Play Of Light


Willows garden 1

Willows garden on Pilley Hill is situated on a steep but manageable incline. The house is perched in the middle of the plot with the effect that the rear beds are on the highest level and the land descends to the lily pond at the bottom.

We visited this colourful exuberance yesterday afternoon. In 2003, the current owners, Elizabeth and Martin Walker, bought a small bungalow with a natural ditch where the

Lily pond 2Lily pond 1Willows garden 4

pond is now situated. The current house was built in 2005.

Willows garden 3Hydrangea

Unusual varieties of hydrangea are one feature.

Herbaceous border 1Herbaceous border 2

The herbaceous borders, on a grand scale,

Bees on dahlias

attract bees

Visitors admiring herbaceous border 1Visitor admiring herbaceous border

and visitors alike.

Dahlias 1Dahlias 2

Some of the dahlias are really quite strident.


There are huge thistles


and swirling ferns.

Willows garden 5

Plentiful seating was arranged. You could even sit under a parasol and employ your mobile devices;

Willows garden 7

you could sit side by side across the pond and watch the other visitors,

Couple crossing bridge

perhaps walking over one of the bridges,

Heron sculptures

passing a pair of hidden herons;

Jackie and Labrador

or you could sit quietly enjoying your cream teas, provided you were able to ignore the silent pleading of the resident Labrador.

The women washing up and giving out refreshments were not permitted to handle money, so you had to move across the room to pay the keeper of the coffers. This prompted me to recount the story of ‘A Retirement Project’.


Some of the plants would have graced a much hotter environment. A clump of bamboo soared to the skies,

Banana tree

and a banana tree,

Light through banana leaves 1Light through banana leaves 2Light through banana leaves 4Light through banana leaves 5

as we departed, proffered the light a leafy playground.

Balloon in oak tree

The final surprise was the balloon tree.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where my main course was king prawn naga and Jackie’s was chicken hariali. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and an onion bahji; both drank Kingfisher.



  1. There was a time in my life when I fear I might have been a strident Dahlia and yet another when giant thistle probably applied. I’m hopeful that these days I’m more of an unusual hydrangea. Or the sanguine doggy hoping for cream tea.

  2. I enjoyed your side post of the possible retirement project – it could only happen in the UK!
    The garden is a little on the formal side for my taste, but it was nice to see bamboo – which I am inordinately fond of due to the rustling music it plays in a soft breeze. Also the very hungry Labrador importuning Jackie 😀

  3. What a coincidence! Yesterday I too shot a lotus pond and bamboo clamps. That house is straight out of a fairy tale. You have deftly captured the dancing rays of light on the special world.

  4. I love your banana plant photos. The lily ponds would be a great inspiration for a painter.

  5. I follow your blog on a daily basis. Enjoy so very much. With your permission, I’d like to use your photo of the Thistle to accompany a Haiku poem that I have written. Your photo inspired me. I’ll wait for your response and would of course give your credit for the lovely photo.

  6. Such a lovely place to be able to visit! I love hydrangeas and those are so attractive! The resident lab would have probably been spirited away by me.

  7. Lovely plants, though I’d hate to have to see to that lawn. Excellent photos too, with some great use of light through leaves. Are the thistles cardoons?

    Finally, did Jackie weaken when faced with the labrador? It might be worth experimenting with sad eyes and a mournful expression if she did. 🙂

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