Category Archives: Flowers

Belas Knapp – the most beautiful Cotswold place. べラス.ナップ - コッツウォルズで一番美しい場所

We walked to Belas Knapp, a beauty spot near Winchcombe. Park the car just outside the town and walk up and up, gaining height until you can see for miles, with views of Sudeley Castle. In July there are cornfields, lazy sheep and wild grass everywhere.



At the top of the hill is Belas Knapp, a beautifully located Neolithic long barrow dating back about 5,500 years  (‘Long barrows’ were burial places in ancient times).





On a beautiful, sunny July day there are few better places to be than here. Especially if you head to a nearby farmhouse for afternoon tea afterwards.



Some most welcome visitors to the Cotswolds 日本のロイヤルファミリーをコッツウォルズにお迎えして。

One of my jobs (I work freelance) is to help to promote a well-known Manor House hotel, called Lords of the Manor (  Although this blog isn’t about advertising,  I thought that you might be interested to know that the hotel was today honoured by Royal visitors from Japan.

フリーランスとしての私の仕事のひとつは有名なマナーハウス (ホテルであるローズ.オヴ.ザ.マナーをプロモートすることだ。このブログは広告のためでは決してない。しかし、今日、日本のロイヤルファミリーをお迎えする名誉に授かったことは読者にも興味を持っていただけるかもしれない。

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko Akishino visited for lunch. Accompanied by Mr Keiichi Hayashi, the Japanese Ambassador to the UK, the Royal party their visit to the Michelin starred hotel and famously beautiful village of Upper Slaughter. The couple toured the hotel gardens and took several photographs.

秋篠宮殿下ご夫妻が昼食のためにローズ.オヴ.ザ.マナーホテル立ち寄られたのだ。英国駐在林大使と共にご夫妻はミシュランの星を持つホテルの他、その美しさで知られるアパー.スローターの村、そしてホテルのガーデンを周られ、写真を写されるなどされてお楽しみいただいた。photoThe visitors enjoyed a lunch of Ravioli of Mushroom with Chicken Consomme followed by Braised Lamb Fillet, Crushed Peas, Rosemary Pomme.  Lunch finished with Treacle Tart, Raspberries and Clotted Cream.


Photograph shows the visitors with Mr Sunil George, Asst. Restaurant Manager and (right),  Paul Thompson, General Manager.


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Garden Tour ガーデンツアー


We moved into our new house about 18 months ago. The back garden was simply a rectangle of  grass and so we have been making a new flower garden. Although the house was built in around 1820, the garden has Victorian walls on three sides, which has inspired our planting.


Here’s a quick tour of progress in a typical small Cotswold back garden…



We started with roses and plants such as this Forget- Me-Not. The strong blue against the rough wall is beautiful. Next to it, climbing up a frame, we’ve grown sweet peas,  a traditional, Victorian flower. In those times (around the late 19th century) if a lady wore sweet peas it was a rather scandalous message of encouragement to her lover.



Continuing, we have some pansies, another flower with meaning for the Victorians – as a gift from a man to a woman, the meaning was that he was thinking of their secret love. However it was said to be an unlucky gift for a woman to a man.


IMAG2218Along one border we’ve planted White Willow Herb, Daisies, Buddleaia and Geraniums.  Buddleaia attract butterflies. White Willow Herb was, a long time ago, used a bit like aspirin, to relieve minor aches or pains – these days we’re happy just to enjoy its pure brilliant white colour, especially in the early evening when it stands out as the garden gets dark.


IMAG2217IMAG2216Here’s a plant that is called ‘Snow in Summer’, another plant with a long history in English gardens (at least back to the 17th century).



The foxgloves are beautiful ,these are also a pure white, but have a little maturing to do:



We ran out of space for vegetables, so bought a raised bed. It has already paid for itself with lettuces, coriander, spring onions and radishes. Beans are still to come.

We ran out of space for vegetables, so bought a raised bed. It has already paid for itself with lettuces, coriander, spring onions and radishes. Beans are still to come.



And of course the whole thing is supervised by Danny the Cat.



Shopping – Cotswolds Style

Now that it’s Spring (and even beginning to feel like Summer), it’s good to sometimes ignore boring supermarkets and try a more unusual style of shopping.



On Saturday, a very warm day, we started by driving past nearby Winchcombe to buy some apple juice from Hayles Fruit Farm. Nextwe passed typical roadside Cotswold hedges, covered with spectacular white hawthorne blossom and what the local people call ‘cow parsley’. We headed for Farmcote Herbs, which is run by Tim and Jane. Here we bought parsley, thyme, basil, coriander and 3 different types of chilli plant.  Tim grows everything himself and has a menu of unusual types of chilli plants for sale – the British love spicy food.

私たちはヘイルズ果樹園で作られるリンゴジュースを買うために、近くのウィンチカム方面のドライブに出かけた。それはとても暖かい土曜日であった。コッツウォルズの道端でよく見かける白いサンザシの生垣や、地元の人が‘カウパセリ’と呼んでいる白い花が咲いている。果樹園の次の目的地はティムとジェイン夫妻が経営するファームコート.ハーブズだ。ここではパセリ、タイム、バジル、コリアンダー、そして3種類のチリの苗を買った。ティムは珍しい種類のチリを含む全ての苗を自分で栽培、販売している。- 英国人はスパイシーな食べ物が大好きなのだ。


We drove on past the Lavender fields at Snowshill, which are just beginning to show their colour.  We visited Old Farm, a farm shop near Moreton-in-Marsh, to buy some cheese,  bread, pork sausages, new potatoes and onions.  We tried a taster of ‘Righton’s Ruin’, a new cider named after the owners. Sarah and Simon Righton.


By now we were hungry, so we stopped  at my favourite Pub in the Cotswolds, which is the Plough Inn at Kingham. Emily Watkins, the Chef proprietor, is very skilled at finding local producers and takes the trouble to make almost everything in the kitchen ‘from scratch’ (that means ‘from the start’), from beautiful ingredients. As it was a hot day, I had a classic, deceptively simple ‘Ploughman’s lunch’. You see ‘Ploughman’s lunch’ on many English pub menus – it usually includes bread, cheese, pickles, butter and tomato or salad. Emily’s was perfect. Homemade bread, ham and a delicious Double Gloucester cheese came with salad – delicate leaves that you knew had been picked nearby and very recently.

さて、そろそろお腹もすいてきたのでコッツウォルズで私が気に入っているパブに行くことにした。キンガムにあるプラウ.インだ。オーナーシェフであるエミリー.ワトキンズは地元の生産者を見つけるのが得意だ。そして彼女は彼らの素晴らしい材料を使って、ほとんど全てのものを彼女のキッチンで作るように努力している。その日は暑い日だったので私は迷わずにシンプルでクラシックな‘プラウマンズ.ランチ’をオーダーした。‘プラウマンズ.ランチ’は多くのイングリッシュパブのメニューに載っている。- パン、チーズ、ピクルス、バター、そしてトマト、またはサラダがついてくる。しかし、エミリーのものは完璧だ。ホームメードのパン、ハムと美味しいダブルグロスター.チーズにサラダが皿を飾る。サラダのデリケートな葉を見れば、それは直前に、そしてすぐ近くで摘まれたものということがすぐにわかる。

On the way home we stopped at another farm to buy a chicken and some eggs.


Just as we got back we noticed that the local junk shop had a garden table and chairs for sale. These are things that our garden has needed for a long time, so I bought them at 1/4 of the price of the garden shop versions.  And very nice they look too…



It was a great day for shopping and it beat going to the High Street…  it’s also a nice feeling to support growers and farmers who make high-quality food in the Cotswolds.

Allotments アロットメント(分割貸与農地)


In most Cotswold villages, you’ll find a small field of ‘allotments’. Allotments are simply a small piece of land made available to local people to grow flowers or (more often) fruit and vegetables. Strictly speaking such allotments are meant to be non commercial, so for a tiny rent of, perhaps, £10 a year, there is the opportunity for local people to grow potatoes, strawberries, onions, beans and other useful crops for the kitchen. Some people even keep chickens and it is common to build a small shed to store tools.


The people who have an allotments tend to be friendly individuals who are always ready with advice if you are just starting out.  People also love to pass around fruit and vegetables if they have too many. It’s a nice atmosphere.


These pictures are from the allotments at Stow on the Wold, where there are fences to keep out rabbits and even deer. In Stow there is an annual competition amongst allotment holders, with prizes for the best dahlia flowers, the largest onion, the most uniform looking shallot or the straightest carrots – competition is intense as the gardeners love to win,  even if the prize is just a certificate.

Having an allotment is healthy exercise and, even better, the vegetables taste fresh, healthy and can be (if you can keep the slugs off) organic too.



Snowdrop Time スノードロップの季節


After a meeting this morning I stopped the car to look at some white snowdrops and yellow aconites at the side of the road.  I think that snowdrops are a magical sight – pure white ‘drifts’ growing wild. When they come up through the earth the buds point towards the sky and then as they open into flowers they point downwards towards the earth.

Several gardens around the Cotswolds open for viewings of intensively planted snowdrops but, in my view, nothing beats the sight of wild snowdrops growing at random.   Don’t be temped to pick them though, according to local folklore it’s unlucky to bring snowdrops indoors.

午前のミーティングの後、私は道端に咲いているスノードロップと黄色のアコナイトを見るために車を止めた。スノードロップは魔法のようだ。― それは野生の中で真っ白い群生が漂っているようだ。空に向かって真っすぐに芽をだし、花が開くと同時に首をかしげて下を向く。