Sissinghurst!

 S I S S I N G H U R S T ♣ 

Last night, we ate delicious pub food at the George Inn in Cranbrook (we are addicted) and this is the music they played  . . . made me almost homesick!

This photo is my absolute favorite of all the photos we’ve taken so far!!!  Joe took it; isn’t that little doll the picture of joy?   She’s running between the hedges on the Long Walk at Sissinghurst Garden — it’s exactly how I feel every day; my feet didn’t touch down at Sissinghurst either!

Here is a photo I took from the top of the Sissinghurst Towers, so you can get a general idea of what the garden is like.  But don’t worry, we’ll climb down and get up close and personal with it and you’ll see that although some of the hedges look like they’re cut from florist oasis, they are real, soft bushes. The little holes on the top are where the birds go in and out to reach their nests; hedges are “bird motels.”  The long hedge you see on the left is part of what is called “The Long Walk;” a charming feature that occurs in many formal English gardens.

This is Sissinghurst Castle, with the towers peeking over the entrance way to the house . . . for the “aerial” photo; I was standing up there between the towers, under the flag, over the clock, where you can see that little person.

This is really the garden that planted the seed of England in my heart; all because of this book which I read when I was twenty-four.  Portrait of a Marriage was written by the son of Vita Sackville-West, and Harold Nicholson who were the owners of Sissinghurst; every other chapter is directly taken from Vita’s Diary, and her son Nigel wrote the chapters in between.  Besides the era, and my interest in those times, two things from this fascinating book resonated with me and opened doors in my mind.  The first thing was that, until then (and I really do hate to admit this but at least I figured it out before I was fifty!  The way I was going, it could really have taken that long), I believed that everyone pretty much lived exactly like we did at 6847 Claire Avenue, Reseda, California, USA.  I thought they believed the same things, did the same things, read the same things, they all sewed and embroidered, they all thought the same things were funny, they all loved to camp out and cook, they all loved to sing in the car.  You grew up, you got married, you had children, you lived happily ever after.  That’s just how I thought it was for not only me, but for everyone.  Any deviation would land you in the gutter, or prison or something.  But this book showed me that people lived and thought in very different ways, ways that I had never imagined, and that even though it might not be my way, it was a good way for them, as “normal” as me, and worked out just they way they wanted it to.   What a revelation!  No more judgy-wudgy.  Just like that.  And the other thing was this . . . these two people had a passion bigger than themselves that helped to keep them together and enthralled with their lives.  It was their garden.  And what they did with a bare plot of land, although it is in amazing England with the perfect soil and the rain to boot; what they left behind for the generations to come, is pure magic.  It was the first time I knew that there “were gardens in England.”  I dreamed of seeing Sissinghurst ever since I read this book, but first I had to move to Martha’s Vineyard, meet Joe, fall in love, develop the dream and the idea of making it come true, and when I finally got there, surrounded by all Harold’s and Vita’s creativity and dedication, tears leaked from my eyes, as I stood in the mown path of the wild garden meadow for the very first time, on a misty cool May day, smelling the flowers of the spring blooming apple trees.

Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Vita, was a prolific writer, a poet and journalist, born at another amazing house not very far away called Knole, which we are planning to visit soon (Oh yes, I will post pictures when we do!).  She would have inherited that amazing home, more of a castle, had she been born a boy.  But since she wasn’t, her father’s younger brother got the house and she just had to move away.  This would light my hair on fire for a lifetime, which I think it did hers,  but British aristocracy had some interesting laws in the old days, and luckily, in my family, that problem never came up! 🙂  Vita and Virginia Woolf were friends and lovers; which is the connection between Vita and the artists at Charleston.

Vita was one of the very first people to plant a garden in all one color; her White Garden is famous the world over.  Click there and prepare to be amazed and inspired!!

XOXOXOXOXOX

It’s May, that lusty month of may, all the world is coming awake, and here in England, the gardens have just begun to bloom.

This is the house that anyone can lease (through the National Trust) for a stay right here in the White Garden — but the trick is to definitely Book Ahead!  It was already booked up when we tried to get it.

The camomile bench smells even better than it looks!  I can only imagine what it looks like when the little daisy-like camomile flowers bloom!

Harold designed the structure of the garden; then built garden walls, planted hedges and pathways to make the  “rooms” that give the garden shape.

Every bend of a stone, brick, or dirt path brings surprises; an herb garden-room, long walks through pleached lime trees (that Harold planted in rows and made to grow together to become one!!!), a blue-painted door in an old wall; brick archways, garden statues, yew and boxwood bushes carved into shapes; wooden and stone benches for sitting and talking.  Or a happy running child running between the openings in the hedge!  You never know what you may see. 

I never knew there were so many colors of green until I came to England!

I fell in love with this pink clematis and now it grows over our picket fence garden on Martha’s Vineyard.  Maybe not as wild and fluffy as this one, but mine is a lot younger!  We still have some growing to do!

As you turn each corner, you make little screaming sounds inside, like when you find the moat (all good castles have moats!), with the reflections of the trees, the tiny, fragrant flowers of the blooming Hawthorn, the stone path to the boat house.  There are nine full-time gardeners here, a gift store and a tea room.

 Sissinghurst was a huge Elizabethan manor house at one time.  In the 1300’s, my blood relative (although we seem to have lost touch with the family 🙂 ), King Edward I, known affectionately as “The Hammer of the Scots,” spent the night here (Edward got around; in 1305 he paid a visit to Tenterden, the town we’re staying in now); and in 1573, Queen Elizabeth I spent three nights at Sissinghurst.  By 1800 most of the castle was in ruins; they demolished it, and carted it away, salvaging what they could for future building projects.  What we see here is all that is left, but these beautiful impressive ruins still show a bit of its former splendor.  Vita, deprived of her own home by archaic law and custom, bought the remains of a castle, and created her garden here.

What is this?  Does anyone know?  I looked for the little marker to tell me, but couldn’t find it.  Love it!  What a fresh and happy spring bloomer!

Here are a couple of other fresh and happy spring bloomers; that’s Rachel (who started out as my English Pen Pal in the early 1990’s and is now one of my dearest old friends) and Joe! 

XOXOXXOXOX

And as lovely as the squealing belted pigs, the wild garden, the Cow Parsley (Queen Anne’s Lace in our neck of the woods) and the moat are, all good things must come to an end.  And so this day did, but of course the ending is never sad as it always takes place in a lovely pub, in front of a delicious fire.  As the screen says whenever I turn the TV on around here:  Life’s Good.

Now would you like to take a little drive with us?  It’s so pretty — I could post every single time we drive anywhere, and you’d be amazed at how beautiful it is.  I’ll do more if you like, just let me know . . . But better fasten your seatbelt, and get steady, throw back some whisky (you aren’t driving!), as we are going out there on the wrong side of the road; I’m about to show you what a true adventure it is!  TGFJ.  Thank God For Joe and nerves of steel.

XOXOXOXOXOX

In that video we were on our way to Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, which we saw yesterday!  More gloriosity (not a word, but obviously should be) to show you soon!  Happy Sunday girlfriends xoxo! I’ll leave you with what I see as the PERFECT magazine cover.  I have never before bought this magazine; I don’t even know what is in it, but how could I resist getting it????  Cutest little Corgi!  Everywhere we go we see England celebrating the Diamond Jubilee!  Every little town will have floats and parades in honor of the day!

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

355 Responses to Sissinghurst!

  1. Michele Gavaletz says:

    Sue, I am so enjoying your blog through England! I, too, loved “Portrait of a Marriage” and was so happy with the Sissinghurst Gardens. I can’t wait for Beatrix Potter’s farm – I have all the books, videos, all things Beatrix and want to go there in the worst way. Thank you for my pre-trip – yes, I will get there someday too!

  2. Robin says:

    It is all beautiful… thankyou for sending whatever you are able… it all is so much appreciated.

    So pleased you are having a wonderful time!
    Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Robin,
    New Mexico

  3. Linda says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/134.shtml

    I have a tiny wedgewood cup with this flower on it…..and on the bottom of the cup it says King’s Cup. Could that be the beautiful little yellow flower you are wanting to identify?

    Thank you for more “shared joy”….and “gloriosity” in a thousand different ways!
    🙂

    • sbranch says:

      That looks like the little wild one I’ve been seeing, love that, and it’s hardy too!

  4. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Hi Susan! Where do you find the time to send us such fantastic posts! I opened every video and read every word, enjoying myself so much! Loved the driving video, so cool! Thanks for taking so much time to take us along on your travel adventures, fantastic!

  5. Linda Ishmael says:

    Loving every moment of the trip. The Tattler cover reminds me that if you see the Queen with her corgis please take pictures or video. The Queen and Tasha Tudor are responsible for me having my Corgi today!!!

  6. Jack says:

    Geoffrey Butterbottom, returning home a bit late from work was asked by his wife Beatrix, “How was work, dahling? To which he replied, ” Smashing! Only got side-swiped a couple of times. Once going and once coming home.” Simply smashing!

  7. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Happy Victoria (or Sovereign’s Birthday) holiday to our Canadian sisters!! The start of North American summer celebrations!
    Hope that the sun is shining on all today – including Susan and Joe! Can’t wait to see the roses blooming next month!

  8. Janice B says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Another glorious day you are having. It makes me wish to go over again. Hever Castle, we only had part of a day to visit there……not enough time by far! The gardens were vast, and we had to hurry, the castle glorious. I hope you had time to enjoy it and especially the topiarys out front. They were the best.
    Thank you so much for reminding me of what we saw. I’ll have to get our photos out and share the moments as you go along. I’m now dissapointed that we didn’t get to visit Sissinghurst. What a glorious garden! Well, it seems like we’ll just have to check that bucket list again, and maybe try and plan another trip. Well, looking forward to your day tomorrow. Knole is a wonderful “huge” home and properties. So much art inside…..the docents (hope I spelled that correctly) were so nice and informative. Oh how I miss clotted cream…..sigh.
    Jan

  9. Pam G. says:

    thank you thank you thank you for another wonderful day in England-I really feel like we are there with you-fantastic job Susan (and Joe)
    Pam

  10. Denise says:

    Oh what a lucky lady you are to visit a most exquisite garden! I do believe in answer to your query about the little yellow flowers, that it is Euphorbia. I might be wrong though – but that’s my guess. Can’t wait for the next installment of your delightful blog!

  11. Jenny says:

    OMG! What beautiful gardens. I can almost smell the greenery through my monitor. And the corgi is a perfect finish to a lovely post. Thanks!

  12. Hi Susan, your pics and little videos are great. I had the Decorah eagles sight on with sound at the same time as I was looking at your pictures. With all the birds chirping and doves cooing in the back ground, I felt I was standing there with you. Great sound effects. Thanks for letting us join you and Joe.

  13. Ruthie P says:

    Hi Susan,first off I want to thank you so very much for sharing your trip with us,it is just so kind of you! I love learning all of the history you have tell,places and people I never knew about.I do like the videos very much,hearing you describe every thing,the sound of the birds.I have to say you write so beautifully and with such detail,I feel that I am there right beside you.The video of you riding in the car made me think of the Chevy Chase movie ‘European Vacation.’I don’t know if you saw it,but he was driving in London and could not get into the next lane,kept going in circles ‘look kids,Big Ben, Parliament’ very funny.I am now going to buy “Portrait of a Marriage’ so thank you for that too.I hope you and Joe continue to have a wonderful and safe trip! Thank you once again xoxo Ruthie

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Ruthie! Yes, we have gone around one of the roundabouts more than once!

      • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

        Hubby’s and my record is 3 times! xoxo

        • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

          P.S. It seems to be safer to stay in the inmost lane of the roundabout until you have read all the signposts thoroughly and then make your turn off, rather than to pick the wrong turn off to begin with. You just don’t know how easy it will be to turn around on the road you pick if you guess wrong.

          • sbranch says:

            The biggest help? Get GPS in your car! She says, with her English accent, “Go into the roundabout and take the 3rd exit!” So far she is always right!

          • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

            Oh, I’d forgotten about GPS. That’s a great improvement!! They didn’t have them the last time we were over. We have our GPS in the States set to the lady with the English accent. We named her Lady Jane after Lady Jane in the Lovejoy series.

  14. Alison says:

    The flower you asked about – I think it is Euphornia. My mother has some growing in yard in Northern California. Enjoy your trip!

  15. Sharon H says:

    Susan I think you’re right about that sip of whiskey, it looks pretty scary driving on the opposite side of the road! Even though Joe has to deal with the driving, you must have to be adjust as a passenger being on the opposite side, too. Am just loving all your videos and blog so much, Susan. You are doing a fantastic job and it’s making my days so enjoyable just reading and watching everything. I look forward every day to what’s in store for us. Can’t thank you enough! xxxooo Sharon in Maine

  16. Bee Stevens says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful post – I love the picture with the hedges
    that look like florist oasis -and your discriptions are so right on. Thanks
    for sharing – it’s rainy today and supposed to rain all day tomorrow too
    here in the panhandle of WV.

  17. Debbie R from Valencia, CA says:

    What beautiful gardens. I definitely need to come and See England. thank you thank you Susan for taking us along on your glorious trip. Yes I think a whiskey is definitely something to have while driving on that side of the road. (as a passenger of course) Woowee. Scary for sure. Have a wonderful day.

  18. Lesley Baker says:

    just beautiful,susan…thank you!

  19. Kit says:

    Oh how I am loving this travelogue! I have always wanted to see England and will probably not, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful trip! I look forward to all your posts. So glad you are having such a great time. Stay safe and have a blast! Kit

  20. Nellie says:

    Absolutely stunning gardens at Sissinghurst! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    You have shown us such gorgeous places! I truly wish I could be there, too.:-)

    xoxo Nellie

  21. Jack says:

    What’s fun is to know when two Americans will be using the same road, starting from opposite ends. Find a high spot and watch for smoke!

  22. Susan Bryza says:

    Susan,

    Incredible! What more can be said?!! I, too, feel like I’m tagging along with you, Joe and your various friends. Your writing is so descriptive; the photos just enhance what you have already said. (Have you ever thought of becoming a novelist?) We are taking notes for a future trip. Your blog is better than any of Frommer’s travels books!

    Loved the car ride video – so scary, yet now I feel I have “experienced” driving on the wrong side of the road. Bless our husbands; they are so willing to take on these manly tasks! (My husband drives when we tow our Airstream; I am afraid to drive with it hitched to the car.)

    Loved the white garden! My grandmother once grew a moonflower. It only opened once, under the moonlight. I was there. I have never forgotten how beautiful it was! The next morning the bloom was closed and fell off. Nature teaches us so many things!

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your trip. God bless you and Joe!

    Susan (still in Dallas)

    • sbranch says:

      I saw a Luna Moth only once, reminds me of your moonflower … It came slowly over the picnic table under our arbor, it’s lime green wings moving like drapes in a wind, SO beautiful, it moved through, lingering over the hydrangea bushes, and was gone and I never saw one again!

  23. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    SILVIA NIOMI WHERE ARE YOoooooooouuuuuuUUUUU !!!!
    Heard that you were looking for me……and….well…..remember I promised
    to give you a scone (because of the charlie horse in the suitcase) ???? Well…
    you see….I kinda got hungry waiting for the car after we got off the ship…… so….I accidentally ate it!……I know, I know….but it was busy and people were
    everywhere and I kinda nervously ate it ! Can I tell you that it was sorta stale,
    though ??? Anyways I finally found you a new one from *England* and I was
    SO excited and then…..I was trying to quick sneak a sip of Susan’s Rose Lemonade
    everybody Loves …and well …….it kinda fell out of my pocket ….and under the
    Pub table…..and well…..the rest is history…haha England… history…..your scone
    is history….ah geez, I’m really sorry and I promise I’ll find you another one….
    it’s just not that easy in a garden…..or a castle….or a path….When I find one I
    promise it will have your name all over it !!!!!!! What? The Rose Lemonade?
    SSssshhhh…… I do have to say, “Couldn’t taste a single rose ! And, it was
    indeed Delicious !!!!!!” Have a Happy Day !!!!!!!

  24. Cindy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this trip with us! My heart thrills at the thought of visiting England and taking the the time to explore! I’ve been a few times, but we could only stay a couple of days when en route back to the States…not nearly enough time to see more then the quickie tour of London. I know I will go someday and spend my time there much like you are! Gardens, pubs, lovely people….they are all in my future!

  25. I am returning after a few days off the computer to celebrate the marriage of my daughter 🙂 and I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely blog post this evening, Susan. I will have to catch up with all the posts I’ve missed here.

    The white garden at Sissinghurst looks so amazing! I enjoyed your videos and hearing all the birds in the background as you spoke.

    I have never visited England, but I have visited Ireland many times and there is saying there that Ireland is “40 shades of green,” so I imagine England is the same. There arer also many narrow roads there lined on both side with what they call “ditches” but what I would call natural hedges.

    Looking forward to the next post…

    Pat

    • sbranch says:

      They call them hedgerows here . . . we don’t know if they’re natural, but they’re everywhere, lots of them with flowering Hawthorn draping over them …

      • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

        I don’t know if all of the hedgerows are grown on purpose but a lot of them are. There is an art to it and it takes quite a while to learn to grow all the branches so that they intertwine together, etc. On one of our trips a hedgerow growing class was offered in one of the local papers. I would have loved to take one of the classes just to learn about it.

        • sbranch says:

          After our last visit, because we learned about the bird motels and how valuable a hedge is to the countryside, we planted one — a long one, 400 feet; all the way down one side of our California property! It’s Pittosporum … with the pretty pink flower.

  26. Nancy says:

    Oh Susan, the Sissinghurst garden looks so much like I would imagine The Secret Garden looking…thanks for sharing your beautiful photos…

    We took out 2 hubcaps driving on the left hand side of the road when we did it in Ireland…TGFJ and nerves of steel is right!!! Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      All the gardens do feel like secret gardens, the paths that lead off around a corner, the doors and gates that go to . . . where? You have to follow to see!

  27. Oh, what a wondrous adventure!
    I remember the meadows populated with fox and pheasant, Roman ruins galore, where cricket players abound, all held in place with fieldstone fences, Queen Anne’s lace lining every lane in the land. I thought I had been transported to a dreamy fairyland. Overwhelmed with unexpected glee, I wondered if anyone else even noticed how fairytale-esque a land could be…was I the only one who was so besotted? I felt thus when I asked what the plant was on the lane-side (I knew what we called it…) and I was told it was “…cow parsley…weeds, just weeds.” A British understatement? I wondered…
    Thank you so much for the cruise-along and the for the tours of historic, revered and most exquisite sites. Can’t wait to see what our next adventure will be! Be safe driving on the wrong side of the road and eating toad…in-the-hole!

    • Christine…I loved reading your comment! When were you in England? Have you been more than once?

      • Hello Cathy! Isn’t this great that we can talk together inside Susan’s blog!? I have been to England twice in the 80’s and in the 90’s and am going back next year. Both trips, we spent weeks in the Cotswolds in Upper Staughter, mainly. It truly was like living in an historic novel setting, like a fairyland, like being a Bronte. And after reading today’s post…Oh, my gosh! I had forgotten the sheep in the meadows! They were the cherry on top of the Queen Anne’s Lace running amok and the fieldstone fencing…heaven… and only an hour to hour and a half from London. Lots of round-abouts! We had a car and discovered the ‘lanes’ only by a chance conversation. (The best things in life happen by chance, don’t they? Just like Susan said!) We were staying in the Lord of the Manor in Upper Slaughter and someone there asked if we had a map of the lanes. The rest was holiday perfection! All of England that I have seen is very similar, some more picturesque than others. The seaside villages, especially the historic older seaports, are fascinating. I am an antiquer and I did my share of buying but even, then, I found things to be expensive. Happy Trails! Chris

  28. Elsa Louise says:

    Your postings bring the following lines to mind. They come from the poem “Silent Noon” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who writes of the English gardens you describe:

    “All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
    Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
    Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
    ’Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.”

    Very much enjoying this blog-travelogue in real time. Your joy is absolutely contagious! Thank you for bringing us along.

  29. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    I’m on sensory overload! There’s so much to take in – and you are true to your word: lots of pictures, gardens, stories, history… and we have so much time ahead of us! Its just wonderful. I’m so glad Joe is behind the wheel! Its rather terrifying at times! Where are we going next? xoxox

  30. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Susan, Oh! How beautiful!! The gardens are just breath taking, I can only imagine to be there strolling down the path. The garden at Sissinghurst, the brick wall with the green plant growing up against it, what is the plant’s name? It looks just like the plant that grew in my Grandmother’s garden when I was a child. Thank you so very much….I’m loving every minute of our adventure!! Bobbie

    • sbranch says:

      I went back and looked at that post, there are many green plants there, I’m not sure which one you mean. I know there are lots of climbing roses, or was it this creeping fig?

      • Bobbie Ann Picard says:

        It’s the #8 picture down…across from the brick wall in the garden there is a tree with yellow blooms. It’s the green plant on the ground, growing against the wall. It stands like the green of an iris, it’s not an iris tho. Thank you so much!!!

  31. Love the video of Joe driving and you as the passenger. You could shake someone’s hand in their front yard, you are so close! Now just imagine you were in a van driving down those tiny little roads! Brings back such memories.

    How is Joe staying so calm? I was gripping the steering wheel in terror on each turn. Please video Joe in a “round-about” next. What fun!

  32. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan..forgive me for the lateness of this comment…I have been crazy busy…and now I’m able to breathe for awhile..lol love this post…those gardens are magnificent …and driving on the wrong side of the narrow roads is scary….TGFJ is right…smile.. I love videos …please keep posting them…just like being there…

    Blessings…

  33. suzee branch says:

    HEIGH HO!!!! you’re there, i can smell everything eat the yummy green and spring colors and be right with you. i checked the menu in cranbrook! DID YOU HAVE STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING YET???? i haven’t kept up daily so i don’t know if you’ve mentioned it. and when we went, we had a little camera and no fun technology, just the little journal to keep and finally the booklet i sentcha. seems so unsatisfying now! but you are doing it all! aren’t the way walks pure enchantment? i’m very happy and excited for you and joe.
    love
    suzee B

    • sbranch says:

      Enchantment! No, no sticky toffee pudding yet, should we?

      • Candice Black says:

        Oh yes, you must!

      • suzee branch says:

        are you kidding????!!!! didn’t you read my reviews of it in the booklet. maybe you didn’t get it before you left? oh dear! will you be able to really walk “the cotswold way” this time? are you getting much rain? was the wisteria peaking in broadway (if you went to broadway). i must go to the beginning and catch up. i got waylaid with life after your ship crossing! make sure you have lots of custard with the sticky toffee pudding floating in it. i SAW it on the dessert menu at the george in cranbrook! GREAT sticky toffee pudding in village of cranham, too.
        love
        suzee b

        • sbranch says:

          We are just above London right now, Cotswolds still to come! Oh boy. Please, someone, tell the clock to tick slower!

          • suzee branch says:

            in the name of the cheshire cat, i, suzee branch, do hereby command all clocks in the england world of susan branch to SLOW DOWN to a crawl slower than a caterpillar!
            (how’s that, S.? lemme know if it works!)

            suzee B

          • sbranch says:

            THANK YOU!!

  34. Candice Black says:

    Oh my Susan, You are having an absolutely fabulous time in jolly old England!!
    So many lovely photos and videos! I am thoroughly enjoying the trip!! There are so many gorgeous gardens and stately homes to visit. Nothing even compares to it here in the USA, (except maybe the Biltmore!) There is something around every corner (or curve) there. You mention all the shades of green, that is what always strikes me when I have visited the UK you can see it all when you are landing how green it is! And the birds, they sing so much louder so it seems and there are hundreds of songbirds they put on such a concert! Driving the country lanes and having to give way to oncoming traffic so glad you have the videos of that. And you are so on spot about picnics, it is just what they do! Try to have some elderflower drink it comes in bottles and is so refreshing! (besides tea!)
    You are very lucky to be there during the Diamond Jubilee! So much celebrating,
    street parties, everyone decorates, Union Jacks abound! Soak up as much as you can it is a once in a lifetime moment!! I is my most favorite place in the world besides home!
    Love to you,
    Candice

    • sbranch says:

      All of Tenterden was lined in Union Jack bunting when we left today! I took pictures, so darling.

  35. Candice Black says:

    Dear Susan,
    Just a suggestion, a couple of places off the beaten path, Malmesbury in Wiltshire, The Abbey House Gardens and Home of the Naked Gardeners. Yep you read correctly. Gorgeous gardens (check out the mirrors in the garden), abbey ruins, the present day abbey, tearoom and a nice village to do some shopping. Another village is Stroud, an eco-friendly, bohemian, artsy village, that has a Saturday Organic market. You can buy absolutely anything organic that is edible, milk, cheese, breads, jams, jellies, wine, meat and Handmade pottery, Jewelry etc. I visited here last Spring, my cousins live in Dursley, Gloucestershire, in the Cotswolds. Next time we are going to visit Emma Bridgewaters factory. We always say there is always a “next Time”!
    Be safe and thank you for being so giving and generous to take us girlfriends along on your dream-come-true trip!!
    Blissfully yours,
    Candice

    • sbranch says:

      Our friends live in Tetbury, we walked through to Malmesbury and went to the Abbey House and the naked gardeners garden the last time we were here. I saw a naked gardener (he wasn’t really naked!) Gorgeous garden! I am sitting in my friend Rachel’s garden just now, and she has mirrors on the wall at the back also! Brilliant! Thank you for the good direction! It’s all so beautiful, lovely wind, birds are singing, and Ray lives across a little tiny road from an old church!

  36. Nancy Jane says:

    The green plant with bright yellow leaves and small flowers is Euphorbia, aka Spurge, Euphorbia Polychroma. That is my best guess.

  37. oh what a time I’m having 🙂 I can’t even begin the time you’ve had for real!

    I’ve had Euphorbia but had to get rid of it after finding out about it’s being poisonous. My kids were little and out in the gardens with me a lot picking blossoms and then fingers in their mouths 😉

    now I can plant it for they are grown up more 🙂

    the video! so scary! wow!

    Off to the next town. I’m enjoyuing and lessening my posts 😀

    Love,
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  38. Marilyn Taylor Young says:

    Thank you for that lovely car ride down the lanes. I recognized the Royal Mail Truck right off and enjoyed that memory from my trip to England in 1998. You just make me want to book a flight to England to see all these new (to me) places and walk along the dirt paths and spend entire days exploring. When I went with my two sisters and one brother-in-law (for protection – lol) we were in Cambridgeshire, Ely, Little Downham, and Pymoor. This is where my relatives lived and I was blessed to see Sandringham Castle and the little church where the Queen and her family worship every Christmas. So many things and places we were taken and it was magical to me. We went to the church of our ancestors and were able to see and read our ancestors handwriting or their mark (x) when married, children were baptized, etc. and how these books were kept in a chest in a locker for all time. Loved that trip.

  39. Jo Hay says:

    Wonderful entertainment on a rainy Spring day. Makes me long to return to England.

Comments are closed.