Archive | September, 2014

An inspiring way to learn

30 Sep
Head Gardener Amanda and Fletch the Perchcrow

Discussing poetry: Me with Head Gardener Amanda

I’m proud to say the garden that inspired some of William Wordsworth’s best-loved nature poems is firing the imagination of today’s young poets too.

The selection below are the work of year 5 and 6 pupils from nearby Eaglesfield Paddle School, who came to visit recently. School groups are among my favourite visitors because they always come to say hello and are so enthusiastic about everything they see and do – in other words, they learn without realising it!

I love reading the thank you letters they send, as the things they pick as highlights are so delightful. Kate wrote: “The flint was so fascinating – it must have been hard to set the candle alight.”

And Emily said: “My favourite thing that I learned was about the horrible medicines that they had eg a live frog being strapped to your neck, crushed snails and hare’s brains.” Wonderful! Emily also wrote me a lovely poem:

The Scarecrow
A smiling face with the most perfect grace
With a hat of flowers, most beautiful powers
He stands still over the days.
Flowers surround going round and round,
In the different blustering ways.
Flowers of blue, white and pink – all those colours
Help me think.
On the days path, he has a woolly scarf
His jacket grey and tall, it makes him
The boldest scarecrow of them all.

Pretty Pink Flowers by Sophie
Pretty pink flowers,
How you glisten in the sunlight.
Your pink, light petals are so so
Bright and beautiful.
Oh pretty pink flowers.

Me as a Bee by Caitlin
Thin strands of yellow placed aside an endless well
Sweet sour emerald tears that sop down its twisty stalk
I sit in the flower with my big stripey body
Buzz, buzz, buzz!

Season of mellow fruitfulness

4 Sep
Harvest time: Apple picking in William's beloved garden

Harvest time: Apple picking in William Wordsworth’s beloved garden

I think we can all agree that summer is finally over, but there’s still plenty to enjoy in my wonderful heritage garden. The trees are laden with apples, and the terrace – where William and Dorothy Wordsworth loved to play – is dense with orange and black hips.

If you would like to find out more about the fruits of this abundant season, why not join my friend Amanda, the Head Gardener, for a special tour?

She will be exploring the highlights of William’s childhood garden, which inspired many of his best-loved nature poems.

The tours are on Wednesday 10, 17 and 24 September and 1 October at 11.30am, and they’re free with the price of a ticket to the house and garden.

If you don’t want to pay anything at all to come in, why not take out membership of the National Trust? You can visit my garden any time you want (from mid-March until the end of October) as well as hundreds of others that are in the care of the Trust!

PS The glamorous apple picker in the picture is my other good friend Alex, who despite now working mainly as a duty manager and in our office, can occasionally be persuaded to frock up in 18th-century costume.

Autumn colour: Sweet briar hips on the terrace

Autumn colour: Sweet briar hips on the terrace

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