As always, it needs only one reason to go somewhere and a little spark and here we are in Wiltshire!
I told that my son had to be given a lift home and it took only seconds to my dear friend from Hamburg to join me for the journey. (Whilst son works in Reading a stone throw from Dover - but could be picked up in Coventry which is a bit further North in the Midlands, I arranged the tour around Somerset and making the loop afterwards with stop over at Ashwood Nurseries. This sounds really a bit like going to Atlanta whilst the destination is New York...)
But everything was arranged within hours: green light for 2 days off work for her and a train ticket and a few phone calls and a ferry ticket from my side. My wonderful EG proposed us to take the big car, handed out the fuel card and some remaining cash and promised to look after the house and animals whilst it got colder and colder here in Belgium.
Perfectly equipped, we started Friday morning and arrived early afternoon in Wiltshire. Our 1st destination: Avon Cottage north of Salisbury which opens its private gardens for the National Garden Scheme for the snowdrop event. We only found out next day that this garden is actually published in the Country Living magazine :-).
We found it quite easily due to the good description that the place is opposite the pub ;-).
Very nice people gave us the chance to explore their perfect garden on our own and we were also allowed to take pictures.
The garden is close to the river Avon and is on perfectly flat ground which has added interest by beautiful old box hedges and carefully selected trees and shrubs.
The three terriers inside would have loved to show us the garden but we had to discover it all alone.
The four squares of the formal garden part are very impressive and the thatched wall behind gives it a perfect background whilst integrating naturally with thatched houses in the neighbourhood.
Not only helleborus and snowdrops were admired but also this little robin.
Luckily there was no snow on the ground and the weather was just ideal for this visit.
We found it almost balmy in this area and the typical light of February gave it all a soft touch.
After all these hours of traveling and inputs, we had to go into this pub! Right where we chose to sit, there was the same ice cream maker I have at home, it is decorating the window sill.
The pub had plenty of writings on the walls and above the warm fire place it said:
Fires are like men... they go out if not watched.
It was rather nice and pleasant and people were so kind. We had a late lunch with wonderful "pud" - a real treat!
But we had to travel a bit further to Somerset, to a farmhouse B&B right on the road to Shepton Mallet. Because for me, it is a MUST to visit Niki in Shepton Mallet and discover all the treasures in her wonderful shop. And we were not disappointed!