Saturday, 21 June 2014

Country Matters - Recommends

Did you know that the Lavender tea rooms have got some lovely recommends on Trip Advisor?  Check out the reviews here Trip Advisor

So I thought I would see if there are any other mentions out there - so a quick search and I spotted:

You can even check out photos galore of Hexton here:

and lastly here are the scores on the doors:

Have you made a recommend - would love to hear from you, let us know what you think of the tea rooms, the shop or the village :)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Plant producer

We have a number of people producing plants at Country Matters Hexton, Carolyn has been visiting Country Matters for a few years now, and for the last couple of years she started to bring plants to sell.  She tells her story:

I have always enjoyed gardening and love the challenge of raising plants, my parents have always encouraged me to garden, we had an allotment when I was a 'nipper' and Dad always had a greenhouse, he used to pay me to prick out seedlings.  

So a few years ago I encouraged my son to take cuttings and plant seedlings to earn some money, as it was difficult finding a job locally, but I will admit he is not such an enthusiastic gardener as me.  All of the cuttings have in fact been taken by him, but the subsequent care and potting on has not been exclusive to him!  But he does get all the earnings from the plants, so helping him a bit with his fees.  He says that I enjoy the gardening more so seems a shame to not let me get involved.  This year he has had more of an excuse not to get so involved as he is now at university.

The cuttings have been taken from the plants that are in my garden, and the seedlings have been raised in the conservatory and in cold frames in the garden.  Each year I buy a few more plants and find somewhere to squeeze them in - the lawn gets a bit smaller each year.  I  tend to stick to pink, white, lilac and blue colours keeping it simple to match, but there are occasional splashes of different colour.  I seem to be collecting a number of Penstemons along with a host of other perennials.  Here are a few pictures of the garden, it was just grass when we first moved in and over the year flower beds and hard landscaping has been introduced.

 This year my husband has sat in the garden potting on plants - so maybe we will continue to do the plants, as long as we can continue to sell them.

I do like to visit the odd garden or two for inspiration, and am working my way through gardens within easy driving distance.

Last year I treated myself to a new garden seat, and planted up a new flower bed next to it, I will have to take some new photos this year as the plants will be more established, perfect for eating my breakfast out there,  Just need to retire now.

I belong to Ampthill Country Market, and we have a stall on the market every Thursday.

When I am not gardening I like to make cards and also do knit and crochet, some of my things are also for sale at Country Matters.

I would love to know what sort of plants you like to buy, and whether you have bought any of my plants.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Local Honey

We have a good supply of local honey from hives in both Shillington and Hexton, all lovingly tended by one of Bedfordshire's premier beekeepers. We always have supplies of both runny and set honey. At this time of year its mostly the rape (runny) honey which sells and Andy brought fresh, and I mean FRESH, supplies in at the beginning of this week.

You may wonder why some honey is runny and some set, so thought I would share the information from the beekeepers site:

The type of honey made by the bees is dependent on the types of foliage and flowers available to the bees. Crops such as oil seed rape (the bright yellow fields in the spring) produce large quantifies of honey that sets very hard, so hard even the bees could not use it in the winter, garden flowers tend to give a clear liquid honey. If the beekeeper wants to produce a mono honey i.e. clover, orange blossom etc. the beehive is put out of range from other sources. This can be difficult for the small hobbyist and a blend of the season’s honey is usually the result.

It is also thought to reduce the effects of hayfever, it must be local, and you need to take a teaspoon everyday for several months before the season starts, some of our customers swear by it.

How do you like to have your honey?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

St Faith's Church, Hexton

Check out St Faith's church, Hexton.  The scaffolding is all down now and the areas which have been sandblasted are looking quite frankly gorgeous!  I for one never knew it could look so good.  The view above is with the lake at my back and showing the west door and the (collapsed) tower.  If anyone would like to learn more about the church and the village then get hold of a copy of Harvest of Hexton by Anne Ashley Cooper, it's a good read and very informative.  I believe you can get it from Amazon.

Walk around Hexton

Went for a walk round the village on Monday night with Fern and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Around the lake saw ducks, single swan and three heron as well as fish jumping.

Managed to get Fern to stand still for a minute whilst I took her photo.

A lovely yellow iris (?) by the lake.

Look closely at the bottom photo - what looks a bit like a mountain scene is actually the reflection of trees from the opposite bank in the lake.