panda! And just 20 months old and still growing hair ;-)
Which now brings us (thank God) to the very last day, Saturday, and Best of Breed. 193 Special Dogs?!?! We were pleased that CH EBBTIDE FINE FELLOW CD "Spencer"made the first cut. It was brutal out there ;-) Congrats to our fellow Northern California buddies, Maddie Ruble and her crew, AND longtime friends Cathy & Alan McCorkle for their BEST OF BREED win with CH Heatherhill Dazzle Park Laine.
Time to go home. Believe me, there are many more stories to tell...but I'm beat!
In the Open Finals Division, EBBTIDE FENNEL HILL CDX "Fennel", won 6th PLACE after finding out the morning of the competition, as alternate, he would be able to compete. Congratulations to owner/trainer/handler Laurie Rubin and Fennel!
The next day, CH EBBTIDE FINE FELLOW (AKC CD) "Spencer" was handled by owner/trainer/handler Judi Scherrer to FIRST PLACE NOVICE B with a 197!! Out of 70 entries! Let it be known that his heeling brought tears to the eyes of a certain highly critical breeder. I'm not going to elaborate on the minus 2 points for the sagging Long Sit...I'm just happy I missed that.
OH! SPENCER also won HIGH SCORING CHAMPION OF RECORD !! How sweet is that?! Answer: Very sweet!
Thanks to Susan, Trish, Laurie & Judi for representing Ebbtide dogs in such a fantastic showing. All three were happy, attentive workers and a joy to watch. Carry on...
Sunday's Pre-Show: JJ & Spencer took the day off. Fennel won 2nd Place Altered Open Black.
Monday's Pre-Show: Spencer was still waiting for Judi to arrive...EBBTIDE AS YOU WISH "Cali" won 2nd Place in BBX - that made me smile. As well as JJ's 2nd Place in BBX Dogs!! Things are looking up! EBBTIDE YOUR WISH'S MY COMMAND "Panda" 4th Place Open Black Bitch. EBBTIDE FENNEL HILL CD "Fennel" FIRST PLACE Altered Open Black dogs. Gotcha and Susan had an awesome individual work in Novice B obedience, but was felled by a little rest on the Long Sit :-(( Did she sneak out to the Texas Roadhouse the night before?
Monday, October 5, 2009
- A-CH Ebbtide Gonna Getcha CD CD RN CD JSN GSN RSN "Gotcha"
- CH Ebbtide Fine Fellow CD (AKC) "Spencer"
- Ebbtide Fennel Hill CD "Fennel"
- Ebbtide As You Wish "Cali"
- Ebbtide Careful What You Wish "JJ"
- Ebbtide Madam President CD "Maddie"
And our Dallas, Texas buddy drove up (with her crew, Nancy, Cathy & Flirt):
- Ebbtide Your Wish's My Command "Panda"
We opened at the first Pre-Show (Saturday's ASC of Utah show) where Panda and her owner/handler, Nancy Pantusa, started things off with a really nice 3rd place win in Open Black Bitches (18 in this class). The "Wish" litter is 20 months old. A very nice win. At the 2nd Pre-Show, I suggested I show her (you know - the Expert helping the Non-expert). Panda & I got nothing. Ok. Next day Nancy shows Panda and gets 4th Place Open Black Bitches. So much for the so-called Expert... Way to go, Nancy and Panda!!! You two rock!