Walking along the woodland path that takes us back to our friends’ house somewhere in the Dart valley my eyes gaze skywards and I see a beautiful conifer tree canopy. The sky is blue blue blue with pure white cloud patches. The trunks, branches and twigs give a lacery effect like so many giant allium seedheads. Beautiful.
Back at home I invite Maddy to join me for a walk round the grounds at Kingston Lacy. They have a superb show of snowdrops for which Kingston Lacy is well-known. Evidently their beautiful white carpets of snowdrops have been poking through for the past few weeks and they are now beginning to look their best with beautiful displays in the Fernery and along Lady’s Walk, in the Japanese Garden. In complete contrast the gaudy yellow of the winter aconites form sporadic patches beneath shrubs.
There are other specialities to enjoy such as the spread of Cornus beneath trees beyond the Japanese Garden. The gorgeous varied colours of the naked sticks are stand-alone beautiful. Also to be seen were Cyclamen coum, Iris reticulata, and an isolated tree on the home stretch back to the house covered in Mistletoe. There’ll be a reason why just this one tree has been colonised to the apparent exclusion of all others in the parkland but from my limited knowledge I conclude that this tree is a popular perchery for the local bird population.
After a refreshing walk Maddy and I repair to The Workshop where we join Nick and Andrew who have been playing big boys’ games at The Monument. A turkey curry, together with red lentil dhal and pilau rice and lashings of chutneys makes a good winter warmer.