Maybe it was our national cricket team playing in Yorkshire that brought this scene back to mind. I photographed it at Yorkshire Lavender near Terrington, about this time last year. I was greatly charmed at the time. It was set on top of a small hill with a big sky and big vistas. I admit I like cricket – well, I like it when our team is winning and they did win the test match a few weeks ago – but it was the large scale whimsy that I appreciated with this scene.
In terms of garden decoration, I wished they had stopped the pastel blue with the cricket team. There was rather a lot of it repeated throughout other areas – out of the “but wait there is more” school of garden features. The use of bridges that are entirely unnecessary and gates with no purpose are by no means limited to this garden, but they were certainly here in force, suggesting that the owners saw the repetition of blue features as a unifying device through the garden. To my eyes, this sort of device ends up dominating, bordering on clutter, when there was quite sufficient charm to carry the scene without their addition.
I like lavender. I really enjoy the open fields of lavender which are so evocative of a different climate. It is not a plant for our fertile conditions with high humidity and high rainfall all year round. I have just one plant left and it lurches on from year to year, clutching at the remnants of its life. I liked the way Yorkshire Lavender didn’t just keep to lavender but were extending into the New Perennial style as well with their mixed plantings and the mandatory grasses.
I am quite grateful that the lavender fragrance is no longer associated solely with genteel old ladies, lace edged hankies and net curtains. Shall we just leave 4711 cologne with that demographic? We also enjoy the added experience of good tearooms in gardens in the UK. This country lacks sufficient population to make these economically viable in most cases but the tearooms at Yorkshire Lavender were both charming and … very lavender. The shortbread, I recall, was particularly tasty and on trend with the aromatic theme.