To Brighten A Dull Day

On this dull, overcast, day, Aaron and Robin made considerable headway on weeding the gravel paths. Certain alliums that self seed everywhere, when wrenched from the paths, fill the air with the smell of onions, nowhere near as appetising as when they are being fried.

Jackie did some planting in the front garden.

This afternoon we drove out to Pilley Cottage Garden on Pilley Hill near Lymington.

Pilley Hill

Jackie parked the car in the School Car Park and we walked down the daffodil-linedΒ hill to the cottage.

We were warmly welcomed by Stephanie who opens her garden, featuring its own swathes of narcissi, as part of the National Gardens Scheme.

Pilley Cottage Garden 1

In the left foreground of this picture stems of willow, pressed into the soil, have sprouted. Others, equally apparently rooted, provide arches such as that further back on the left,Β through which a visitor has walked.

Pilley Cottage Garden 2

Pilley Cottage Garden 4

We were pleased to note so many people viewing on what was quite a cold day.

Pilley Cottage Garden 3

The couple in the centre of this shot have just crossed a bridge conveniently laid over a potentially boggy area. The lines seen in the foreground are placed to deter visitors from venturing onto other muddy patches.

On the right of the next photograph can be seen a pergola made of live willow.

Pilley Cottage Garden 5Pilley Cottage Garden 6Pilley Cottage Garden 7Pilley Cottage Garden 8Pilley Cottage Garden 9

The hilly nature of the plot offered intriguing views on different, terraced, levels.


Strategically placed sawn logs weathered beautifully in the beds, providing homes for flora such as ferns, and no doubt fauna.


Even the shed was an attraction.

Mirror feature

A gate at the top of the slope opened onto a deceptive arch. Can you see the trick?Β This photograph contains one of the many examples of fascinating pottery,

Chess set

such as this abandoned game of chess,

Elephant succulents

or this ring of elephants bearing succulents,

Pilley Cottage Garden 10

bounded by little globed boxes,

Jackie in Pilley Cottage Garden

within the circumference of which Jackie contemplated the layout,

Pilley Cottage and garden

before we wandered up to the house for tea, and, of course, the purchase of two plants.

We considered this trip an excellent way to brighten a dull day.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious liver and bacon casserole, crisp potato wedges, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. I finished the Costieres de Nimes.


    1. Isn’t it a mirror, either printed as a trompe l’oeil surface, or an actual mirror [the open gate shows in reverse]? Even before seeing the caption, I couldn’t make out (seeing only the top half of the image on my screen at first) the perspective of the ‘view’ through what looks like a sentry box arch, when it appeared to be forward of the aperture you’re being tricked into seeing.

  1. I liked the different details like elephants with succulants, the arch that was opening to a fence, end of property and the pretty bricks pattern on the house. I think it is always nice to see other gardens to get new ideas. Also, to realize yours and Jackie’s is wonderful. πŸ™‚

      1. I had to come back and see if the arch led to a fence, but no! So interesting it led to a mirror. My eyes played “tricks” on Me! πŸ˜€

  2. Indeed, the best way to brighten a dull day. The daffodils are gorgeous and even the grey skies look good, artfully contrasted with the branches. I loved the fake gate/arch which seems to be a trompe-l’oeil πŸ™‚

  3. I do see the trick – it is such a great idea, and works really well there. Please tell Jackie, I have not yet found a [tricker] to fit my courtyard despite a summer spend looking – the search continues! I love those willow arches and pergolas – fantastic in summer!!

    1. Dear Weekly, What you need to know is that it is the rest of the world that drive on the wrong side of the road. Tut Tut.

  4. Excellent Photographs Derrick, the Daffodils are everywhere, what a delightful sight, the Willows Pergola, beautiful, all round an excellent overview of what I imagine an English Country garden to be like.
    Enjoyed your post.

  5. I didn’t actually think “That’s a trick” I actually thought “I wonder why they have two gates on that arch” – does that still count as spotting it? Looks like a great day out.

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