Tag Archives: England

Spring At Last!

IMG_1313 copy

14th April 2013

As the temperatures soared yesterday after the longest coldest winter stint we have had here in years, the little magnolia stellata which had formed its flower buds last autumn sometime, started to unfurl its pretty blossoms by the back door.

I imagine a wave of blossom spreading across our country this week and there is nothing quite like the boost it gives to our senses.

From the lurid yellow of forsythia tumbling over every other front fence, to swathes of daffodils, primroses and celandine, starry wood anenomes, cherries and plums, blackthorn and horse chestnuts with their soft new leaves and pink and white flowers – I am so excited – I don’t want to miss any of it!

Zeb Bakes Copyright Magnolia Stellata


Bassenthwaite – Snow on the Tops

Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Brian Kent, copyright

Leaving the Lake District I always wonder why I am going and when I will be back… The last time we stopped on the way and looked at the clouds and the water and then got back in the car and drove the long drive down the motorways to the place we call home.  I put this photo of Brian’s on my desktop and it has been there ever since, reminding me that there is a big wide world out there and much of it is beautiful.

Do you keep favourite photos on your desktop?  Do you have places you long to return to?

Snowdrops at Painswick – dogs allowed!

Zeb is fond of gardens which allow well behaved dogs in on leads like Painswick Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire. Home of a zillion snowdrops for three precious weeks in February!

Red House at Painswick, GloucestershireGarden History has become very popular in England since the 1970s and has gone hand in hand with the restoration of  many lost and overgrown gardens from the grand gardens at Hampton Court to this small 18th century hillside gem. The West of England is full of wonderful places to visit, (well England as a whole is stuffed with gardens but I thought I should plug my region here,)  and if you like a few follies thrown in with your herbaceous borders,  then this is the place to come.

This week the sun shone and we headed off to see the snowdrops which we missed last year. Painswick Rococo Garden is reputed to have one of the greatest collections of naturalistic plantings of this beautiful early flower in the country. As we drove home we saw more spreading over banks by the road. En masse they all look very similar, but there are different species and they are avidly collected by snowdrop fanciers.

It’s a lovely place for a wander in the summer too, with its espaliered apples, and traditional vegetable beds, friendly gardeners, and shady promenades, a perfect setting for a Jane Austen afternoon outing.

There is always a great cup of tea and a wodge of homemade cake at the end of your ramble.

We had a pot of Earl Grey and a shared slice of fresh coffee cake once we had clambered up the hillside past the Eagle House, having visited the Pigeonnier, looked into the clarity of the Plunge Pool, admired the vista from in front of the Exedra  and generally mooched about in this 18th Century Pleasure Garden.

All photos by Brian!