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Another National Gardens Scheme visit a few days ago. Cloudless sky, pleasantly Aprilly warm, no more.

When I arrived, through a gateway with parallel walls either side, creating a sort of reverberating tunnel, I was horrified at the people noise. So many people! Standing and sitting around, drinking tea and eating cake. Neither peaceful, nor, it seemed to me at that point, very Covid-safe, despite the low rate of infection now prevalent in this part of the country. Other than when getting my jabs, I hadn’t been in the presence of so many people for 14 months. So probably I was over-reacting.

I scuttled round to the ‘back garden’. Empty. As was pretty well every other part of the large grounds. Perhaps this place is just seen as a lovely place to go for tea and cake, (which it is – roaring trade, long – and socially distanced – queue) and who cares about the gardens!

I had learned from the greeter/owner that the garden was started in the 1930s by the then residents, and much additional land had been purchased by them. As I explored the back garden, I would have been very happy for that alone to have been mine, let alone the various other ‘rooms’ to be explored.

The back of the house
I love backlit flora

Via a tiny corner of the lawn into a conifer area.

And then back to the lawn, which was still noisy, but really not very crowded. Perhaps I’m just not used to the noise of many people at once.

Off to another area, a vegetable plot and greenhouse.

And from now on, I saw almost no-one.

This tree was a splendid backdrop to much of the garden, but is in fact ‘borrowed’ from an adjacent property.

I would come back later to the little fountain
Ahead of me
At my feet a cheeky cherub
And from the other end
There’s that tree again

I sat for ages on the stone bench like is one opposite, trying to remember what manual adjustment I had to make to my camera to lengthen the exposure – but failed. Must revise.

Back to the main lawn again. And home to my own cake.