The Secret Garden

20120823-121724.jpgEven when you have lived somewhere for over a decade it’s always a delight to discover a new treasure in your local area.

Although the skies are overcast today it’s pretty warm so I decided to take a chance to go for a morning stroll past the abbey to see the fun that’s going on at Breeze in Kirkstall Abbey. Not being a teenager I haven’t ventured in, instead deciding to grab a coffee from the Abbey House Museum café and find somewhere nice to sit down and enjoy the surroundings.

I’ve been the Abbey House Museum many times and have seen the gardens behind it, overlooking the abbey, but have never ventured up there. Today was the perfect chance.

Over the well manicured grass I noticed a formal garden unfolding before me with an obelisk in the centre. A small inscribed stone lies at the base: “This garden is a tribute to Mary Pearce CBE JP… Former Lord Mayor and Alderman Of The City and Chairman of the Parks Committee for 20 years”.20120823-121809.jpg nd the museum.

I was further surprised when this lead up to a cast iron gateway entrance to a further garden at the top. A walled garden. I have captivated by these ever since I read “The Secret Garden” as a child. At the entrance to the walled garden is a plaque provided by the KVCA in memory of Geoff Hodgson, a very active member of the community and champion of the Kirkstall Valley Campaign. Through the gate is a network of paths and high planting that leaves you wandering round every turn wondering where you are.

As you wander further up the delicate terraces the noise of the traffic from Abbey Road fades away until you are left with only your thoughts, eventually leaving you somewhere which could easily be a stately home in the middle of the countryside.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that I’ve only just found this new little paradise, I imagine many people cross the busy road between the car park to the museum and down to the abbey without ever venturing uphill. Perhaps its not a secret at all and I’m just one of many who are accidentally discover new things, but its a secret I’m happy to have uncovered eventually.

Source: new.kirkstall.org.uk

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Vegan lifestyle

A wonderful book that helped me when I went vegan two years ago is "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living." I found it at CVS Pharmacy, but it's also online. Also "Skinny Bitch" has a lot of great info in it and is an entertaining read. Once you have the tools, it's second-nature. There are many vegan books out there with a list of the many hidden animal ingredients. And some great places to eat: Mary's Secret Garden in Ventura is only vegan. It's pricey, but excellent. You can also get vegan meals at Nature's Grill in Ventura and The Sojourner in Santa Barbara. Lassen's Grocery has many vegan products but is also pricey

I got hit

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