What a beautiful place Ashwell is.. renowned for it’s natural springs and local residents tell me that their Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are also a well known tradition of Ashwell. The strikingly tall plants are left to grow in the pavements and up against walls and certainly add that extra old charm feel to the village.

The springs deliver clean water which rises from several holes in the natural chalk surrounding Ashwell village. It really is a site to behold, especially on a summer’s day, where the sun streams down through the Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) canopies overhead.

I have a lovely anecdote to share of that day.. whilst returning back to our car to reluctantly make our way home, I spotted a fallen climbing rose in a front garden. I couldn’t leave it there lying on the ground for fear that it might break, so I knock on the front door and a lady appears to whom I recount my discovery to. The lady was so grateful to us for bothering to stop and whilst she sped away to get the twine I stood holding up the rose.

Ann, as she introduced herself to be, very kindly invited us into her beautiful garden and we so enjoyed having a good look round. Delightedly, I accepted Ann’s very kind offerings of thanks in the form of a gorgeous Penstemon ‘Burgundy’ (home grown) and some purple Sage (Salvia officinalis purpurascens).. I just couldn’t say no! They have now been planted in the home garden and I shall always remember my day in Ashwell and Ann who very generously invited us into her home and shared her horticultural treats..