Some visitors were already in situ and enjoying the scent!
It was very good of my Dad to wear a shirt which went with the colours of the rose! There he is, doing what he does best, the Telegraph crossword and whiskey (not forgetting the DIY - that's to come)!
My mum has worked so hard in the garden for us (can't imagine my parents will be rushing back for a repeat visit anytime soon!), it was pretty overgrown when we arrived as we currently need to find another gardener. I wish I had taken a "before" photo on Thursday because by Sunday, it was looking quite pretty and much tidier.
Mademoiselle Fifi, the friendly but rather zany cat from next door, was happy making herself at home in my "six hills giant" cat mint!
What captivated us all the most in the garden, though, was the family of blue tits in the nesting box. Throughout Sunday, one of the babies was ready to fledge and kept poking his little head out of the hole! So sad that we have now had to come home and can't keep an eye on their progress anymore. Good luck, little birds.
Master Munchkin, having read Enid Blyton's "Mr Galliano's Circus", was lured outside with drawing and colouring materials, whereupon he proceeded to draw his own big top. What a poseur this boy is!
It all proved far too tiring for some of the more senior members...
Meanwhile, Mum, the Munchkin and I went on a little trip to the cider farm which turned into what the Munchkin excitingly termed "an adventure" (too much Famous Five, that one) as there was a diversion which sent us around about 10 miles of admittedly stunning South Somerset countryside!
A sign at the side of the road alerted us to the fact that there was a fresh crop at the local farm...
Yummy, English asparagus, freshly picked. Just cannot be beaten.
Here is one of the asparagus fields. Having tried (and failed) to grow asparagus ourselves, I know what a hard job it is: back-breaking weeding and harvesting which all has to be done by hand.
Here is the very small plant (oh ha ha) where a dedicated team wash and grade the asparagus spears. You can then buy 1kg of perfect fine grade asparagus for just £5. Yes please!
I have posted before that the farmer has a particular fondness for peonies. Sadly, the harsh Winter has not been kind to them and there are few varieties available this year.
On our little detour, we also stumble across the smokery at Hambridge. We have been told about this many times but never visited. We took away some fabulous smoked fish and cheeses which went down a treat for lunch with the hot buttered asparagus. They also have a lovely cafe and quaint courtyard so do visit if you are ever in the area. I know we will be back!
On Saturday, we had adventures of another kind but that needs a whole post of its own on another day.
Back at the homestead, I was sitting on the bench in the front garden, cutting out hexagons from vintage material (I have a little bit of that, you know!) and I chatted to my neighbour passing by who is a lovely and very stylish lady with some great tales of a very full life to tell. She brought out her hexagon skirt to show me which she had made back in the 1950's.
It is so beautiful, such gorgeous fabrics and Jane was able to point to individual ones and tell me they were made by Horrockses or Jacqmar and so on, all from cut-up clothing (eek, don't tell anon!) (See the comments on my last post if you want to understand all about " anon gate"!)
Jane then invited me in to see a quilt she and her great aunt had made during the war (Second World War). I took a snap of Jane's lovely front garden complete with her newly erected flag post. A great addition!
This photo really doesn't do the quilt justice, It is handmade from thousands of perfectly pieced tiny hexagons...
...in the most beautiful fabrics...
Jane's cottage is full of the most beautiful things she has collected and indeed made over the years and I loved seeing the most stunning photos of her in beautiful frocks back in the '40's. I also loved this footstool which Jane designed and embroidered herself showing her four cats.
Next door, might I show you my latest addition to our cottage?
I spotted this simple shelfy thing (what does one call it?!) in the little antiques/collectables/ junk shop round the corner from our house in London. On Thursday morning, the Munchkin and I did the deal and trooped back along the pavement with it to load it into the car, ready to head to Somerset.
As you can see, our little dining room at the cottage is narrow and so it has taken me time to find something small enough to go on the (very wonky) wall. My Dad was very kind to put it up for me just about as soon as we arrived on Thursday (impatience must be a family trait?!)
Time for tea?
The best bit? Getting up on Saturday morning, unpacking all my squirrelled-away goodies and arranging the shelves!
Things I have been hoarding awhile have found a new home.
My little violets section. The small vase in the front right of the photo was bought at Sunday's car boot sale for 50p (well spotted, Mum).
The little old card on the left of this photo (below) is so so pretty and has a pop-up design of a country cottage in its garden. They don't make cards like these anymore...
This very pretty green saucer also came home with us from Sunday's car boot sale (another 50p).
Ah, what a lovely and relaxing weekend. Roll on the next...