Up, up and away

It is time to take you on an aerial tour of the Cotswold countryside and gardens and how better than by hot air balloon? This flight was my birthday present last spring, when the countryside was looking at its lushest best - the yellow fields of Rape contrasting vividly with the bright greens.
The layout of this garden near the village of Oddington is beautifully illustrated from the air - I wonder if the owners were ever so fortunate to see it from above?

The walled, organic gardens at Daylesford, too, are shown to be quite an unusual shape: the intricate design of the parterre giving way to a less formal area uses this to its advantage - a study in good design. Saxon ridge and furrow field systems are also shown in sharp relief. There are a lot of these around the Cotswolds and they can originate from as far back as a thousand years although many were worked up until a couple of hundred years ago. Now preserved and retained as pasture, often the drier, warmer ridges have quite different wild flowers growing compared with the damper furrows.
We 'touched down' in a field not far from the small town of Stow-on-the-Wold, shown in the photo below. Stow is famed for its twice annual Gypsy Horse Fair where travellers gather from all over the UK to buy and sell ponies and catch up with news. It is also well known for its exposed climate as in the local saying "Stow-on-the-Wold where the wind blows cold".

The balloon's shadow chasing us is a favourite photo as also is this one of the burners in full flame!

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  1. What an awesome gift! It must have been something to see everything from that kind of perspective. I love the walled gardens.

    Yesterday afternoon on our Movie Classics Channel they had a short clip about the Cotswolds, and your beautiful architecture there--in particular the rock walls and how well made they are without using mortar; the tree hedges and rolling hills; it also said (as have you) that it is one of the most beautiful areas in England. When I saw it I thought of you and how much you love it there.

    It's amazing to me that I have this quiet life in the mountains of Colorado and get to visit with you there in the Cotswolds and with Fran in Belgium. What a gift this all is.

  2. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this post and a coincidence that you also saw the Cotswolds on television. I'm glad that they said it was one of the most beautiful places too - shows I'm not too prejudiced!

    By the way, I plan to write a post about our drystone walls before too long as they are such a feature of both the landscape and local gardens.

    I find the internet fascinating! I love being able to see and hear all about the 'everyday' things that go on around the world and to be able to converse with people like yourself. It is quite extraordinary, when you come to think about it! Please keep up the messages, they are really appreciated. Johnson

  3. The Cotswolds is, of course, THE most beautiful place in the world - and I'm so pleased to have found another blog about them, I sometimes think I am banging a lone drum on my blog! Now I am going to try to work out where your lovely header is located...but I won't let on, as it is secret. :)

  4. Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. Yes, we are both fortunate living and working in such beautiful surroundings which does, I am sure, inspire both of us in our work.

    If you are the felter that exhibits in the Woodstock museum then our paths have met - or have I purchased from a rival?! Johnson

  5. Hello, thanks for visiting my blog :-) Woody Bay is on my list but so many places and not enough days in the week :-) I love this post about the balloon ride, great aerial photos and loved the ridge and furrow pic - it always amazes me how these show up in aerial photos.

  6. Hello Johnson,
    I'm not sure if you received my follow-up comment on my blog, but in case you didn't...Thank You for your visit and comment (and compliment:)! I had mentioned that I had been to the Cotswolds a few times and nearly lived there-not in the countryside but would have been eventually! I also have to agree with you on it being one of the most beautiful places. Besides being beautiful, it has haunted me with a feeling of finally being 'at home', a place I can't forget and long to return to, even after travelling to other parts of England, this is the one place that still calls me back. You are blessed to live and work in such a paradise :)Thank you for visiting, I will be back as I have become on of your 'followers'...keep the pictures and posts coming! :)

  7. Many thanks to both Chris & Elizabeth and welcome. I will do my best to keep you both "entertained" and shall certainly be revisiting you both regularly.

  8. Johnson, you have purchased from a rival! Out of curiosity, was it wet felting or needle felting, as I do needle felting which is not widely done over here.

  9. Oops sorry! It was a felting kit for my young niece!

  10. It's all so beautiful! I've always wanted to go in a hot air balloon, but quite honestly, it scares me (not a fan of heights).

    Thanks for showing such lovely photos---makes me want to travel across the pond for a visit :)

  11. Hi Deb and thanks for visiting. You really should come across to England if you have the opportunity, it is very special - especially the Cotswolds.

    Also do go for the hot air balloon trip. My partner was terrified at the thought and was the first to be leaning out saying 'oh look down there'! Johnson


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