Friday, 1 June 2012

Woodland Walk : The Shell Grotto

Carpet of Pink Purslane.

A few days ago my dog Maddy and I visited the grounds of a National Trust property on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The estate is open to the public 24/7 and it's one of our favourite places.
 Much of the area shown in these photos was once magnificent 18th century water gardens set in an idealized sylvan landscape,featuring cascades,bridges,tunnels,a Tea House,Shell Grotto and Nymphaeum.

Pink Purslane

Path into the woods

Woodland canopy

The air is filled with the sound of birdsong,chaffinch,song thrush,blackbird,crow,wood pigeon
and many more.........................

This Lime/Linden tree conceals a jackdaw's nest.

The Shell Grotto was built in the 1760s using shells from local beaches and as far afield as China.
Grottos were secluded places designed to evoke reflection on the cycles of nature.

Remains of a Nymphaeum (Nymph's Temple) have been found close by.The statue of a nymph
 would have been placed here to attract woodland spirits.

The shells have long gone but the wall looks very interesting without them.

I recently bought this Indian wall hanging and love the way the central piece,an upside down bodice
 yoke,resembles a meditation hut.I think the building and the cloth complement each other well !



The burn which was once a vital part of the water garden still gurgles past behind the Grotto.

Our walk continues,Maddy leads the way .......................


Lisa Erin said...

Lovely photos. Exploring forest paths like that is one of my favorite things to do. You are inspiring me to add a nature walk to my weekend. :)

snowwhite said...

Oh, the sunshine is filtering through foliage and swaying softly!! Yes, this time of year is the best to admire numerous shades of fresh green. I agree with you. Through a camera, we can get many finds. Whenever I meet new finds, I realize this world is full of “One Time One Meeting”. Your forest has its own green! I wish I could see Pink Purslane blooming in the divine forest! So, beautiful!!

sarah said...

What the soft and light green they are! I remembered green in your place are not deep green like ours.
Pink Pueslane look like snow and that place is like a fairyland.
Have a lovely weekend!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Ruby, this is an amazing woodland scene with its carpet of little flowers, adorned with cascades of green as you walk from one vista to the next. The shell grotto looks like it is out of a novel, an illustration in a mysterious tale. From your photos I would guess that this area is not well-known, a secret secluded spot in the forest.

The fabric is beautiful and just your style... creative you was able to see the house in the center.


Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

What beautiful photos! Love the walk in the woods, the shell grotto & the amazing colors of the wall hanging! a beautiful & stimulating way to start the day. Thank you.

stardust said...

Hi, Ruby! It’s so pleasant to plunge into the verdure special to your woodland, feeling fresh air on my skin, all the time listening to the singing of such various birds. The shell gotto makes me feel that I might wander into another world when I step into. I enjoyed this virtual walk with you.


dritanje said...

enchanting woodland walk Ruby! Very interesting that there is/was a nymphaeum here. I though these only occurred in places where the Romans had been but goes to show my ignorance, I guess all over the place where the early Christian church flourished. And yet.... there's almost something pagan too, about putting a statue there, to attract woodland spirits. Rather sweet, and \I hope they did attract them too..
Morelle xx

Lynn said...

What a beautiful walk and whimsical grotto.
And I love the way your wallhanging and woodland photos compliment each other!

cosmos said...

These areas are truly ideal place I'd like to wander myself! Bodice yoke upside down in the wall hanging looks like a grotto in the woods surrounded mysterious and gay pattern and color.
You are blessed with this kind of wonderful place.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Genie,local people who know about this place usually come in through the woods,tourists arrive via the main entrance on the other side of the grounds.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Sarah,there's definitely a feeling of fairyland around!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Morelle,Nymphaeums would have been copied from Italian gardens viewed on the Grand Tour.Apparently they were fashionable at the time.

louciao said...

Wonderful juxtaposition of textured stone wall with that gorgeous Indian wall hanging!

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