Everything is so beautiful in the valley; the pink campions, the lingering bluebells, the emerging foxgloves, the wild orchids and the wild garlic are putting on the best display for years. God’s garden really is the best! Our paths leading to the beach look prettier than anything at the Chelsea Flower Show, and not a human hand has gone into the design! The sea pinks clinging to the cliff at Blackpool Mill are the brightest pink we have ever seen. The cold
winter and spring have conspired to hold everything back and then to put on this amazing show.
The walled gardens are looking stunning with the Red Shine tulips doing just what they say, shining against the clear blue sky. It is so peaceful in the gardens here, the silence only broken by the two peacocks shrieking across the valley to their wives who, they do not realise, have succumbed to the fox. It is so sad. They are desperate for some new wives. Instead, they are displaying their full plumage to the guinea fowl who look very confused.
Today we have two weddings in the walled garden and what a day they have chosen. The first really warm day with not a cloud in the sky. I am so thrilled for the couples and we wish them well. After all the planning they were rewarded with the perfect wedding day. Rhododendrons and azaleas are emerging
in all the walks, just on time for the holiday weekend. How the visitors have deserved this fine weather; for once they have been rewarded! People are enjoying the beach without winter coats and I have even seen some shorts for the first time (except our dear postman who wears them all year)!
Only two weeks to go (June 9th) until the exhibition opening with at least six weeks work to do in that time! This has become a labour of love and my husband loves telling people that I am now married to an 18thC antiquary, so much time has been spent doing this. But never have I met such a lovable, eccentric, fascinating character as William Stukeley who enjoyed his evenings at Cambridge drinking and eating with friends at the same table as half dissected dogs and cats, his research for
that day! The exhibition will be a muddle of everything he did from his memoirs of his friend, Isaac Newton, his drawings and records of Stonehenge and Avebury, his Itinerarium Curiosum around Britain along with his description and pictures of dissecting an elephant with Sir Hans Sloane in his garden in 1720. There will be lots to see…!
Finally, well done Simon Haywood for organising the first Hartland Hartbreaker cross country run at Hartland Abbey a couple of weeks ago now. All in aid of The Childrens Hospice South West, it was a fantastic effort not only on Simon’s part but by all the runners who endured 18 miles of the toughest terrain of the coastal path together with miles of rough ground on the Abbey estate and through the gardens. It was a great day with some very happy but very sore participants at the end of the day but all for a wonderful cause. The winner was from the Tiverton Harriers and was home in just over two hours, an amazing effort. But huge
congratulations to our six Hartland runners (sadly Lisa is not in the photograph), one of whom was fifth overall which really was terrific. Congratulations to Ross and to all of them! It reminded me of the London marathon a few weeks before. Our daughter ran in it for the first time, in aid of the Children’s Hospice SW, with her knee breaking down at 15 miles and walking the last 11 miles at a limp. Whatever the agony, determination overcomes it when you are raising money for children with terminal illnesses.