"... She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs; But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears ..."

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Gardening Year

The gardening year is drawing to a close and I would like to pause to thank Pythouse garden and all the people who mind her for making a place for me here over the previous months.
Heather, the inspirational and hardworking head gardener, who has patiently answered my endless questions - even if she has done her best to dodge my camera.
And Mitch and his staff who have always made me welcome.
I have followed the garden from the first sprigs of spring through the sunshine and rain of a Wiltshire summer and autumn, to the bedding down frosts of the garden at Christmas time.
One of my greatest pleasures has been watching the children playing in the garden,
even if they shouldn't really wade barefoot into the beds!
Shopping in the kitchen garden shop is always much more enjoyable when you meet such rosy faced customers.
I would particularly like to thank Matt and Aggie who have fed me so well,
from breakfast through to ...
lunch ...
and when that was finished there was always cake!
I have talked with friends over late night suppers on a Thursday night
having first wandered around the garden with a glass of wine in my hand.
The year has been a time for sharing conversation under the apple trees
and sharing in the preparations for tea parties,
with spotty cups,
vintage floral china,
plus home made cup-cakes and peach balloons.
I have seen the potting shed decked out in festive bunting,
and have watched the lower orchard prepare for a summer wedding
complete with marquee, lights and country flowers.
It has been a year of enterprise, with markets and pop up shops
and flower workshops.
I have watched the seasons come and go
from sharp sunshine to ghostly mists
and as the year draws to a close
I have been very happy to pull a chair closer to the woodburning stove with more tea and cake close at hand.
So all that is left, is for me to wish Pythouse garden and all those who enjoy her many charms a very happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Contemplating the Year

Earlier this week I was chatting to a couple who are about to embark on the renovation of an old farmhouse and they are contemplating the building of a walled garden, so that the outside as well as the inside, is in keeping with the original period of the house.
They are not sure if they will gain planning permission, but I hope they do as I know better than most what a special place a walled garden can be.
The conversation gets me contemplating too - but for me it is the changes I have seen occurring since I commenced this blog at the beginning of the gardening year that I dwell upon.
As a result, I start looking back at my photographs and marvel at how the garden has changed over the course of the year.
The apple trees in the orchard watched as the spring brought a profusion of early flowers and herbs, the boughs draped in colour during the Easter Fair ...
and now they quietly scatter their leaves as the last of the autumn shades fade.
The gate that leads to the bottom orchard and the bee hives has witnessed the preparation of the beds and the building of twig and twine trellising for beans and fruit.
There have been celebrations here in the sunshine, and towards the end of the summer the gate marked the entrance to a wedding marquee that was erected in the lower garden.
Lanterns were hung from the apple trees and the tables were decorated with summer flowers, some of which had been cut from the garden.
Now the path to the gate is cold and damp under foot and the garden leading down to it has been put to bed for the winter.
I turn instead to the Potting Shed cafe and kitchen shop.
We have decided rather than face the crush of Christmas shopping in Bath, we would be much better off shopping locally and what better place to start making the shopping list than over breakfast by the log burner at Pythouse House Garden.
Who would argue with me?!

Sunday, 13 November 2011


There is something new to enjoy at Pythouse garden for the winter. A bit of retail therapy along with the coffee and the cake.
Daisy and Kim are taking over part of the Potting Shed for the winter (Thur - Sat) with their collection of - it has to be said - rather gorgeous second hand clothes and accessories for women and children.
Daisy used to be a stylist and Kim was an agent for models and actors - so both have a great eye for what looks good.
They started their business using mainly word of mouth, fitting their work around their young children - now they want to bring it to a wider audience and Pythouse seemed the perfect venue. They won't find me arguing with that.
I am particularly taken with a scarf celebrating the french royal gardeners ...
and with this much pink around I make a mental note to bring my daughter Libby here. She will love it.
I have a feeling she will also love the shoes!

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Ghostly Garden

I am on my way to Pythouse walled garden and decide to call in at Sprout & Flower to see my friend Sarah and to buy some pumpkins.
Sarah - who I have always secretly thought was a white witch - has her broom parked outside the shop in between the pumpkins and the crate of heather.
She tells me business is good. And whilst I am there the shop is buzzing with customers looking for fruit and veg and fresh bread.
At Pythouse garden they are busy getting ready for a Halloween party.
Most of the pumpkins have now been decorated or Matt the chef has got his hands on them for a big batch of pumpkin soup.
There may not be many pumpkins left to buy but there are splashes of autumnal orange all around the garden.
And in the potting shed there are loops of Halloween streamers,
and ghoulish ghostly faces.
Perhaps my favourite though are the Halloween cup-cakes.
Not to be outdone we head home with our pumpkins,
although I have to admit I think 8 year old Elena, who is staying with us, makes a better job of it than I could have done!