Monday, February 18, 2008

February in the Culm Valley

Today we met up with our friend, Keith. Every year we celebrate his birthday with lunch at a nice country pub, followed by a long walk. This year we decided on the Culm Valley and we were not disappointed. After a superb lunch by the roaring fire in the Merry Harriers at Clayhidon, we set out for a walk along the lanes. Then we realised that we were not far from Killerton, the National Trust house at Broadclyst, a place that none uf us had visited before. We arrived to find the house closed but the grounds and gardens were open and the crisp, clear day was perfect for wandering around.

The neat paths and lawns soon gave way to more interesting early spring delights like these celandine pushing through the fallen leaves.....
.....and these lovely wood anemones (identified by Crinny!) at the base of a tree.
We almost missed these primroses and crocuses in the long grass....
but the gardeners have made a real feature of these crocuses and dwarf daffodils.
We walked round to the chapel but, like the house, it was locked and also like the house, it was a very disappointing piece of architecture but we were delighted to spot this carpet of tiny cyclamen nearby.
The MM decided to take a picture of Keith and me but he's not very good with cameras!
Better luck next time.Killerton may not be a very pretty or even grand looking house but I believe it holds an excellent costume collection. We will certainly be returning later in the year for another wander around the gardens.


  1. Looks like a gorgeous day out, M. The carpet of cyclamen is heavenly.

  2. I have little clumps of cyclamen scattered around the garden but I've never seen such a dense patch before. It was a breathtaking sight.

  3. M - your pictures remind me just why I moved to Devon a decade ago. And why, when I am firing on all cylinders again, I should get out and reconnect with it.

  4. What a shame that you couldn't enjoy the sunny days, D. I'm afraid the weather has already changed to dismal February cloudiness. I hope you are feeling well soon, ready for the next glimpse of spring.

  5. The Merry Harriers at Clayhidon? A new one on me - where is it in relation to Killerton? Always looking for nice local pubs. Lovely photos, must pop over within the next week or two to see the flowers for myself. Yes, Killerton is not much to look at but inside it's very good with, as you supposed, an excellent costume collection. They often have events there as well and have a pretty good second hand book shop in the stable block. And I must add - how nice you and your husband look!

  6. Wonderful pictures, especially the boots :-)

    My favorite are the primroses. I suppose it is their association in my mind with the high earthen banks of the West Country that I remember from my childhood days.

  7. Thank you kindly, Cath. My husband (the MM) is the one in the cap!

    If you click on the link to the Merry harriers in my post and then select their 'About us' option, you will see directions from the A38 and the motorway. We were headed for the Five bells at Clyst Hydon but found it was closed, a lucky mischance or we wouldn't have seen Killerton.

  8. Rob, I've been looking at some of your photographs and feely very flattered to receive praise for my efforts. I love your post on sunsets as a retirement activity - yet another distraction to add to my list. Porlock Weir is one of our favourite places to spend a weekend.

  9. Ah right, I assumed your husband was the one with you - never assume anything etc... 8-S

    And after I commented I saw the link to the pub, followed it and saw where it's situated. It might be one we pass when we go to Chard, I'm not sure. We've never tried it anyway, but certainly will now.

  10. What lovely photographs - as you live in Devon, try and see the crocus in the gardens of Dartington Hall, they are out now and look wonderful, as do the hellebores, the snowdrops and the daffs.

  11. Thank you, Galant, I love Dartington Hall but won't be able to get down for a while as I'm heading for London for several weeks. Perhaps I'll get to see the summer flowers instead.


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