A leafless specimen of Salix acutifolia but with catkins against a blue sky.
January 25, 2022

You may recall that we had logs piled up awaiting relocation to a higher part of the garden, following the tree surgeon’s visit to remove from the river a large fallen branch, snapped off in a gale from our weeping willow. Many wheelbarrow loads later we had moved the pile…

Autumnale leaves carpeting the lawn
December 1, 2021

A recent blustery day resulted in a rather large branch from one of our weeping willows, loudly snapping off and crashing into the river. It had made the river virtually impassible for canoeists. We contacted our excellent tree surgeon, who lives in the village, who came the next day to…

Chicken of the Woods, a yellow fungus growing on a tree.
October 24, 2021

We have a mature white willow beside the lake on the Island. It is a rather splendid tree, which over the years has had tree surgery carried out to remove a few potentially hazardous dead branches but we try to leave some in safer positions for the starlings that nest…

Ladybird on a clematis tangutica seedhead
October 13, 2021

Lawn mowing has by necessity continued throughout the summer with no let up due to the absence of any prolonged dry spell. Something I have noticed when mowing are the large numbers of ant’s nests and the resulting eruption of annoyed ants running over my feet as I walk behind…

Ligularia dentata plant with yellow flower growing through Petasites japonicus (butterbur)
August 15, 2021

One never quite knows what type of creature may make its way into our garden through our front gates. In the past a couple of pigs, busily investigating the garden, were discovered upon our arrival home, with the garden gates shut behind them! Obviously a kind soul had shepherded the…

Many summer plants in the garden border
July 27, 2021

At last the cool, wet weather has changed to warmth and sunshine, such a welcome change. Not least for the hope that the growth of the lawns may subside as keeping on top of the mowing has been challenging to say the least! The Island being particularly troublesome as the…

Camassia ‘caerulea’ beside the lake. A spring success!
May 30, 2021

The overnight frosts and cold of April have taken their toll on several plants in the garden. New leaves on hydrangeas shriveled; flowers on both the magnolias ruined, such a shame as the trees had been covered in buds and flowers this year. The Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, whose flowers…

30 Days 30 Miles campaign image of blue water in the River Stour
May 21, 2021

We’re pleased to announce that we have a new initiative for 2021 and invite you to take part, whether you are someone who loves to eat good food, a grower or producer. 30 Days 30 Miles – Tastes from the Stour Valley encourages everyone to source their food more locally,…

Apple trees in bloom at Old Hall Community in East Bergholt.
May 8, 2021

Apple trees in the snow at Old Hall Community in East Bergholt. In the foreground of the above photo is a Blenheim Orange and behind to the left, a Bramley. Further back is a D’Arcy Spice. To the right is a James Grieve then behind that is a Sturmer Pippin….

Rhubarb growing in plot number 2, Valley Farm Kitchen Garden at Flatford, Suffolk.
May 2, 2021

About ten years ago, when the National Trust leased Valley Farm to The Field Study Council, it was discovered that a completely overgrown piece of ground behind the farm building had clearly once been a kitchen garden. A grant of £1,000 was awarded in 2010 towards the restoration of this…