September thoughts

Well September is here.  The beginning of a new school year and summer is over.  I know that sounds a bit downbeat – but ever the optimist I have my fingers crossed for sunshine until at least the middle of October!  We’ve gone through our ritual to smooth over the transition to the start of school: blackberry picking and making jam.

Steam train in Devon

My little one has settled back into school and has been target setting for the year ahead.  For me, I’m looking forward to teaching at Belmont House next week. The bit I love is having the run of the gardens and being able to pick what I like.  My fingers always itch to do the same when I go visiting other stately homes.

Greenway House National Trust



With every holiday we have a tick list of what makes our perfect summer break.  This harks back to my childhood when we always went on a wellington-walk and had a ride on a steam train.  We did both this summer when we went to Devon.  We’ve also refined our list and added finding a hidden cover, beach cafes, walking up steep steps and zig-zag paths.  And although I didn’t get to pick any flowers we also visited a holiday-must, a National trust property.

Vase of flowers at the National Trust

Based in Torquay we went on the steam train to Greenway Halt, and took an atmospheric walk across the fields to Agatha Christie’s summer home at Greenway (I think we’ll need to add picnic in a yurt to our list of next year’s holiday must-haves).  We’d visited the grounds eight years ago, but this was our first visit to the house itself.  What intrigues me most are the behind-the-schemes- rooms.  The kitchens and store cupboards.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Vase of flowers at the National Trust

Each of the rooms at Greenway has a “scrapbook” to look through.  I love this quote from Agatha’s autobiography – very fitting for those who are going back to school/or thinking of setting themselves some targets.

“Oh, I don’t think I could”

“Why not?” she asked.

Agatha Christie quote

I’d love to hear about your holiday must-haves.  Please let me know in the comments box below.


Have you signed up to my newsletter?  As a thank you I’ll enter you into a competition to win a flower arranging workshop (worth £350) – if you’d like to be in with a chance you’ll need to add your name to my list by midnight Sunday 13 December 2015 (signing up is a two-step process, so don’t forget to complete the subscription process by clicking on the confirmation email you’ll receive). The winner will be picked at random and notified by email by Sunday 20 December 2015.

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Dates for your diary

Wednesday 9 September – take a tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener, stay for lunch and enjoying a flower arranging workshop with flowers you’ve picked from the grounds at Belmont House.

Friday 2 October – fields and forage at Anna’s Country Flowers.

Until next time, happy flowers!


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