Gardens and cake

Cake seems to feature a lot these days – and personally I think it goes particularly well with a cup of tea and a visit to a garden. So, it would seem, do lots of other people too if our summer visitors  are anything to go by. Kashy, who runs the tea room in the Coach Hall at Fursdon is passionate about baking  – cakes, biscuits, brownies, you name it – and she has perfected the Fursdon scone recipe, explaining to me recently, that ‘it is absoutely crucial to get the timing spot on Catriona’. Now Kashy and I like a good chat, and it’s only when she stops mid sentence and rushes into the kitchen, returning to finish her story, with a look of achievement on her face – that you know, yet again she has a needle sharp instinct for scone timing.  So aren’t we lucky? Judging by the comments in our visitors’ book the cakes are scrumptious too. We might…… put together a Coach Hall recipe book. Would that be a good idea – or does everyone ‘google’ things these days? In the recent incredibly hot weather, Kashy has iced water ready for everyone as they walk from the car park across the cobbles to buy house and garden tickets. One look inside the Coach Hall with the array of cakes and afore mentioned scones is enough to seal the look that says ‘don’t worry we’ll be back after our walk/tour etc to sample some of that…..’
So, to the garden – this year it’s been challenging weatherwise – mostly very dry but with the occasional strong wind and I can almost remember when we had a cold snap accompanied by horizontal rain. The roses have been wonderful – especially this year in the Meadow Garden where they ramble up trees and froth onto the path. I do like an unruly rose -and I’ll humour any amount of rambling untidiness if the scent is seductive. On our recent National Garden Scheme weekend I deliberately found some places to weed (as if that was difficult!) so that I could answer questions and generally talk gardens – it wa s very rewarding. I learned lots about what visitors love about Fursdon – mostly it seems- the friendly atmosphere, the views and the feeling of timelessness pervade. Some like the Vine Pavilion best, others huge old trees – and nearly everyone makes a bee line for a Devon cream tea afterwards.