three measuring cups - 1 cup, half cup and quarter cup

In a Vase on Monday – hellebore, half cup full, afternoon tea at Tatton Park

Some people see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. The enlightened are simply grateful to have a glass. Mark Desvaux – Life Coach at 4000Saturdays.

For my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ this week, I decided to pick some of the first flowers that appear in my garden – Hellebores.  There were a couple of reasons for this which I’ll explain – a trip to Tatton Park inspired me.

In a Vase on Monday - Hellebore and half cup cooking measure

In a Vase on Monday – Hellebore and half cup cooking measure – 15 February 2016

Cathy hosts ‘In a vase on Monday’ at Rambling in the Garden; this week she has a collection of three vases with daffodils – a symbol of Spring and lovely, bright colours which lifted my mood.  Do have look and join in if you can.  I think my tête-à-têtes daffodils will be appearing in my vase soon.

Afternoon tea at the Gardener’s Cottage, Tatton Park

On Saturday, My Chap and I went to Tatton Park.   We go often, as it’s only about 45mins drive from our house, and there’s always something interesting to see. I love the Japanese Garden in particular, especially the colours of the acers in the Autumn.  Tatton Park, is owned by the National Trust and is, of course, home to the Royal Horticultuaral Society.

I wonder what will happen to the Tatton Park show when RHS Bridgewater garden opens in 2019? I am VERY excited about this garden coming to Salford – great for tourism, employment and encouraging horticultural and ecological knowledge for everyone .  It’s going to be 3 miles from my garden too!

We went for a stroll around the outside of the mansion, but it was cold and windy, so afternoon tea beckoned at the Gardener’s Cottage. In the courtyard there were some lovely hellebores, a different variety from the one I have in our garden.

As usual, My Chap ordered a huge pile of food – he can eat for Britain even though he’s really skinny.  He had a potato and leek soup, with a chicken and bacon sandwich on crusty granary bread.  I had a sumptuous afternoon tea including smoked salmon sandwiches, and warm, raisin scones with a very decent Earl Grey.

Carry on – Carrying on

We had a really lovely time. It was great to spend some time together and talk about our plans for 2016 – My Chap is often away for work and works long hours so we don’t get as much time together as we’d like.   We decided to book a holiday to Cornwall for May, and back to Scotland in the Summer too – I know it Scotland well but My Chap doesn’t, so there’s much to show him. We’ve not decided where to go on holiday to celebrate our birthday’s in October. Mine is a big one this year…how did that happen?

My hellebore is all white with pink dots at the moment but later in the season the flowers come through more pink than white.

I might be turning the corner with all the difficult times last year, so when I came  look for a receptacle for my hellebore, the American measuring cups jumped out of me from the display cabinet – especially the half cup :-). I knew it’s a lot easier to float hellebores in water, something I learned from one of the contributor’s to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ last year.   I’ve used the three cup measures for quite a few recipes too.

I showed my hellebores in April 2015 – which in turn reminded me of how much I learnt from my former boss. What would Bonnie do?

All this got me thinking about Spring being round the corner, more positive thoughts and plans for future.  My new medication has started working, so I wasn’t suffering nearly as much with back ache compared to usual and it’s helping me sleep better.

pink hellebores - tatton park 2016

hellebore – Gardener’s Cottage, Tatton Park – 13 February 2106

How inviting is this courtyard? It’s even more beautiful in the Summer – a lot busier though so don’t forget to book.

doorway gardeners cottage

Gardener’s Cottage – Tatton Park 13 February 2016

We will definitely be back for more tea and cake – I recommend it if you’re in the area.

Afternoon tea cakes Tatton Park

Afternoon tea at Gardener’s Cottage – Tatton Park 13 February 2016

After such a difficult 2015, I am truly grateful that I have a ‘glass’, many ‘glasses’ in fact. These are, of course, my wonderful Chap, my friends, my family and the great outdoors, and especially my garden. They are helping replenish my resilience.   It was this blog’s first birthday last week, I wrote about ‘non resolutions’ earlier in January too. I don’t really do New Year Resolutions; I believe that a person can decide to make a change anytime – Just Do It.

I shall Carry on Carrying on in 2016… and see where my journey takes me… hoping more happiness is round the corner….

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx




20 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – hellebore, half cup full, afternoon tea at Tatton Park

    1. Bec Post author

      Thank you donna – I’m trying to be positive. Usually American cup measures here in the uk are boring plastic ones. My mum gave me these – no idea where she got them as she’s not a cook 😉


  1. Faye

    Loved the quote you used at the beginning. I really like Tatton Park too, I didn’t know they did afternoon tea so will definitely have to check that out! xx


  2. Noelle

    Afternoon tea with the one you love..sharing plans, looking forward, appreciating each other, a lovely way to spend precious time together. Your post this week is really sweet…..


  3. Cathy

    What an interesting post you have shared with us, Bec – shame we couldnt have shared that afternoon tea too! I was a little envious that you will be 3 miles from the new RHS garden – I was hoping they would find a location in the Midlands… 😉 Your measuring cups are a great idea for a vase – none of mine are anywhere near as decorative so I won’t be borrowing that idea! I am so glad that you feel you have many glasses – and hope that increasingly they are on the full side, overflowing even. Take care Bec and have a good week


  4. Hannah

    England is such an amazing place, turning old mansions into horticultural centers with tea! Everything looks wonderfully delicious too, and presented so well. That would seem a full cup to me. As for the half full cup, the engineer would say that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. I like the measuring cups with the handy pour spouts, they make a nice place to float your hellebore, which resembles those in my garden with the magenta speckles. Aren’t they wonderful flowers! Happy one year blogiversary, and I hope you have a better year after your difficulties last year. I had knee problems develop last year that severely reduced my ability to do all the heavy gardening work, but I did learn ways to manage lighter work and my knees have much improved, so I look forward to the new gardening season with less pain and more mobility.


  5. Lisa@IntoTheGlade

    Such a lovely symbolic idea to use your ‘cups’. It is great to hear that you are feeling better. We might meet you one day ambling around Tatton Park, I think we are about 45 minutes away in the opposite direction, I will have to try that afternoon tea. Take care Bec xx


    1. Bec Post author

      Thank you lisa – I’ve used them for cooking too. That would be funny to see you at tatton – I think I’d recognise your dog too. Yes it’s lovely at gardener’s cottage. Best to book too xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. pbmgarden

    Bec, what a good read this is. Great idea to use the measuring cups with your hellebore. I too am looking forward soon to tête-à-têtes. Having a new RHS garden nearby sounds fortunate for you. Tattoo Park looks amazing too. Have a wonderful week. Oh, and congratulations on your one-year blogging anniversary.


  7. Annette

    Your still life looks very sweet indeed, Bec, and I wish I could have joined you for that afternoon tea that looks soooo tempting…can’t beat the Brits when it comes to tea 🙂


  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – fuchsias, 5 favourite NW gardens | Views from my garden bench

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.