I had to double check the clock when I got up on Monday morning (day 150) as it was so dark but, yes, it really was 6.15am. Neither of the lads were keen on going out in the rain & the murk and who could blame them? We'd all been spoilt by last week's lovely weather. After my Wii Fit session I caught up with blogland and had just finished when Jon emerged and we had our fruit & yogurt breakfast.
|WEARING: Anokhi block printed midi dress (bought in Mumbai, Feb 2020)|
We'd just harvested some lollo rosso, rocket, oriental salad leaves & a solitary radish to have with our tea, just before a violent rainstorm had us running for cover. Jon had a text from a vintage trader friend checking if we were in as he was stuck in traffic on his way from Manchester to London. It was lovely to have a catch-up, normally our paths cross at festivals and vintage fairs but obviously we'd not done any this year. Like us, lockdown had been a bit of an epiphany for both him & his partner, and five months of being at home, doing jobs on the house, pottering around the garden and spending time with their beloved dogs have led them to reassess their lives, a move abroad may even be imminent.
We waved him off just as the next rainstorm hit, this time accompanied by rumbling thunder. We ate the rest of the posh pizza we'd had for tea the other night along with salad. Later we started to watch an absolutely fascinating new series on BBC4, African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power.
On Tuesday (day 151), after my Wii Fit session and our fruit & yogurt breakfast, Jon filled the flask & made sandwiches and we headed off to explore another garden.
This week we were exploring Hidcote Manor situated just outside Chipping Campden in the glorious Cotswolds, the best known and most influential Arts & Crafts garden in the UK and just over an hour's drive from home.
Americans, Lawrence Johnston and his mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop, moved to the UK in 1900. Lawrence immediately became a British citizen and fought in the Boer War with the British army. In 1907 Gertrude purchased the Hidcote Manor Estate, situated in a part of Britain with strong connections to the Arts & Crafts movement.
Lawrence, by now a Major, became interested in turning the fields around the 17th Century manor house into a garden. By 1910 he had begun to lay out the key features of the garden, and by the 1920s he had twelve full-time gardeners working for him.After World War II he spent most of his time at Jardin Serre de la Madone, his garden in the south of France and in 1947 he entrusted Hidcote to the National Trust.
Lawrence was influenced in creating his garden at Hidcote by the work of Alfred Parsons and Gertrude Jekyell, who were designing gardens of hardy plants contained within sequences of outdoor "rooms". Hidcote's outdoor rooms have various characters and themes, achieved by the use of box hedges, hornbeam, yew and stone walls. These rooms, such as the 'White Garden' and 'Fuchsia Garden' are linked, some by vistas, and furnished with topiaries. Some have ponds and fountains, and all are planted with flowers in bedding schemes.
I can honestly say Hidcote is the most beautiful National Trust garden we've visited and we were really lucky with the weather, managing to escape the violent rainstorms & thunder we've been plagued with since the weekend.
The car park was absolutely rammed but, due to the National Trust's rigid one way system, you'd never tell by these photos that we were sharing our visit with a hundred other people.
After our sandwiches and tea we headed back to Walsall. Our gardening plans for the afternoon were scuppered by the on-off torrential rain showers so we had a lazy afternoon, me editing photos and Jon designing an irrigation system for my patio plants just in case we do manage to get away next month.
Tea will be butternut and sage ravioli in a homemade tomato sauce (the pasta is from Morrison's chilled cabinet!) Tonight we'll be watching Monty Don visiting the finest gardens in Northern Europe although I think he'd be hard pressed to find better then Hidcote Manor.
Stay safe and see you soon!