Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth




A couple of macro shots of the Peonies that have bloomed in my garden this week


Macro shots in the garden

I enjoy taking photographs in my garden, I’m not an expert photographer, or gardener for that matter, but I took a few macro shots today, enjoy.

Knocking the garden into shape for 2017

Well,the weather seems to have taken a sudden turn for the better, who knows how long this will last? So, over the last week we’ve started sorting the garden out ready for the summer.  Done a lot of weeding out, sorting out of dead pots, pruning and sweeping up of general detritus.

We popped out this morning to the Sunnyside Nursery at Langstone. I’d recommend this excellent little garden centre for top quality, superbly priced plants and gardening peripherals, it’s very small and doesn’t carry all the paraphernalia that a lot of garden centres seem to think is essential, like DVDs, books, clothes, tropical fish etc, but if it’s gardening you’re interested in this is well worth a visit.

I picked up half a dozen Senetti, a nice Delphinium and a lovely Hollyhock and brought them home to find some space.

Here’s a few pics of what it looks like at the moment, It’s going to be ablaze of colour this summer, really looking forward to spending some summer evening sitting out there.

A Visit To Croft Castle


We enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the National Trust property, Croft Caslt and Parkland, near Leominster today. We had never visited this site before so it’s always nice to find somewhere new.

It’s a 1,000 year old estate that has been in the hands of the Croft family for the majority of that time. The history of the estate reveals a family that have been involved in many of the great conflicts that have moulded the shape of Britain as it is today. From the Norman conquest, through the War Of The Roses, The English Civil War and the two World Wars.

There is a fascinating family tree on display inside the castle.

Here’s a couple of my photographs from the day

A few Garden pics

Spent a lovely day tidying up and repotting in our garden, gorgeous sunshine. It’s all looking very green at the moment, not much out in bloom yet, but they are starting to come through nicely and I think the summer will be very colourful. Here’s a few pics of some flowers that have shown their faces. (and some fire and a couple of cats)

Getting the garden together 2016

Finally the weather seems to be improving and I’ve been able to make a start on the garden for the summer.  Celebrated with a few new plants. Shown here with a couple of wider shots of the garden as it stands. Watch this space for how things develop…

A few garden photos

It’s always lovely to watch the garden starting to come to life in the late spring.  Our garden is small, mostly tubs and pots with a couple of small raised beds, we’re in the middle of a city but we’ve created a small place that give us a pleasant place to relax for a couple of hours.  Here’s a few photos I took this afternoon.

Dahlias at Dyffryn

P1000728We returned to Dyffryn Gardens today, a National Trust property just outside Cardiff. Dyffryn is a beautiful property with stunning walled formal gardens that are stunning at any time of year, well worth a visit.

This autumn the gardeners at Dyffryn have been hard at work planting hundreds of varieties of Dahlias to celebrate the centenary of Reginald Cory’s Dahlia trials, in which he collected over 1,000 species and more than 7,000 plants in all.

Dahlias are a fantastic addition to any garden blooming late into the season and bringing a variety of strong colours and striking flower heads. The thousands of available varieties break down into different categories including Pompom, Orchid, Cactus, Semi Cactus, Giant, Decorative and Collerette.

I’m no expert by any means, but I’ve included a slide show of some of the varieties at Dyffryn this season, next year I’m going back to Dahlias in a big way.

Enjoy the pics.

A Visit To Stourhead



We spent the day visiting the National Trust property at Stourhead in Wiltshire. It’s a large estate that dates back to the 13th Century, but in 1717 it was sold to Henry Hoare and it remained the property of the Hoare family until it was given to the National Trust in 1946.  The current manor house was built by the Hoare family and filled with treasures from around the world.

Sadly the house was almost destroyed by a fire in 1902, but the staff managed to save almost all of the artwork and other treasures from the ground floor and the house was rebuilt to its former glory. The house itself is well worth a visit, although we were limited to a ground floor tour. There is a striking collection of artwork and furnishings to take in. You can follow Harry Hoare’s story around the estate and find out about his service and death during the First World War.

Aside from the house there is a stunning walled garden and a large lake. Visitors can walk all the way around the lake, taking in Greek themed buildings and more beautiful gardens en route. On the day we went the lake was looking a bit sad as its surface level has been lowered whilst some restoration and repair work is undertaken. But the walk around the lake is breathtaking and holds some surprises.

About two miles away from the main estate you will find Alfred’s Tower, a folly tower built in 1772 by Henry Hoare II, named for King Alfred the Great. You can climb to the top of the tower and get some great views. Well that’s what we were told at least, we were a bit too whacked to make the climb by the end of the day.

Here’s a few photos from the day, click through the slideshow to read the captions.

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