We have just enjoyed a lovely week with Joy Hicklin-Bailey (http://secretgarden.eu.com), her partner Tim and students of her Joyful Loving retreat. They were treated to a beautiful warm sunny week with lots of opportunity to be out in the gardens. Joy has team leaders for various aspects of house care and Poulstone felt very looked after during their stay! Joy left us on Tuesday afternoon and the next afternoon we welcomed Alaric Newcombe with an advanced group of his Iyengar yoga students. Details of Alaric’s work are at http://www.alaricyoga.com. These guys are mainly from London and say they are loving the fresh air and how quiet it is here, and are enjoying exploring a little of the Herefordshire countryside in their afternoon breaks. We had a wonderful deluge of rain this morning (making Gail and Mel smile as no watering will be needed in the garden tonight after all!) and are now back to blue skies and sunshine with a fresh breeze so everyone can go walking before the afternoon session.
Hilary traditionally takes the end of May off so Steve is at the helm in the kitchen for a couple of weeks. We are also joined over this period by Faye who cooked for us a while ago before the birth of her first baby, Finn. Faye has cooked in all manner of settings on retreats and camps and is a great asset to the team. We hope she will be able to work with us some more over the year as Finn gets older.
It’s pretty much all hands on deck with several groups back to back now till the middle of June so the garden is taking a bit of a back seat in everyone’s minds. Fortunately, at this time of year there are lots of plants in bloom so the garden looks great without much help – the white roses on the side of the house are in profusion and all the borders are full of colour and interest. Gail’s managed to get everything planted out in the veg garden already and has reserved Sunday for the final transplanting of the flowers which we eventually use for the dining tables. She is experimenting with planting according to the bio-dynamic system and Sunday is a flowers day! We have lovely table decorations this week of aqualegia, bronze fennel, tiny pink gladioli and nigella topped with perky sprigs of the ornamental quaking grass briza maxima which has beautiful seed heads.
We have been taking a lot of inspiration from Sarah Raven’s seed catalogue, a lovely resource if you are interested in growing cut flowers: http://www.sarahraven.com.
That’s about all for now. We’re all in the office this afternoon, working or taking our breaks – so surely time for a tea-break and some quality controlling of the biscuits in the tea bar tin??!!
Mel & Steve
Poulstone Court Retreat Centre