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Monday, 17 June 2013

A wonderful find, and a 'what would you have done?'

Hello folks,

We've been a lovely ride out today and took a picnic lunch with us - just on the spur of the moment, the weather was perfect (for me) slightly overcast and quite warm.  We travelled a few miles over the county border into beautiful Shropshire, through the country lanes and mostly enjoying the peace and quiet and lack of traffic.  
We enjoyed the freedom of picking a lovely, scenic spot to eat lunch and settled down and chatted for a while, then off again exploring the villages and hamlets we came across.
(Sorry no photos as I'd left the camera at home.)
As we wended our way along we passed a plant nursery, Trev slowed down (even more) and asked if I'd like to visit it...he knows me too well!  To my utter delight we'd discovered Barlow Nurseries.  I wondered around in awe of the beautiful, healthy herbaceous plants absolutely covered in beautiful, buzzing bees :o)  
 Now, I'm still trying very hard to fill up my back garden border again (since the new fence was erected) and have decided it needs to be even more bee friendly! So it will come as absolutely no surprise to know that I came home with some beautiful  bee friendly plants.  In fact I was almost having to de-bee them to get them in the car ;o)

(Photos taken hurriedly at 8.45pm.)

Grouped en-masse.  
(Please excuse the barbecue cover)

A HUGE clover - like flower
Trifolium Trichocephlum

Erysimum linifolium variegatum

Two beautiful, healthy Lupins. 1 x pink and 1 x red (above still in bud)

and finally for the worlds biggest courgette hater (me)

Courgette Parador
I'm determined to like the blasted things and figured if I grow them I'll eat them!

If you are ever in the Newport, Shropshire area do please give them a visit - you won't be disappointed :o)

Now, a few views of how the borders have filled out a little more.

Aconite and yellow Corydalis Lutea

blue self-seeded aqualegia, corydalis and aconite

various pots surrounding my arum lily

The apple tree - no blossom this year :o(

The opposite border against the garage
with pulmosa (lungwort) forget-me-nots (amongst others)

Gorgeous foxgloves, and behind the bottom of the ivy where the robins nested...
(I can't remember if I updated that situation?  There were two babies that fledged the nest, unfortunately one of them landed inches from a sleeping Sid cat who awoke before I could do anything to save it :o(  
(The other did well.)  

Finally, beneath my kitchen window.

* * *

Now for the 'what would you have done?'

I received an email last night asking me if I had any information about a female Staffordshire figurine, similar to one I have (which I posted about here).  I happily agreed to help if I could and was duly sent some photos of the figure in question.  It had been in the wars, the head had been off at one point and stuck back on.  I studied the photos carefully (they were quite detailed) and came to the conclusion that I believed it was a copy and not an original.  There was no signs of wear or dirt ingrained on the base, the crackles in the glaze were perfectly bright and clean even though the gold appeared to be rubbed, and the expansion hole (to me seemed) to be in the wrong place. It also appeared that it was made from a hard paste body and not a soft paste.  I gave a potted history of Staffordshire flat backs.  
I was really in a quandary.  I wondered if I should go ahead ?  I would certainly like to have it queried if it had been the other way round. So I  mentioned my doubts(in more detail with photos to support) and decided to question  it's authenticity, BUT I stressed that I'm no expert and it needed and expert evaluation as it was difficult to tell the difference with any certainty from a photograph and needed 'handling' to confirm one way or the other.  
I was not surprised therefore to receive another email questioning my thoughts.  I again stressed I believed it really needed expert evaluation, and I would be truly delighted for her if I am wrong.
I'm neither cross or upset by the reply I'd received, in fact I thought it was very well written.

My question to you is this,  do you think I was right to tell her?   Or should I have kept quiet about my doubts?  
Please let me know your thoughts, I'd appreciate them.

* * *

Very quick update on Mom.
The appointment has (finally) come through from the Memory Service for next Wednesday.  Of course she doesn't want to go ("I haven't got a problem with my memory - everybody forgets things"), but her Doctor (bless him) asked her to humour him and go to see them anyway :o)
I shall take her and see what happens.  In the meantime she's lost her (replacement) false teeth!  They've vanished into the ether again.  So it's back to the dentist for another £200 set :o(

* * *

Hope you all have a great week.  

x x

I've been having a change around on here and haven't finished yet..


Kathy Moreland said...

Hi Rose,
Your borders are looking really good! Love all the colorful flowers. Regarding your question, I think you should have told the lady your doubts. If she had not wanted an HONEST opinion, she shouldn't have asked you.

Glad your Mom's appointment is finally here. My sister has been placed in Assisted Living for now. She has been sick for several months and is not able to care for herself alone.

Wishing you the best,

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Dear Sweet Rose, I think you did the right thing...after all they asked YOU. And I am sure you were so nice in your email.

Glad your Mom is going to the appointment. Loosing teeth? good reason to go, hope things go well I will keep you in my thoughts.

Leanne said...

no, i believe you were right to be truthful about your doubts Rose, and refer the owner to more expert advice.

beautiful plants, your gardens really coming on again!

Leanne x

awholeplotoflove said...

Your plants are lovely, I'm off for a couple of weeks at the end of July so I may make a trip to that garden centre, it will be a nice day out. I wish you well with your mum this week.

greenthumb said...

So many lovely new plants, your garden still looks pretty.

rusty duck said...

Of course you did the right thing Rose.
Good luck with your Mum's appointment. My mother sought medical help far too late.. medication and Memory Clinic can have a good effect if they are started early enough.
Good haul from the nursery too, the garden is looking superb!

Marilyn said...

Great looking plants-I can't go in a garden center and come out with nothing. There is always SOMETHING that will catch my eye. It sounds like you were honest with the woman and shared your knowledge to the best of your ability. Can't ask for more than that. Maybe the missing teeth need some sort of string or chain around your mom's neck to keep them close-like the chains one can put on eye glasses! Wouldn't THAT be a sight! Have to laugh or you will be bald from pulling out your hair.♥♫

Vintage Jane said...

You gave a good honest answer and she should be happy with that and follow your advice.
Your plants are lovely. I have tried to plant more bee friendly plants this year. Sadly, I can't see our garden from the house and haven't been able to go out and enjoy it as it's been so cold but it's warming up this week ... apparently ... we'll see!
Hope the appt with your mum goes well. M xx

Louise said...

Great news for the bees in your area!

I think you did the right things regarding the figurine. You were asked for your opinion and you gave an honest answer, backed up by why you felt it was a copy - as you said, you're no expert so I think it was good of you offer such good advice, whether it was right or wrong. That's up for the lady to discover.

Wendy said...

I love the thought of a spontaneous picnic and how wonderful that you treated yourself to some beautiful bee-friendly plants. I love lupins and they are looking glorious at the moment. I love the foxgloves in your garden, too.
I think you handled the email just right. You gave honest advice. Hope all goes well with your mother.

Mary said...

Rose I believe you were honest and helpful in every way - as you say, you couldn't have done more unless you actually were able to handle the piece perhaps.

Sorry about dear Mom's teeth again - that's such a huge expense each time she misplaces them. Perhaps she throws them in the rubbish by mistake - though I'm sure you look there! I'll be interested to hear how the testing goes. Bob's mom reached 95 on Sunday, bless her heart!

Garden beds looking beautiful and those new acquisitions from the garden center are lovely. Don't like courgettes (zucchini over here)? Oh you must give 'em another try, they are so good! The taste is so mild, what's not to like? Have you tried baking with them - delicious in quick breads, muffins etc. Once you harvest your own I think you'll enjoy.

Love and hugs - Mary

Snowbird said...

Thanks for visiting me Rose, I've had a good look around here too and I like what I see. You're obviously a fellow animal/wildlife lover.

I love your pollinator friendly plants. I'll be back.xxxx

Kim said...

Your garden is looking lovely Rose - you have a lot of planting up to do! You've chosen some gorgeous plants there :) I think that you gave the best advice that you could in the circumstances - honestly and fairly and a suggestion of a second opinion. I hope your Mum's appointment goes well x

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing them with us - this is a great time of the year for most gardens.