We started our trip with a wander in the woods but took a wrong turn along the forest path and ended up in an overgrown swamp seemingly miles away from anywhere. With my vintage silk kaftan tucked in my knickers to avoid being torn to pieces by brambles and trying our best to avoid the ankle-high mud, we eventually found a farmer's fence to climb over and eventually reached the main road scratched, muddy and, in Jon's case, covered in bites.
It's lovely that we no longer have to pre-book our National Trust visits, a welcome return to spontaneity. With distancing restrictions lifted, the previously rigid one-way system had been relaxed. Parts of the garden that had been closed previously were now accessible, including the fabulous kitchen garden where we compared the progress of our crops with theirs.
The planting along the pathway to the summer house reminded us of Stonecroft's, chaotic, colourful and alive with pollinators and plant hollyhocks, went straight to the top of the mental garden to-do list for next summer.