Monday, May 16

"Mrs. Milliken's Garden"

There is a little town in Co. Down on the shores of Strangford Lough,
In some ways it's a "nothing grand"  kind of a town.
But in other ways, it's a mystical place, where once you have been,
you can never forget.

And in this little town is a little shop.

Not just any old shop,
but an art shop extraordinaire.
This is Milliken's art emporium.
What? ...I hear you say. 
That little shop in that little town?


We went last week my sister and I.
Rosie had canvases to collect, so I tagged along with her.
The front door had a notice on it...similar to our own shop...
"if not open ,come around the back...
we may be in the garden!"

So we trundle around the back to find a world that compares with Venice or Florence or Rome!
I once shared a holiday with someone who when confronted with the walls of Venice, remarked that they could do with a good lick of paint.
One can only sigh!

Here at Milliken's are ancient doors and windows for produce long ago discontinued.

Doors above,
where bales of who knows what would have been hauled in for the winter.

Useful doors for useful places.

....and nothing going to waste...

And who wouldn't long for such a door as this,
as an entrance to the office each day.

But that is not all.

I spied the garden and swiftly sneaked a photo of the archway leading into it.

As I turned to go, not wanting to intrude any further,
a voice with at beautiful Co.Down "burr" to it , cried from a window,
"Go on in there girls!"
and next thing... Mrs. Millington came towards us across the yard,
and beckoned us to go through the arch and into another world.

Mrs. Millington is the gardener.
Although as she said,
"At ninety two it's not always possible to keep it at the level of maintainence that I would like."

That's it... I shall never call them any thing else in future...
so much more descriptive...
don't you think?

She sat in front of them giving us the names of each one.

Structures so full of flowers
 that it was nigh on impossible to walk through the perfumed paths.

"A white lady" close by.......

...a wonderful glimmering white clematis.

A working garden...where wheelbarrows...
and washing...

sit side by side with rhubarb and "tatties".

And the birds are not forgotten.

Mrs. Milliken stood in the heart of her garden.
And we were loathe to leave such a feisty, gracious and knowedgeable woman.

But we had places to go and things to do.
So we picked up the canvases and took them to the car
 and entered the normal world and it's hurly-burly once again.

Sweet memories. 


  1. What a wonderful tour through a very magical place. That is definitely my kind of setting -- wish I could see it in person.

  2. thankyou Linda...we had a great time last week. Lots of giggling and a good bit of bending of the elbow! Wish you could see it all!

  3. What a character, hope I'm like that when I hit her age!

  4. Natasha...I'm aiming for that too...and I'll get there long before you!! You would love it!

  5. What a lovely surprise! Just like the Secret Garden - without the rusty key & the heartbreak (one hopes).

  6. Fabulous place. Leaves some grander gardens standing. And you did it justice!


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