Blackberries

Millennia before foraging became trendy, Neolithic people were gathering blackberries, and we haven’t stopped since. For most of the year, brambles are an inconvenience; tough, thorny and very quick to spread, they are a headache for gardeners, but for a few weeks they redeem themselves with fat, delicious blackberries. Wildlife takes full advantage of this…

Hardown Hill

I have often sung the praises of Stonebarrow, and have blogged about it in the past, but despite being able to see it from our kitchen window, I have never been up its next-door neighbour, Hardown Hill. At this time of year, it is easily identified from a long way away by the vibrant splash…

Coronavirus & Country Life

‘Unprecedented’, ‘difficult times’, ‘challenging times’: there are many euphemisms for ‘totally buggered’ at the moment. There has definitely been a seismic shift in everyday lives and expectations, and many of us are living daily lives that were unimaginable a few weeks ago. One of the headline-grabbing effects of the Coronavirus has been the crazy panic-buying…

St Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury

Every time we drive the spectacular coast road from Bridport to Weymouth, as we crest the hill and see St Catherine’s Chapel silhouetted against Chesil Beach, I always say “I’d love to go up there one day”. Well, with two hours to kill waiting for my son to do rugby training in Bridport, today was…

Splash Maps

This is not a traditionally Christmassy post, but if you are planning a Boxing Day walk or starting the New Year with a run, you will understand my excitement about this one. I was doing some online shopping for Christmas, and found something so clever I actually kept it for myself! As a keen dog…

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…

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…