Flowery faces....

I didn't know how else to title this post...because the pictures are mostly just that. Looking into the faces of some of the gorgeous flowers in the garden right now...



Gertrude Jekyll, that stunning fragrant rose...


The late day lily...
Aren't they amazing? More? Oh...ok then!


Cornflowers...did you ever see such blue? Maybe in Elizabeth Taylor's eyes..

Don't they just gladden your heart? I can't spend enough time out there at the moment...the weather is hot and sunny today...and there's always something to be done...deadheading, tying up, training the honeysuckle over the pergola...these gorgeous high summer days we rush home from work and live outside for as long as we can!

This dwarf buddleia has just started to flower in the past few days...

Sometimes others join us...Hi William!!

But mostly it's just us...us and the bees that adore the fragrant carpet we planted for them...and now the butterflies too! Commas, peacocks and the ubiquitous but no less lovely cabbage whites...

There are butterfly eggs on the top leaf in the picture above...a little clutch of yellow...

and I could look into these faces all day!

Enough garden...(can there ever be enough?) if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that our darling Alice has been very ill recently. She had a bad attack of pancreatitis...a very painful & serious inflammation of the pancreas. I'm so happy to report that after 3 nights in 'hospital'...on an IV drip and heavy medication...she is home with us and recuperating nicely...

This was her eating her first meal in 5 days ( poached free-range chicken breast & carrots...& if anyone wants to accuse me of spoiling her by giving her free-range chicken, I would say that it's free-range for the chickens' sake and not the dog's!) I can tell you that this photo was taken in a state of bliss and utter relief to see her finally tempted by something!

And this is the calm, relaxed little girl today...dozing in the cool of the house. Still convalescing and on a low fat diet for life now...but a small price to pay to have her with us and in good health.

Thanks so much to everyone who sent their love and good thoughts to us all while she was ill. It really meant a lot and helped us through a really difficult time. You are all amazing!

Happy August...

YouTube Video

and to celebrate the publication of my darling friend, Susan Branch's new book "A Fine Romance"...all about her wonderful tour of the English countryside last year...my gift to you is this little movie which shows the absolutely glorious view of Lake Windermere (our largest lake) in Cumbria, as seen from Orest Head a few weeks ago. And for ultimate joy, do buy her book!! Lots of wonderful surprises inside...



  1. Dear Rachel,
    Such a happy post filled with all happy faces. There's so much to celebrate this week! Alice's recovery, Susan's precious book, polenta cake (smile)... Girlfriends! And... Life! Thank you for sharing it all!
    Much love

  2. "Rabbit~Rabbit" Greetings Dear Rachel...so Happy That Alice is Feeing Better! A Very Excitng Time for Our Sweetest Sue & Her Enchanting New Book..."A Fine Romance"....I Adore Your Blog & All The Glorious Summer Flowers In Your Magical English Country~Side & Your Backyard! I Think The Cornflowers are My Favorite They are So Blue! :-) Well August Reminds Me to Savor These Last Weeks of The Summer....Breathe in All The Magic & I Must Send a Bit of Pixie~Dust Your Way! Cheerio Dear Rachel! xoxo Poof! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ Angie(Tink!)

  3. Oh, Rachel, I am so happy to hear that Alice is ok. I missed conversation that she was ill but saw something that made me wonder if she had passed away....I was afraid to ask. :-( So, to see her home and happy is wonderful!

    Love your beautiful flowers! You sure do have a green thumb! Gorgeous, thriving beauty!

    And I love the video of Lake Windermere. One of Susan Wittig Albert's book is about Lake Windermere and we visited there on our trip to England in 2010....went to Wray Castle! Extremely windy day on the lake and we were soaked on the boat! But lovely sites there! I love your vantage point for shooting that video!

    Thanks, dear!
    Karen xx

  4. Oh-your sumptuous garden and those HYDRANGEAS make me jealous. Perfect place for Alice to recuperate-and you, too. Such a lot of stress to shoulder. Glad for all that she's doing so well! Love.

  5. Rachel, how wonderful your sweet Alice is on the mend! Your garden is so lovely--filled with beauties of nature!
    I have been reading about you in SB's A Fine Romance! It's a wonderful diary filled with joy and love.
    Enjoy your beautiful days of summer.
    xoxo ♥ Martha Ellen

  6. Oh poor Alice! I absolutely loved the pictures and the video.

    My parents have clematis all around the back wall of their home in Chicoutimi. Gorgeous.

  7. Happy August, dear one! Just look at all those pretty faces! Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden flowers, as well as the stunning view of lake Windermere in Cumbria. It truly is breath-taking!
    I am so glad that Alice is finally eating again and is feeling much better. I know how worried you were about her. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy these last fleeting weeks of summer! xoxo

  8. Foxglove is lovely but highly poisonous so keep away from the pets and children!

  9. Hi Rose, of course you are quite right that foxgloves are potentially dangerous, being part of the digitalis family. 'Our' children have all been educated from a young age to identify poisonous plants & berries..and taught to never eat anything wild without checking first. One of William's favourite garden treats is a nasturtium flower...he lov the peppery taste! I think the most important thing is to educate and be vigilant. The dangers would never stop me having such beauties in the garden...potential dangers lurk everywhere, after all! I appreciate the comment though and hope you enjoyed the post!

  10. Beautiful flowers, beautiful Alice, beautiful Lake District!

  11. Lovely to hear that Alice is much improved. What a beautiful garden, thank you for sharing the best blooms with us, and for the gorgeous "pan" of the lake~ I think we'll all want to sit on that bench for a while after watching :) I received my copy of "A Fine Romance" yesterday, and I am stunned all over again at Susan's immense talent! Enjoy August. ~Michele, Seattle WA

  12. Rachel, I agree with Michele's comment ... how wonderful it would be to sit on that bench while reading AFR (and munching on your Lemon Butter Cookies; thanks for sharing the recipe!) Prayers for Alice's continued recuperation.

    Sharon in Alabama (USA)


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