With the summer holidays in full swing, we asked blogger Capture by Lucy to share one of her favourite family activities.
The school holidays are a magical time. I remember thinking as a child those weeks felt like they were going to last forever. Relaxed routines, mid-week movie nights, pj days that weren’t just saved for Sundays and special adventures. Days with friends, days with family and memories that will last a lifetime.
When we moved to the Somerset countryside last autumn from Weston-super-Mare I dreamt about this summer. I imagined our boys running barefoot in the garden, building dens, grass stained knees, shoes full of sand from day trips to the coast and water fights in the garden, giggling through the sprinkler, just like when I was their age. Simple pleasures, going to a pick-your-own strawberry farm, appreciating the beautiful area we live in and finding new places to discover.
Last week we stumbled across a hidden gem, a kitchen garden in the grounds of Pythouse in Tisbury. A beautiful stone building and traditional orangery bursting with mis-matched wooden chairs, heavy farmhouse tables and a thriving farm shop and cafe selling local produce and meat from Pythouse Farm. There are pick your own fruit patches, rows and rows of strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries all waiting for big and little fingers. We had to remind them you couldn’t eat as you pick a few times, the remnants of a raspberry around their mouths giving the game away.
At this time of year the gardens burst into colour. The two huge flower beds are perfect for wandering through, armed with a bucket and scissors. The boys adored picking a giant bunch to take to Granny’s house. We braved the temperamental British weather and headed out with hoods to meander around the gardens, choose some favourite blooms and finish our visit with a slice of delicious homemade cake.
The boys played hide and seek through the tall rows of dahlias and sunflowers and hid amongst the raspberries waiting for us to find them! We could hear them calling to each other when they’d found a better hiding spot and we walked hand in hand, spotting all the different vegetables, peeked into the quaint gift shop in a shed and scaled the historic walls for a little rest. The clouds took it in turns to blast us with sun rays one minute and liquid sunshine the next! No one minded getting splattered with rain drops and when it got heavier we just sheltered in the cafe for a few minutes.
After much deliberation over the array of sweet treats, we headed back outside to sit under the painted metal arbour and the boys devoured their cakes with raspberry stained finger tips! We trundled back to the car, the boys scuffing their wellies through the dusty stones and sat them in the boot to wipe their chocolately chops and pull each other’s boots off.
Granny was most impressed with her hand-picked bouquet, the stems all different sizes and a wild mix of colours all tied up with a raffia ribbon. A lovely mini adventure to a new favourite place and a chance to take it slow for a while, to take time to just be together as a family, making the most of those intermittent sunny spells before the autumn and winter comes rolling in and all the flowers of summer disappear for another year.