There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

More June Wanderings ~ Gentle June Continued

 "Thy roses came to me............
Whispered of peace, and truth,
And friendliness unquelled."
~John Keats

June roses adorn an Oxfordshire cottage.
Stuart and I revisited last year's June wanderings again last week, on a late, sunny afternoon.  We managed to make our escape from Oxford by about 2pm, which for us is pretty good, since we had already put in a nearly 8 hour workday by that time. But escape we did, and it was a glorious June day.

Our first stop was the Burford Garden Company for a late lunch, some flower shopping and antique browsing.  We sat in the section where they display the vintage books for sale, so I was in heaven--eating an asparagus and goat cheese tart, drinking Herefordshire cider, and browsing the array of vintage books.  Stuart was in heaven because we couldn't decide on one dessert, so we picked three!

This is where we sat, surrounded by the vintage
books, drinking our cider and eating three desserts.
That's just how Stuart and I roll.

I got very lucky and found (and purchased) 
two of my favourite books, both 
published in London around 1910.

After finishing our lunch and browsing all the vintage books, it was time to move outside to the flowers.  I had a few spots in our garden to fill in and a rose to replace, but mostly I love to examine the vast variety of the flowers and plants, and dream. It's always difficult when there's so much to choose from, but in the end I picked out some scented geraniums, hyssop, salvia--and another Hidcote lavender, since there's always more room for lavender.

Then it was back inside for a wander through all the garden-ware, homewares and antiques.  I discovered a sweet little, miniature-sized transferware platter that now hangs over our kitchen sink.

Once everything was loaded in the car, we were 
off on the single track lanes we love to drive down.

The single track roads are
 lined with Queen Anne's 
lace this time of year.

This sign greeted us as we drove
into the village of Taynton.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged
by the way its animals are treated."  ~Ghandi

Box Tree Cottage
Like last year, our first stop was the village of Taynton.  There weren't any 'Vicarage Eggs' for sale this year, but we still parked the car and got out for a walk through the village. It was late afternoon, so there were a few more people around this time, not just the patrolling cats like last year.  We stopped to admire Box Tree Cottage, right next door to the Old Vicarage. The climbing roses were coming into bloom and the late afternoon sun bounced off the golden Cotswold stone walls.

"Won't you come into the garden? 
I would like my roses to see you." 
 ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Clematis climbing a stone
wall in Elizabeth's Garden.
As we walked, we stopped to have a chat with a woman who lived in one of the miller's cottages that line the road leading into the village.  She was kind enough to invite us back to look at her beautiful garden, which greeted us with the painted sign, "Elizabeth's Garden"--she was so very proud of it, a quintessential English cottage garden.

The late afternoon sun on a miller's cottage
in the village of Taynton, Oxfordshire.

Right across from the miller's cottages we noticed an ancient stone stile, and Elizabeth explained that it was used by the mill workers centuries ago. They would climb over the Cotswold dry stone wall at the stile, on their way through the meadow and down to the mill on the River Windrush.  It's now protected and Grade II listed, but still used by walkers on the public footpath.

There's still a path that leads from the stile 
down through the meadow, to the River Windrush.

We thanked Elizabeth for showing us her garden and invited her to Oxford to visit ours, and then we were on our way, the next stop Swinbrook, a tiny Oxfordshire village near Burford.

Stuart always takes the back way into 
the village because, like a kid who sees a 
puddle, there's nothing he likes better 
than to drive through a ford.

Crossing the ford of the mighty Swinbrook.
The ford at Swinbrook.
Views of Swinbrook, Oxfordshire,
just a half hour's drive west of Oxford.

Then it was time to turn the car back toward home, back to Oxford, relaxed and happy. We drove home in the early evening sun, still bright on the Cotswold stone walls and homes.

Red valerian, one of my favourite cottage
garden flowers, grows along a dry stone wall.

A thatched cottage in the village of Minster Lovell.
In Britain this type of home is called a
'Chocolate Box' home, because it's the kind
of quintessential English cottage that would
be on the top of gift boxes of chocolate. 

We meandered back down the single track roads through Minster Lovell, then Whitney, and then we were back home, back amongst the dreaming spires and our own garden.  The rugosa roses in the hedge surrounding are garden are in bloom and the college gardens are looking spectacular. It's good to get away because then it's good to be home again.

"Home is the nicest word there is."
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Stay tuned for our next trip to the Cotswolds (in July for my birthday), which will be to visit the gardens of Highgrove, Prince Charles' country home in the western Cotswolds near Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

Highgrove, Tetbury, Gloucestershire


  1. Again, your enchanting world is delightful to behold! Thank you again for sharing a part of it. I think I would be so enchanted, I would forget all about my camera!! Looking forward to your views of Prince Charles' gardens at Highgrove. A friend and I have poured over his latest book of the gardens. An absolutely amazing place. You are sure to have a delightful birthday!! Jane xo

    1. We are so excited to tour Highgrove next month--it's all I wanted for my birthday. I know I'll come away with buckets of inspiration--and hopefully some photographs to share. xxxooo