Home and away

This week we had our first night away since my father in law came to live with us, meticulously planned and much looked forward to.  We had our back up at home in place from a friend and were not going far, less than an hour's drive to Worthenbury Manor, just on the Welsh side of the Border with Cheshire but feeling far more like Cheshire than Wales to me!  Father in law had an early evening meal which suited him down to the ground.  I suspect he would eat at 5pm if it were left to him but we normally keep him hanging on (perfectly cheerfully it must be said) until 6 or even 7 when we have visitors.

The drive was easy and we turned up just as the rain began to pour.  Ian, our host, was at the door with an umbrella and we raced through the downpour into a beautiful small manor house, all panelled walls and polished wood floors.

We had a room with a four poster bed and the house to ourselves.  We had booked an evening meal with them too and the food was as good as a restaurant meal, all cooked by Ian and served by his wife.  We sat at an oak table surrounded by beautiful Jacobean furniture.  It was odd to feel that much of the furnishings were of the age of our house but they would have belonged to a gentleman and would never have got to a farmhouse like ours!  It was a lovely evening, slow and langourous and full of good food, good wine and conversation.  In the morning the breakfast too was superb with local food and home made preserves.

It's amazing how less than twenty four hours can feel like a weekend.  We were home again by late morning but it did feel as if we had been away and I hit the garden in the afternoon re-energised.  If you are ever looking for anywhere to stay on the Cheshire/Wales/Shropshire border do go and see Worthenbury.  It's a really stunning house, the food is marvellous and the hospitality warm.

At home the poppies are going nuts, throwing up their astonishing range of colours and forms: singles, doubles, ones with ragged petals and great bowls of colour in every shade from darkest purple, through lilacs and reds to ballerina pinks.

The Cosmos Purity is almost too perfect a flower to be true.
Here is another poppy thinking it will do something different again.

I did have some verbascum for which these caterpillars are extremely grateful.  It is I think the caterpillar of the mullein moth which eats only verbascum, or mullein.  They can strip a stately verbascum nearly six feet tall in a couple of days leaving a ghostly silver skeleton.

Home was looking pretty good too.


  1. sounds perfect, and probably long overdue.

    Glad you both had such a good time x

  2. Sounds like a perfect break for busy people.
    Isn't it funny how our needs change!
    We used to escape to big cities to see shows and shop!
    Your night away is just what we like to do now.
    Lovely photos.

  3. Glad to see you had a good, if terribly short break. Think of you - somewhat in awe, it must be said.

    XXXXXX Anne

  4. So nice that you could get away for a short break. Your garden is beautiful.

  5. I'm so jealous of your poppies. They are my favorite flowers at the moment. I love the color range that yours are in and the fullness of them. I don't know which of your colors is my favorite, I think I love them all. The deep purple looks very lovely, though.


  6. The manor looks good and I can imagine how lovely it must be to sink, briefly, into that luxury yet to come home disproportionately refreshed.

    'Home' does look pretty good too!


  7. That's a stunning view. I'd be quite happy to stay at home, and look at that all day.

  8. How lovely for you to get away for a little break - I'll bet you needed it, and it certainly sounds like you appreciated it.
    Your poppies are gorgeous!

  9. I thought the caterpillar was marvellous, but then I like moths. And your view - must make coming no hardship.

  10. So nice that you got away for a little break. Your father in law sounds like a dear, but time away and alone is so important.

    Loving all the beautiful colors, especially all the peaceful, soothing green...

  11. I'm so glad you got such a lovely, if brief break Elizabeth. Goodness, your poppies are looking so beautiful.

  12. Good; I'm so pleased to read that you had a well-deserved break. It's wonderful how even the briefest 'time out' can feel like a real holiday when it recharges your batteries like that. A big pat on the back to you for all you're doing.

  13. It is nice to get away -- and it does seem to reenergize you! Great flower photographs!

  14. Worthenbury Manor looks a lovely place to stay. We rarely get away because of various commitments so I know how precious short breaks can be.

  15. Glad you managed a complete break - often very necessary. I don't think i have ever seen such an amazing variety of poppy colours.

  16. So glad you had a lovely time, its amazing how just one night away can make such a difference xx looks like a lovely place

  17. It looks like the perfect break .
    I seem to have cornered the market on yellow poppies again this year but must try to grow some of your gorgeous varieties next year .The range of colours !

  18. How refreshed you must have felt, after your mini-break!

    Your garden is looking good - and what a very handsome caterpillar!

  19. Looks a lovely place ;0)

  20. Your getaway sounds wonderful. I stopped in to see how things were going with the FIL in residence. Glad you had a nice little vacation. I love the poppies--all the colors. I used to have them, but pulled them up and threw away--the seeds went all over. I guess one can't have a very tidy garden if they want to grow poppies--they seem perfectly suited for an open field. Someday I will grow a field of poppies and daisies--and maybe cosmos. Your blog is always lovely and you are such an interesting writer. What a beautiful view you have!

  21. Sounds lovely. I am too in need of a break away, even it we only get one night. And having a great host can really make such a difference.

    Emma Phillips
    Our site:
    Kids Wellies

  22. What a lovely place Worthenbury looks. An old fashioned house like something out of a period film. Thanks for the tip, will make a note of it for when we are up in that direction.


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