I gave a small mention to this a few days ago in my post about being ill, but didn’t really go into details regarding the circumstances. On Sunday we took a trip to Chenies to the Plant Fair, which includes a tour of the Chenie’s Manor. Apart from the first hour that I spent in an ambulance trying not to fair or throw up, the rest of the day was really quite lovely.
The plant fair happens once a year for the last fifteen years and has grown to include things like local apple juice and honey producers. There’s also coffee and cake and food and artist’s galleries and craft stalls and of course many many stalls full of plants and flowers of all sorts. We wandered around, had lunch of a proper British barbeque standard – sausages in buns and then decided to take a tour of the manor house itself. The building is a mashup of different eras from the stones in the well of the 11th century to parts of the house from the 14th and 16th century, and everything in between. King Henry the eight visited many times, and so did Queen Elizabeth I, who actually signed Mary’s arrest warrant in one of the rooms. The family who currently lives there has restored the house as much as possible to the old standard of living and in amongst the faded tapestries and old four-poster beds are modern photographs and books, evidence of the family who use it as their own house.
Surrounding the house are stunning old fashioned sunken gardens, with beautiful flower and even a seperate medical garden full of plants to help illnesses and a poison garden with plants that are harmful to touch. It was a beautiful day out, despite the start of the day.
The Earth laughs in flowers – Ralph Waldo Emerson