Friday, June 10, 2011

Gardens - Herbs and Books

I was so lucky recently to win a give-away organised by Valerie at - Acornmoon - to celebrate her two years of blogging.  I won a copy of a book called  'In and Out of the Garden' by Sara Midda.  I'd seen this book on another blog - I can't remember which one - quite a while ago and I've had it on my wish list ever since then so I asked to be included in the draw.   You can imagine my delight when I found out that my name had been pulled out of the hat and when the postman arrived with the parcel!

I'm sorry that my photos can't do justice to the prettiness of the book as the colours are so delicate.
It is an exquisite book, hard backed, cloth covered  and everything I expected of it.  The illustrations are delightful- I just keep picking it up and gazing at the pages and finding something new each time. I can't believe how lucky I am!  Thank you, Valerie.

Last week on a visit to my sister in Chesterfield we called at the - Herb Garden - at Hardstoft.  We used to go there quite often when Mum and Dad were still with us, we've taken them there for lunch a few times but sadly the cafe part of the gardens is now closed and the whole place is for sale. The cafe used to make the most wonderful quiche and salad lunches and things like lavender cake and scones. The gardens are still open at the moment so we popped in to take some photos.

It was just as I remembered it!

Enclosed all around by a high hedge it is a peaceful little oasis just off a main road.

There is an intricate 'knot' garden 

Full of statues, water features and tinkling bells.

Down an avenue at the side of the hedge are three separate gardens containing herbs for special purposes.  There is the scented 'pot pourri' garden.  The 'physic' garden  full of herbs for soothing and healing and the 'lavender' garden full of many different varieties of one of my favourite flowers.

Down one side of the knot garden are the 'culinary' herbs.  Everything is labelled with an explanation of uses.

It really is a peaceful place and I hope whoever buys it will keep it just as it is.
Here are the details of the house and gardens for sale - link -  I think I might just buy a lottery ticket this week!

The garden is noted for its collection of Echinacea plants!  We bought some there a few years ago and they lasted in our garden for several years before they disappeared after the cold winter of last year.   It was time to buy some more!


  1. I'm off to see if I can find a copy of that book, it looks so pretty. the gardens look really interesting too. Such a shame it's up for sale.


  2. The book looks beautiful. Such a lovely gift to win. How sad about the cafe and gardens. Wouldn't it be great if you could afford to purchase it?! I would certainly come and visit you there Rosie for some tea and cake and plant purchasing and a wander around the beautiful gardens! x

  3. I used to have a book by Sarah Midda - she does beautiful illustrations, doesn't she? Well done on winning it! The garden looks lovely, what a shame it's closing. I though my echinacea plant had died in the frosts, but it seems to be appearing now. I like Simone's idea - perhaps lots of bloggers could buy the garden and run it!! Have a good weekend. Abby x

  4. That is one of my most cherished books of all time!!! I have gotten so much inspiration from it for my embroideries....I have almost worn it out....I just want to get Inside and live there!!! I do know for others you can find it on amazon second hand...I have bought it for friends....I think this is her best book....lucky you!!

  5. Hello Rosie, your photos make me want to go there, love the physic garden.

  6. I can't believe that The Herb Garden is for sale! I was planning to go there in the near future - I do hope it's sold as a going concern and is kept as it is, it would be a real tragedy to lose somewhere as good as that.

  7. The herb garden looks like an interesting place for a wander.

  8. The garden must have smelled marvelous! The idea of lavender cake is making my mouth water. Yum!

  9. There is a fabulous herb garden at Hardwick Hall which is near Chesterfield,I used to visit it every year when my husband was alive.We would have a holiday at the same family farm near Ashbourne every year with our closest friends.You could see Thorpe Cloud from the upstairs windows and Ilam was just down the road,such happy memories.

  10. Hello Rosemary - thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. It is the same Herb Garden that you remember - close to Hardwick Hall. Your holidays sound lovely. We are often at Ashbourne or Ilam as we don't live very far away - I think the view of thorpe cloud at Ilam is one of my all time favourite views:)

  11. Looks a lovely book. What a shame the garden is for sale but let's hope whoever buys it keeps it open to the public.x

  12. Looks a lovely book. What a shame the garden is for sale but let's hope whoever buys it keeps it open to the public.x

  13. I am so glad you like the book, I thought you would as you love gardens so much.

    The herb garden is new to me. lets hope it can be saved somehow.

  14. I love herb gardens and this one looks particularly interesting. I hope that it is maintained when the house is sold.

    The book you mentioned sounds interesting. I've not heard of it before, but I'm going to see if the library has a copy.

    Enjoy your week.

    Marie x