Wild Hops

This seems to be a phenomenal year for wild fruit; the blackberries are in perfect condition, and the hawthorn bushes are red with berries in some place. One thing that seems to have really enjoyed the beautifully warm summer is the wild hops, which surround us in the hedgerows, and have invaded our garden this…

Finding Fossils on the Jurassic Coast

This has been an amazing summer, and I think records must have been broken for people visiting the Jurassic Coast. Television coverage such as David Attenborough’s Sea Monster, the recent Beachwatch Live and lots of slots on other shows have given it more & more attention, and I’ve definitely seen far more European number-plates this…

Delphi, Meteora & Central Greece

Five years ago, my husband and I and our two children (then 7 & 9) did a road trip around the Peloponnese, hiring a car and staying in guest houses, visiting ancient sites such as Olympia, Mycenae, Mystra and Athens. It was such a brilliant holiday that we vowed to do it again, so we’ve…

Hazel

At this time of year more than any other, I can be guaranteed to always have a pair of loppers in the car, just in case I pass the perfect hazel hedge. Last year’s garden arches have just succumbed to the winter gales and become kindling, so I’m looking for new poles for this year’s…

Tyneham – Dorset’s Ghost Village

I was an accidental tourist again on Sunday – my son was coasteering with Scouts at Lulworth Cove (it was ‘awesome’ apparently, so maybe fuel for a future blog!), so with a couple of hours to kill I thought I’d go and visit Tyneham, the deserted village on the Lulworth Estate. To be perfectly honest,…

Jurassic Coast Wines

For centuries the West Country has been synonymous with cider, and orchards are such a part of the historic patchwork of landscape there are many efforts to preserve or replace them, for both our benefit and the incredible wildlife value. However, when those wily Romans came, they brought not only edible snails and lettuce (thanks,…

Toby’s Garden Festival at Forde Abbey

Nowadays, anybody who’s anybody can be found bedecked in flowers, henna tattoos and artisan cider, ‘doing’ one of Britain’s many amazing festivals. Not to be outdone, I’m joining in – not quite as rock’n’roll as Glastonbury (although I have been there, done it, got the juggling balls), Bestival or Download, I’m taking my mum (who…

The Jurassic Coast

Ever since I was little I’ve loved going to the beach, and growing up near the Dorset Coast we were spoilt for choice. Our beach of choice was St Oswalds Bay, next to Durdle Door, as you can swim out to the rocks, and Durdle Door itself is spectacular. We also loved the sandy beaches…

Lyme Regis Museum

Today was a big day for Lyme Regis – after several years of blood, sweat, tears and fundraising, the staff and volunteers finally got to welcome the public into the newly extended and refurbished Lyme Regis Museum. The original building is a fantastically self-indulgent Victorian mini-masterpiece. It seems like an odd comparison with such a…

An Exotic Experience

I’ve found yet another gem, folks. Today I had a meeting at Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, so while I was there I thought I may as well have a look around. Wow. I haven’t been there for years, and then I was somewhat distracted by small children, so I’d forgotten just how exotic it really  is….