Despite mucky weather most of the week, we managed to visit a couple of gardens while away. The first I'll save for another post. The second was at Minterne Magna, close to the Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset (where we saw a very famous man in the viewing point car park, staring up at the giant's, um, considerable assets - and no, I am not going to tell you who it was: this isn't Gawker you know).
The skies were decidedly dodgy as we arrived, but I didn't worry, blithely assuming there would be a tea room where we could take refuge in case of rain - sadly not. The gardens themselves didn't inspire - largely because I was grumpy about the lack of tea and my daughter was grumpy because she was hungry. But I did take a liking to the signs throughout the place: there's a sample of their refreshing honesty to the right. You got a real sense that the owner was telling it like it is, warts and all, rather than trying to "sell" a particular garden brand to the visitor.
There was also a couple of lovely borders up by the house (not open to visitors) which I snapped to remind myself how much I like white hydrangeas (which also feature in this week's Weekend gardening feature, on gardens to enjoy by moonlight. (Unfortunately the gorgeous pictures of the night garden and Westwell Manor that you'll find in the magazine don't feature online - something I am working on fixing.)
Oh, and I did get a super cup of tea in the end as we adjourned to Abbots tea rooms in Cerne Abbas. The chocolate orange cake was moist and lovely, much like Dorset was during our week away.