I had a day off today. A day off from gardening anyway. Not however a day off from garden ephemera.
The weather was forecast “dire” getting “dire-er” later. So we went for a little jaunt to the seaside, another seaside from the one we have already. Like true British tourists, we didn’t let a little persistent drear dampen our spirits, our clothes maybe, but not our spirits. We were headed to Westward Ho! In the ten years we have lived in North Devon we have never visited this large village just twenty odd miles away. That was about to be redressed.
In the gloom there was little to cheer about. The grey tide was almost fully in, the souvenir shops were closed, the restaurants were closed, the inflatable shark shop was closed. We were beginning to understand just why the bus stop queue looked so miserable. All we wanted was a cuppa and somewhere to hatch Plan B, but there was nowhere to lay our behinds. Had the civic society been warned that we were on our way, along with rumours about OH’s unfortunate pilfering addiction? All was not lost, eventually we came across a little cafe, The Rock Pool, and entered an oasis. It full of all the jolly folk that had previously been “missing presumed non-existent”. We sat at the last remaining free table and enjoyed sensibly sized mugs of delicious coffee served by “just attentive enough” staff and best of all …….. they had hand lotion in the ladies lavatory.
Things were looking up. We found a charity shop on the high street (also full of friendly locals) where I purchased two books, one on herbs and spices and Graham Stuart Thomas’ ‘Perennial Garden Plants or the Modern Florilegium’. It was worth the trip just to read the word “florilegium” and henceforth say it as often as possible.
Next we went to Bideford, to the wonderful Cafe du Parc for our lunch. Afterwards we wandered through Victoria Park to see if the Grow@Jigsaw glasshouses were open. This wonderful enterprise teaches the more vulnerable in our society new skills and shares with them the healing powers of horticulture. In the process they produce fruit, vegetables and plants for sale, both commercially and to the passerby. That was me, the soggy passerby. We bought a punnet of new potatoes, an enormous bunch of beetroot and a couple of shiny courgettes. And I just couldn’t resist an unnamed geranium, it was whispering to me each time I passed.
The coreopsis and linaria in the photo above was taken in yesterday’s intermittent sunshine. Perfect partners, don’t you think?