Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sunday morning

Yesterday was one of those lovely, perfect days that happen occasionally. The mix has to be right - the circumstances have to be gently memorable but one has to be in the right place mentally and emotionally too. When all things come together, it's just beautiful. For me, yesterday was just such a day.

After pottering around the house doing this, that and the other, I managed to leave the house at the planned time (most unusual for me) and had a very easy journey up to Mum and Dad's. I knew we were going out somewhere after lunch but they refused to tell me where! After ten minutes drive in the car, Dad turned off the road and before us (my parents, Jacqui from next door and me) was a whole sea of purple and the air was filled with my favourite scent. A lavender farm! Near Hitchin. I had no idea such a thing existed. It's actually part of a much larger working farm and in recent years they have devoted some space to growing various kinds of lavender. You bring your scissors, you pay the entry fee and you snip, snip, snip your way up the hill and back down again, filling the bag that they give you when you pay. The views from the top of the hill were wonderful, it was warm and sunny but not baking hot and, despite the stony ground, my ankle held out and didn't turn over once (although it's somewhat stiff and achey now). Next to the lavender was a broad yellow stripe of sunflowers which are just coming into flower. Of course I was click, click, clicking with my camera and I think I might have taken a few good-ish shots but, stupidly, I left the card reader thingy at home, so can't upload anything today.
After we had picked our bagful, we went into the barn and had very welcome refreshment in the guise of a pot of tea each. Finally, I bought a couple of lavender plants and we went home.

I was well pleased with the plants. A couple of weeks ago, if you remember, I talked about taking the French lavender out of the flower bed it was in, as it had become too woody and lanky. I went to the garden centre to get a replacement but the only ones they had were in large pots and cost the earth, so I didn't bother. The other, just a bog-standard lavender, will go in a pot for now. I think I will take cuttings from the plant at the front as soon as I have harvested the flowers there (next week) and then replace that plant with the one I have just bought after that or maybe after next year, depending on how it looks after it's all been chopped back. Also I need to cut back the sage which grows next to the discarded lavender at the back so it looks as if tomorrow afternoon will need to be spent in the garden (so it's guaranteed to rain)!

I'm not quite sure what to do with the sage. I will have to cut loads and it's not a herb I use all that much - not as much as I'm going to cut anyway! I guess it will go into the freezer and I might have another go at drying a bit of it, giving it less time that I did the mint, which ended up a tasteless, scentless crumble of powder which had to be thrown away.

Anyway, back to yesterday. Home we went and shortly after that we set off for the local Chinese where we had a very delicious meal and a great natter.

So, although nothing exciting happened, it was just a very lovely day and one I will remember for a long time. A great start to the long holiday. If you're in the area at the right time of year it is well worth a visit.

Plenty of photos tomorrow and for the rest of this week!

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