Thursday 3 September 2015


. . . and a jolly chilly early morning it is too.  I had to pop out to the freezer to get something to defrost for dinner tonight and I was jolly glad of my slippers and dressing gown.  It's fine though - no rain, although it wasn't possible to see how much cloud there is (still dark).

Yesterday my guests and I did something I've  wanted to do for ages and that is to visit the Beth Chatto Gardens.  It's a very easy drive from here - just three roads once one is onto the A12 - and takes less than an hour from door to door.
The gravel garden, borrowed from Google.
It's a lovely place.  Not huge but packed with plants and such a wonderful layout that it feels a lot bigger than it really is.  We didn't see everything by any means and will have to go back there again - and again!  I took some photos but my old PC is being awkward about uploading them at the moment and my cloud thingy isn't set up for my new laptop yet, so I will have to work round it.

The weather was wonderful during the drive and we decided to have lunch before walking.  Of course, as soon as we had finished lunch the rain started and it was a short but very sharp shower.  Fortunately there are some under cover plants as part of the shop so we looked around there while the rain hammered on the plastic roof and I started thinking about the planting at the front of my garden which is somewhat less than inspiring except for the weeds which are really most remarkable right now!

I have a heuchera at the back which is being crowded out and the crowding plant needs splitting, so both could go to the front.  I have a hosta in a pot (rescued from Morrisons) which could also go in as hostas like shady conditions and I think I want to get another Japanese anemone.  That, with what is already there, should make a good show at the front which is in shade for most of the day.  Before I do any of that, however, it needs a good weed and a good feed.

Dinner last night was delicious.  I had a little ham from Aldi which I had boiled up.  I cooked new potatoes and cauliflower in my steamer and in the top layer I put the sliced ham, wrapped in parchment paper which heated it up beautifully.  I cooked runner beans (so delicious) and made a spicy barbecue-y, tomato based sauce to have as a gravy and it was so nice I have blogged about it in my recipe blog.

Today two of us are off into town to 'do' Lakeland and a few other shops.  Then - well, we will see how we feel.  It will be sweet though because if this was any other year I would be spending this,  the first day of the new school year, in a long staff meeting/INSET and then in my bay getting my classroom completely ready.  But I'm not!  Instead I will be sauntering around town putting my mind to more weighty considerations such as 'Should I buy a jelly bag?' or 'How many boxes of poly bags shall I get?'

Well, light is now dawning, I need a coffee and then I must get myself ready before the breakfast rush!  I hope your day goes well, wherever you are.

Breakfast:  Melon, toast and jam
Lunch:  Soup and bread
Dinner:  Lasagne, side salad, garlic bread, cheese and biscuits.


  1. I agree Beth Chatto's garden is wonderful, one of the jewels of British Gardens.

  2. Isn't it? And, at the same time, very realistic, designed for Essex with all its particular peculiarities. I will definitely be going beck there at some point.
    J x