how many kinds of sweet flowers grow

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Last weekend my in-laws were up for the weekend and as my father-in-law is interested in all things garden, Nick decided we would take them to Wisley, another of our favourite haunts, although we haven’t been there for a good couple of years. I particularly love it for the photography opportunities it offers at any time of the year and this visit was no exception.

Whether because it’s harvest season or due to my late-developing interest in honest, home-grown produce I don’t know, but before we even got there I’d decided I wanted to see the kitchen garden. Jessica, however, had her own plans; on entering the gardens, there was a big display of maps for the sculpture trail currently exhibiting, which she promptly divested of a copy and insisted on leading us around. I’ll say this for her – her map reading skills are all set to be as good as mine one day (luckily both my kids seem to have inherited my geeky interest in maps, rather than their father’s inability to read them without turning them “the right way round”).

I was eventually able to head her off in the direction of the kitchen garden, where my hankering was rewarded with a rich display of tomatoes, peppers, chillis, cabbages and of course the ubiquitous squash, albeit in an amazing selection of varieties. We then paused for a brief pitstop at the wonderfully named Honest Sausage café for cakes and coffee (sadly no sausages for us as we had plans for lunch later, OF COURSE).

Once suitably refuelled, we meandered off through the fruit gardens (so. many. apples.) and down past the glasshouse borders to the glasshouse, with a short detour to the play area first for the girls to let off some steam. Then, deciding it really was time for our belated lunch, back to the exit. I found so much to occupy my camera on the way that I managed to get left behind and found myself wandering aimlessly round the gift shop before I realised everyone else was already at the cars waiting for me.

Lunch was just down the road at the pub at Pyrford Lock, which, as usual, didn’t disappoint. The waitress wasn’t at all fazed by my request for a vegetarian larder board with ham instead of the mushroom rarebit and the only fault I could find was that my treacle tart wasn’t big enough (for my overly sweet tooth, anyway). I would link to it, but for the fact that half the county already seems to know about it and I’d hate it to get so busy that we can’t get a table when we visit. You’re welcome.

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