maandag 20 maart 2017

Beatrix Potter's Lake District

'Peter lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.'

'Mr. Jeremy put on a mackintosh,
and a pair of shiny galoshes; he took
his rod and basket, and set off with
enormous hops to the place where he
kept his boat.'

When in the Lake District you simply have to visit Hilltop farm, the home of Beatrix Potter, illustrator and writer. I think we all read or were read her little books when we were young, and enjoyed the tales of Peter Rabbit, mr Jeremy Fisher, Johnny town-mouse and many others.

So it was that on a warm spring day in May we drove through the village of Hawkshead, parked our car and walked the short distance up to the house. I thought it would be incredibly busy, but there were only a handful of people waiting for the gate to open. Such a relieve to walk through the house undisturbed, and take it all in. Somehow I had always imagined the house to be large and light, but the ceilings were low and the rooms tiny, but all decorated in a simple, but sweet way. I enjoyed walking from room to room, see her writing desk and bedroom, the paintings on the walls, and to walk through her garden before leaving.

We only stayed for a week in the Lake District, but it's beauty left a lasting impression. Just as it had  done on Beatrice, when she first visited the lake district with her parents as a teenager. With the profits from her books she not only bought hilltop farm, but more farms and estates in the surrounding countryside as well. When she died in 1943, aged 77, she left fourteen farms and 4000 acres to the National trust, for us to enjoy.

I will take my daughters there this summer, so that they can see the beauty of the lakes for themselves. And perhaps, you never know, we will see see Peter Rabbit running through the fields in his blue jacket, or mr Jeremy Fisher sitting at the edge of a pond.

Have a good time!


Madelief x

* My photo's were taken at Hilltop farm, Hawkshead and the surrounding countryside.

 'One place suits one person, another place suits another person. For my part, I prefer to live in the country...'

woensdag 22 februari 2017

In the spring garden

Before I start, I have to tell you that this is not my garden. I so wish it was, but a girl can dream :-) It is a source of inspiration though. I hope that one day my garden will look a bit like this.

At the end of April last year,  my youngest daughter and I visited Great Dixter house and Gardens in Northiam, England. It was my third visit, having been there before in late spring and summer. I wrote a post about it before. If you are interested, please have a look here.

The Tudor house was once the home of Nathaniel Lloyd, who bought it in 1910. It was restored by the well known architect Edwin Luytens.

LLoyd and Luytens designed the framework for the garden, but it was Nathaniel's son, television presenter and author Christopher Lloyd, who made the garden what it is today: a fine example of an arts and crafts garden. Christopher Lloyd passed away more than ten years ago, but his head gardener and friend, Fergus Garrett, still keeps up his good work.

Although it was icy cold on the day of our visit, the garden was a riot of colour. I don't want to use too many words describing it. My photo's will tell you what it is that I saw.

If you would like to read more about Great Dixter house and gardens, please have a look at their website.

Have a great few weeks!


Madelief X

* Thank you for your kind comments on my last blogpost. I will try to reply them the coming week.