Branching Out

To really feel a forest canopy one must use different senses, and often the most useful one is the sense of imagination.”Joan Maloof

This weekend our photo challenge over on Weekly Prompts, the site I share with my partner GC is The Tree. It’s also our final challenge of 2019. Gerry will be back to present our first prompt of the year on January 1st 2020!

Last weekend, eldest daughter Victoria and I enjoyed our annual Christmas visit to Harewood House, just a few short miles from our home and where this year’s theme is ‘Animation’.

The visit to Harewood prompted a complete rewrite of my previously written and scheduled response to our challenge ‘The Tree’. Instead I’ve focused upon our visit to Harewood.


How could anyone resist taking photos of the book tree in the magnificent library? Such an extraordinary tree, adorned with Christmas baubles and built entirely from donated books from the Used Book Shop, what a clever idea.

I wondered if it was their intention to take the books back to their roots to remind us of where the pages began, or was it simply a ‘novel’ way of decorating the library? And did you notice those unique decorations that were strung around the room, skillfully created from pages of damaged books that couldn’t be used in the Book shop?

Click to enlarge a picture 

This year the Harewood theme was  – ‘A Night at the Mansion House’ with talking statues and paintings that were having a gossip, meanwhile, below stairs, the dishes had rather a lot to say! Take a look below.

We’ve not quite finished with the trees, have a look at these next ones

Mirror Image

In the tree-lined ballroom I spotted a beautiful mirror image

Upstairs DownstairsThen it was time to take a peek below stairs

The tranquility of the servants hall, candlelit with naked trees lining the walls, and a simple plainly adorned dining table was in stark contrast to the large light kitchen with its embellished festive table and seasonal plants drying out on the fabulous old range and a Christmas tree complete with wicker gifts. 

Would I recommend a visit? Absolutely I would.

All that remains is to say is Happy Christmas one and all and a very Happy New Year.

(C) 2019 Photo Challenge The Tree from Weekly Prompts.

39 thoughts on “Branching Out

    1. Perhaps next time you’re up this way, John.
      I do love visiting Harewood especially as it’s only fifteen minutes away. Not all the rooms are open at Christmas, but it’s definitely worth the visit. Thank you, John.


  1. Wow !!! what a magnificent exhibition Sue, I thoroughly enjoyed all you lovely photos, I’d say it was definitely worth visiting….. and i truly adored the fabulous “book tree” ……. It’s only 7.30pm here, and I’m already tired(we all suffered from the horrendous heat wave yesterday), but I think I can find some Geelong Christmas trees photos for you…. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be lovely. There’s lots more in the fabulous grounds; gardens including a bird garden and a gorgeous lake with a ferry, plus the Christmas market, but due to my bad back we limited our activities to just walking around the house. Thank you, Ivor 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic, What a clever way to make the Christmas tree especially as it’s in a library room. Great imagination. I’m always in awe of people who think these things up. Wonderful photos, Sue and a Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Murphy's Law

    Oh! That book tree is fabulous! As are the decorations made from destroyed books. What incredible creativity. It’s a shame to have to dismantle it.

    Your photos captured Harewood at its finest. Every display is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I’m glad I got to see it!

    Wishing you a happy, healthy Christmas Sue, surrounded by those you love. And may 2020 be a year filled with fun, the love of family and friends, good health and a wealth of ideas for blogs! :~)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As soon as I saw the amazing book tree I knew it was perfect for the planned photo challenge, and after reading your lovely comments I am so pleased I chose to discard the one I’d already written.

      Every room was magnificent, log fires were lit in some of the fireplaces and there were Christmas trees in every room. I am always in awe at the sumptuous furnishings at Harewood and just love reading about the history of the place. The Queen is the Earl’s second cousin, his Grandmother was Princess Mary and great grandfather was King George V.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Ginger. Have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy and healthy new year. 🙂


  4. The book tree–what a clever idea! The servants quarters, in all its simplicity, is really quite lovely. I can see why you enjoy visiting Harewood. I know I would be enchanted. Beautiful post, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Lois, yes, I do love Harewood. I used to take my children when they were young, we would take a picnic lunch and spend the whole day in the grounds. Later I accompanied school trips, all of us with our packed school lunch! It certainly has much to offer, and conveniently, just seven miles away right on my doorstep! Thank you Lois 🙂 Have a Happy Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another lovely post Sue. We are so lucky to be living where we can enjoy historic places like this. Merry Christmas to you – I hope you have an enjoyable time with the family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, such a wonderful idea. The house is magnificent, I love these Stately Homes but especially this one. Thank you, Carolyn, and again I wish you Happy Christmas, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It really does seem to be a ‘Tree’ Christmas. Last year most of the cards we were sent had robins on them. This year there are more with Christmas trees. We were offered a tree for Christmas but there isn’t room in our garden. We already have the dreaded laylandii and lilac and elderberry and snowberry and privet and some decorative bushes including buddleia.
    I wish you all Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems so Julie. We have Leylandii too, but in our case we needed it as windbreak from wind coming across the fields and later for privacy, but we have the Space and it’s under control, but I do know what you mean. We have two large Christmas trees in the garden that once graced our Christmas inside.

      Have a very Happy Christmas Julie and a peaceful New Year.


    1. Sorry for the delay, Sylvia, I’ve had a little Christmas break from blogging. I agree, the book tree is a marvellous idea, how do they think up these ideas?
      I had a wonderful relaxing Christmas, thank you and I hope you did too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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