We consulted the seagull innards for a sign and all was favourable. So Hero hitched the oxen to the cart and we headed south, to the fabled southern lands, where the sophisticated folk abide, to meet with like-minded tribes from far afield. We had heard a rumour that someone from as far as South Molton might be there. The great event in question was an All Horts garden visit to Lewis Cottage, almost as far as the great metropolis, Exeter. The reality was shocking. Although we considered ourselves to be great adventurers, travelling so far without the aid of a sat nav*, some intrepid souls had roamed far from the shire, from Summerzet, from Kernow, even from past Gloucester! The award for champion milesmith went to Didcot Dave. Respect; your certificate is in the post.
It had been suggested by SDG (organiser extraordinaire) to meet in a local hostelry for a small sweet sherry and a spam sandwich before the main event. Although not accustomed to such establishments we bit the bullet and soon spotted the Horties. We did our best to indulge in polite conversation. An especially lovely treat was to meet my blogging pal Rusty Duck and her hubby, who were well ensconced when we arrived and we fell into easy conversation. Suddenly SDG leapt up, told us he was off to meet anyone going direct to site and that we will find the garden 9 minutes away to the east. We checked our handbags/bottom of shoes for compasses and found ourselves lacking. I am afraid this will find all of us struck off the Scouting Proficiency List. Mr Duck however seemed confident and that was good enough for us, the oxen were rested so we easily kept up with the frisky stallions of Torrington, heading in what we hoped to be an easterly direction. Several miles, a celtic cross, one curious looking dog walker, no NGS signs later, we found the Cornish and Hartland crew by the side of the road, all looking at their phones. Pulling up they confessed to being lost. Myself and Mr D went to enquire from the friendly locals, and quickly reassessed the situation after reading the sign “do not enter the black dog WILL bite”. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour and 50m down the road Mr D (quickly becoming the saviour of the day) found the sign to the garden. Apologies for lateness and we could begin ……
The garden was wonderful. Boardwalks and ancient oaks, trees aplenty and cutting gardens, red and yellow and blue and most especially green, our hosts generous with time and energy, stories of people and plants, ducks and geese, ginkos, giant rudbeckias, variegated petasites, pumpkins, cloches, cleome, greyhounds and fire buckets. There was proper fun and laughter, perhaps a little mischief. Friendships were forged. After some sumo wrestling with MM we all managed to go home with the plants we wanted – Myself 2, Hero 4, MM 96. There was cake in triplicate and quiche. There were salmon sandwiches with the crusts were removed. Did I mentioned the adorable dog and wild cats? A great day. But I think you had worked that one out.
ps The photo is for MM
pps Go visit Lewis Cottage, you won’t be sorry. Check out NGS website for details.
ppps Such a lovely day, thank you to everyone for making it so good.
- We did actually have a sat nav, but someone had mislaid the sat nav lead. As back up I had an OS map and a pair of spectacles.