Monday, June 3, 2013

My Day in Derby with Debs, Simon and One Very Entertaining Cat!

Hardwick Hall
The Layout of the Hardwick Hall Herb Garden
The Design of the Hardwick Hall Herb Garden
Debs and Me in the Herb Garden

A Beautiful House Surrounded by a Lovely Garden
Tea Sandwiches
My favorite, Lemon Verbena Cake
When I planned my trip to England way back in the summer of last year, one of the events I wanted to have happen was to meet some English blogging friends.  Debs Cook just happens to live in Derby where The Herbal Husband and I visited in March of 2009.  I was just starting to blog and had not met any bloggers from England at the time.  When I made plans, she was very excited to meet.  I asked if Hardwick Hall could be part of the agenda.  She said absolutely!

I had a lovely train ride from St. Pancras, London to Derby and had a delightful conversation with a very tired young (Anyone is young once you reach 60!) man who had just arrived from Hong Kong.  I said to him you must be exhausted, but he said he wasn't and we chatted until I left the train in Derby.  Hope to meet up with you again, Dave.  Thanks for the pleasant journey to Derby.

Debs was waiting for me at the station and off we went to Hardwick Hall.  It was a very crisp (freezing) day, but NO RAIN which was the bit we all liked.  After lunch we toured the house.  Simon took the inside photos.  I'll share some with you soon.  Bess was very resourceful.  She married four times and ended as the Countess of Shrewsbury.  What I loved about her was her love of textiles.  The collection she amassed was exceptional.  The house is massive and very historic.  What I didn't realize is that she built Chatsworth House as well.  Sounds like the next trip to Derby! 

Then we went to the herb garden and while not lush like it would be later in summer, the design of the garden shone through.  Again, I don't think you have to have as massive a garden as Hardwick Hall to be successful when you are designing your herb garden.  You can make a great herb garden with several containers.  Don't forget to add vertical elements to the mix as well.  I also want to mention that many herbs go by many different common names and so learning the botanical names of plants is crucial.

Then we headed off to The Cooks residence to have afternoon tea, sandwiches, salad and cake.  I also met (from a distance) their very entertaining cat, Poppy.  In the next post, I'll share Deb's passion for herbs in her garden and collection of books (Yes, Leslie Postin I made it to the inner sanctum!)  and maybe even a photo of Poppy.  Still getting back on the correct time.  Getting close to being back.  Much cooler here in the 'Burgh, but it is going to be in the 40's again tonight!  Ugh!  It looks like we are going to have a Seattle kind of summer this year.  Going to mow my field (the lawn) today.  The Herbal Husband couldn't get everything done while I was gone!  Talk to you later.


MandaBurms said...

Lucky girls meeting each other! Start planning your trip to NZ. I smiled re lemon verbena cake - just perfect!
Love Leanne

lemonverbenalady said...

It was a very fun day and seemed like we knew each other forever! We'll work on the NZ trip, Leanne! xo Nancy

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I am AMAZED that the lemon verbena is coming back! Happy too.

Didn't you love the gardens at HH? One of my favorites, but "Phone Man" says I always say "It is one of my favorites." Oh well.

Sending love to you across the miles,


lemonverbenalady said...

Can you believe it, Sharon! Very excited. We had a rougher winter than last year. So I was very thrilled. Yes, Hardwick Hall's gardens are very beautiful. Would like to see them when they are a bit more lush. The Herbal Husband says the same thing. Thanks for stopping by, dear Sharon. xo