On Sunday the 27th of April 2014 I took a dander down to Mount Stewart house and gardens, as they were holding one of their music in the garden events. Just before I walked onto the main grass area something caught my attention. A wee doughnut stand parked up ready for business. You gotta admit that this is the best looking doughnut stand for a long time.
For those of you who know me, I love and collect music from vinyl and CD to the odd digital download. Normally I listen to it in my music room with my beloved hi fi equipment, but on this occasion I would be sharing the moment with a few hundred other locals sitting on the grass.
The band in question today was a Soul/ R & B outfit called Otis & the Elevators, who were unknown to me up until today. From the time they started playing they got my foot tapping and they were really good. The lead singer David Taylor even looked the part by giving himself the famous Blues Brothers look.
People just started arriving in droves and parked themselves anywhere they felt comfortable, be it under trees or out in full sun on the Daisy filed grass.
Besides the music though, I was here for something else. As I brought my trusty side cick Mr Canon, there were acres of gardens to explore and photograph. These are some of the best gardens that I have ever seen and I’ve seen quite a few over the years. As the music played, I headed off to get a few shots. The garden looked absolutely perfect that day with most of the flowers out in full bloom.
My youngest daughter Emma wanted to walk round with me so we started in the formal garden at the back of the house. I caught a shot of my first bee of the year collecting pollen from a Rhododendron flower. At this point my daughter ran in the opposite direction. I tried to explain to her that they have no interest in us and that they won’t hurt her in any way.
Walking through these very splendid gardens I noticed that there weren’t only colourful flowers on the trees and shrubs but also on the ground itself. Daisy’s were the most obvious, but these lilac coloured Speedwell beauties just gave that summer feel.
There were many colours as I walked these gardens from reds, oranges, blues, whites and these yellow Poppies along with these amazing Azaleas, which are among some of my favourites.
I did my usual walk around the pond and came across some Gunnera manicata, which is very dramatic.
And some views of around the pond………..
It was really good to see so many people out enjoying these stunning gardens, just doing their own thing. I just had to get a shot of this couple minding their own business while others walked past them, or taking a sneaky picture of them.
Just a little further on past the couple there was an amazing spread of Rhododendron petals across the pathway, which begged a photo shot. Tree bark can be also very dramatic and this Cherry tree bark is way up there on the top of the list for me. Also there was a fabulous Magnolia shrub/ tree that I couldn’t leave out of the photo shoot.
The day was drawing to an end and I had to get back to the family, who were still on the main grass area where the band was playing. My family and I really enjoyed ourselves at this lovely event with the music, the gardens and of course my wife’s amazing picnic that she made up. We try and get to see Mount Stewart as much as we can, but unfortunately it is a wee bit expensive to go as much as I would love to, but don’t let that stop you if ever you are visiting Northern Ireland for your holiday. It is definitely worth the visit any time of the year, but early Summer is always brilliant.