Almost a Unicorn
Basil and I spent a peaceful afternoon at Whatton Gardens just off the A6 up the road from Hathern. The family has been there for generations and are very friendly.
They've been frustrated this year, first by the lack of a licence for their proposed coffee shop in the grounds and then by the virus, which has shut access to the public during Lockdown. Even now, the coffee shop and the toilets remain closed. But Mary, who runs the plant nursery, is there three or four days a week and the owners have thoughtfully arranged for a takeaway coffee van and an ice cream van to be parked at the entrance to the gardens.
You need the exact change to enter which you have to put in an honesty box which can be a pain if you don't have change but the ladies who run the coffee and ice cream vans can take contactless.
The gardens are stunning and so peaceful The long border is immaculate. Lady Crawshaw plants and maintains it herself. The roses look as if they may just be going over. Floods of geraniums and delphiniums under the trees have taken the place of azaleas and wild garlic, which has been slashed back.
Duckweed has been removed from the pond. Very restful to sit under the huge trees there which sheltered us from the sharp shower that came. Just as Basil and I were drawing away, the heavens opened and there was an incredible downpour for ten minutes.
The horses are grazing in the field next to the car park. I can imagine this one with a horn like a unicorn. I bought two geraniums for the garden.