Somewhere in England – Part 1

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023 at 11:35 am

Most people have been unable to go far during the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK; some have been unable to get out at all. Many of us are lucky to have gardens so, even with the necessary restrictions on movement and travel, we have been able to enjoy fresh air and a certain degree of exercise.  Others are not so fortunate.  It seemed to me it would be a bit of fun to share our gardens – a kind of virtual open garden event, if you like.  It’s a minor departure from A Bit About Britain’s normal material, but these are unusual times.

So here is the first, brief, video episode in a three-part series showing A Bit About Britain’s garden as a work in progress during April 2020.  Not being very experienced at this kind of thing, the filming took several attempts. However, the weather was unusually wonderful.  As I had been ill for several weeks, I had been unable to get out at all until later in the month.  I soon learned that gentle gardening was part of the recuperation therapy – and ‘gentle’ wasn’t exactly the adjective I would have chosen.  But, in between bouts of wheezing, it was exhilarating just to be outside, enjoying the sunshine; I was immensely grateful to be able to experience it.

Anyway, look out for a few little friends – and, of course, for Parts 2 and 3.  These videos will appear on A Bit About Britain’s Facebook and Twitter pages using #opengarden, #lockdowngarden .  Join me and post your own photos and videos – it strikes me as a bit of fun to share images of humble patches from around Britain, and beyond.

There is also an understandable trend for photos and videos of grand showcase gardens on social media at the moment. Normally open to the public, like heritage attractions, they are all dressed up with no one to admire them – and they will be suffering a drop in revenue, as are so many other businesses.  A Bit About Britain will be doing what it can to share their posts on Facebook and Twitter and continue to promote places to visit in Britain, and things to see, ready for when society opens up again.

Garden, somewhere in England

70 thoughts on “Somewhere in England – Part 1”

  1. lowcarbdiabeticJan

    Sorry to read you’ve been ill, I do hope you’re feeling much better now.
    Take care

    All the best Jan

  2. I’m sorry you were sick, Mike! Glad you’re better, and nothing is pleasanter than warm breezy sunshine and lovely plants. I look forward to the rest of the tour. 🙂

  3. Hi Mike – glad all is well … and delightful to see your garden series! Yes Camellia, as well as Clematis … late or early … though I do prefer the early ones. Toilet blocks … I remember those – though I think my uncle on coming to see me aged x said our house was the coldest he’d been in – so perhaps we didn’t need an outdoor privy!! Gregory looks a little grumpy – perhaps you were disturbing him on your 52nd take?! Take care and recover fully … Hilary

  4. Your garden is lovely- even if it did take 52 tries, the video was worth it ;)! I love seeing the flowers blooming- they make the staying-at-home less dreary than it would be if this had happened in winter.
    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been ill- hooray for feeling better, and for some “gardening therapy. Take care.

    1. Thanks, Anne. Yes – we’ve been lucky with the weather recently (so I gather!). And those that can get out easily are lucky too. I’m told the gardening therapy will continue long after recovery 🙂 Stay safe.

  5. We had planned a visit to England at the end of May but that’s not going to happen any time soon now. So visiting your lovely garden is a real treat. Thanks! Glad you are feeling better.

    1. Thanks x 2, Darlene. No, I can’t see anyone going anywhere much very soon – so hopefully I’ll get back to plugging our little part of the globe ready for when people travel again.

  6. I wondered where you’d got to – sorry to hear you’ve been ill, I hope you’re feeling much better now. I love where the path opens out into a proper garden and I think Gregory is cute 🙂

  7. I am sorry to hear that you have been unwell and hope you recover to normal health soon.

    I loved wandering round your garden with you 🙂

    Fabulous idea for posts whilst we are are stuck at home or only local.

    I have my walking challenge group that shares inspirational ideas to help us keep focused on the thing we love (travelling and walking) whilst we are living surreal times.

    My garden is a lot smaller than yours but I have embarked on some garden walks 😉

  8. What a brilliant idea, Mike. I am so sorry you have been ill but pleased you are now on the mend. I started to watch your lovely video but was interrupted so I’ll go back again later.

  9. it’s great to have you back; glad you are feeling better. Thanks for the stroll through your lovely garden; look forward to the next video!

  10. I agree with all of the comments above. Lovely to read another one of your posts AND to know that you are mending after illness. Was it COVID-19… or perhaps some other challenge about which you’d prefer to remain private? Here in Boston, MA we are experiencing a lot of cold, rainy, windy weather this spring; so a stroll — including your casual and delightful commentary — down a garden path on a warm spring day is very welcome viewing! All that wonderful stonework! What is on the other side of the clematis-covered fence? Your neighbor’s garden? And the small stone building we passed was a not-currently-in-use outdoor privy? As you can see, your first video has whetted my — and many other happy viewers’ — interest. Take your time, however. Recovery can be full of ups and downs. Thank you for this lovely post.

  11. Sorry to read you have been ill.
    Your garden is beautiful; thank you for sharing it! I love the stone wall, of course, and am looking forward to seeing and hearing more.
    Gregory does not seem to be overly happy to say hello; is he always that grumpy?

    1. Thanks, Meike. Hope you’re staying safe – better organised in your neck of the woods, by the sound of it! Yes, Gregory is not a happy soul; he has unpleasant habits and few friends.

  12. I’m glad you’re getting better. I’m also glad to see that mine aren’t the only camellias struggling this year.

    My garden is bare earth and lawn at the moment. I planted the vegetable seeds on Monday, so it should look a bit more exciting in a couple of weeks.

  13. What a wonderful idea. Your garden is beautiful. (I’m glad to hear you are recovering. I was a little concerned when I hadn’t seen a post for a while.

  14. You’re not the only person in the world to be leading me down the garden path, but this experience is the best of the lot. Good to see you again Mike, glad you’re on the mend. Looking forward to more of your garden and Gregory of course!

  15. So sorry to hear that you have been ill but garden therapy seems to be doing the trick. I enjoyed the video greatly…and did I see interesting looking bottles on that fencing?

  16. How fun to see your own garden and hear your voice after years of only reading your words! Such a beautiful old wall at the beginning of the path and lovely view when the path opens into the garden. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  17. camellia might be the plant name you’re after!

    I’m pleased you’re on the mend and glad the gentle exercise led to this. Onward!

    1. It was – my mind went blank and I was too lazy to repeat the process. I discovered that ‘gentle’ in this instance was not strictly accurate – hence the wheezing you can probably hear!

  18. ahh, Hello Gregory. How charming. This is inspiring me to place our critter cam outside for a few days and see what I can capture. Managed a deer last time. tally ho, Stig

      1. No only the front end. And it was dark so a black and white like a night time special ops raid. Exciting stuff. Sure frightened the deer.

  19. Hi Mike,

    It’s great to see a post from you! I’ve been wondering at your absence from “A Bit About Britain.” I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been sick and truly hope you’re making a good recovery. Working in a garden is hard work, but often very therapeutic I’ve discovered.

    Your pathway and garden are just lovely!! I would so love to visit England again, but I’m beginning to think it won’t be in this lifetime. I love the pink Clematis — it’s GORGEOUS! Is Gregory a gargoyle? By the way, my maiden name was Gregory. 😀 I enjoyed the video tour of your garden and hope we’ll get to see more. In the meantime, stay well, my friend!

    Best wishes,


    1. Hi Denise – hope you’re staying safe over there. Yes, I have heard that gardening is supposed to be therapeutic; I’ll let you know once it’s stopped hurting. Sadly, Gregory in this instance is a mischievous little devil! 🙂

  20. What a lovely garden you have. I am terribly sorry to learn that you have been ill, but so glad you are on the mend. Take it slow and don’t over do it. Your posts are one of my great joys in life, something I really look forward to. Please take care and fully recover soon. Best wishes from Savannah, Georgia USA. – Susan Allen

      1. Yes!! What a relief it is to be able to get those tattoos! I’m not sure how we have survived this long without that essential service! … Please pray for the scientists to find a cure to this horrible virus, as there is no cure for stupid!

  21. I loved this! You made me smile and your garden is gorgeous. Am now following you on Twitter, too. I filmed our wisteria the other day which I’ve never done before and am unlikely to do again. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell and wish you a continued recovery. Already looking forward to Parts 2 & 3.

    1. Thanks, June; hope you’re staying safe. Still finding my way round Twitter, but it can be absorbing (if you avoid the nasty stuff). We have a wisteria that was planted outside our house before we arrived; it’s on a north wall, hardly ever flowers, but invades bedrooms when we’re not looking.

      1. Yes, thanks. I was a relative latecomer to Twitter but now I really enjoy it. I’m very careful who I follow or which tweets I like because, as you say, there is some very nasty stuff on there but there is also some very witty, informative and heartfelt commentaries as well.

  22. Oh Mike, I loved this video and the wonderful posh British accent of the dear videographer. Tell Gregory to cheer up, A Bit About Britain is back! Looking forward to parts 2-5. (Don’t stop at 3.). Greetings to the patient Mrs. B and many thanks to her for her nursing skills and loving care. I’m so glad you’re having great weather. Sunshine and warm temps are so therapeutic.

    1. Thanks, Judy – lovely comment, as usual! Posh accent? Not as posh as it used to be; after years of working in/around London, sometimes I think I sound a bit like Michael Caine. But not many people know that.

      1. Yes, Michael Caine! I’ve been thinking that I didn’t expect you to have that particular accent (a city boy accent?), and you hit it when you said Michael Caine. But I love all English accents!

  23. Very nice idea! One of the many things I love about England are the beautiful gardens. Usually I spend every year some holiday in England, but this year I doubt it will be possible in person but only in videos (and memories).
    A German lady

  24. Downright weird.I was going to send you an email today because I hadn’t seen you post in a long while and I was getting very concerned that you or your family might be ill or worse. So this post is like an answer to a prayer (or an unsent email!). I love your garden and your path. It’s so picturesque, as lovely as any of the sites that you have shared here on ABAB. You are further ahead weatherwise than we are here in Michigan. There are some spring bulbs out but not not a lot of other flowers and of course no one can go to get plants so easily. So I will take joy in your garden and eagerly await “Episode 2.” Might Vita Sackville West be envious?

    1. Thanks, Jeanie, that is a little weird. Hope you’re staying safe over there. No, I don’t think Vita would be too impressed by our little patch. Must get to Sissinghurst when all this terrible business is out of the way – haven’t been there for years.

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