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Posts from the ‘England’ category

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, UK

While I was touring homes and gardens of the National Trust and National Garden Scheme this year, there were also two independent gardens that were recommended to me by my hostess at the Potting Shed. One was Pashley Manor near Ticehurst in Sussex. One afternoon we made our way there………

The land was owned by the family of Passelewe or Passele, a prominent family in medieval times. Simon Passelewe held many judicial posts including that of Justice of the Jews in the reign of Henry III, but his prominent role was extorting money from religious houses on behalf of the king. Sir Edmund de Passele, in 1317, built a hunting lodge on an island that fills the greater part of the largest of three ponds.  On his death it took twenty years to solve the dispute over his property because two wives claimed his inheritance and one was willing to murder in order to keep the inheritance for herself and the children. During the War of the Roses, around 1454, Sir Geoffrey Bulleyn, great-grandfather of Ann Bulleyn, a prosperous merchant and Lord Mayor of London, bought the property. The property consisted of 600 acres of land, a garden, watermill and an iron furnace.

Then over the next several hundred years the property changed hands many times and in 1922 Dr Hollist sold the estate and it sat vacant up to 1945, when it was occupied by troops and families escaping the bombings of London, for brief periods of time during the war.

The present owner bought Pashley Manor in 1945, as it was, then described as a haunted house. In 1950 going from the Grimm’s sketches of the manor from 1780, that were found in the Burrell Collection at the British Museum, the family was encouraged to restore the manor to it’s original closely timbered look from the early seventeenth century. The ivy on the house, was held in place by thick wire, and was a foot thick, but seemed to be a protective layer against the weather, and the boarding underneath was well preserved. The original color of the house was a hot shade of ochre yellow with dark brown trim!  Even the brickwork was washed over in a dingy yellow, but now over the years most of the bricks have faded to a warm red. The wash that was placed over the hot yellow ochre turned the house into a soft shade of pink and I found it quite striking! It is the first thing that gets your attention as you enter the long driveway to the house and gardens!

The Landscape of Pashley Manor

The Landscape of Pashley Manor

The Driveway of Pashley Manor

The Driveway of Pashley Manor

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, UK

The first sculpture as you enter the garden is His Eminence from Pisa!

His Eminence from Pisa, Pashley Garden

His Eminence from Pisa, Pashley Garden

His Eminence from Pisa, Pashley Garden

His Eminence from Pisa, Pashley Garden

We were soon to discover this is no ordinary garden! This garden shows off beautiful sculptures as well, from April through September. Twenty-three artists offer one hundred and thirty pieces of their artwork for viewing throughout the garden, and they are for sale also! Each piece is marked with a sign from the designer. Oh my, we are in for a treat! Let’s go in!

The Rose

The Rose, Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

The garden was meticulous! The flowers breathtaking, so let’s just wonder!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

There are the formal gardens, the rolling countryside and three ponds to wonder about!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Each piece of artwork was in a perfect spot in the garden to show it off!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

I liked the use of twigs to make a fencing and to support the plants.

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

There is also a fine restaurant on the premises as well as a gift shop!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Without a doubt my favorite flower was this one!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

There were sculptures everywhere!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

This was my favorite groundcover, saxifragis x urbium.  It is called “London Pride,” and has been grown along garden paths since the 1700’s. It has a fragile, spiky, soft pink flower in spring. Many of the elderly folks are drawn to this plant because they are reminded of their time in the war and Noël Coward’s song, by the same name, recorded during the Blitz. Cuttings from this plant quickly re-colonized at bomb sites and reminded Londeners that they too could re-build and move forward!  Listen to it Here! Do any of you remember it? The video and music is a tear jerker!

Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

London Pride, Pashley Garden, Ticehurst, UK

There is so much to see and admire in this garden. We’ll be back tomorrow! See you in the garden!

 

 

The Hoare House, aka Stourhead, a National Trust Estate

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

I’m back from my “Garden Tour of England” and as you have learned from the previous post, written by the garden fairies here at The End Cottage, we are caught up with my own garden chores and all the guests are back home! Hence the delay in sharing my adventure!

It takes me months to plan which National Trust properties I will visit. After I decide on the properties I determine as many public and private gardens as I can in close proximity to the National Trust sights that I have picked out, and voila, my schedule of touring is complete! There is so much to see and do! So, let’s take a walk through the grounds and home of the Hoare family, here at Stourhead. It is the first of many delights this year on my Garden Tour of England. I have separated the posts into the house and to follow, the gardens.

The Story of Harry……… really it starts with all those Henrys and Richards in the Hoare family, who had nicknames of “good,” “magnificent,” and “naughty” to tell them apart. Sir Richard Hoare, was a goldsmith, in 1673, in London. Goldsmiths had secure premises and were the storehouses for cash and valuables so they were in a unique position to start a system of banking: lending their customers money for interest. He was granted the Freedom of the Goldsmith’s Company on July 5th, 1672 and this marked the foundation of the Hoare’s Bank. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1702 and then became Lord Mayor of London in 1712. His son, Good Henry, was a partner in the family bank, Hoare and Co. Henry the Good, lived at the bank during the week and wanted a country estate for holidays and leisure. In 1717 he bought the medieval Stourton estate for 14,000 pounds and renamed it Stourhead after the source of the Stour River. He built Stourhead House based on a 16th century Venetian villa, but died before his grand design was completed.  Henry Hoare, “the Magnificent,” grandson of Richard, and son of Henry the Good, dominated the family with his wealth and personal charisma and was a great patron of the arts. He expanded the estate and the gardens that were considered a showcase. The garden was completed in 1770 and it’s fame spread quickly and became a must see destination with the breathtaking landscape and classical temples set around the lake. The grounds included a Grotto, a Gothic Cottage, the Pantheon, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Flora.

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare (perhaps the naughty) and his wife Augusta inherited Stourhead in 1883, but it soon spiraled into decay when costs grew impossible to manage, because she loved living in the country and he preferred city life. Ainslie’s flamboyant lifestyle forced him to leave the bank and auction Stourhead paintings, furniture and books. He left Stourhead in 1885.

In 1894, after the death of his cousin, Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare and his wife Alda, inherited the unoccupied house that had sat empty for 10 years and the 2,650 acre estate with the run down, neglected and overgrown gardens. They decided to pack up and leave their home, Wavendom in Buckinghamshire, and move with their son, Harry Hoare, to Stourhead, to create a special home for their only son. Harry and his parents loved the estate and worked hard to make it the beauty it once had been.

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

I love that Poppy Red Color!

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

In 1902, a fire broke out in a chimney and burned for hours. The center of the house collapsed from the attic down to the cellars. The family, servants, gardeners, estate workers and farm hands worked to salvage as much as possible from the burning building. Paintings were cut from their frames and furniture was thrown out of windows. The Hoares worked again to restore the house they so loved, especially  for Harry, since he had grown up here and loved every inch of the place and this would always be his home. As you can see from the many rooms of Stourhead, saving everything would have been quite a challenge! It was vast with huge collections of Everything!

On August 1, 1914, Harry joined the Dorset Yeomanry and within a week he was no longer the estate manager, working for his father, but a soldier fighting for his country. His military career was plagued with injury and ill health and every time he was taken ill he would return to Stourhead to be cared for by his parents. After each recovery Harry returned to the battlefield.

During WWI the house and grounds were opened to the “Tommies” from the nearby Red Cross Hospital at Mere. Alda made arrangement for the soldiers to have outings on the property. Especially popular with the men was  fishing in the Flora Bay and afterwards Alda would serve tea to all the boys at The Flora Temple. Flowers, grapes and vegetables were also sent to support the troops at the hospital.

On December 19, 1917, Captain Henry Holt Arthur Hoare (Harry), was shot in the lungs at the Battle of El Mugher in Palestine and died of his wounds in Raseltin Hospital in Alexandria. He was buried in the Hadra Military Cemetery there. Harry’s parents were devastated after his untimely death and made plans to bequeath the home and grounds to charity, opening the estate to visitors. On show days visitors were shown around by the butler or the head housemaid, following strict rules. In 1946, one year before the death of Harry’s father, the estate was split and half was gifted to the National Trust and half remains in family ownership.

Visiting this extraordinary house and gardens was made that much more interesting by learning about the family, the house and grounds. That’s what makes the estates in the National Trust so interesting, they are preserving History! Particularly fun was the large display of 19th century women’s hats found in the estate ticket office! Women and children spent a lot of time trying on the hats and primping in front of the mirrors! A first for me in a National Trust property!

Hoare and Co. is the oldest private bank in the United Kingdom. As the business prospered it was moved to 37 Fleet Street, where it still is today and run by the 11th generation of Hoare’s direct descendants.

Next we’ll visit the Gardens at Stourhead! See you there!

Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola; Denim

Denim Along the Walkway

Denim Along the Walkway

The first collection of Crayola Crayons, a safe affordable wax crayon, was produced in 1903. The first box, Box 30, contained 30 unwrapped colors. Soon that was converted to Box 51, a box of 28 wrapped crayons. Box 54 contained the 8 classic colors and sold for a nickel.

In 1904, Binney and Smith won the Gold Medal during the St Louis World’s Fair. Their entry was actually for their dustless chalk, but it was the foundation of their “Gold Medal” packaging, in which they featured the gold medal on the front of their crayon boxes for the next 50 years.

Denim was added to the collection in 1993.

This post is just one of many in the Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola Challenge! Enjoy!

Let the Feast Begin!

The Swan Restaurant at Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The Swan Restaurant at Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving with our family, enjoying turkey and all the trimmings! In my last post I talked about the Chapel Down Winery and the beautiful Swan Restaurant. So here is the food you might be eating if you were in the UK today. It’s the traditional Sunday roast and more! Enjoy your day!

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

There is an area for relaxing and drinking their fine sparkling wines and Curious Beers! A great place to meet up!

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

There is also the dining room area for eating the tempting meals! So many choices!!!!!

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

We chose from the gathering menu, which routinely changes during the season! Three courses with different wines served with each! First the appetizer, with wine………….

The Appetizers, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Appetizers, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Appetizers, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Appetizers, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

Then we ordered the Yorkshire Pudding plate because we have never eaten Yorkshire pudding! If you are expecting a crystal, fluted cup with a yummy, creamy, thick, sweet pudding, topped with real whipped cream, you will be quite surprised!  We were!!!!!!!!!! Read about Yorkshire pudding, with recipe, here. The article is quite amusing!!!!!  The mushroom looking bread in the picture is Yorkshire pudding! It is neither a traditional pudding as we know it, or from Yorkshire!!!!!! It was served with a cauliflower gratin!!!!! Yummmmmmy!

THE YORKSHIRE PUDDING!

THE YORKSHIRE PUDDING!

The main course and of course more wine……………..

The Traditional Sunday Roast, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Traditional Sunday Roast, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Pork, Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Pork Loin, Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Deserts, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Deserts, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The deserts served with………… you guessed it, another glass of sparkly!

The Deserts, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

The Deserts, The Swan Restaurant, Kent, UK

Were those bowler hats used as lighting or was I seeing things?

What are bowler hats exactly?……. I’ve had so much wine, now I am thinking about Bowler hats!!!! Definition: Known as a bob hat, billycock or bobkin, it is made of hard felt with a round crown created for the British soldier in 1849.  Now all I can think about is The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan! Time to go home!!!! I’ve had a really good day! See you soon!

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The Swan Restaurant, Chapel Down Winery, Kent, UK

The National Trust: Chartwell, Home of Winston Churchill

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

To my surprise, one of the National Trust estates that I liked the best was Chartwell, the principle home of Winston Churchill.  I knew my husband would like it. I thought there would be several military rooms and manly stuff. I was pleasantly surprised at how “down to earth and homey” it was. I didn’t realize Winston Churchill liked to paint. There are beautiful water color paintings throughout the home, that he painted. The house commands a spectacular view across the Weald of Kent, the primary reason for it’s purchase, since the farmhouse “had no architectural merit.” The gardens and surrounding countryside were inspirational for Churchill’s paintings. The entire home has been preserved as it would have looked when Churchill owned the home, with original furniture, books, and some of the medals and honors that Churchill received. His wife, Clementine, left her mark in the gardens. The Golden Rose Garden, a gift from their children for their Golden Wedding Anniversary, is not to be missed. A rock garden feature caught Lady Churchill’s eye at the 1948 Chelsea Flower Show and the designer, Gavin Jones, gave it to her! There is a large kitchen garden which produced hampers of food for the Churchill’s London home or for 10 Downing Street, when they were away from Chartwell. The hampers of vegetables were sent by car every Monday and by train on Thursdays, to the cook, Mrs. Georgina Landemare. Churchill built the walls around the gardens himself (at ninety bricks per hour; (he timed himself)  and their pets Rufus I and Rufus II are buried in the gardens, just like we would do. There is a cottage/playhouse (called Marycot) in the garden, built for their youngest daughter, Mary. They seemed like down to earth people to me!

This is what I learned………. about Chartwell.

The site was built upon as early as the 16th century when the estate was called, “Well Street.”  There was a well at the north side of the house called, Chart Well. “Chart” is an Old English word for rough ground. Henry VIII is reputed to have stayed here when he was courting Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle. In the 19th century it was a red-brick farmhouse of tile-hung gables and poky windows.

The Churchill’s bought the property in 1922, which consisted of the main farmhouse on eighty acres and three cottages. They immediately set out to renovate and update the home. I liked it because it was so light and airy with beautiful views from all the windows. The home eventually contained five reception rooms, nineteen bed and dressing rooms, eight bathrooms and a heated and floodlit swimming pool. There was also a water garden where he fed his fish and small lakes were created from dams, and were linked by steps descending from the farmhouse terraces. It was overall very tranquil. Churchill often commented, “A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted.”

In 1938, Churchill suffered big losses on Wall Street and put the estate up for sale. The industrialist, Sir Henry Strakosch, agreed to take over Churchill’s stock market shares for three years, and paid off all the debts. During WWII the home was mostly unused, due to it’s exposed position on the hill and being so near the English Channel and German occupied France. It would be potentially vulnerable to German air attacks or commando raids. The Churchill’s spent their weekends at Ditchley, in Oxfordshire, or their official country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire.

In 1946 the Churchill’s  could no longer afford to keep up the property, so a consortium of wealthy businessmen purchased the estate and arranged a nominal rent so the Churchills could live there until their deaths. Churchill died in 1965 and Lady Churchill decided to present the property to the National Trust at that time as pre-arranged. I think this home may have brought back too many memories for her.  

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Let’s take a look at this beautiful estate. First, the home. No pictures allowed inside, so we’ll see it from every angle outside! Most pictures get a look at Clementine’s roses too!

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Let’s sit awhile and just enjoy the view from the terrace! I LOVED this table!

A Unique Table on One the Terraces Overlooking the Grounds, Chartwell, UK

A Unique Table on One the Terraces Overlooking the Grounds, Chartwell, UK

The Open Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

The Open Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

The Open Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

The Open Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

I could be very happy in one of the cottages found behind the garden walls!

One of Three Cottages on the Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

One of Three Cottages on the Grounds of Chartwell, Kent, UK

A tip: Get to Chartwell early in the day. The admissions are timed, so you may have to wait to get inside the grounds, although that might be a blessing as there is a fabulous cafe there called, “Landemare”, after their cook. There are Chalkboards everywhere on the grounds with quotes from Winston Churchill! 

Cafe Landemare, Charwell, kent, UK

Cafe Landemare, Charwell, Kent, UK

Cafe Landemare, Charwell, Kent, UK

Cafe Landemare, Charwell, Kent, UK

Also, as with most National Trust properties, there is a gift shop you could spend hours in. Or you can look over lots of plants that are available to purchase and take home. Oh, if I only lived in England! I would need an 80 acre garden for all my National Trust plants! Tomorrow let’s walk through the fabulous gardens of Chartwell!

Plants For Sale, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Plants For Sale, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Plants For Sale, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

Plants For Sale, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, UK

An Adventure in Gardens, the Weald of Kent

A Garden in Kent UK

A Garden in Kent UK

Of all the delectable islands, the Neverland is the snuggest & most compact…… not large and sprawling, you know, with tedious distance between one adventure & another, but nicely crammed. 

J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.

The Yellow Flowers

The Yellow Flowers

When it comes to gardens I like nothing better than to stroll, admire the collections of beautiful flowers, and imagine the inhabitants of the house and how they like to garden. I especially like the messy, scattered garden with vines dripping over the garden gate, and paths that invite you to explore. It’s even better if there is a flower box of riotous color haphazardly framing the window ledges of the small cottage, nestled in the garden, as if just plunked in, as an after thought. Pieces of art and sculpture placed in a specific spot draw your eye and add to the charm of the garden. I have just returned from several weeks in the United Kingdom, specifically in Kent and Sussex, traipsing through local gardens and visiting magnificent estate homes with acres and acres of gardens. Whew!  We lodged in a barn in the middle of the weald, down a mile-long gravel road, wide enough for one car at a time, passing by the field of rabbit warrens and watching for the hop of a bunny on our daily treks into the countryside.

Planning our adventure was one of the fun “bits.” I love the “planning” part! Where to go, what to see? One thing leads to another. First, I looked for places I knew would be of interest. What about the Chelsea Flower Show? No, too crowded and I wanted more rural. Hever Castle during Rose Week? Closer, but not quite right. Then I read a wonderful book, called A Fine Romance, by Susan Branch. It’s about falling in love with the English countryside and her adventures when visiting England.

A Fine Romance

A Fine Romance

I loved it and the more I read the more I was drawn to Kent  and the village of Tenterden. So, I set out to learn all about Kent and especially Tenterden. I also learned more about the National Trust.  The National Trust, since 1895, has been preserving the countryside and hundreds of historic properties in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. I first heard of it when reading all about Beatrix Potter and her home in the Lake District, which was left to the National Trust. The properties restored include huge estates to the small and quirky. Just right up my alley. So our first priority was to join the National Trust, (it’s called the “Royal Oak Society “ in the U.S ) which allowed us to receive a handbook with maps of all the places to visit with the National Trust and a pass to get in all of them for a year and a pass for parking at the different locations.

National Trust Book

National Trust Book 2015

What a must this is!  You don’t realize all the places available to visit until to see them on the maps! So that was a reference point to start with. Where could we set up our “base camp” closest to the sites we wanted to see? Well it still remained Tenterden for us. Then I heard about the National Garden Scheme. What in the world was that? Had to research it before final decisions were made!

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 to open “gardens of quality, character and interest to the public for charity.”  Originally the admission fees raised money for district nurses. This was changed in 1948 with the formation of the National Health Service. The National Gardens Scheme has given more than 43 million pounds to nursing and care facilities since the time it opened. Since I am a retired RN this was near and dear to my heart.  These are “local” gardeners and their gardens. No big estates, (but some seemed to me like they were!) One woman I was chatting with on our walk through a local garden invited me to her garden, as well, which was not on the list, but exclaimed, “it’s only 12 acres, of course.”  So as you can imagine, we visited the “potager,” snuggled behind the small cottage, to large landscaped gardens with “rooms” of flowering blooms. All gardeners were proud of their gardens, more than willing to tell you about them and happy that they were able to do their “bit.”

In 2013 there were over 3700 gardens open, which were all vetted to make sure they are all of sufficient interest. Each gardener opens his garden (usually on a weekend), one or two days during the year. I was so excited! But, it takes some planning! “The National Garden Schemes, “Yellow Book”,” can be purchased each year, which lists all the gardens and when they will be open.

The Yellow Book 2015

The Yellow Book 2015

Maps, directions, type of garden, and particular interest are included. We were really in the thick of the countryside when directions would reveal, “just go down the gravel road for a mile and then when you get to the yellow mailbox turn right on that gravel road and proceed on to the canal road and windmill place. Light refreshments offered.”

The Countryside Garden

The Countryside Garden

In the Garden

Tea In the Garden

This as going to be one of our best adventures! So after months of looking up gardens and coordinating them with places on the National Trust we were ready to make our way to the “Garden of England,” Kent. We were about to set off on a gardener’s dream! See you tomorrow on our way to the garden!

Spring Time Fun and the Hot Cross Bun!

 

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns

 

Spring time offers foods which are rich in history and symbolism. These foods can be broken down into three groups: 1. Food specifically related to Christ, such as ( lamb, for “the lamb of God.”)  Easter was the time to start eating the season’s new lamb. 2. Food related to pagan rites of spring (eggs for re-birth) (ham for luck), (lamb for sacrifice) and (cake/bread for fertility) 3. Modern foods such as candy and the Easter basket.

Eggs are traditionally connected with re-birth, rejuvenation and immortality. This is why they are celebrated at Easter. In the early Christian times eggs were forbidden during Lent, so this made them bountiful and exciting, forty days later. They were dyed or decorated in bright colors to honor this celebration. Red eggs brought to the table on Easter Sunday symbolized life, and were given as emblems of friendship.  Eggs with the pattern “XV” etched on them stood for “Christ is Risen”, a traditional Easter greeting. We hunt for eggs during an Easter Egg Hunt to identify with riches. Eggs were a treasure, a bounty of nature, and the treasures were deposited by hens in unsuspecting places. To find such a hidden nest was equal to finding a hidden treasure.

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns!

The Baked Hot Cross Buns!

The word “Easter” came from the name for the anglo saxon goddess of light and spring, Eostre.  Special dishes were cooked in her honor so that the year would bring fertility.  Most important of these dishes was a tiny cake or small spiced bun. The association of protection and fertility, birth and re-birth, became a Christian tradition, especially in English society. During Tudor times, the English custom of eating spiced buns on Good Friday was established when a London by-law was introduced forbidding the sale of such buns except on Good Friday, Christmas and burials. Issued in 1592, the thirty-six year of Queen Elizabeth I, by the London Clerk of Markets the proclamation read: That no bakers at any time or time hereafter make, utter or sell by retail, within or without their houses, unto any of the Queen’s subjects any spice cakes, buns, biscuits  or other spice bread except at burials or on the Friday before Easter or at Christmas, upon pain of death or forfeiture of all such spiced bread to the poor. A cross was etched or decorated on the bun to represent Christ’s Cross. “One-a-penny, two-a penny, hot cross buns”, was the call of the day. Superstitions regarding bread that was baked on Good Friday date back to a very early period. In England particularly, people believed that bread baked on this day could be hardened in the oven and kept all year to protect the house from fire. Sailors took loaves of it on their voyages to prevent shipwreck and a Good Friday loaf buried in a heap of corn kept away rats, mice and weevils. They also hung hot cross buns in the house on Good Friday to protect them from bad luck during the year and finely grated bread, mixed with water was sometimes used as medicine.

The Hot Cross Buns!

The Hot Cross Buns for Gifts!

Bath buns, hot cross buns, spice buns, penny buns, Chelsea buns, ( hot cross buns sold in great quantity by the Chelsea Bun House in the 18th century) and currant buns; all small, plump, sweet, fermented cakes that are English institutions! Join me today as I bake my hot cross buns! To enjoy this recipe too see, Hot Cross Buns on the King Arthur Webpage !  My favorite place for baking needs! Happy Easter!

My First Guest Post: Following the Path

 

Richard Edwin Denhart

Richard Edwin Denhart

This week I had the pleasure to write my first guest post! During the weeks of the Blogging University 201 I met several new friends. One new friend, Dominic, writes two very successful blogs;  The Flibberatic Skreeblles  is about genealogy and more and the other, A Wiltshire Garden , about his garden in the UK.  So we decided to exchange posts and his post on gardening in the UK will be posted here in the upcoming weeks. My post, on my family and tracing my roots, Following the Path, was posted on his site May 16th. Check it out won’t you?  And enjoy! The picture of the handsome young sailor is my father!

Kundo

Finding myself through living my life for the first time or just my boring, absurd thoughts

Cath's Camera

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Weekly Prompts

Your second chance to be creative. .

Nan's Farm-Inside Out

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Chasing the Blooms

Developing my love and knowledge of nature, including flowers, critters and environmental concepts as I enjoy God's rich creation.

The Library Lady Travels

If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad - Jane Austin

CopplestoneKates Blog

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Steve's Garden Blog

All about my garden and garden related things

Happy Outdoors

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My Tiny Welsh Garden

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Hairbells and Maples

Gardening, self-sufficiency, exploring, photography

My Secret Garden

Everything I know about gardening I've learnt from a combination of my mum, Carol Klein and Monty Don. My garden is a tiny 2x3m yard requiring a lot of TLC...

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Enthusiastic Gardener

Gardening, gardens, & plants in London, Suffolk, & abroad

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Ben's Botanics

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