Archive | May, 2013

A blossom-filled bridal bower

29 May

Amanda's shed with crab apple blossom

Amanda’s shed is usually a fairly utilitarian place, but now that the crab apple blossom is out, it’s been transformed into a glorious pastel bower.

The fallen petals dusting the path make it look as if a wedding party has just passed by – which is especially timely as we’re just about to celebrate our first weddings of the year here.

On Monday afternoon, we’ll be welcoming bride Zuzana and groom Peter, while next Friday, Kerry and Richard will be tying the knot. I am so excited – and I really hope both couples will have a picture taken with me! To find out more about our wonderful wedding packages, simply click here!

There’s certainly no shortage of lovely photographic backdrops in the garden at the moment…

Keswick Codlin in blossom

Amanda thought you might also like to see some of her new crocheted bugs in situ…

Crochet ... Boris the spider

Crochet … Boris the spider

Crochet ... Gwen and Keith the snails

Crochet … Gwen and Keith the snails


Bugs and bird scarers for half-term

22 May
Bugs galore

Incredible crochet: Bugs galore made by Lynne

I’m very excited about my new children’s crocheted bug trail, which was specially created by my very talented friend Lynne Hardman, who makes the amazing tea cosies for TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes.

Lynne has made the most gorgeous insects ever seen – Amanda wants to adopt the spider (she’s named him Boris) and take him home, but I’ve told her we need him here. There are also bumblebees, a giant ant, a pair of snails and a bright green, multi-legged caterpillar, along with plenty of others.

I know they’ll be really popular with our younger visitors, but I think they’ll make the grown ups smile as well.

If you’d like to see more of Lynne’s incredible work, have a look here.

Lynne's Autumnwatch tea cosy

Leafy: Lynne’s Autumnwatch tea cosy

The bug trail will be running throughout the spring half-term week, which begins on Saturday, May 25, and will return for the summer and autumn school holidays.

We’ve got lots of other great activities taking place in the spring week, starting – and ending – with talks on the Saturday and Sunday about the bizarre ways Georgians spent their leisure time. These are at 11.30am and 2.30pm, and you can also try your hand at a game of cards or skittles 18th-century-style.

Monday, May 27, is herbs and hedgerows day with special talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm. On Tuesday, head for the kitchen, roll up your sleeves and learn to make clapbread – drop in any time between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

On Wednesday, dress up in some of our replica 18th-century costume and strike a pose for a family photo, or pop in on Thursday between 12 o’clock and 3pm and join artist Dianne Standen to create your very own bird scarer.

Dress like a Georgian

Children’s bedroom: Dress up like a Georgian

Whatever day you choose to visit, I look forward to meeting you. If you take your photo with me, you might make it into this blog – especially if you’re dressed like a Georgian! Email your pictures to me at

Apple trees, newts … and an enviable glasshouse

13 May
The glasshouse at Acorn Bank

Nestled among the herbs: The glasshouse at Acorn Bank

The National Trust garden at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, is a very special place. It has a massive range of fruit trees, especially apples, many from around this region – as well as a fascinating herb garden, and a pond inhabited by crested newts.

Sadly, there’s no perchcrow – or even a scarecrow – but it’s still a wonderful place to visit, if you’re in the area.

Amanda and her volunteers had a brilliant training visit there last week. She tells me that she especially enjoyed seeing their glasshouse, which has been recently restored.

It has really encouraged her in her fund-raising push to recreate a Georgian glasshouse here. It won’t be cheap – as all the glass will have to be specially made – but it will be a beautiful addition to our garden.

If you’d like to donate, please get in touch!

A plethora of herbs at Acorn Bank

Stunning display: A plethora of herbs at Acorn Bank

Meet the multi-taskers

8 May
Fiona driving her tractor

At the wheel: Fiona driving her tractor

If you visit us at Wordsworth House and Garden, we very much hope you’ll pop into our lovely café and fabulous shop. You’ll certainly meet some interesting people.

As well as making some of our delicious scones, serving teas and coffees, and helping out with occasional duty managing, bubbly Fiona Tyson lives and works on her very own farm. You can see her above at the wheel of her tractor.

Fiona is an accomplished Herdwick sheep breeder and is immortalised on the far right of the painting below with her father.

Fiona and her father

Fiona’s café colleague Katie Twelvetree is our youngest team member at just 19. Katie is also a world-class scone maker – her baking was described by a recent visitor as the best she’d ever eaten. In addition, tireless Katie helps House Steward Rachel with conservation cleaning and, in her spare time, likes to run.

Katie in the cafe

Katie, pictured right, recently completed her first ever 10k race, at the nearby village of Lorton, along with my typing assistant Alex. They crossed the line together in driving rain in a very creditable 1hr 4mins and 8secs.

In the shop, you may come across lovely Jen Maguire, a former mental health nurse, or Richard Horrocks, who also multi-tasks as a duty manager. He’s pictured below with senior retail consultant Sian, another of our DMs.

In his free time, Richard marries people! He was the registrar last August for the first-ever Wordsworth House wedding, when Alex’s beautiful step-daughter Natalie got married – to find out more have a look at Wedding bells ring out at Wordsworth House (August 30, 2012).

If you fancy getting married here – and there is no better place – have a look at our brochure!

Richard and Sian

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