Surrey Homes | SH42 | April 2018 | Garden supplement inside


The lifestyle magazine for Surrey - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes

GARDEN Supplement inside

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes


April 2018



T: 01483 454 091




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New collection, new colours, new finishes and a whole new you. Discover our new spring collection of furniture

and home accessories available in-store, plus receive unmissable in-store only spring offers. Find out how our

spring styles, colours and fabrics can be customised to fit seamlessly in your home, simply book your free interior

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Designers and makers of handmade kitchens

The difference is in the detail

Please call for a brochure or visit our showrooms

Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart

Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES

Tel: 01732 762682

81 Calverley Road

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY

Tel: 01892 520730






Tel: 01435 867 072

Round Wood | Newick Lane | Mayfield | East Sussex | TN20 6RG


April 2018






Maggie Alderson finds the best

of retirement properties



Ideas to try from Marta

Nowicka’s style sheet



Aaron Bertelsen of Great Dixter’s

simply beautiful recipes



Surrey events to take

note of this month



We take a look at three

fabulous flooring trends



Hilary Wilce on the importance of

helping children find their voices






Interior designer Alexis Wylie

rejuenvates a family home


Inspiration for how to emulate

Alexis Wylie’s unique style


The details that will bring

your home bang up to date


Kathryn Flett loves the lack of

cliché in this maritime cottage






Kate Watts combats

April showers in style


Jo Fairley is bringing

back the bar


Strictly no scalpels in these

summer-ready solutions


Eminé Rushton begins her Year of

Wellness with a cleanse

Published by JPS Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF

Telephone 01580 714705 Email Visit

Copyright © 2018 JPS Media Ltd. The views of the advertisers and contributors are not

necessarily those of JPS Media Ltd.





Events to keep you busy this month


Win a dazzling pair of

diamond earrings


Jane Howard warmly welcomes

new arrivals to Coopers



36 pages of

flowers, veg,

hens, lawns and

expert advice on

outdoor living

After page 140.


A Wealden Surrey Homes Times Supplement

Sponsored by


View the new Garden Directory online at View the new Garden Directory online at

Flowers • Veg • Hens • Lawns • Outdoor Living

06SH42Supplement.indd 1 23/03/2018 10:35

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A collection of contemporary 2, 3 & 4 bedroom homes.

Crafted with pride.

Move in. Start living.

Focused design.

To register for an exclusive showhome preview,

call 01483 661458 or email

Thakeham_Surrey-Home_Half-Page_185x130mm_V4.indd 1 22/03/2018 13:33

Orlestone Oak

RoosterS42.indd 1 22/03/2018 14:21

Tailor-made Oak Joinery and Oak Flooring












OAK DECKING & BEAMS 01233 732179

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Have you got a large

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Industry leading experts

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For a free appraisal call 0843 557 4080

“Guy and team at CHH did a fantastic

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National strength, locally delivered.

Move to the beautiful Hampshire Countryside

faster with Part Exchange

• A collection of high specification executive

3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes and carefully

refurbished 3 bedroom mews homes set within

maintained landscaped communal gardens

• Set in its own grounds and surrounded by

rolling Hampshire countryside, yet offering

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• House to sell before you can move?

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need for you to instruct estate agents

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Homes available to view and ready

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Book your personal appointment today


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New and refurbished 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes

from £600,000 to £1,350,000

Marketing Suite and Show Homes open

Friday to Monday 10am – 5pm

01420 384 192

Photographs and computer generated image show typical Linden homes. Interiors may include optional upgrades or extras available at additional cost. *On selected homes only.

Subject to status, terms and conditions apply. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. We reserve the right to refuse Part Exchange or Assisted Move. Prices and details

correct at time of going to press.

Open the

doors to




Discover what your local Elmbridge

Retirement Village could offer you.

Private retirement living at its very best.

Call 01372 383950 for your

complimentary A-Z guide.

New and pre-owned properties

available. Ask about part exchange.

01372 383950

Elmbridge Village, Essex Drive,

Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh, GU6 8TR



Stunning homes located in the highly sought after village of Bookham in Surrey and just

a stone’s throw away from Bookham Station. Great Oaks offers quick and easy access

to central London, with direct trains to London Waterloo in just 50 minutes.

2 & 3 bedroom homes and 1 & 2 bedroom apartments also available


Computer generated image of Great Oaks, indicative only.

Internal photography of Shanly Show Home. Travel time approximate only.













Forming part of the eagerly anticipated Marks and Spencer

development in the heart of Ashtead village,

St. Michael’s Court comprises 9, one and two bedroom

apartments. Each apartment is finished to an excellent

specification and has the benefit of secure, gated parking to

the rear. Many of the properties have private balconies and

all have the use of an attractive communal courtyard

located on the first floor.

Exclusively marketed by Patrick Gardner on behalf

of Commercial Development Projects Ltd and Beechmount Estates.

1 & 2 bedroom apartments with prices from £300,000

Recently launched, this development is taking reservations now

and with Help to Buy* just a 5% deposit is required.

Tel: 01372 360832 email:

*5% deposit required, the Government provides an

equity loan of up to 20%, interest-free for five years.

75% mortgage required. Terms and conditions apply.



Because it’s Beechcroft... don’t have to

compromise on space

Private outside space | Allocated parking | Beautifully landscaped and fully-maintained grounds | Estate management service

Energy-efficient and easily-maintained | Communal lounge | Range of services at the neighbouring care home


show homes

now open

Two and three-bedroom

houses and apartments

with prices from

£495,000 to £875,000

Show homes & sales office

open Tues–Sat 10am–5pm

Hazel, our friendly sales consultant,

will be happy to arrange your

appointment to view the show homes

and provide further details.

Telephone: 01372 887530


Sat Nav Postcode KT22 0AA

01372 360832


The Maltings at West End is an elegant development of traditionally built 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom

high specification homes, set in a rural location just a few minutes’ walk from West End village and

within easy reach of railway stations and motorways providing direct and rapid access to London.

PRICES FROM £569,950

To find out more please contact our selling agents:

T: 01483 796810


The computer generated illustrations are for general guidance only. Price correct at time of going to press.

*Help to Buy is available in England on new homes up to £600,000. Terms and conditions apply.



National strength, locally delivered.

Make your move to Wellington Grove

• An exquisite collection of just sixteen

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• Plus, we’ll even pay your Stamp Duty! ‡

• Discover Part Exchange † – you buy

one of ours and we could buy yours.

No need for you to instruct estate agents

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Book your personal

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Epsom Road, Merrow GU1 2QY

3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes

from £850,000

Selling from Charters Estate Agents,

40 Downing St, Farnham GU9 7PH

01483 667 305

Photographs and computer generated image show typical Linden homes at Wellington Grove. Interiors may include optional upgrades or extras available at additional cost. †Part Exchange is available on selected Linden homes

only. We reserve the right to refuse to agree to Part Exchange of your current home and we are under no obligation to give reasons why. Part Exchange may not be available in conjunction with any other offer. For full terms

and conditions please visit ‡On selected homes only and for reservations taken by the 8th April 2018. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Terms and conditions apply.

Paid as a lump sum allowance upon legal completion as the equivalent of Stamp Duty charges. Not applicable to second home owners or investor purchasers. Price and details correct at time of going to press.




Saturday 14th April | 10am-6pm

Reserve at the event and receive an

Interior Design package of your choice *

3 & 4 Bedroom Townhouses | In the Heart of Godalming

From £565,000 | Help to Buy Available

Town Centre Location | London Waterloo 47 Mins ° | Contemporary Living

Private Garden | Central Courtyard Garden | Secure Car Parking

Reserve your place today

01483 677 116



Sales agent

A development by

Interior image shown is of the Show Townhouse at Godalming. *Offer applies to reservations taken following attendance at Godalming’s Townhouse launch event on 14th April 2018. The Interior

Design package is up to a maximum value of £10,000 and includes window treatments, lighting or interior decorations of your choice from our selected partner only, Interiors by DAPA - no cash

alternative. To qualify, reservations must be finalised and reservation monies received by midnight on Tuesday 17th April 2018. For more information and full T&Cs please speak to our Site Sales

Team. °Travel times are approximate and calculated at optimum travel times using from Godalming station.


Kentwyns Lodge, Nutfield - £625,000

A unique Grade II listed three bedroom home overflowing

with character features and forming part of an original

18th century Manor House. Set in a semi-rural location

with delightful countryside close by yet close to a range of

amenities. Nutfield and Redhill Train Stations nearby offer

services to London. Junction 6 of the M25 motorway is within

easy reach.

Haslemere, Godstone - £525,000

A spacious Victorian 3 bedroom semi-detached house with

period features as well as a tasteful large fitted kitchen/breakfast

room and modern family bathroom. Haselmere benefits from

an enclosed south facing rear garden and driveway parking.

Situated approximately a third of a mile from Godstone Village

Centre with easy access to junction 6 of the M25 motorway, rail

links and the larger towns of Oxted and Caterham.


Friars Cottage, Pains Hill, Limpsfield - £425,000

An attractive Grade II listed property circa 1492 with later

additions in 1800’s. It offers a wealth of original features, character

and appeal as well as 3 double bedrooms. Pains Hill is a sought

after and highly regarded country lane, within one mile of

Limpsfield Chart and 2 miles of Oxted Town Centre with its

mainline railway links to London.

Surrey View, Godstone - £575,000

A unique 2/3 bedroom first floor apartment with approximately

1280 sq ft of living space. Ideally located in Godstone Village with

outstanding views over the Green. Features include high ceilings,

original sash windows and beautiful open fire places. Located in

the heart of historic Godstone village and within moments of the

village green, pond and local amenities.

Caterham 01883 347446 • Warlingham 01883 622258 • Godstone 01883 744344

Lettings Team 01883 622244 • Land and New Homes Team 01883 744344

Sunninghill | Ascot | Berkshire




A new way of living

If you’d like to live somewhere with company, support and

superb facilities on your doorstep, it’s time to come and

have a look at the award-winning Lynwood Village.

Living made easy

Superb facilities including a restaurant, coffee shop, fi tness

centre and pool, plus daily activities and excursions make

age-exclusive Lynwood Village an easy place to relax and

enjoy life. An optional Home Care service is available for

added peace of mind.

Don’t leave it too long...

Choose your beautiful spacious apartment, duplex or

cottage, designed for easy living, with private balcony or

garden, fully fi tted kitchen with integrated appliances and

ensuite shower rooms.

Come and see for yourself

We’d be delighted to show you around the village. Book

your appointment now to visit this friendly and vibrant

community and start planning your new life!

To arrange a visit:

Call: 01344 874250

Visit: Email:

Lynwood Village is owned and operated by Ben – Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund. Lynwood Court, Lynwood Village, Rise Road, Ascot, SL5 0FG.

A charity registered in England and Wales (no.297877) and Scotland (no.SC039842). Registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (no. LH 3766).




Later living it up

Maggie Alderson is looking forward to the

next of life’s housing stages

Life’s housing stages used to divide up neatly into parental home, first

home and family home… then it all got a bit vague. If you were lucky

there would be a granny flat arrangement with one of the sprogs, if not

there were very few options, especially once the point was reached when even a

retirement bungalow got a bit much to deal with.

How quickly and brilliantly that has all changed, with the dawn of the

appealing concept of ‘later years living’, with the emphasis very much on the

word living. That’s how we think about the stage after the family home years

now, another style of living, not a custodial sentence. Something to look

forward to.

Now there is a whole new genre of retirement living options, with

developments so well designed that, rather than induce regret at the house

and environs left behind, they can inspire a whole new lease of energy, with

an invigorated social life. And not having to worry about roofs, gutters, lawns,

fallen leaves etc ever again. The joy.

I consider myself particularly well versed in this segment of the property

market, having researched it very thoroughly for my mother and being so

impressed with what I saw, I was inspired to set a large part of the action in my

most recent novel in a glamorous retirement development (The Scent of You, out

in June).

The apartments themselves, in every later years set-up I visited, are sleek and

thoughtfully equipped to take unnecessary little irritants out of daily life, with

luxuries such as electric windows, illuminated light switches at elbow height

and front doors that don’t lock automatically on closure.

I can also attest to the quality of the social aspect. Lunch with my mum’s

new group of friends is a riot and the wine flows. Here are some of the best

retirement developments currently on the market.

1. Lynwood Village

Where? Lynwood Village is set in

Sunninghill, near Ascot, one of the most

desirable locations in Berkshire. Windsor

Great Park, Savill Gardens, Virginia

Water and the world-class golf courses of

Wentworth, Sunningdale and Royal Ascot

are all nearby and it’s less than an hour by

train to London Waterloo.

What? Lynwood Village is an awardwinning

retirement community for over

65s with an impressive range of facilities,

beautifully designed, with apartments

and duplexes with one, two, three or four

bedrooms, or two-bedroom cottages.

Central facilities include a restaurant,

coffee shop, swimming pool, hair salon,

shop, spa, therapy centre, bowls, croquet

and snooker. There is a busy programme

of activities, events and excursions, plus a

24-hour concierge and home care service.

Should owners’ needs change Lynwood

Care Centre is located on the same site,

providing life-enhancing residential care.

How much? Prices range from

£415,000 for a one bedroom apartment,

to £1,580,000 for four bedrooms. 01344









2. Laurel Lodge

Where? Laurel Lodge is a collection

of 57 newly built one and two-bedroom

retirement apartments located near the

heart of Carshalton. A charming Surrey

village with excellent transport links into

town, it retains a pleasant village feel,

with shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and

tea rooms. The development is set in

landscaped grounds in a central location, a

short distance from transport links, shops

and all the local amenities.

What? The self-contained apartments

are spacious and well-designed, with

rooms appointed with the over 60s

in mind, with easy-turn lever taps in

both the kitchen and bathroom and

illuminated light switches. In the twobedroom

apartment the master bed has

an ensuite shower room and there is a

separate guest cloakroom off the hall.

The kitchen leads off the living room and

there is a useful storage closet. A lodge

manager oversees the day-to-day running

of the development and there is an

owners’ lounge and coffee bar, plus a wellappointed

guest suite.

How much? One-bedroom

apartments at Laurel Lodge start

from £299,950 and two bedrooms

from £439,950. 020 8712 3142

3. Elmbridge Village

Where? Elmbridge Retirement

Village sits is in a countryside setting

nestled between the Surrey Hills Area of

Outstanding Beauty and the South Downs

National Park, close to the lively village of

Cranleigh. Guildford is a 25 minute drive

and there are no fewer than five railway

stations within five minutes. Gatwick

Airport can be reached in under 40.

What? The two-bedroom Elmbridge

Suite is located in the Elmbridge Manor

clubhouse, close to the village clubhouse

with communal facilities including a

main hall with stage, restaurant and

private dining room, bar and lounge,

multipurpose function room, meeting

rooms, library, village shop, treatment

rooms and guest rooms. The apartment

is in a prime elevated position, with a

private balcony accessible from the lounge

and both bedrooms. Both bedrooms have

en suites and walk in wardrobes.

How much?

The Elmbridge Suite is on the market for

£780,000 (other charges apply) as a oneoff

luxury appartment.

All the properties at Elmbridge

Retirement Village are marketed by Roger

Coupe 01483 268 555 See

more at

01483 676100.

4. Durrants Village

Where? Durrants Village is set amongst

30 acres of idyllic parkland and beautiful

West Sussex countryside in the hamlet

of Faygate, close to the market town of

Horsham, from where it’s just over an hour

to Victoria. Gatwick Airport is a cheeky 20

minute drive.

What? The village offers 175 luxury

retirement properties – two-bedroom

apartments and two and three bedroom

cottages. The homes centre around an

on-site clubhouse providing country

club-style facilities, including a restaurant,

bar, lounge, swimming pool, gym and

library. Within the landscaped grounds

there is also a croquet lawn and a lake

with duck houses. The management will

also be implementing bespoke home-care

services that will offer residents a hotel-style

standard of service, as well as an increased

level of care, should their needs change in

the future.

How much? Prices start from

£510,000 for a two-bedroom cottage and

from £527,950 for three bedrooms.

01293 851935




Open: Mon to Fri 8am-5pm Sat 9.30am-3pm

121 Anyards Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 2LJ (Car park to rear of building)

Tel: 01932 866471/868523 | |


TJBathroomsS42.indd 1 27/03/2018 16:09

Beautiful Art Deco inspired

Zen Furniture Range in Acacia Wood

Console table £235

Two door cabinet £325

Dining tables from £250

Amazing Quality

at Great Prices

Cabinet £595

TV unit £325

10% off all furniture

in store with this advert

(valid until 30/4/18)

View full range online at

Visit our showrooms

Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Nr Fletching, East Sussex TN22 3RB - 01825 790200


TradingBoundariesS42.indd 1 28/03/2018 14:52

halebrown architects

T: 020 3735 7442 E: W:

The Audi Q2

Now available to test drive

at Epsom Audi.


Audi Vorsprung durch Technik

Epsom Audi

Part of the Drift Bridge Group - Family owned since 1936

Reigate Road, Epsom, Surrey KT17 3LA

01737 365365





discounts are

currently available, please


when calling the team or

popping into the shop

for further details.

Epsom-based The Vintage

Pawnbrokers, specialists

in prestige watches, fi ne

jewellery and personal asset

loans, was established

in 2009 by local businessman and

entrepreneur, John Freeze. The

passionate team here at The Vintage

Pawnbrokers is well-known throughout

Surrey for being approachable, friendly,

and incredibly professional. Below, John

answers the most common questions

asked about pawnbroking services

available at The Vintage Pawnbrokers:

What is pawnbroking?

As confi rmed by Wikipedia, pawnbroking

is the oldest form of banking in England.

The pawnbroker in this country, like so

many other distinguished personages,

came in with William the Conqueror.

Yet, despite the valuable services

the class rendered, not infrequently

to the Crown itself, the usurer was

treated with studied cruelty. Sir Walter

Scott’s Isaac of York was no mere

creation of fi ction. These barbarities

began, by diminishing the number

of Jews in the country, long before

Edward’s decree of banishment, to

make it worth the while of the Lombard

merchants to settle in England. In

1338, Edward III pawned his jewels to

the Lombards to raise money for his

war with France. An equally great king,

Henry V did much the same in 1415.

What kind of people come to The Vintage

Pawnbrokers for a loan?

We have a lot of people that think that

‘pawn’ is a dirty word, which it isn’t. We

are fully compliant with the FCA (the

Financial Conduct Authority). We have

people from all walks of life that use our

services, whether they are in a high-fl ying

job and need to bridge the gap before the

work bonus comes in, or have over-spent

one month and the wife still wants to go

skiing or perhaps you’re in-between jobs

or waiting for a payment from a third party.

We help everyone that wants to use us.

Who can apply for a loan, and what is

the process?

Anyone can apply for an asset loan. We

don’t do any credit checks, you simply

need photographic ID. We have two

options to choose from depending on how

much you require to borrow. We have a

28 day ‘Buy Back’ or a ‘6 month pledge.’

Both of these options can be renewed if

the client is unable to redeem at the end

of the contract. We are always fair to our

customers and we want to return all of

the items we hold. Our interest rates vary

depending on whether you are a fi rst time

or a long-standing customer.

What kind of asset/s can be used?

We consider most things but the most

popular items seem to be high-end

watches, gold, diamonds, handbags etc.

Depending on how much the client would

like to borrow, they can walk out with the

cash instantly or be in receipt of a bank

transfer within the hour. We can assure

all clients that their goods are properly

looked after with our very high-tech

security systems.

Can assets be sold through

The Vintage Pawnbrokers?

Here at The Vintage Pawnbrokers, we

also offer a buying service if you would

prefer to sell your items rather than

get a loan against them. The client can

also part exchange against something

that we already have in the shop, like a

Rolex watch, or upgrade their diamond

ring to something more substantial.

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Strange, Beautiful,

Captivating, Unsettling,

Enchanting & Different

THESE ARE ALL words used by people at

to describe the artwork of Chris Rivers

at the recent Manchester Buy Art Fair

where Chris turned out to be one of the

most in demand artists of the weekend.

A former professional rock drummer turned artist,

Chris began painting 4 years ago whilst touring the

world as drummer for UK rock band Heaven’s Basement.

I spoke to Chris at Buy Art Fair to find

out more about his story…

“I really fell into painting by accident if I’m honest.

Everything at that time was full throttle, I needed

something to occupy my mind and free time when I

was touring. It started by painting damaged drum skins

and broken cymbals after the shows to then try and

sell for some extra money to have a good time with!

They started selling right away and it gave me

the confidence to do more and more and I found

myself spending days off on tour just painting.”

You spent around 10 years as a professional

drummer, sharing the stage alongside bands such as

Aerosmith, Green Day, Metallica and playing some

of the biggest hard rock festivals in the world, but it

came to end in November 2016, what happened?

“A lot of changes happened in my life, both personally

and with the band so I felt the time was right for me

to step away, I love drumming, sharing the stage with

my friends and touring the world but there’s also a lot

of baggage that comes with the lifestyle of being in

a band, my heart and mind wasn’t in it anymore and

at this point I’d also become completely obsessed

with painting and everything to do with it. It was

clear to me that was the path for me to go down.”

Chris’s work is becoming more and more in demand,

which is attracting the interest of galleries and

art publishers, but he truly believes being in full

control of your own destiny is the best way.

“It’s flattering to have such a great opportunity come my

way but for me I want to be in the driving seat with what

I’m doing, I’m developing all the time, I feel like I’m only just

scratching the surface of what I’m doing, at the moment

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number of independent galleries which I’ve build great

relationships with, I’m looking to establish a few more but I

want to keep what I’m doing simple and develop at my pace.”

What’s next?

“I’m painting almost everyday at the moment, I’ve got a

lot of ideas I’m keen to get started. A lot of my process

is based on trial and error so the paintings can take a

long time to come together. I’m also working towards

Asian Contemporary art fair in Hong Kong in September,

so that will take me a good 6 months to prepare for.”

Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

“Still painting everyday, simple as that. Painting

is the best and biggest escape I’ve ever had, I

think it good for your health… (seriously).”

Where can people find out more about you?

“You can check out all my work at

or @chrisriversart on any social media.”

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England’ amongst the formal borders of

the Hole Park Estate? See page 158 for this

month’s Garden Supplement and keep an eye

out for some of our fabulous exhibitors!

Don’t miss...

The Fenwick Beauty Hub will feature

a range of complimentary treatments

from brands including Charlotte Tilbury,

Dermalogica and Clarins. Plus, throughout

the three days there will also be talks and

workshops from Kiehl’s, Aveda, Caudalie

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Signs of Spring...

Come experience the brightest sign of spring at RHS

Garden Wisley as the Daffodil Show erupts into full

bloom on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April. The show

will have over 125 classes of daffodils in every shape, size

and level of expertise and you can try judging for yourself

too at the ‘You be the Judge’ display. Visit for

more information.



Exhibitions & events

near you this month...

Just Gin Time...

Guildford Cathedral Marquee is home to an

enormous variety of gins this month at the Gin

Festival Guildford from Thursday 26 to Sunday

29 April. As well as the opportunity to try a huge

variety of gins from all over the world, (including

exclusive gins you won’t see anywhere else) there

will be live music, great food and a gin cocktail

bar. There will also be gin masterclasses and the

opportunity to meet gin distillers in person (and try

their free samples). Go to for details.

Calamity Jane...

Whip crack away from Tuesday 17 to Saturday

21 April at Epsom Playhouse with Epsom Light

Opera Company. This timeless tale of female

empowerment in the wild west features showstopping

numbers including ‘Just blew in from

the Windy City’, ‘A Woman’s Touch’ and ‘Secret

Love’. It’s a family favourite not to be missed. Visit to find out more.

Lots of Colour...

Ewbank’s are holding the Contemporary

Paintings and Prints Auction on Thursday 26

April. There are a host of excellent works in the

sale including pieces by Warhol, Dali, Tilson

and more. The highlight of the sale is an oil on

canvas by Irish artist Paul Henry which carries a

presale estimate of £20,000-40,000. Ewbank’s are

accepting further entries for this sale until Friday

13 April. Go to for more.

Kite Runner...

Betty Zapata

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international

bestselling novel and following a sell-out West

End run, the unforgettable tour de force The Kite

Runner comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud

Theatre from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 April.

This touching productions tells the tale of a

friendship which spans cultures and continents,

following one man’s journey to confront his past

and find redemption. Visit

for more information and booking.

Dorking Dinosaurs...

Dinosaur aficionado Ben Garrod’s hit stage show

is set to take audiences on an exciting prehistoric

adventure on Saturday 7 April at Dorking Halls.

This interactive and educational show will talk

audiences through the deadliest predators ever

seen. It is aimed at children from ages five to

twelve but is suitable for everyone over five and

costs £17 for adults and £14 for children. For

details and booking visit

Glorious Food...

Saturday 21 April sees local businesses storming

Richmond-Upon-Thames’ Old Deer Park with

a mouthwatering array of foods from around the

world at The Surrey Food Festival 2018. The

Marketplace will be filled with traders, the food

stalls will be filled with well... food, and children

will have their territory marked in the Kids’ Zone,

plus to top off all this, your indulgence will also

benefit local charities. Visit


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write this with sunshine pouring in through the window

of the Surrey Homes offices, wearing three less layers

of clothing than were necessary even last month.

Spring really is here. And what better way to embrace

this most glorious time of new sproutings and

beginnings than getting out into the garden? Our

annual gardens supplement is chock full of ideas and

practical expert advice to inspire and guide you.

And continuing the horticultural theme, we’ve also

got exciting news about the Garden Hub at the

Wealden Times Midsummer Fair in June (which

can never come around soon enough for me).

Among the brilliant speakers this year, you will have the

chance to meet the real David Archer. Yes, that David

Archer - or at least the actor who plays him, the fabulous

Tim Bentinck, who will be talking about his new book

Being David Archer. (Shall I say it again? David Archer!)

With any luck that will be a gorgeous sunny summer

day, meanwhile – embracing April’s rainy reputation

- our fashion editor Kate Watts has chosen the best of

the stylish new generation of waterproof jackets which

keep the wet out without making you feel like a boilin-the-bag

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Enjoy your Surrey Homes.

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Editor ....................................................................................... Maggie Alderson

Editorial Assistant ........................................................................Rebecca Cuffe

Digital Editor ...................................................................................Emily Pavey

Fashion Editor ................................................................................... Kate Watts

Design .........................................................................................Powerful Pierre

Design Team ..............................................................................Anthony Boxall

Rob Cursons

Freya Bruce

Tanya Goldsmith

Managing Director ........................................................................ Julie Simpson

Commercial Director ............................................................... Colin Wilkinson

Sales Manager ......................................................................Lisa Gordon-Hughes

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• Ashtead Hospital


• Cook

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• M & S


• Buckland Deli

• The Community Shop


• Buckland Nurseries


• Cook


• Notcutts


• Denbies Vineyard

• Dorking Travel

• Jackson-Stops & Staff


• Holiday Inn


• Cook

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• Doves Barn Nursery

Forest Green

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Country Grocer


• Cook

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• Knights Garden Centre

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• Lavender Goose


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• Haslemere Museum

• Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa


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Old Oxted

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• Limpsfield Stores

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• Priory Farm


• County Clothes

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• Botley Hill Farmhouse

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West Horsley

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McAllister Thomas Half Page 2.indd 1 07/03/2018 10:25


Family favours

A lovely family home which had got a bit lived in, was brought

back to peak condition by interior designer Alexis Wylie

Words: Maggie Alderson Photographs: David Merewether



Kitchens by

T: 01932 584940 53-57 High Street, Cobham, KT11 3DP

Previous page: Ally commissioned bespoke bookshelves to create a focal point in the sitting room. The walls are painted in Farrow &

Ball’s Varta, to add a splash of bold colour. Above: the oak sideboard used to be in the kitchen, but Ally thought it deserved a grander

location. The chairs and sofa are from Furniture Village – to save money to spend on the bookshelves

The Weald of Kent is a very special part of the world,

with its beautiful rolling landscape peppered with

postcard-worthy villages – and an unusually high

volume of dream homes in ideal family proportions.

This house is one of them. Set along a country lane with

views from the back over a pond (and a swimming pool) to

farmland and the rise of the High Weald in the distance. On

one snowy morning visit, a robin red breast perched on the

hedge, as if positioned by a stylist, with the winter silhouettes

of trees against the sky beyond like a living Ravilious painting.

It’s a magical spot.

The house is equally blessed, a perfect combination of cosy

beams – and no fewer than three inglenook fireplaces – with

Victorian and 21st century additions which allow that modern

ideal of lateral space. The kitchen melts into the dining area

and on again to the sofas in the family snug.

It also has that lovely circular flow, which always makes a

house feel happy. You can walk round clockwise starting from

the hall, past the cloakroom, into the snug, through the arch

to the dining area, right turn into the kitchen and then back

out to the hall.

There are also various sets of French windows, so you can

pop in and out at different places, or if you wanted to get

away from everyone, there is an elegant sitting room off the

other side of the hallway.

But while the bones of the house are perfectly arranged


Above and left: These chairs which had belonged to homeowner

Jo’s mum, were looking a bit tired, but reupholstered with two

old Mexican blankets Ally found in the big clear out, they are

now the focal point in the hall – and a very handy place to hang

a handbag

for family life, there was a time when the hectic demands of

that very set up had taken its toll.

With three kids growing up through the stages of school life,

with associated sports equipment littering the place up and an

owner with a demanding career in town, the loveliness of the

house had begun to feel rather lost under the tide of life.

Owner Jo had put in the dining room extension that so

brilliantly links the kitchen and the snug when they moved

down to Kent 14 years ago. Then after that output of cash

and energy, she was happy to let things be for a while and

postpone decorating and refurnishing, but when her oldest

child was heading off to university she decided it was time to

bring the house up to date with their lives.

That was when she decided to call in a professional and on

the recommendation of friends got on the phone to interior

designer Alexis (Ally) Wylie, who lives a handy ten minutes

away. “Ally will sort you out,” she was told by happy previous

clients – and they were right.


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Right: Looking from the cloakroom hallway, through the hall,

down another passage and on to the sitting room Below: the

snug – with one of the three inglenook fireplaces in the house.

The painting over the mantle is by Cranbrook-based artist Sandy

Dooley. All the curtains and blinds on this floor are in the same

fabric from Bell House Fabric and Interiors. Ally covered the

small chair on the right with a patchwork quilt which had been

made by Jo’s mother

Using one fabric for the curtains and

blinds throughout the ground floor unites

the layout, giving the space a chic, pulledtogether

look which makes you wonder

why on earth we fuss about putting

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Above: Ally had the dresser made to replace the dark wood dresser she moved to the sitting room and to reflect the kitchen’s

contemporary country style. Baskets and apple crates are her favourite tools for keeping clutter organised


Above: Jo put in the dining room extension which joins up the kitchen and the snug, when she first moved in 14 years ago,

combining the beams of the original 16th century cottage with a light airy modern feel. The glorious four-oven Aga, was already in


Ally first visited at the end of September, had her swat team

on site by November and then it was six weeks hard slog to

have it ready for Christmas.

“I was hanging pictures on December 23rd…” she says.

But that was the fun end of the project, which started with

three skips outside, with Jo determined to clear out all the

stuff they didn’t need any more.

“Jo was ruthless,” says Ally. “We had a system: in the skip, or

to the side of the skip. The next morning, if it was still on the

ground next to the skip it went into the skip. The house looks

twice the size now we’ve cleared it out.”

And while Jo was determinedly getting rid of unwanted

belongings – and local charity shops had a bonanza from

it – Ally was at work organising the interior starting with the

entrance hall, which had been ‘a lost space’.

She created a deep cupboard at the back of it, fitted out

with apple crates, each with one family member’s name on it,

as their designated space to stash their stuff between outings.

No more hallway clutter.

She was also on the hunt for family pieces that could be

given a new lease of life. The two chairs now in the hall had

belonged to Jo’s late mother and inspiration struck when Ally

spotted some bold Mexican blankets and rescued them from

the skip.

“They’d been on the floor for years,” says Ally, “and looked

seriously past their best, but I had them dry cleaned and they

came up beautifully.”

The chairs were transformed and what had seemed like

rubbish, was upcycled and given a whole new lease of life.

Also pressed into service was a trove of fabrics Jo found

stored in a cupboard. A lovely patchwork quilt, which had

been made by her mother for the babies’ cradles, was used to

reupholster two chairs, one in pride of place in the snug as a

lovely daily reminder of granny.

Another great find was bolts of African printed fabrics,

brought back from Tanzania by the family, which Ally had

made into piles of brightly coloured mixed cushions and

upholstery, creating a vibrant theme which runs through the


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Above: The main change Ally made in the dining room, was to turn Jo’s table round, so it leads on invitingly from the kitchen. Ally

had Jo’s existing dining chairs recovered in a mix of prints to contrast the graphic design of the curtains and blinds


Above: The copper-lined pulley light over the dining table is by Original BTC (it was a bargain Ally found under the discontinued

clearance table.). The leather club chair was a family favourite. Ally gave it new life with cushions covered in vibrant African fabrics

brought back from Tanzania that turned up in Jo’s clear out

and blinds on the ground floor which are all made of the same

material – an Ikat-style print from Bell House Interiors in

Cranbrook, which is very wide, so economical to use.

It’s an idea which would never have occurred to me – I

was almost shocked at the concept – but once you see it in

place, using one window treatment fabric throughout unites

the layout, giving the space a chic, pulled-together look,

which makes you wonder why on earth we fuss about putting

different patterns in every room.

This is a perfect example of the kind of savvy Ally has

gathered in her nearly 30 years of experience as an interior

designer, working for eight years for South Africa’s doyenne

of the profession, before returning to continue her trade in

London, where she still does big projects, and then 15 years

ago moving down to Kent.

Another cheeky little solution learned from those years of

experience was her treatment for the less than lovely radiators

all over the house. Rather than replace, she disguised them.

“We covered them with latticed box radiator covers, but the

trick is, before you put the cover on, you paint the radiator

charcoal grey, so you can’t see it through the air vents.”

It works like magic and the box covers also created useful

– and once again, unifying – shelves, perfect for grouping

displays of ornaments and mementoes, many of which had

been languishing in cupboards.

It was with such individually small, but very effective en

masse details, rather than any big structural building work,

that Ally helped Jo transform the house.

“It turned out the whole place needed rewiring, which was a

pain, but it gave us the chance to put sockets where we needed

them, which is so important and you have to do it first before

you plaster, so it can all be made good afterwards.”

With a chunk of the budget taken up by such invisible

works, there was less left for decorating and Ally had to be

very creative.

“The first thing I do is always a floor plan. I draw every



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Above left: Ally has used the same curtain fabric upstairs in a different colourway. The chair is a Dunelm find, with one of Ally’s

signature cushions covered in fabric from an old grain sack. Ally urged Jo to buy the beautiful armoire to give the room a focal point.

Above right: In one of the children’s bedrooms, Ally had the headboard upholstered in the grain sack fabric, to set off the mixed

prints of the cushions

room, to scale with a pencil and ruler – I don’t use a computer

program – then I measure all the furniture you are going to

keep and cut it out with graph paper to see how it all fits.

Then I use one colour of PostIt notes on the existing furniture

and another to indicate pieces which need to be sourced.

“You keep a record of those measurements in a notebook,

then if you wake up in the morning and want to go and do

a little impulse buy, you know what sizes will fit and you can

shop with confidence.”

Another of Ally’s techniques is to bring furniture into the

body of the room. A common mistake ‘civilians’ make is

to push it all against the walls to maximise the space in the

centre, whereas in fact, if you articulate it with furniture a

room will actually look bigger – and more appealing.

The two sofas in the snug, which Jo already had, were

recovered and restored with new seat cushions.

“Channelled feather cushions,” says Ally firmly, “it is

essential they’re channelled, or you are constantly heaving the

cushions out to plump them up.”

One sofa was re-covered in taupe devoré velvet, the other

in wool blanket plaid in complimentary tones. Both sit away

from the wall, the velvet one in front of what appears to be a

bespoke shelving unit.

“It’s IKEA,” says Ali, grinning. “I had the carpenter build a

plinth to raise it up, so it appears to be built in.”

Probably the simplest change Ally made and one of the most

transforming, was in the dining area. She turned the table

around, so it is now sitting alongside the French window,


Above left: A chair in a spare bedroom recovered with a patchwork quilt made by Jo’s mother. Above right: Ally had bookshelves

built in the guest cloakroom and papered the walls with Jane Churchill’s March Hare wallpaper in the stone colourway

not pointing out into it and back into the snug.

You can see immediately what a difference this would

have made to the flow of energy, with the length of the table

stretching out appealingly from the vantage point of the

kitchen and just inviting you to sit down.

The biggest makeover was to the sitting room, in its almost

separate wing, which had become one of those dumping

ground rooms you can close the door on and forget about.

Jo’s extensive collection of was scattered around the house

in “random stand-alone bookshelves” as she puts it, so Ally

commissioned some shelves as the focal point on the far wall

of the room, framing the piano which all the family play.

“I wanted to make this the special room,” she says. “As it’s

at the other end of the house from the high traffic rooms I

thought we could have a little bit of fun with a big pop of

colour, although it is still a calm haven, opening onto the


The result is an elegant room, with a great sense of occasion

conveyed by her choice of Farrow & Ball’s marvellous peacock

green Vardo. And you’d never guess that all the furniture in

there, apart from the antique sideboard, which Ally pinched

from the kitchen (replacing it with a bespoke dresser) is


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Kutchenhaus Limited, Unit 705 Kings Park, Severnside Trading Estate, Textilose Road, Trafford Park, Manchester Greater Manchester, M17 1WA, UNITED KINGDOM 05012625 acts as a credit broker and not the lender. Kutchenhaus Limited only offers financial products from Barclays Partner

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Above: This chair was a wedding present to Jo’s parents. “It was very comfortable but not very cool,” she says. “Ally had it painted

white and covered in African fabric – transformed!”



The Benefits of Bespoke…

Rencraft has been designing and making kitchens in Kent for over 37 years.

Here’s why they believe the difference is in the detail…

John Stephens, Managing Director

of Rencraft, explains “We make

all our kitchens and furniture in our

workshop just outside Sevenoaks

and we take great pride in the care and

attention to detail that we put in to every

single design we do. The craftsmanship

we offer can’t be recreated on a factory

production line. Here, every cabinet is

built by hand, every solid wood cutlery

insert is made to order and every larder

cupboard is kitted out in a way that is

personal to you. The end result is a

kitchen that is functional, beautiful and

built to stand the test of time.”

While Rencraft takes great pride in

offering a more traditional approach to

manufacturing, its designs are far from


John adds “We’ve invested in the latest

Computer Aided Design programmes to

provide our clients with an insight in to

what their finished kitchen will look like.

Our designers focus on layout, interiors

and practical considerations, as well

as materials and finishes. Our bespoke

approach means that even awkward

spaces can usually be worked around

and we can also draw upon our years

of experience to offer guidance on

everything from worktops to appliances

and storage solutions.”

The team are delighted to have had their

efforts recognised by others within the

industry, with one of John’s designs being

announced as a finalist in the prestigious

2018 KBB Retail & Design Awards.

“To have one of our designs recognised

in this way is a great achievement,”

says John “but nothing compares to the

great feedback we get from our clients. I

know people who have had our kitchens

for upwards of 20 years, and they are

still happy with them. That’s the real

compliment, that’s the buzz, and that’s

why we’ll never compromise on the quality

of what we do.”

To fully appreciate what Rencraft can do

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Rencraft can be found at

Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart,

Sevenoaks TN15 0ES

Tel: 01732 762682 or at

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Tel: 01892 520730

“I spent two hours with each of Jo’s children so I could understand what

they liked and wanted, so they would each have an individual space”

from Furnitureland – and on sale too.

“Saving money on the furniture paid for the bookshelves

and to decorate the whole room,” she says.

Upstairs, Ally concentrated on giving each of the children

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what they liked and wanted, so they would each have an

individual space.”

The result is three very individual rooms, all featuring

elements of the African fabrics and combinations of cheap

and cheerful shelves and wardrobes, raised up on Ally’s clever

plinths so they reach up to the ceiling and appear built in.

Like the rest of the house the bedrooms are a combination

of utility, flair, and professional nouse, with personalisation

and a clear affection for the owners. The result? One perfect

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Address Book:

Alexis Wylie The Rainbird Interior Design

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Owl Construction Hawkhurst 01580 754875

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This old coastguard’s cottage is gloriously

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Words:: Kathryn Flett

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Helen Bratby



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AmericanShuttersS33.indd 1 22/06/2017 17:15

Previous page: The dining table is medieval. It was given to

Marta’s father, an architect by a client in lieu of fees. Marta

deliberately exposed the brickwork around the fireplace to reveal

the building’s fabric. The mirror is from McCully & Crane in

Rye This page: the kitchen has an industrial feel with stainless

steel appliances. The drawer unit is from IKEA

Occasionally, even the most stylish seaside holiday

rentals succumb to coastal clichés. If it’s not wallto-wall

tongue-and-groove it will be the pots

of beach stones and assorted weather-beaten flotsam and

jetsam by the front door—just below the storm lantern.

There may also be jaunty blue-and-white striped roman

blinds and a porthole mirror in the bathroom. Then, of

course, there will be more pictures of boats than you can poke

an oar at.... Oh, and while we’re at it, a pair of old oars above

a fireplace festooned with old fishing nets is pretty much

seaside interiors’ answer to the country pub’s horse brasses.

Rest assured, as a seaside dweller of thirteen years standing I

have been guilty of more than a few of these decorating clichés

but now I’m also a qualified interior designer I recognise

that the trick is to successfully acknowledge a building’s

sense of place — and allow it to retain its integrity —


Savouring the architectural

quirks of a family home that was

built primarily for the business

of coastal defence, not pleasure,

Marta retained as many of the

original features as possible

GraceyardS41.indd 1 22/02/2018 12:01

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KingOfCottonS42.indd 1 26/03/2018 No44FurnitureS41.indd 10:05

1 12/02/2018 10:20

Previous page: The clock in the

sitting room was found in South

Kensington on one of Marta’s

father’s sites This page left: The

salvaged shutters are French.

Marta put them in to suggest a

window where there isn’t one. She

also wanted to have French things

in the house to reflect Rye’s status

as a Cinque Port Below: Marta

left the patina of old paint on the

main staircase, as part of the story

of the house

without letting that dictate the terms of engagement.

It’s a balance which is pulled off quite beautifully by

the interior architect Marta Nowicka at her holiday-let

coastguard’s cottage at Jury’s Gap — a weather-swept

stretch of coastline between Camber and the MOD

shooting range at Lydd, close to Romney Marsh. This, of

course, isn’t the tastefully manicured seaside of counties

further west; it’s a thoroughly no-nonsense and in-yourface

variety of seaside and as such it isn’t for everyone.

Marta, a Londoner, fell in love with the area by accident,

finding her way to the East Sussex and Kent coastal borders

via friends who had property there. Alerted to the existence

of the striking row of four-storey Victorian coastguard’s

cottages inhabited by similarly creative owner-occupiers, she

bought the one at the end, closest to the sea, in 2009 with

a legacy from her late father, and renovated it with love,

before moving in with her young son, now a teenager.

“Obviously he never visited, but many of my father’s


This page: Fresh paint on the chimney breast in the westfacing

single bedroom sets off the untreated walls on either side. The

window looks out onto Rye Harbour. The curtain fabric is from

Vintage Bird in Hastings

objects are here, so I feel the house is very much of him.

These days all the coastguard’s cottages here are holiday

lets, however at that time, just a few years ago, there was

still a resident community of mostly artists and writers.

My son was at school in Ashford and so we basically

just battened down the hatches here. It was magical.”

It was also, one may say, quite brave. Though glorious

from spring through to autumn, in winter it will come

as no surprise to learn that this stretch of coast can be,

at best, bracing. I live 30 minutes to the west along

the same coast, in Hastings and St Leonards, and I’m

used to what we call the “Lid-On” months, when

the weather hits the shoreline with a vengeance.

There’s a romance to it, for sure — and the ozone blast

of seaside living is wonderfully cobweb-busting—however,

when I visit Marta’s house on a bleak, nearly spring

morning, I’m struck by the bravery of being a newly-single

mother living here with a young child. However, after

even a few minutes in her company you are struck by the

sense that Marta is a woman who makes things work and,

as she says, “it worked very well for us, for a while.”

It’s not hard to see why. Savouring the architectural

quirks of a family home that was built primarily for the

business of coastal defence, not pleasure, Marta retained


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This page: The staircase from the ground floor up to the

first floor. The rope handrail is a subtle nod to the maritime

connection of the cottage

as many of the original features as possible, including

the coastguard’s gun cabinet by the front door; these

shores, after all, have long been a smuggler’s beat and

the coastguards would often have had their work cut out

dealing with looters in the aftermath of shipwrecks.

Indeed, the entire area is one of dramatic extremes and

stark contrasts; from the dunes and romantic white sands at

Camber you are just a few minutes’ drive from the isolated

weather-beaten bluff of Dungeness — which is not only one

of the largest shingle landscapes in the world but one of the

few nature reserves graced by a hulking power station (not to

mention blessed with very fine fish and chips, at The Pilot).

Inland, the 100 square miles of Romney Marsh — all big

skies and brooding landscapes, embracing woodland, wetland,

sand and shingle and thirteen beautiful medieval churches —

is no less intensely atmospheric. This is, in short, a corner of

the country that attracts escapists, from near and far, opening

its arms to visitors now as easily as it once put up defences

— nearby, there are numerous frontline relics of conflicts

ranging from the Napoleonic wars to the Battle of Britain.

Perhaps the most enduring metaphor for the contrasts of

this fascinating area is the 28-mile Royal Military Canal which

was built as a defence against Napoleon in the early 1800s,

scything through the landscape from Hythe to Rye which,

these days, is an important nature reserve for migratory birds.

Though Marta fell in love with the romance of all this

immediately — ‘it seemed to attract so many of my kind of

people’ — her architect’s eye also meant that pretty should

occasionally outweigh pragmatic. The empty house was

in a desperately unloved state bordering on the derelict.

“It had been vandalized and there was graffiti

everywhere. The bathroom had been smashed to pieces

and radiators pulled off the walls…” which would have

been sufficient to put off most people. Luckily, Marta

not only had a vision of what it could become but could

see that the ‘bones’ of the building were strong.

“There is a vernacular Victorian ‘coastguard’s

cottage’ design you will find all over the country,

as though there was a government blueprint.”

All it would take to bring the house back to life, she

surmised, would be… a total refurb and a lot of visual TLC.

Having studied interior architecture at Kingston

University, Marta founded her own successful practice

in 2004, after a period in partnership at another firm

and as a course leader in interior architecture at


This page: The house had been vandalised before Marta bought it, the bathroom smashed to pieces, so she had to put an entirely new

one in. She panelled it with horizontal tongue and groove to make it feel warmer and put in a freestanding bath as that is what would

have been there before


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The cottage’s warm

homeliness – squidgy leather

armchairs in front of roughand-ready

open fireplaces

– combines with touches

of genuine glamour

This page: In the East facing double bedroom, Marta stripped

off the old wallpaper and liked the distressed plaster beneath it so

much she decided to keep it. She has had the 1950s wicker chair

for many years. The French painter’s ladder was found at Wish

Barn Antiques in Rye

London Metropolitan University. She fast became a go-to

architect for the generation of artists known as the YBAs,

designing projects for Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing and the

contemporary art dealer Karsten Schubert, among others.

Originally, at Jury’s Gap, there was no view from the

single-storey ground floor kitchen extension in order to

protect the building from the full force of the weather —

that is, until Marta created a big picture window above the

stainless-steel work surfaces, sink and the large range.

“And there’s no extractor, though there probably

‘should’ be,” she shrugs, smiling. However, this really isn’t

a ‘should’ kind of house… “so we just open the door.”

Next to the kitchen, Marta added a spacious wetroom

and downstairs loo. The coastguards may not have

bothered, however modern weekenders “want to be able

to shower off the sand and the salt straight away.”

Surprisingly, even on the day I visit — alluring skies

and biting winds over the desolate landscape — the

house is filled with light. You can easily imagine freerange

kids and barbeques against the backdrop of sun


This page: Looking from the East facing bedroom onto the landing with the ladder steps going up to the attic bedroom

and sea and… an MOD firing range (note to would-be

guests: if the proximity of barbed wire and the occasional

rat-a-tat of working firearms scares you more than it

thrills you then this may not be your kind of place).

The cottage’s central staircase leaves walls free for the

windows and many of the rooms are double aspect.

Even with the predominantly white palette, it’s still a

surprisingly warm and welcoming space, even in winter.

There are five spacious bedrooms which sleep eleven when

the house is full, making it affordable for big groups of

friends or families at a rate starting from £300 per night.

Two of the bedrooms are on the lower ground floor

and are, again, surprisingly light with, I note, windows

perfectly positioned for smaller guests to clamber in

and out of very easily during games of hide-and-seek

— “I suspect there is a lot of that,” agrees Marta.

There are two further bedrooms and a family bathroom

on the first floor, while the bedroom for which I imagine


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This page: Marta created a new double bedroom

in the eaves of the house, large and airy with

light pouring through Velux windows, accessed

by this ship-like ladder

dice need to be rolled, or straws drawn,

is the large Velux-windowed airy-yetcosy

double tucked up in the eaves.

Marta created the room from scratch

(“there was a lot of insulation and glazing;

this is a house which may look ‘easy going’

but because of its position also needs a

lot of maintenance”) and it is reached by

a ship-like wooden staircase that makes it

unsuitable for the very small or elderly.

Here, floor to ceiling tongue-and-groove

cladding creates a genuinely romantic whiteon-white

den; seaside escapism as it should

be played. Never mind Camber, up here you

can squint and imagine yourself pretty much

anywhere from Corfu to Cape Cod. No

wonder that in 2014 the house was voted No7

in The Guardian’s Top 100 seaside rentals.

Elsewhere, the cottage’s warm homeliness

— squidgy leather armchairs in front of

rough-and-ready open fireplaces, beds

made for bouncing as well as dream-filled

sleeping — combines with touches of

genuine glamour… Yes, that is a Bridget

Riley print in the dining room, which

also boasts a chandelier the likes of which

Victorian coastguards could only dream.

If, however, your idea of the perfect coast

is to be found in Cornwall or California, it’s

unlikely that this little spot — geographically,

it’s ‘Camberness’ — will also be your idea

of fun. However, for those of us who both

love and live in the area the more subtle

attractions are precisely what appeal.

Marta also remains passionate about the

spot where Kent collides with East Sussex;

her recent redevelopment of a 1950s St

John’s Ambulance station situated in the

centre of historic Rye attracted a great deal

of interest, with TV appearances and features

in Grand Designs magazine and is also


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“It’s a go-to website for people wanting to rent unusual

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Meanwhile, the coastguard’s cottage at Jury’s Gap is

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Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Kate Watts

Model: Ella Parsons

Make Up: Natasha Valerie Makeup



From Wedding wear to

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First Page: Soft trench, £99, French Connection at Ashford Designer Outlet, metallic biker jacket, £59, Guess at

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John Rose, owner of John Rose Eye Care, talks about the new

NovoTHOR Whole Body Photobiomodulation Light Pod

The only one of its type in the UK and

one of only four in Europe, until now

the Whole Body Light Pod has only

been enjoyed by a select few elite

athletes, such as Mo Farrah and Justin

Gatlin (as part of the Nike Oregon

project), the Beverley Hills superwealthy

and life coach Tony Robbins,

who describes this “bio-hack” as

“invaluable and extraordinary”.

John, tell us about the history

of using light and colour

for health and healing.

Photobiomodulation is not laser

or heat therapy, it is more like

photosynthesis - Einstein, NASA and

the US Military, amongst others have

all been instrumental in red and nearinfra

red light being used for health,

regeneration and healing today.

What and who can the NovoTHOR

Whole Body Light Pod help with?

Photobiomodulation can help anyone

who wants to train harder - it helps to

keep you at your peak - the benefits

are well known and documented

and, amongst others, are:

• More intense and higher

volume training

• Improved muscle strength

• Reduced post exercise

soreness (DOMS)

• Decreased injury recovery time

and a faster return to training

It can reduce the visible effects of

ageing as it has an excellent effect

on the production of collagen,

improving wrinkles and crow’s feet,

and restoring glowing, healthylooking

skin. It also improves the

microcirculation through the skin.

Photobiomodulation therapy is

used successfully in the treatment

of a range of painful conditions,

by using red and near infra-red

light to reduce inflammation and

reboot the mitochondria. As we

age, our mitochondria naturally

wear out, however clinical studies

demonstrate that exposure to red

light on a daily basis, for even as

little as five days, can slow down the

aging process and rejuvenate tissue.

This is the only machine in the

UK… why did you want it and why

John Rose?

As a scientific evidence-based

private Optometrist with

an existing client base who

are extremely interested in

maintaining and optimising their

long term health by staying in peak

condition, I have been following

photobiomodulation clinical

trials for years. When NovoTHOR

produced the whole body

photobiomodulation light pod, it

made perfect sense to invest in it

and bring this ground breaking and

life-changing device to the UK.

What is involved when I

have a treatment?

As light does not penetrate

clothing, you’ll undress in the

comfort of our climate controlled

room whilst listening to relaxing

music - or you may bring along

your own earbuds and music. It is a

relaxing process, with a treatment

time of 15 minutes per session.

How often do you recommend

a client uses the Light Pod?

A course of ten treatments is

recommended - 1-2 times a week

initially, with top ups when necessary.


“I am pleased that John Rose

Eyecare has been identified as a

centre of professional excellence

in the area of eyecare. I have been

a patient for over 10 years now

and am always impressed with

John’s professionalism, knowhow

and cutting edge technology

that you would not necessarily

expect in Kingston Upon Thames

in a modest setting. John’s advice

is thorough, tailored and honest

whereas his solutions are problemorientated

with the customer’s

needs and abilities at heart.”

Book online at

John Rose Eye Care, Telephone 020 8546 9292, 1 Eden Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1BQ


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How long have you been living with your dentures?

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Soap stars

Josephine Fairley washes her hands of liquid soap in those

environment-wrecking plastic bottles and goes back to the

good old bar variety

I’m all for life’s small pleasures. A delicious

cappuccino, enjoyed while gazing at a beautiful

view. Dancing around the kitchen, cooking dinner

to a favourite Madeleine Peyroux album. Or a new

bar of soap: fresh, fragrant, the beauty equivalent of

a brand new notebook, or crisp clean sheets.

And you know? I absolutely never take it for granted.

A couple of decades ago I went to Romania with The

Body Shop’s Anita Roddick, to visit the orphanages she

was sponsoring. One night, we drove around the nearby

villages giving away bars of soap from the back of a Body

Shop truck – almost triggering a stampede, because

it turned out: there’d been no soap in that part of the

country for 10 whole years. Gulp.

So I’m delighted that proper bar soap,

eclipsed for virtually a generation by hand

and body washes in pump-action plastic

bottles, is making a comeback.

Banho citron

verbena soap £14

Liberty London

And those bottles are one

of the main reasons I’m

glad about this shift.

Increasingly (thanks largely

to David Attenborough…)

we are all starting to think

about the catastrophic

environmental impact

of single-use plastics -

and the bottles which

hand and body washes

come in are some of

the worst offenders.

The components in

them can feature

several different

types of plastic

and sometimes a

metal spring, as

Chypre cedar

poinsettia soap £14

Liberty London

“We are all starting

to think about

the catastrophic

impact of singleuse

plastic bottles”

well, which

makes them

Luxury Soap

Collection £40 Floris

challenging to recycle. In landfill, these hard

plastics will take thousands of years to break

down, so switching to a product where the only

packaging is a piece of paper or simple cardboard is a very

simple step to take to cut down on plastic wastage in your life.

Another reason to shift back to the kind of soap

our grannies used – and which has been traced back

as far as ancient Babylon 5000 years ago – is that it

doesn’t contain any of the increasingly controversial

ingredients which are found in the liquid kind.

Liquid soaps contain sulfate foaming agents, triclosan and

formaldehyde, all of which have been linked to health issues –

too complex to go into here, but very much worth Googling.

And I have another personal reason for

loving old-fashioned bars of beautifully

fragrant soap: I like to store them in drawers

where they make my underwear, knits and

bed linen smell pretty. Another advantage

of this is that if you keep them for a while

they harden off and will last longer, rather

than turning to pulp in your soap dish.

Which is something you may need

to invest in again – or possibly for the first time – if

you’ve been using liquid soap. I like to hunt out pieces

of vintage china and moulded glass to keep my soap in,

but I’ve noticed Zara Home do particularly good soap

dishes, a nice new accessory for your bathroom.

There are countless fabulous soaps, out there, but I

thought I’d share my favourites. So if you’re in the mood

for a new bar, after this, get in a lather over these.

Little Soap Company Natural Olive Oil Bar Soap, £2.95

( Little Soap Company create

artisan-style soaps in the Cotswolds, literally - the business

began on the founder Emma Heathcote-James’s kitchen

table. This one uses organic extra virgin olive oil, as

simple, but effective, as soap gets and the olive oil ensures

it’s not drying. Ideal for the touchiest skins. (I find that

some artisan hand-made soaps go squishy very quickly,

but Little Soap Company’s are more resilient.)



Fox Trot violet

soap £9.50

Fragrence Direct

of cedarwood), zesty citrusverbena

Banho, or – when

I can find it – the powdery,

violet-scented Fox Trot.

Liberty carries a wide selection,

including some amazing gift sets.

Fragonard Le Jardin de Fragonard Perle

de Thé Soap, £7.95 (Marks & Spencer

beauty departments and on-line). I’m

crazy in love with Fragonard soaps,

Claus Porto Soaps, from around

£15. These are fabulously packaged,

with eye-catching vintage designs

– and smell equally ravishing.

They’re made in Porto, the

Claus is actually the name of the

German founders, who started

the company in 1887. There are

dozens of soaps in the range, any

of which I’d gladly receive as a gift,

but if pushed to choose favourites,

I’ll opt for Chypre, (a stunningly

sophisticated fragrance, with whispers

which you can watch being made,

if you visit the classic perfume

house’s museum, in Grasse. The

soaps look like porcelain treasures,

embossed with different designs,

in this case, an Indian-inspired

Paisley design on a soap that’s gloriously

jasmine-scented. They do another range

that you can only buy in their stores (I

always stock up in Paris), which look

like exquisite cameos. Great gifts, these.

Chanel No.5 The Bath Soap, £22.

What can I say? The ultimate luxury. My

bar of this scented my underwear gloriously for

Le Jardin de

Fragonard Perle de

Thé Soap £7.95




months before I finally began to use it; the trail of Chanel

No.5 that it leaves on the skin is really quite impressive.

Bamford Mini Pebble Soap Set, £32. A fab gift (um, to

yourself?), this brings together all three soaps from the

Oxfordshire-based natural beauty brand of which I’m

becoming an ever-more-ardent fan. The scents are rose,

geranium and jasmine, and the very pleasing, hand-friendly

shape is taken from a heart-shaped pebble found on the beach.

L’Occitane Bonne Mère Honey Soap,

Natural olive

oil bar soap, £2.95

Little Soap Company


£5.50. Many of

L’Occitane’s divine soaps

are made using the

traditional Marseilles

soap method. For a swoon, check out



soaps in their new Regent

Street flagship store. A mustvisit

destination for your next beauty pilgrimage

to London – although this particular choice

is a web-only option, fabulously scented with

honey, which also has a skin-softening action.

Soap Co. Geranium & Rhubarb, £9. Last

autumn I visited the Soap

Co. factory in Walthamstow,

and have been giving their products to

friends ever since. Soap Co. is a new

and very chic venture within a longestablished

charity project offering

employment to blind and otherwise

disabled people and those with mental

health challenges. It’s as heart-warming

as beauty gets, frankly, but the reasons to

buy their soaps (and the rest of the range)

go beyond philanthropy; the range offers

great smells and textures. Here, a coldpressed

soap hand-made from olive oil,

organic cocoa butter, borage and calendula,

and with the loveliest of fragrances.

Floris Luxury Soap Collection, £40.

The soap-lover’s ultimate dream: a beribboned

gift box showcasing six of the

long-established Jermyn Street perfumery’s

most-loved soaps, including White Rose,

Stephanotis, citrusy Cefiro, Lily of the Valley,

Edwardian Bouquet and Rose Geranium – a

movingly nostalgic fragrance, for me, as it was

the scent of my father’s shaving soap, and one which has

been known to make me cry. Yup, that. From a soap.

For daily health and beauty updates from Josephine Fairley,

visit and for all the latest in the fabulous

world of perfume look at

“Another reason to shift

back to the kind of soap our

grannies used is that it doesn’t

contain any of the increasingly

controversial ingredients

found in the liquid kind”

Geranium &

rhubarb soap £9

Soap Co


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companionship; from half-hour visits to full time

Live-in Care tailored to your individual needs.

Everycare are dedicated to providing a complete

range of services so that our clients can stay in

their homes with security and peace of mind.

Everycare (East Surrey) Ltd

7 Western Parade, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8AU

Call today us on 01737 246000




Alevere therapy is different from any other

weight loss programme. Our patients' lives

are genuinely transformed in so many

ways, thanks to our medically controlled

programme which not only allows them to

lose weight quickly, but ensures they keep

it off.

You too can be comfortable in your own

skin with Alevere.

Are you ready to commit to your

life changing journey?

Contact us today for more



Spring into


Start getting your body holiday ready now with

non-invasive beauty treatments to leave you

smooth, slim and sleek – strictly no scalpels!

IPL laser hair removal –

Purenique, Hawkhurst

Shaving, waxing, threading, those terrible smelling

creams…? Forget them all. Superfluous body hair

and all its associated inconvenience can become a distant


All it takes is an obligation-free complimentary

consultation to make sure you have a sufficient contrast

between body hair colour and skin tone (most people

do) for the treatment to work and to assess the area to be

treated – then you’re off. And so is that maddening hair.

Kimberley Brook – salon owner

What kind of laser do you use? We use the Lynton

Lumina system, medically graded laser equipment, as used

by the NHS, with a gold standard treatment protocol.

How long do the results of laser hair removal last? The

results vary, but permanent reductions in hair growth are

seen in the majority of people. The more treatments you

have, the greater the chances of you achieving longer hairfree

periods. Treated follicles may re-grow hair though

and repeat sessions will likely be needed in the future to

maintain hair free results.

How many treatments does it take for a really good result

and can everybody have it? It varies, but typically six or

more treatments are needed. Most people are suitable for

treatment, although best results are achieved with clients

who have fair skin and dark hair, as dark hair has a high

concentration of melanin. Grey/white hair has no melanin

so is not suitable for treatment.

Does it hurt as much as waxing? Treatment sensation

varies but is often described as “a flick of an elastic band”.

Typically no anaesthesia is required and most clients

describe the discomfort as moderate and tolerable.

Are you doing any pre-summer packages? We are offering

a Summer Body permanent hair removal package, with a

course of six treatments for underarm, bikini line and half

leg (lower or upper) for £1500, which is over £600 cheaper

than getting them done separately.

Find out more from Purenique, Hawkhurst 01580

753383. Book your Free consultation online at.

Alevere weight loss system –

Health and Aesthetics, Godalming

If you find before and after weight loss pictures

fascinating, take a look at the ones on the Health and

Aesthetics website. Men and women of various ages who

have lost up to ten stone each on the Alevere system in

a matter of months, not only look astonishingly better,

they all seem so much happier. It’s really inspiring.

But while the aesthetic side of things is great, what’s

more important is that this is a medically based weight

loss system, with very significant health benefits. It’s not

just about inches lost; clients shed that very hard to shift

visceral fat, around the organs, which is so damaging

to health, putting you at much greater risk of getting

cancer, among other serious conditions.

The medically supervised weight loss system is based

on a guided protein-rich food programme designed to

stablilise blood sugar so the body achieves and then stays

in the crucial fat-burning ‘ketosis’ state, with weekly

health checks and blood tests to ensure safety.

Clients also have regular Medi Contour ultrasound

treatments, to break down that really dangerous organ

fat, plus Body Analysis, which gives a detailed picture

of body composition. Seeing fat percentages turning

steadily into muscle is very encouraging.

Hannah Betts - Practice Manager and Aesthetics


What is the nicest things clients say to you after

reaching their goal weight? “They feel like their life has

completely changed. When they tell you that previously

they couldn’t play with their children and now they can

keep up with them, it does make you gulp a little bit ...”

Why do you think the system achieves such amazing

results? “It’s the combination of all the different

elements, but really it’s about attitude. They think

they’ve tried everything and then this starts to work

and they feel so proud of themselves. They also say how

helpful all the encouragement at the clinic is.”

What would you say was the most common amount

of weight people come to you to lose? And how long

does it take? Some are dangerously overweight, but even

people who only want to lose a stone can do it, as long

as it’s to get down to a healthy BMI. Women on average

loses a stone a month and men a stone and a half.

Are there any other therapies you suggest having to

complement the Alevere system? CoolSculpting is

excellent for removing those stubborn subcutaneous fat

bulges which stay even after a client has lost the visceral

fat and reached their target weight.

Find out more about the Alevere weight loss

system, CoolSculpting and Body Analysis from

Health and Aesthetics in Godalming. They are

having a CoolSculpting Event on 20th April with

live demonstration, personalised treatment plans

and amazing discounts on the day. 01252 933133



A Year of Wellness

The last thing our bodies need when it’s still cool and damp is a

brutal detox with raw food that is hard to digest, much better work in

harmony with your body and the season says

Eminé Rushton

April: A gentle cleanse

Detoxes are big business. Pills,

oils, scrubs, masks, juices...

add the word ‘detox’ to the Dlabel and you have people clamouring

to purchase the promise of ‘purifying’

their bodies and shifting weight, while

clearing skin and boosting energy levels

in the process.

As a holistic therapist and student

of Ayurveda, I don’t believe that any

one of us needs to actively detox. We’re

in possession of some hugely effective

in-built detoxification organs and

mechanisms, from our small intestine

and liver, to our kidneys and

skin and what best benefits

our bodies (and minds and

spirits while we’re at it), is

a gentle, seasonal, bodysupporting


As spring arrives many

of us feel the shift quite

naturally, as the mood

lightens, the body feels more vital

and the urge for fresh, vibrant green

foods takes hold. This is the ideal

time to work with your body, to help

clear winter’s ‘leftovers’.

In Ayurvedic terms, there is often a

build up of damp, cold energy in the

body after winter and it is helpful to get

things moving, before the spring cough

and cold can take hold (which is simply

nature’s way of getting excess mucous

out of the system).

I begin with Weleda Birch Juice,

£10.95 (, an allnatural

age-old tonic that

supports the body’s inbuilt

cleansing processes, taking

it with warm water, in the


Dry body

“Steer away

from raw juice

and foods until

the weather is

properly warm”

brushing is also very helpful at getting

the lymph moving, flushing out any

small pockets of toxicity, which can

build up in the adipose tissue. Begin

with the soles of the feet, then work up

the calves, thighs and buttocks before

going down the arms, back and gently

over the chest and tummy.

A generous dousing of oil on the skin

should follow. In Ayurveda, organic

sesame oil is considered wonderful for

heating a system, while organic coldpressed

sunflower oil is good for all body

types and conditions. Massage in well.

Given that spring

in England is still cool

(and often wet), make

daily food decisions that

support the body, based

upon the weather, mood

and appetite – and steer

away from raw juice and

foods until the weather

is properly warm. It takes a fair bit

of digestive energy to break down

uncooked roughage and fibre and if

the immune system is flagging, you can

actually deplete yourself further.

Cold mornings are amply warmed

with steaming porridge, served with

seasonal stewed fruit and cinnamon.

Cook some linseed into the oatmeal to

get the bowels spring-cleaned

too. Warmer days can support

raw, live yoghurt eaten at room

temperature, delicious with

homemade granola.

If it’s cold outside, cook up

the season’s first spring greens

with cinnamon, ginger and

garlic for stews and warm

salads, or whizz into a soup

that will warm up the innards.

Eminé Rushton is Wellbeing Director-at-Large at Psychologies magazine, and

co-founder of the conscious living blog, The Balance Plan,

As our bodies start

to shift into spring, it’s

also important to support

the process with at least eight glasses of

warm, filtered water daily. Herbal teas

count toward your intake. Naturally

detoxifying nettle, burdock, elderflower

and fennel, are just the ticket.

And fennel being perfectly in season

in spring, is also an ideal cleansing

veg. Try baking it with fish, for lunch

or dinner, too. Great spring herbs

that support the inner cleanse include

chervil, tarragon, rosemary and mint.

Bake, cook, garnish with them and

you’re getting extra flavour, with

antioxidants to boot.

And no spring awakening would be

complete without a thought for the

quality of our breath. Lungs can take

a bit of a battering over winter, with

perpetual central heating inside, and

gale-force winds out, so work to open

them up with breath-led yoga. And

in this glorious season of renewal, just

get outside a bit more, for brisk walks

and gentle jogs, through parks and


Feed your soul

In Grow, Cook, Nourish bestselling cookbook

author and legendary cook Darina Alllen draws

on more than 30 years’ experience gardening

at her Irish home Ballymaloe to explain not

only how to grow and cultivate, but to cook

inventively and excitingly with home-grown

produce – great if you have a

glut. With over 500 recipes, this

enormous book will likely stay

in our family for generations.

An instant classic. Grow, Cook,

Nourish Kyle Books £30. Read

more about Darina Allen at

Credit: Evans Amos, Mooney, John Evans, Sarah Williams, Jozef Szoke




At Health & Aesthetics, we use CoolSculpting, an FDA-cleared, safe and clinically proven treatment with

lasting results. After your FREE consultation and body assessment, you will receive a personalised

treatment plan. Opt for freezing your fat away with the latest CoolSculpting technology!

Health & Aesthetics was established in 2008 in Surrey by Dr Rekha Tailor, a highly-qualified aesthetic

doctor and GP, who was the first to offer CoolSculpting in Surrey. She leads a team of fully trained,

experienced and qualified aesthetic experts with over 500 CoolSculpting treatments performed.

01252 933 133


Elaine Way, owner of the Solution

Focused Studio in Farnham,

discusses how Solution Focused

Clinical Hypnotherapy can harness

the power of the brain to help in

the fight against anxiety and stressrelated


Life, at times, can be overwhelming.

Despite our very best efforts, stress and

anxiety can gradually build up and cause

a range of problems, from depression and

anxiety, to insomnia, weight issues,

addiction, relationship issues, phobias and

more. In response to stress we can start

thinking or behaving in ways that are not

helpful to us, and prevent us living our

lives the way we want them to be.

Elaine Way, Solution Focused Therapist,

Clinical Hypnotherapist and owner of the

Solution Focused Studio, is based in

Farnham and works with clients facing

these life challenges.

“I’m amazed by how many people have

spent years living with anxiety and related

issues, yet have never had the workings of

the brain’s anxiety response system

properly explained to them.”

“Considering our brain is one of the most

important tools we have, we all seem to

spend far too little time looking after our

minds, allowing unhelpful behaviours and

thought patterns to take control, often

impacting the quality of our life and

limiting how we live.”

Using a powerful combination of Solution-

Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), a very


positive type of talking therapy, alongside

Clinical Hypnotherapy to focus and relax

the mind, Elaine explains that effective

changes can be made.

“SFBT as a type of modern psychotherapy

is quite distinct. It is brain-based and futurefocused,

meaning that practitioners don’t

need to spend months of sessions analysing

the past – something that clients report is

very ‘freeing’. We look forwards, working

together in a positive and supportive way to

help you facilitate the changes you want to

make as quickly as we can.”

“During clinical hypnosis the mind is deeply

relaxed, focused and receptive. We achieve

a very deep level of relaxation, helping to

process the anxieties we may be carrying

within us or helping to break these

unwanted thought or behaviour patterns.”

“I have had clients over 70yrs old break free

from phobias and panic attacks they have

had since teenage years, simply by helping

them to harness the natural plasticity of the

brain and understand the processes we all

have of building neural connections and

behaviour patterns.”

“Lower levels of stress give you better

clarity and focus, helping you regain your

balance and get control over that issue that

has been bothering you. Essentially we get

the ‘real’ you back.”

The Solution Focused Studio is a

professional, confidential, accredited and

friendly therapy practice, registered with

the CNHC, the AfSFH and the NCP,

showing dedication to the highest

standards of therapy practice and ethical


Elaine Way DipSFH HPD AfSFH(reg)





QUOTE: SH/2018

Solution Focused Studio

Clinical Hypnotherapy

Solution Focused

Brief Therapy



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From an



Vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter,

Aaron Bertelsen has written a cookbook which

celebrates the link between the plot and kitchen

so precious to the garden’s iconic creator, the late

Christopher Lloyd

Words: Aaron Bertelsen Photographs: Andrew Montgomery


Beet top and feta tart

Serves 8 Prep time: 15. Cooking time: 50-60 mins

Beetroot tops are often ready in the spring before the spinach

and chard, which is what gave me the inspiration for this tart.

They have a nutty, earthy flavour and are also good eaten on

their own as a steamed or boiled vegetable. I love this tart so

much that I cook and freeze the leaves for use all year.

Rhubarb tart

Serves 8 Prep time: 15 mins plus chilling Cooking time: 45-50 mins

Spring rhubarb is wonderfully pink and tender, so you can

dispense with the poaching step and put it straight into a pastry

case, with a little brown sugar before putting it in the oven. The

sugar caramelizes to give an almost toffee-like flavour. Eat hot or

cold. Either way, it goes well with cream, custard or ice-cream.

• Oil or butter, for greasing

• 1 quantity chilled

shortcrust pastry

• flour, for dusting

• beet tops (greens) from

8 plants, rinsed and


• 175 g/6 oz feta cheese,

diced or crumbled

• 300 ml/10 oz

(1¼ cups) crème fraîche

• 3 eggs

• 100 ml/3½ fl oz

(scant ½ cup) milk

• salt and pepper

1Preheat the oven to

180°C/350°F/Gas Mark

4, placing an oven rack in

the lower part of it. Grease

a 30-cm/12-inch loosebottom

tart pan. Roll out

the pastry (dough) on a

lightly floured work surface

until it is large enough to

line your tart pan.

Put the beet tops

2 (greens) into a pan with

just the water that clings to

them after washing. Cover

with a lid, cook over low

heat for about 5 minutes

until wilted. Let cool, then

drain and spread over the

bottom of the pastry case

(shell). Sprinkle with the


3Put the crème fraîche,

eggs and milk into a

bowl and beat together.

Pour this mixture into the

pastry case and season with

salt and pepper. Place on a

baking sheet and bake for

40–45 minutes until just set.

Take the tart out of the

4 oven and carefully slip

off the outer ring, leaving

the tart sitting on the base.

Return to the oven on

5 the baking sheet for

another 5–10 minutes so

that the sides get really crisp.

• Butter, for greasing

• 1 quantity chilled sweet

shortcrust pastry

• flour, for dusting

• 1 kg/2¼ lb rhubarb,

chopped into 5-cm/2-inch


• 2 tablespoons demerara

(turbinado) sugar

• 120 g/4 oz (½ cup) caster

sugar, plus extra for

sprinkling (optional)

1Preheat the oven to

190°C/375°F/Gas Mark

5, placing an oven rack in

the lower part of it. Butter a

25-cm/10-inch loose-bottom

tart pan.

2Roll out the pastry

(dough) thinly on a

lightly floured work surface

and use to line the prepared

pan. If using spring rhubarb,

arrange it in the pastry case

(shell) and sprinkle with the

demerara (turbinado) sugar.

If not using spring rhubarb,

put the caster (superfine)

sugar and 200 ml/

7 fl oz (¾ cup) water into

a pan and stir together over

medium heat until the sugar

dissolves. Bring to a gentle

boil, then add the chopped

rhubarb and simmer for 1

minute – you don’t

want it to lose its shape.

Drain the rhubarb, then

arrange inside the pastry case.

3Place the filled case on

a baking sheet and bake

on a low oven rack for 40

minutes. Take the tart out of

the oven and carefully slip

off the outer ring, leaving the

tart sitting on the base.

4Return to the oven on the

baking sheet for another

5–10 minutes so that the sides

get really crisp.

Slide the tart onto a plate and

sprinkle with caster sugar,

if desired. Let cool to room

temperature before serving.


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Frozen pea and mint pesto

Makes 3 small jars Prep time: 10 mins. Cooking time: 5 mins

An excellent item for your storecupboard (pantry), pesto is great

for using up gluts of produce. This recipe is perfect

for using up any forgotten peas in the freezer, and it is a real

taste of summer, which I hanker for in the winter. It is

delicious with pasta, adding a real depth of flavour.

• 250 g/9 oz (about 2 cups)

shelled fresh or frozen

peas (about 900 g/2 lb in

their pods)

• 2 fat cloves garlic, finely


• 50 g/2 oz (about ⅓ cup)

pine nuts, toasted

• 50 g/2 oz Parmesan

cheese, chopped into

small chunks

• good handful mint leaves

• 6 tablespoons extra virgin

olive oil

1Cook the peas in a pan

of boiling water for 2–3

minutes, until just tender, then

drain and refresh in cold water.

Drain again and pat dry.

2Tip the peas into a blender

or food processor and add

the remaining ingredients.

Pulse very briefly, until

everything is roughly chopped.

Don’t overdo it – the mixture

should still have some texture.

3To store, put into a tightly

lidded container, cover the

surface with a little more olive

oil and store in the refrigerator

for 1 week, or freeze in plastic

food bags for up to 1 month.




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Beetroot chutney

Makes 5kg/11lb Prep time: 30mins. Cooking time: 1 ¼ hours

Chutney is a great way of using up gluts of produce – we often

have lots of beetroot in the garden at Great Dixter. This recipe

is courtesy of Mary Coward, mother of Tom Coward, head

gardener at Gravetye Manor.

• 1 kg/2¼ lb Bramley

(Cortland or Granny

Smith) apples, peeled,

cored and sliced weight

• 2 kg/4½ lb raw beetroot

(beet), peeled and

roughly chopped

• 1 kg/2¼ lb (about 6

cups) soft light brown


• 450 g/1 lb (3 cups)

sultanas or golden raisins

• 3½ tablespoons salt

• 1 tablespoon ground


• 1 small onion, finely


• 500 ml/18 fl oz (2 cups)

malt vinegar

1Put the apples into a

heavy pan with a little

water, cover and

cook gently for about 10

minutes until soft but not


2Add all the remaining

ingredients to the pan

and boil for 1 hour or more,

until the mixture thickens

and erupts in small craters,

like lava in a volcano.

Spoon into warm,

3 sterilized jars, cover with

a double layer

of greaseproof (wax) paper,

then seal tightly, label and


The chutney can be eaten

immediately, although I

think it’s best stored in a

cool place and enjoyed after

a year.

Pickled pears

Makes 3 x 450g/1lb jars Prep time: 15mins. Cooking time: 20mins

It was my friend Tom Coward, head gardener at Gravetye

Manor, who first introduced me to this lovely preserve. There

are lots of recipes for pickled pears, but some take up to a week

to prepare. This version can be made in an evening, and I have

found the results to be just as good, though they are best left for

a month before eating so that the flavours can really penetrate the

fruit. Use pears that still have some bite, but not so much that

you cannot get your teeth into them, and make sure you reduce

the liquid well to intensify the flavour. The pears go really well

with blue cheese.

• 900 g/2lb pears, peeled,

cored and sliced

• 425 ml/14½ fl oz (1¾

cups) apple cider vinegar

• 450 g/1 lb (2 cups) caster


• 1 cinnamon stick

• 10 cloves

• thumb-size piece of stem

ginger, sliced

1Put all the ingredients into

a pan with 850 ml/1½

pints (3½ cups) water and

cook slowly until the pears

start to soften, but only just

(about 10 minutes). You want

them to retain a bit of bite.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer

the pears to a colander and set

aside to drain.

2Meanwhile, increase the

heat under the syrup left

in the pan and boil rapidly

for 15 minutes, or until it has

reduced by about a third and

thickened slightly.

3Pack the fruit into warm,

sterilized jars and pour in

enough hot syrup to cover.

Seal immediately and store for

a month before eating.



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Offering the

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design using fine

furniture made

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Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RP 01737 240403

Makes 30-40 slices Prep time: 20 mins.

Cooking time: 2 ½ hours

This is my grandmother’s recipe, so very special to me. The cake

is intensely fruity and moist. I sometimes make it in the evening,

turning the oven off after two and a half hours and leaving it in

the oven overnight so it has time to settle. In an airtight container,

wrapped in greaseproof paper, it will keep for months.

• 1 kg/2¼ lb (10 cups)

mixed dried fruit, plus an

extra 50 g/2 oz

• (½ cup) each of sultanas

or golden raisins and


• 12 pitted prunes, chopped

• 1 x 400-g/14-oz can

sweetened condensed milk

• 225 g/8 oz (2 sticks)


• 1 tablespoon black treacle

Nana’s fruit cake


• 1 tablespoon golden syrup

or corn syrup

• dash vanilla extract

• dash brandy

• 350 ml/12 fl oz (1½ cups)


• 50 g/2 oz (½ cup) flaked

(slivered) almonds

• 1 slightly heaped teaspoon

bicarbonate of soda

(baking soda)

• 1 teaspoon mixed

(apple pie) spice

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 300 g/11 oz

(scant 2½ cups) plain

(all-purpose) flour

• 1 slightly heaped teaspoon

baking powder

1Preheat the oven to

140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1.

Line a 23-cm/ 9-inch square

cake pan with parchment

(baking) paper. Put the dried

fruit, prunes, condensed milk,

butter, treacle (molasses),

syrup, vanilla and brandy

into a pan. Add the water

and bring to a simmer for 5


2Let cool slightly before

stirring in the almonds,


of soda (baking soda) and

spices. Finally, incorporate

the flour and baking powder

a bit at a time, stirring well

between each addition.

3Pour the mixture into the

prepared pan and bake

for 2½ hours. Turn off the

oven and leave the cake in

there to settle – I usually do

this overnight. The

following day, turn

it out and store it

as described in the


The Great Dixter Cookbook is published by Phaidon £24.95. Surrey Homes readers can buy it with a 30% discount

and free UK shipping, using the code DX30 at offer open until 25 June. Aaron Bertelsen is

appearing at The Garden Hub at the Midsummer Fair, see page 22 in the Garden Supplement.


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Chick, chick,

chick, chicken

page 25

Bespoke design & build treehouses, playhouses

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8 In full bloom

Jennifer Stuart-Smith’s tips for planting

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13 Outside living

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19 Cool veg for warmer days

Jo Arnell’s guide to getting ahead

22 Pretty practical

Lovely things for garden life

25 Chick, chick, chick, chicken

Martin Gurdon’s life with feathery friends

26 Everything in the Garden Hub is lovely

The thrilling speakers at the

Wealden Times Midsummer Fair

29 Animal Magic

Water in your garden attracts fauna and

flora says Sue Whigham

32 How does your garden grow?

Expert horticulturalists on the joys of brand new

hedges, bespoke garden tonics and landscape design

35 Grass roots

When it comes to lawns – don’t do it yourself

CheekyMonkeyS40.indd 1 25/01/2018 15:42

The landscaping team

at Katsura Gardens

offers a complete and

professional garden

construction service.

We aim to ensure that

the process of improving

your garden is enjoyable

and straightforward.

We offer free quotations for

complete build projects,

paving, fencing, planting,

decking and more.

Pretty practical

page 22


KatsuraGardensWT194.indd 1 20/03/2018 18:34

British Luxury Since 1977

Visit the largest range of quality garden furniture in Walton on Thames,

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SH Garden Supplement

Editor’s letter

Animal Magic

page 29


Oak Frame Buildings

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MonarchOakWT147.indd 1 15/04/2014 15:06

Welcome to our Garden Supplement. I’m currently

in the process of renovating a house and

the front garden is in a very sorry state, to the

point I’m worried that my lovely neighbours might stage

an intervention. So I fell on all the information in these

articles as they landed in my inbox from our brilliant contributors,

looking for inspiration, but more importantly –

for expert advice.

If anyone can teach me to grow a decent crop of courgettes,

it’s Jo Arnell, and Sue Whigham has convinced me

that I must have a water source of some kind in my finished

garden to encourage wildlife into it.

But while I am excited at the prospect of getting my own

hands into the soil (perhaps with a Great Crested Newt for

company...) talking to landscape designers, mature hedge

and tree specialists, and lawn masters has reminded me of

the enormous benefits of calling in the professionals.

For now I’m dreaming of a time when my vegetable plot

is brusting with produce in a professionally designed and

planted garden, with at least one lovely tree – and the gorgeous

outdoor furniture I will be admiring it all from.

Happy gardening.

Passionately Inspired Teak Furniture

UK’s Largest Teak Furniture Collection

Showroom Open Mon–Fri 9am–5pm

7 days a week from Easter

01256 805 780

2 minutes Junction 7 M3 (Basingstoke)


ChicTeakS41.indd 1 26/02/2018 15:25

SH Garden Supplement

In full bloom


Stuart-Smith of

Blooming Green shares her

expert knowledge on how

to start your own cutting

garden and fill your house

with flowers

Nothing gives a house a lift like

vases of fresh flowers – there’s

a reason interiors stylists

always arrive at shoots with armloads

of them – but until quite recently

most people only had cut flowers as an

occasional treat on special occasions,

or if in the summer months, they had

a garden from which they could snip a

few blooms without spoiling the display.

Dedicated cutting gardens for a

constant source of fresh flowers were

mostly the preserve of stately homes,

with walled gardens, a team of gardeners

to tend the banks of peonies and

housekeepers to trim and arrange them.

Things have changed now that

supermarkets stock banks of very cheap

cut flowers – but the almost painfully

bright colours of them and how

unnaturally long they last gives a hint

of how they are produced and gradually,

people have become more aware of

where their flowers come from.

With that understanding, rather

like the organic produce and veg

box schemes, people are now more

appreciative of seasonality, variety and,

in the case of flowers, scent. People

drive miles to pick their own flowers

at our cutting gardens in Kent and our

wedding customers in particular, go

wild for the ‘just picked’ wild-flower


The idea for setting up our business

came about well over a decade ago,

when I was working on a newspaper

and kept on seeing articles about the

unpleasant side of the global floristry

industry; poor working conditions, the

use of unpleasant chemicals and masses

of plastic packaging.

My cousin Rebekah,

who has a background in

environmental biology

and horticulture, was

considering new avenues

alongside raising a family,

so together we hatched the

idea of setting up an ecofriendly

‘green’ floristry business.

Our flowers are grown on two sites,

in the countryside south of Maidstone,

on what were once orchards. We grow

at least 500 varieties of flowers and

foliage, so that we have something

to suit every taste, from April right

through to October, and we cultivate

“You don’t have

to have a large

garden to grow

your own cutting

flowers ”

them using an organic ‘no-dig’ method

that improves productivity, soil health

and saves our backs too.

But you don’t have to have a field, or

even a large garden to grow your own

cutting flowers. By planning ahead,

choosing your plants carefully and using

every bit of available space you can have

a steady supply of blooms for the house,

or for friends, in spring, summer and


And once you get into having – truly

– fresh flowers and foliage

in your home, it can

be hard to live without

them, and even in winter

you can find interesting

things in the hedgerow

or cut stems of winterflowering

shrubs such as


When it comes to deciding where

to plant your cutting flowers, there are

many options. You don’t even need a

dedicated cutting patch – simply dot

plants in your herbaceous borders, plant

them amongst your vegetables, potagerstyle,

or grow some in containers

outside the back door.


SH Garden Supplement

Finding great varieties of cut flowers

to grow is also easier these days, as seed

merchants, nurseries and garden centres

have cottoned on to the demand for

home-grown flowers and have developed

wonderful new varieties, perfect for


Always check labels and descriptions

for the ‘scissors symbol’ or any reference

to stem length and suitability for

cutting. In order to have a good variety

of blooms and foliage, it’s a good idea

to plant a mixture of annuals (seed to

flower in one year), biennials (seed to

leaves in the first year, then to flowers in

the second), herbaceous perennials (grow

and flower for more than two years) and

shrubs (perennials with woody, rather

than sappy stems).

To get you started here are a few of

our favourite cutting flowers arranged,

roughly, by when they are ready for

cutting – although this will of course

depend on factors such as when you sow

and what the weather chooses to do.

Sweet rocket Frothy sweetly scented

flowers in purple or white or pale pink

when there is not much else around

(May/June). Biennial (flowers in its

second year)

Sweet William Clusters of flowers

smelling lovely in a range from white

pink and red and purple an absolute

classic. Flower June-September. Biennial

Ammi visnaga A white cow-parsleylike

flower, that’s great as a filler and

more robust than its cousin Ammi

majus. Flowers June-September.


Outdoor cooking doesn’t get any better

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A Pop of Colour

FireGalleryS42.indd 1 27/03/2018 17:15

Rosara style guru Kate gives a sneak peek at the new trend for

spring and an introduction to our colourful new collection…

Here at Rosara, we are embracing the

promise of spring. We aim to inspire

and wow you with garden furniture, and

add a pop of colour to your gardens.

Our French garden furniture collection

with its palette of Mediterranean inspired

colours is certain to add a little joie de

vivre to your outdoor living spaces.

Choose subtle dashes or big bold splashes,

like the armchair from our 1900 range

in praline pink (a pink candy found in

Lyonnaise’s praline tarts), which invites you

to stop for a moment, listen to nature and

cocoon yourself in peace and tranquillity.

The neat round table from the Opera range,

is perfect for a classic or ultra-contemporary

setting. Mix and match the colours to

create your look. Cup of tea or cappuccino?

You can buy the pretty cups in store.

Go forth and boldly plant the Louisiane bench

in carrot, its timeless shape and sturdy slats

provide a perfect seat, smart and slightly

flashy with a contemporary feel that looks at

home in any outdoor setting. If you want a

more subtle approach, opt for the rosemary

and plum shades, found within both the

culinary and artistic culture from around

the Mediterranean. For a sleek, formal look,

anthracite is always a strong and trusted choice.

We love our new cushions and throws. Team the

grey jacquard design with the Louisiane bench

in carrot and grab the 100% cotton, machine

washable, lightweight blankets, perfect to wrap

up on chilly spring mornings while inspecting

the veg patch or contemplating the day ahead!

Speak soon… Kate x

p.s. you can find all this lovely stuff

on our website:


NicholsonGB-S42-Advertorial.indd 1 26/03/2018 16:09

SH Garden Supplement

Hardy annual easy to grow from seed

and readily self-seeds.

Mint A great foliage and also a

wonderful flower in purple or white

which insects go crazy over. Flowers

throughout the summer, though we

tend to use it for foliage. Just the job

for Pimms. Perennial which spreads

by roots; will go mad left to its own


Dill Big umbels of lime green flowers,

edible, great for bees and an awesome

filler. Hardy annual, easy to grow from

seed and self-seeds readily. Use the seed

heads decoratively, from June until the


Cosmos Large flowers from red to

pink and white, can grow lovely and

big. Blooms from June, all summer.

Half-hardy annual very easy to grow

from seed.

Achillea Small plates of tiny

flowers in all shades of yellow, orange,

red, pink and white, from June to

September. Very dreamy and meadowlike.

Short-lived perennial really easy

to grow from seed.

Sunflower (Soraya or Valentine)

These sunflowers produce many

heads and are great for cutting. Soraya

is orange yellow and Valentine is a

delicate pale lemon, flowering from

midsummer to autumn. Half-hardy


Agastache Spikes of flowers in

white, blue pink and orange. Smells

delicious and the minty flowers and

foliage are edible. Perennial, easy to

grow from seed and flowers from July

to September.

Verbena bonariensis Small clusters

of luminous purple flowers are held

above the rest of the flower bed on

long straight stalks, flowering from

July to November. Butterflies adore

them. Perennial easy to grow from

seed and self-seeds very readily.

Jen Stuart-Smith & Bek Bibby are

co-founders of Blooming Green, an

eco-friendly floristry business based

at Linton, near Maidstone, where in

summer months you can pick-yourown

fresh flowers to fill your house

with blooms.

If you would like to learn how to

grow your own cut flowers, need

flowers while your garden grows – or

have a wedding coming up - visit

How to keep

your cut

flowers fresh

for longer

Strip any leaves from stems so

that they don’t sit below the

water level in your vase

Always use a clean vase and

replace the water regularly as

bacteria can build up and reduce

the life of your cut flowers

Add a splash of lemonade to

the water. The carbon dioxide

inhibits bacterial growth while

the sugar will make your flowers

last longer

Position your vase carefully. The

vase life of your flowers will

be reduced if they are placed

somewhere warm or in direct


Keep cut flowers away from fruit

bowls as fruit produces ethylene

which causes cut flowers to die


Surrey, Sussex

& Hampshire’s

Premier Oak

Framed Specialist

Surrey Oak Barns is a specialist

oak frame contractor offering a

complete and seamless multitrade

service, from simple garages

and garden rooms to fully finished

buildings, all tailored to meet our

client’s specific requirements.

We offer a complete service from

design, planning and construction

through to completion, ensuring

our clients achieve their aspirations

for oak buildings from a single source.

Surrey Oak Barns is the only oak

framed contractor to be awarded

Chartered Building Company

status which identifies those

businesses that are committed

to quality of product and service,

integrity of conduct and concern

for client’s needs.

01483 420 258

Grid seating set from

£11,880 Chaplins


SH Garden Supplement

Point Armadillo swinging

garden chair £2860

Go Modern Furniture

Hampstead jewel

daybed £4999


Charlbury oak table £1,750


Tribu pavilion

daybed £10940 Go

Modern Furniture

Deluxe Garden Party

Light Bundle £105


Outside living

make the most of the warmer months with garden furniture

good enough to bring inside

See uS at the

Wealden TimeS



Morse steel


with log




Original Kadai

firebowl from £360

The fire bowl shop

Its all about you, the customer


to announce the opening of our brand new

log cabin and hot tub display village at

Knights Garden Centres, Chelsham, Surrey.

This fantastic new display village marks the opening

of our 12th display village across the South of

England, and our first in the county of Surrey.

Showcasing an amazing choice of our quality

garden buildings, all have been beautifully dressed

to provide plenty of inspiration and ideas on what

to use the extra space in your garden for!

With the addition of an incredible range of beautiful

hot tubs, Johnsons aim to provide a superb choice

of luxury outdoor goods for your garden space.

Johnsons are a family run business that prides itself

on supplying good quality products at affordable

prices and our Surrey showroom is no exception.

Open 7 days a week our experienced staff can

offer expert advice on all your garden building

or hot tub enquiries and with our all-inclusive

package deals there are no hidden extras.

We specialise in quality, substantial solid

timber buildings, constructed in an interlocking

style, often referred to as Log Cabins. This

construction method has been tried and tested

and found to be a far superior design over and

above traditional panel techniques used by a

lot of wooden building manufacturers.

We can accommodate most of our customers’

requirements, offering a full Installation Service

including delivery, construction and base work

along with our popular options of insulation,

laminate flooring and even electrics.

If you are looking to utilise your garden space

with a quality building that can be used all


year round, then come and visit our Chelsham

branch and be amazed at what is on offer.

For complete peace of mind, we offer Free

Home Site Surveys (within a 50 mile radius of the

branch), available with instant estimates, to take

the opportunity to discuss your ideas, the cabin

style and options best suited to your requirements

and garden space. In the comfort of your own

home, one of our experienced team will measure

your garden, assess ground level, check access and

confirm the best position for your preferred cabin.

Every customer is different, and our free site survey

will allow every detail of your cabin to be planned

to perfection, including choosing the best cabin

package to suit your needs, plus we take great

pride in showing our superb range of products.

We are specialists in our field and are often

recommended by our customers, often resulting in

relatives buying more than one cabin. Sometimes

several of our cabins have been installed in one road.

Come and visit Johnsons, you will be met with a warm

welcome, a cup of coffee or tea and a chat, and the

chance to dip your toe in one of our stunning hot tubs!

We look forward to seeing you soon…


For your local village, our latest offer and to buy online


Wooden Teepee

Hideaway £399.99


Garden Igloo 360 Dome

with Weatherproof

Cover £849 Cuckooland

Sentry box tool store, £1600

Not on the High Street

See uS at the

Wealden TimeS



Inside out

Get more out of your garden by adding a structure,

whether it’s for storing tools, hosting teddy bear’s

picnics, or just enjoying the view

Oak framed garden room

£10,500 +VAT Roundwood

Shepherd hut £16,500

Elham Valley Shepherd

Huts and Antiques

Ionic temple

excluding roof

VAT & delivery


Chilstone 16



Display Village

Knights Garden Centre, Chelsham

Showcasing an amazing range of garden buildings furnished to provide inspiration and ideas….

what would you use yours for?

*Main picture taken at our Display Village in Farnham.



Visit or call us now on 01883 778922. Check website for more details,

plus latest offers and flexible payment options

headline.pdf 1 27/03/2018 11:44

Garden Pools

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Delivered to your site to DIY install

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Available in many shapes and sizes

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Pool enclosures

A pool enclosure ensures you can swim all

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or attached to an existing wall. Fixed or

telescopic designs. Advanced designs

that are energy efficient. All the side

windows slide up into the roof to provide

unimpeded access from the pool to the

garden. 10 year guarantee. Low level

telescopic models also available.

See the photo gallery at

One piece pools

Why are one piece composite pools better?

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● Pools are delivered fully fitted and

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● A choice of sizes and shapes from

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● Lifetime structural guarantee

Website: Email:

For detailed information and brochures, please contact Easy Pools Group.

Telephone: 01444 411411 and 01444 411376

SH Garden Supplement

See Jo Arnell

at the

Wealden Times

MidSummer Fair

on Thursday

7 June

Cool veg for

warmer days

It’s the moment Jo Arnell has been waiting for since

October – time to get going in the veggie patch

It’s all about to take off in the vegetable garden and the

first of the summer harvests are just around the corner.

The weather and soil are warming, the light has come

back and the garden is properly waking up. April is the

perfect month for sowing quick to mature crops that will

be ready in a few weeks time and also for starting off tender

crops under cover to plant out when the frosts have gone.

Some of us have been waiting since October for this

moment.That same some of us (we know who we are) have

also, in previous years, ended up with an enormous glut of

crops; either too much of one thing, or a single glorious

harvest of everything in late summer - and nothing before or

after. The beginning of the season is an exciting place to be,

but it is just the beginning and we must plan before we plant

- and keep our cool.

Direct sowing

You can tell when it’s time to start sowing crops directly

outside if you look at a patch of bare earth in the garden.

Tiny weedlings will be popping up, eager to conquer the

world. Weeds have learned to be cunning and are always

ahead of our pampered plants, but we can use them as coal

miners once used canaries, as a sign that it’s safe to sow some

seeds of our own.

In newly cultivated soil you will often see a great rash of

weeds appear, brought up to the surface through cultivation -

and mingling disastrously with precious seedlings. It is worth

preparing the soil a few weeks before you sow; then you can

hoe off the weedlings prior to sowing or planting the crops.

Sow in rows, because this makes it easier to spot your crop

when it emerges - weeds are wayward outlaws and don’t care

for straight lines. You can avoid most of the direct sowing

pitfalls by growing crops in pots and planting them out once

they’ve grown a few leaves. You can buy them at this stage

too. It is not cheating, but it does mean you don’t get a huge

choice of cultivar.

Some like it hot

Vegetables like French and runner beans, courgettes,

tomatoes, squash and sweetcorn are not frost hardy, so cannot

be safely grown outside until at least the middle of May. The

problem is that in order to get a reliable harvest, many of

them need to be started off before this. Sow seeds under cover

- on a window sill or in a greenhouse and then gradually

harden them off before planting outside.

These crops (like some of us) need lots of hot summer days

for best results, so find a warm sheltered place for them. They

can be thirsty too, especially those that form fruits or juicy

pods, so they may need extra watering if the weather does

become hot and dry.


SH Garden Supplement

My soil dries out quickly, so I usually dig something called

a ‘bean trench’, which involves making a trench in the bed

about 50-70cm deep and filling it with a combination of

kitchen waste and compost. You can use anything organic

that will help to hold in the moisture; I have used newspaper,

cardboard, old woollen jumpers, even an old hat. Then pile

on some soil and plant the crop. The compost layer will act

as a reservoir later in the season and keep the roots cool and

damp in dry weather.

Some like it cooler

A few vegetables respond to warmer weather by getting

overexcited and running to seed almost as soon as you’ve sown

them. These cool weather crops do not like hot dry weather,

so grow things like spinach, rocket, coriander and oriental

greens in early spring or late summer and avoid growing them

at the height of the summer.

The quickest summer harvests

If you are impatient to see results, there are vegetables that

will spring into action and be ready for harvest in as little

as 3-4 weeks. The fastest maturing crops are probably leafy

salads; look for seed packets of ‘speedy’ salad mixes. Radishes

are also quick to grow, and kohlrabi is also speedy. There are

other leafy crops, like rocket (the name gives a clue), some

mustards, spinach and oriental greens. Be careful when you

sow these, though, as they are prone to bolting (running to

seed and turning bitter).

Keep on cropping

Growing in succession is the ideal way to avoid a glut, but it

doesn’t work with all vegetables. The idea is to sow a small

quantity at regular intervals, ensuring that you spread the

harvest. I have done this successfully with peas, French beans,

salads such as loose leaved lettuce and rocket and other fast

growing vegetables. The problem comes when the weather

starts to warm up and speeds up the rate of growth, so that

later sown crops quickly catch up with the earlier ones.

Spave-saving summer crops

Even if your plot is tiny there are ways of growing crops -

climbing plants like beans and small pumpkins make use of

the vertical growing area (i.e. the sky) and there are dwarf,

but bountiful versions of many crops that can be grown in

containers or squeezed into corners.

I have talked before about growing three different

vegetables together in one space; the ancient native Indian

technique called the three sisters involves squash, climbing

beans and sweetcorn all grown together and using each other

for support and nutrients.

Beans climb the sweetcorn and feed the soil with nitrogen,

sprawling squash plants provide shade and suppress weeds,

but (as often happens when three sisters are grown together)

the result can be a bit chaotic.

Too much of a good thing

Even if courgettes are the mainstay of your diet, I promise

that you will only need two plants. You may only need one,

but for pollination purposes it will help to have more than

one plant. Do not plant a whole row.

Fortunately, there are 101 delicious recipes for courgettes,

less for monstrous marrows, which is what they turn into

when you’re not looking. Beans and tomatoes can also be

overwhelming. If you can’t help growing in quantity, make

space in the freezer, or cultivate some new friends to offload

your surplus onto.

Permanent crops

If you have a dedicated place to grow your vegetables, then

it is well worth growing a permanent crop - asparagus and

artichokes are top of my list. They do take a few years to

establish, but will then go on to provide regular harvests for

many years to come. Asparagus beds just need to be kept

weed free and supplied with an organic mulch in spring or

autumn. Artichokes form impressive, architectural clumps and

look just as good in the borders as in the vegetable garden.

The mad spring rush is hard to resist, but with just a little

planning, we will be able to sow the right thing, in the right

quantity at the right time - in theory at least. Let’s get out


For details of Jo’s vegetable growing course visit or phone 01233 861149

Cut and come again

This works well with salad leaves, as you can harvest the outer

leaves, let the plants recover, then cut again. I find that after

two or three cuts it is best to sow a new lot, but it is possible

to make one row of salad last a whole summer.


SH Garden Supplement

Planter with solar

light £19.95

House of Bath

Alfriston clergy oak

leaf kneeler £20

National Trust shop.

Succulent plant pot

with mosaic design

£5 B&Q

Brass garden

gift set £15


18v Cordless hedge

trimmer £59.95 House of


Gardener clog £60

National Trust shop.

White daisy plant

stake £20 National

Trust shop

Folding pruning

shears and multitool

£35.99 The

Luxe Company

Pretty practical

Lovely things to enhance your gardening life (and great presents for the keen horticulturalist)

Bee mix seed

ball £5.99


Choose your own set

of 8 hand engraved

English oak plant

labels £12 +p&p





Winter in Venice

English herb

gardeners basket

£44.95 Prezzybox

Bulb planter £17.99 plant

stakes £6.99 hand fork

£9.99 & bulbs £3.99 each



Spring garden &

birds gardening

gloves £15.00

The Contemporary


Elegant three tier

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Martin & Priscilla

SH Garden Supplement

See Martin

Gurdon at the

Wealden Times


Fair on Friday

8 June

Chick, chick, chick,

chick, chicken…

They wreck the lawn, eat freshly planted bulbs and hardly ever lay an egg, but

Martin Gurdon couldn’t be without his hens (and one psychotic duck)

We were living in a clapboard cottage in Frittenden

with a long, narrow garden and we thought a flock

of chickens would add a pretty, bucolic touch, and

they did, until they turned the lawn into a desert.

Two bantams and a pair of full-sized birds, brought colour

and movement to it, but they also brought avian power

struggles, flowerbed robbery, lawn scarification, and endless

quantities of acidic guano.

Gentle reader, if sparrow dung can leave its unwanted mark

on your car’s paintwork, then hen doings have the power to

rot through the metalwork. Grass on a small lawn has no

chance at all. Eventually we moved to a house in

Woodchurch with a bigger garden that has a sort

of lattice Berlin Wall so that our current flock is

unable to trash my wife Jane’s flowerbeds. This

doesn’t stop them trying.

If I leave the gate open for a moment there

will be an avian raiding party, and I’ll see a

trio of rapidly receding feathery bottoms as

their owners make an ungainly charge for the

promised land of milk, honey and flower bulbs.

The birds in question are called Slasher, Priscilla and

Hadron. Slasher might lay three eggs every other year and

is in charge of everybody else. She’s an Araucana; neat, fleet

footed, with a floppy red comb and luxuriant tail feathers.

She’s also ten years old – which is ancient for a chicken – and

recently suffered a suspected stroke. I found her lying outside

the hutch with a back to front head and unable to stand.

Two days R&R in a cage in my home office soon had her

mobile, and other than holding her head at a slightly quizzical

angle you’d never know there had been a problem. My wife,


“Priscilla is a

gentle, lumbering

serial parent

with a basso

profundo cluck”

Wonky & Hestletina

who did not welcome our stinky houseguest, has conceded

that in animal husbandry terms, the pong was worthwhile.

Hadron is a heavy chicken who is remarkably light on her

feet and oddly elegant. Think Dawn French with feathers.

Priscilla is a gentle, lumbering serial parent with a basso

profundo cluck, who has brought up several generations of

chickens and ducks, as our garden is also graced with a small

flock of Indian Runner ducks.

These include a drake called Bombay, who is as old as

Slasher and has some rheumatic issues. These have meant

making senior duck mobility aids to assist egress from the

pond. In his younger days (think last year) the

summer months would see Bombay develop

unhealthy and rather confused lusts for one of

the chickens, if it happened to be blond.

Priscilla is light brown, but that hasn’t

deterred Bombay from chasing her, so at this

time of year we keep them separate. When

we didn’t, Bombay dragged one of Priscilla’s

predecessors into the pond for reasons that

we won’t go into, and it was fortunate that I heard the

commotion and hauled the poor bird out.

You might be asking why we put up with this stuff. Well,

we do get eggs, sometimes, but the chicken breeds we favour

tend to live longer partly because they don’t wear themselves

out laying all the time. Also, chickens are most productive

egg-wise during their first year or two, and ours stick with us

until their dotage.

However, the answer is simple. Entertainment. Our

hens are endlessly amusing and interesting, whether they’re

trundling about the garden doing their birdy thing, which is

never less than watchable, or giving us their full attention. We

once had a chicken who would stand on my feet and give me

a penetrating stare when she felt

it was time to be fed.

Our birds aren’t great

intellectuals, but they are great

personalities who are variously

controlling, comic, passionate

and inquisitive. They’ve caused

expensive trips to the vet and

the garden centre, but I can

honestly say that I’ve never met

a chicken I didn’t like.


is author of

Hen & The

Art of Chicken

Maintenance (Fox

Chapel), a book

about sex, death

and living with




WT Garden Supplement

Everything in the





Garden Hub is lovely

Be inspired by the speakers at the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair

The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair is a gardener’s

delight with stalls offering plants, outdoor furniture

and statuary to enhance your patch – and added to this

we have some brilliant speakers to inspire your horticultural

ambitions appearing at the Garden Hub sponsored by

NFU Mutual. All talks are included in the ticket price.

Tim Bentinck

Jo Arnell

Tim Bentinck

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet David Archer – yes, that David

Archer, of The Archers. Actor Tim Bentinck, who has been playing

David A for an amazing 36 years, will be talking about his new book

Being David Archer: And Other Unusual Ways of Earning a Living.

Jo Arnell

You read her every month – now come and meet our

wonderful garden writer Jo Arnell, talking about how to have

a colourful garden all summer.

Aaron Bertelsen

The vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter,

Aaron will be talking about cooking inspired by what is

growing in the garden. (See an extract from his wonderful

book The Great Dixter Cookbook on page 132.)

Martin Gurdon

There are people who keep chickens for eggs – and then there’s

the rest of us, who start with the eggs and then fall in love with

the chickens. Former Telegraph columnist Martin Gurdon

will be talking about his life with ‘the feather-clad soap opera’

and his book Hen & The Art of Chicken Maintenance.

Aaron Bertelsen

Martin Gurdon

There will be more Garden Hub speakers announced in the next

few weeks, so keep an eye on the website for the full timetable.

The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair Garden Hub is sponsored by NFU Mutual.









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SH Garden Supplement

Animal magic

Creating a pond in your garden will bring in wonderful wildlife says Sue Whigham

The big chill of February and

March were very unkind to my

lovely little water lily (Pygmaea

rubra) that has spent eight years in a

large copper in one of my flower beds.

Hibernating plants like that won’t survive

a cold spell if the water freezes over

completely. And, oh boy, it did.

But I won’t be giving up on water

plants and the other things that make a

garden attractive to wildlife. To increase

the number and variety of animal species

around you the essentials are: trees,

plants and shrubs that produce seed

heads and berries, deadwood, areas of

unstrimmed long grass and – most of

all – water.

It seems that one in ten British gardens

has some sort of a pond, making about

two million in total. They provide a vital

network of ‘wetland habitats’ throughout

our ever-expanding urban areas. The

combination of what seems like frenzied

house building on green fields and

climate change means a significant loss of

wildlife havens, but we can all do our bit

to ameliorate this.

It doesn’t even matter if we have

limited space, as even a balcony, roof

terrace or patio can accommodate some

sort of water gardening. All you need

is a watertight container which is deep

enough to give aquatic plants some space

and ensures that the temperature of the

water doesn’t fluctuate too much when

things warm up in the summer.

Something pretty like a copper, an old

galvanised container or ceramic pot is

lovely, but you can also use something

cheap and perhaps not so beautiful like

a bin or large plastic tub and sink it into

the ground. This has the advantage of

keeping the water cool in summer and

protects from freezing – with a bit of

luck – in the winter.

I think spring is the ideal time to

set up a new pond and an informal

arrangement is best for wildlife. In a

perfect world you would choose a sunny

site, away from overhanging trees, with

shallow edges that allow animals easy

access to the water.

If your site is on the shady side

you’ll find different inhabitants setting

up home than if you have the pond

somewhere brighter and warmer. The

best ponds have gently shelving edges


SH Garden Supplement

Credit: Rob Cursons

fringed by grasses. Some of the carexes

are perfect for this.

I love the bright gold C. elata ‘Aurea’

and the stripy phragmites growing with

the variegated leaves of Iris pseudoacorus

‘Variegata’, perfect marginal plants for

the damp edges of your pond.

Once you’ve put your pond in –

whether dug straight into the ground, or

in a vessel – it will fill up naturally with

rain (which is why August is not a good

month to do it).

Avoid topping up with tap water as

it has high nutrient levels

and will upset the balance

of the pond water – and

remember, it is normal for

water levels to go up and

down, benefitting different

kinds of creatures. When

water evaporates in summer

damp mud is ideal territory

for many invertebrates.

The really marvellous thing is that

once your pond or water container is in

place and filled with life-giving H2O, it

will colonise naturally.

Small animals may well arrive

within the hour and water beetles and

dragonflies within a couple of days.

Plants take their time and it may be a

year or two before the amphibians spot

a new residence. You may have to add

algae-eating ramshorn snails as well as

great pond snails, to keep algae growth

in check (available on line).

Plants for shallow water and ledges

Apart from the yellow flags (irises),

include water forget-me-not (Myosotis

“Once your pond

is filled with

life-giving H2O,

small animals

may well arrive

within the hour”

scorpioides) which is a perennial

wildflower with creeping roots.

The flowers are rather pretty;

blue with a pink or yellow central eye.

water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)

has clouds of pinky white flowers above

rosettes of oval leaves on long stalks. It

has two major advantages in that it self

seeds and the seeds are highly desirable

for wildlife.

Floating/deep-water plants

Hottonia palustris or water violet is an

oxygenating perennial and is perfect once

your pond is established. It flowers early

with blooms rising up above its leaves in

spikes of white and pale lilac.

Frogbit, too, is a rather handsome

perennial, free floating

plant with shiny, kidney

shaped leaves and a threepetalled

white flower. It

provides a good cover

and shelter for aquatic

creatures. Oxygenating

plants such as this, curled

pondweed and water

starwort, are an important

food source for wildlife.

A couple of years ago we were rather

mystified to find a great crested newt

wandering around on the

kitchen floor. Had we still had

cats, it might have been easier

to understand. However it

seems that great crested newts

hibernate in a variety of habitats

depending on the time of year

and this one was no exception.

Common newts often

overwinter in ponds, as do

frogs and any tadpoles that

didn’t emerge the summer

before. Water snails tend to

disappear into the deeper

recesses of any pond in

the winter, as do other

creatures such as water hog

lice, but occasionally in the

summer you’ll see snails

on the surface taking great

gulps of fresh air.

Then there are the insects.

Dragonfly will lay its eggs on

aquatic plants or drop them

on to the surface of a pond in

summer. Their nymphs then

spend the next three or four

years in the pond before they

metamorphose into the

spectacularly iridescent creatures that we

see hovering over water in the summer.

Common pond skaters live on the

surface of a pond and feed off any

smaller insect that has the misfortune

to fall in. Then there are lesser water

boatmen, whirligig beetles, great diving

beetles and common backswimmers

which fly at night and are usually one of

the first arrivals to a new pond. It seems

that they are predators of other water


So with all these creatures and the

summer visits from birds to bats how

could you ever be bored? Finally, of

course, your pond will provide water for

mammals such as badgers and foxes –

although having just had a devastating

visit from a fox to my hen house, I’m

finding it difficult to have good thoughts

about them right now. is a joint

information and advice partnership

between the Royal Horticultural Society

and Wildlife Trusts.

Sue Whigham can be contacted on

07810 457948 for gardening advice

and help in the sourcing and supply of

interesting garden plants.





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SH Garden Supplement

How does your garden grow?

We are a nation of gardeners, but sometimes it pays to bring in the professionals

We buy the books, watch Gardeners’ World and

avidly read the brilliant gardening writers in

Wealden Times, but if your plot needs serious

attention – or is even brand new - it’s really worth getting the

expert help of qualified horticultural consultants. We asked

three major companies to tell us what they do.

Topiary maintained by Heritage Grounds

Heritage Grounds Services and the

Tree & Hedge Company

Alan Jones, owner and horticultural consultant

You have two horticultural businesses, what do they each do?

I set up the Tree & Hedge Company, which specialises in

putting in and maintaining those things. My oldest son Ben

is also a horticulturalist and set up Heritage Grounds which

improves and maintains larger mature gardens. We do the

grounds at Cliveden, for example.

What are the main things the Tree & Hedge Company does?

We provide a lot of hedges for quality new builds. Companies

tell us it’s our hedging that actually sells the houses. Even the

most beautiful new houses look hard when they’re first built,

but softened with greenery, the appeal is instant.

Is there a lower limit for the scale of projects you take on?

Not at all. A client has just called wanting to buy his wife a

copper beech hedge for her birthday. and people buy single

trees for special birthdays and memorials.

What specialist services do you offer? We might be called in

by someone who is having a wedding in the garden and wants

it to look its best. Our Garden Medic Plant Nutrient Service

can do an analysis on the whole garden and prepare a bespoke

tonic which will make it look amazing for two weeks.

What is the tallest tree you have ever put in? A London

plane tree 11 metres tall. What is your favourite hedge? We

do a beautiful native mixture hedge, which we use for wine

producers and around orchards to attract bees. It’s like a

hedgerow only better.

What feature do you think makes the single biggest

difference to a garden?

Practicality Brown

Graeme Jenkins

How did the name of the company come about? The

company was started in 1981 by Alastair Beddall, who

named it in tribute to Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown,

the famous 18th century landscape designers.

Is there a lower limit for the scale of projects you take on?

We can work on projects that are just a few trees, or

improving 10m of mature hedging, but as Instant

Landscape Specialists, we are able to provide a complete

service, from suggesting semi-mature trees for specific

situations to sourcing unusual topiary specimens

and planting our home-grown instant hedge.

How long does it take you to finish a project like that?

Our installation team are very experienced and can

plant over 50 linear metres of hedge a day. With trees

and topiary, more planning is needed and some projects

can take several weeks. We do have a few large projects,

usually involving a new house build, that have taken a

few months, working alongside the construction.

Do you provide all the labour, as well as the trees, shrubs

and lawns? Yes, we provide a comprehensive service, from

sourcing the right trees, topiary or large shrubs and using

our instant hedges, which make a dramatic impact.

Are you designers as well, or do you work to a design

prepared by another company? We are experienced

horticultural experts, rather than designers. We

work with several award-winning garden designers

and landscape architects on a regular basis.

What is your favourite tree? There are so many fantastic

trees – we have over 500 species on our website alone

– and different ones are perfect for different situations,

whether it’s a small garden, an avenue, a coastal area, for

a formal situation or screening out a neighbour. We have

‘help me choose’ guides on our website for this purpose.

What feature do you think makes the single biggest

difference to a garden? Almost all gardens can have a tree,

even smaller ones, and trees can bring all sorts of focus

whether it’s through their flowers, foliage, fruit or bark. 01753 652022 Gardens are a lifestyle now. In the summer it’s another

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SH Garden Supplement

Grass roots

It’s that time of year when you suddenly notice your lawn is not at its Wimbledon best – time for expert advice

No matter how much you love gardening,

there is one job you really shouldn’t try

and do yourself: fix your lawn.

Grant Goldfinch, of the Lawn Revival Team, tells

us that one in five of the lawns he is called out to look

at have been damaged by the homeowners themselves

over fertilising using garden centre products. So we

asked Grant, and Matthew Boatwright of Kent & Sussex

Lawns, to share some of their lawn lore with us.

Grant Goldfinch, Lawn Revival Team

Has lawn care changed in the twenty

years you’ve worked in it?

There is a movement towards natural solutions, because

legislation is removing a lot of the magic bullets we used to

have in the form of chemicals. A lot of what we do is around

good soil health - 90% of lawns can be renovated through a

regular treatment programme, aeration, scarification (raking)

overseeding and top dressing. Using those techniques we

can bring them back to their former glory or better.

Do you offer regular maintenance packages?

We do seasonal lawn treatment programmes,

predominantly based around weed and feed, controlling

the moss. We conduct four or five treatments a year

depending on the lawn and every time we treat it, we

will inspect the lawn and if we identify a pest or disease

issue, such as red thread, we would treat that.

Do you give your customers advice on what they can

do to improve their lawns themselves between visits?

Yes, cultural control is advising customers what they can do

to maintain the lawn in its best condition. For example, if

you have a lot of coarse grass growing, from blown in weed

grass seeds, you should change your mowing direction each

time, because those grasses don’t like being mown into. Also

avoid mowing too short because it will encourage moss and

weeds. A lawn is all about competition between species and

if you’re knocking back the grass too low, you’re putting it at

a disadvantage. The optimal length is 1.25 to 1.5 inches.

Is there an ideal time of year to start lawn care?

All four seasons need different treatments for different

reasons – you can start at any time of year, but we will

be doing different things. In spring you kill weeds and

feed grass, continuing through summer, then in autumn

and winter it’s moss control and hardening the grass up.

If you start a seasonal treatment plan in the summer

we wouldn’t be able to start killing the moss until

autumn – and you can’t kill weeds in winter, because

herbicide is only effective if the plant is growing.

Are there ever lawns that are beyond repair?

With new build houses, the lawn tends to be thrown down

on top of debris and compacted ground, so it looks lovely

when you buy the house, but as soon as you have a hot

summer, it starts to suffer. A lot of the lawns we lay are

replacements for new houses. It’s not cost effective to keep

repairing them, better to start again and prepare the soil,

have the right kind of root loam and then it will last.

Do you offer services for other parts of the garden?

In autumn we do leaf clearance because of the damage it

can do encouraging bugs. Most of our customers are lawn

enthusiasts themselves and like to do the mowing themselves,

but we do a lot of pre-season and post-season mowing,

because you want to make sure you are removing any debris

getting it ready for the season, or putting it to bed for winter

and we have specialist mowers which act like vacuums

clearing it all up. The main other thing we do is putting

in steel edging, to create a neat edge next to flower beds.

Lawn Revival Team, 01580 712129, 07769 705231

Matthew Boatright, Kent & Sussex Lawns

What are the most common lawn

issues people call you about?

Moss. People call me after the winter when it’s been wet

and there’s a lot of moss, also fungal diseases, particularly

red thread which creates bleached patches on the lawn.

Do you offer regular maintenance packages?

Essentially that’s what we do. We offer regular visits,

two or four times a year, to fertilise, do treatments,

weed control, scarifying and aeration in the autumn

and through the winter months. It helps with drainage

and to allow oxygen into the root system.

Is there a minimum lawn size you will treat?

If I can walk on it, I can treat it.

Are the products you use safe for

children, pets and wildlife?

They are rigorously tested and it’s all about applying them

correctly, at the correct dose rate. Some you need to be

prudent with, because they can be harmful to aquatic

life, so you leave buffer zones if people have ponds –

that’s why you need an expert. We also make sure our

customers know what time we’ve finished, so they can

keep pets and children in until enough time has passed.

Are there ever lawns that are beyond repair?

There are often problems with

lawns with new build houses, but

even with properly laid lawns,

they have a life span like any

plant and the time will come

when they start to thin out and

the moss starts to take over, so

then you are better to relay it.

Kent & Sussex Lawns,

0845 467 0258,


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Let the children speak

Listening to school age kids is vital – but first you have to get them to talk says Hilary Wilce

All the research shows that children whose parents

support them at school and show an interest in what

they’re learning do better than those children whose

parents don’t. And all parents know that while that sounds

simple, it’s actually really hard. “What did you do today?”

“Nothing.” “Who did you play with?” “Don’t remember.”

Little wonder that, as a survey of 2,000 parents shows,

we only spend about 14 minutes trying to have after-school

conversations with our children. But some schools are finding

imaginative, new ways to foster home-school links, like the

primary school in Somerset that sends its youngest pupils

home with a bag of three pebbles, one shiny, one dull, and

one pointy. These represent one special thing that happened

in the day, one dull thing, and one difficult thing, and both

parents and children are encouraged to use them as ways to get

a conversation going.

However, there are many useful things you can do to

encourage post-school chats. Don’t come on too strong.

Children need time to transition from school and hate being

put on the spot. Be warm and welcoming when you pick your

child up, say you hope they had a good day, and leave it at that.

Learn patience. Many children like to chat about school

just before bed. (A good delaying tactic. Children are brilliant

strategists.) Chat about things from your day, to encourage

your child to respond. “A really funny thing happened to me at


Ask open questions. “What was the best part of your day?” not

“Was it music today?” (Open questions can’t be answered with a

yes or no.)

Learn as much as you can about your child’s routine, teachers

and friendships. Then you can ask what happened at whole-school

assembly, or about Harry’s poorly kitten.

Don’t feel you have to solve every problem that comes up, or

always quiz your child about tests and homework. But when you

do need information, don’t fish, simply ask.

Seize useful moments. Many parents find that talking in the

car is a brilliant time to have a conversation – no awkward eye

contact! Always be alert to times when you might get a chance to

talk with your child.

Aim to be as relaxed and natural as you can, children will close

up like clams if they feel information is being prised out of them.

But my top tip by a mile would be the old adage ‘two ears, one

mouth’. So always listen twice as much as talking.

Type it out and stick it on the fridge.


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• 98% of children ‘meet or

exceed’ Early Years goals

(vs 69% national average)

• 100% Common

Entrance success

in 2016 and 2017

Educating to GCSE from Sept 2020 • New 11+ and 13+ interest invited

Leatherhead • Ashtead • Epsom

Independent education for

boys and girls aged 2-13


DownsendSchoolS42.indd 1 28/03/2018 14:38

Book Launch

Saturday 14th April

With Celebrity Chef Tony Tobin




All recipes in this book were supplied by local residents and £3

from the sale of each book will go to two local charities

Discover more on the back cover.

Pop down to The Ashley Centre on Saturday 14th April to see

Celebrity Chef Tony Tobin creating some

mouthwatering recipes using his own

culinary secrets and producing a

couple of recipes from the book.

The Recipe for Success book has been created using recipes from local

residents and £3 from the sale of each book will go to the Centres chosen

charities, Epsom Branch Guide Dogs and The Sunnybank Trust.

The kitchen will be in the Centre from Monday 9th April until

Friday 13th April with retailer demonstrations and tastings.







free wi-fi

For more information visit

Tony Tobin

Love Art, Share the Joy

Fine Art • Investment Art • Pop Art • Sculptures • Framing

11 The Parade, Claygate, Surrey, KT10 0PD

WWW.TREWART.COM • Telephone 01372 470997

May Half Term

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1 15/03/2018 12:35

Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village

Sunday 27 May - Sunday 3 June

Guildford GU3 1DQ | | Open B.H. Monday

Kids go


PAPERMANIA Monday 7 May | 10am - 5pm | Free with admission


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The Spring Contemporary

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1 09/03/2018 10:27

200 Exhibitors


• 30 demonstrating exhibitors

• Live music on a central stage

• Specialist food exhibitors

The UK’s most popular Craft Fair

9am – 6pm Thursday to Sunday

9am – 5pm Monday

(Garden open to 6pm daily)

Admission to Garden also gives admission to Fair

Normal admission charges apply

Free Garden entry for RHS

Members • Last entry 1 hour

before closing • GU23 6QB T: 01622 747325

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What’s On In April


Sat 21 Apr – Sat 2 Jun

New Ashgate Gallery, Waggon

Yard/Lower Church Lane,

Farnham GU9 7PS

Celebration of


New Ashgate Gallery explores

the importance of visual

communication in everyday

life along with the pleasure of

drawing as a feast for the eyes.

The upcoming show features local

and nationally acclaimed artists,

Diana Boyle, Claire Caulfield,

Eliza Southwood, Nick Tankard,

Liz Toole and James Warren.


Children & Families

Thurs 5, Fri 6, Mon 9, Tues 10

& Weds 11 Apr

Grayshott Pottery, School Road,

Grayshott, Hindhead GU26


Pottery Throwing

Learn to throw your own piece of

pottery on a traditional potter’s

wheel over the school holidays

this Easter with Grayshott

Pottery’s lessons for children and


Entry: £15 including one glazed

and fired piece



Fri 30 Mar – Sun 15 Apr

Brooklands Museum,

Brooklands Road, Weybridge

KT13 0SL

Easter Holiday Family

Fun at brooklands

Enjoy the Easter holidays with

vintage car rides, bus rides

courtesy of the London Bus

Museum, an Easter egg trail, kids’

tours of Concorde and the cargo

paper plane challenge.


Fri 30 Mar – Sun 15 Apr

Bockett’s Farm Park, Young

Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead

KT22 9BS

Easter Eggstravaganza

Learn all about spring at a farm

this year with Bockett’s 350

gorgeous new-born lambs, ‘Meet

the Shepherd’ sessions, an Easter

craft corner, a stamp trail and a

full programme of farm activities

including tractor and pony rides,

goat milking, and pig races.


Weekdays Tues 3 – Fri 13 Apr

Surrey Outdoor Learning &

Development, Headley Lane,

Mickleham, Dorking RH5 6DQ

Easter Holiday

Activities at High


Keep children and young adults

amused over the Easter holidays

with activities including low

ropes, climbing, wilderness

survival, archery, and mountain


Entry: £45/day


Fairs & Festivals

Sun 8 Apr 9.30am-4pm

Lingfield Park Resort

Racecourse, Racecourse Road,

Lingfield RH7 6PQ

Antiques, Collectables

& Vintage Fair

Expect 130 indoor stalls bristling

with some amazing antiques,

collectables and vintage items

at this friendly fair, as well as a

licenced bar, live swing singer,

and on-site facilities including a

hotel, spa and golf course.

Entry: from 9.30am £4, from

10.30am £2.50


Food & Drink

Fri 13 Apr

Albury Vineyard, Silent Pool,

Shere Road, Albury GU5 9BW

Cocktail Night

Tattams are returning to the

vineyard on Friday 13th April for

an evening of cocktails and fizz.

Get a group of friends together

and celebrate the end of the week

with a hand-crafted cocktail

featuring Albury Estate sparkling

wines and their new spirit, Attila’s

Bite. Watch and learn how the

cocktails are made and learn

about the English wine scene.

Entry: £10 including a cocktail or

glass of bubbly on arrival


The Talbot Ripley, High Street,

Ripley, Woking GU23 6BB

Sat 21 Apr

Mad Hatter’s

Afternoon Tea Party

It’s national tea day! The Talbot

are inviting guests down the

rabbit hole for a Wonderland

afternoon tea like no other.

Entry: £30


Sat 21 Apr 10am-7pm

Old Deer Park, 187 Kew Road,

Richmond TW9 2AZ

Surrey Food Festival

Local businesses will be

showcasing an exquisite range of

different food & drink, traders

will be demonstrating and selling

their products in the Marketplace

and there’s even a Kids’ Zone to

keep your little ones entertained

while you indulge. Local charities

will benefit from the proceeds.


Weds 25 Apr 11am-4pm

Denbies Wine Estate Ltd,

London Road, Dorking


One Day Wine


All levels of knowledge are

welcome on this one day

workshop covering all aspects of

wine tasting and appreciation,

grape varieties, and wine regions.

Entry: £98.50


Thurs 26 – Sun 29 Apr

Guildford Cathedral Marquee,

Stag Hill, Guildford GU2 7UP

Gin Festival Guildford

The UK’s first, biggest and best

gin festival is making a visit to

Guildford and it’s bringing an

enormous variety of different

gins with it. As well as the

opportunity to try a huge variety

of gins from all over the world,

(including exclusive gins you

won’t see anywhere else) there

will be live music, great food

and a gin cocktail bar. There will

also be gin masterclasses and the

opportunity to meet gin distillers

in person, try free samples and

chat about their gin.


Sat 28 – Sun 29 Apr

Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery

School, The Corn Exchange,

The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge

Wells TN2 5TE

French & Italian

Weekend with

Rosemary Shrager

This two day course will include

a mixture of hands on cookery

and demonstrations performed by

Rosemary Shrager. Explore dishes

that reflect the diverse geography

and culture of France and Italy

to gain skills to help you build a

range of dishes to cook at home.

Entry: £395



Sat 7 Apr

RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley

Lane, Woking GU23 6QB

Cactus Fun

The British Cacti and Succulent

Society visits RHS Garden Wisley

to help visitors learn how to grow

and look after these fascinating

plants with demonstrations and

advice on everything from where

to buy, to how to repot when

they get too big. Children will get

free seed sowing kits and there

will be some fabulous specimens

on show.

Entry: Free

Info: 01483 224234 /

Weds 18 Apr – Thurs 3 May


Polesden Lacey, Great

Bookham, Dorking RH5 6BD

Floral Fusion

Polesden reflects on Mrs.

Greville’s adventures in Asia with

a Floral Fusion extravaganza

featuring cool-coloured

Hyacinths, Tulips and Muscari.

Entry: Normal admission applies.

Info: 01372 452048 /

Sat 28 Apr 10am-12.30pm

Merrist Wood College

Make your own Summer

Planter or Hanging


Save money and personalise your

garden by creating your own

summer hanging baskets and


Now open!

Brand new indoor

playarea now open!

Let little imaginations run wild!

PLUS animal holding, lambs, sandpits,

tractor rides and more!

Find out more:

01883 742546



19 & 20 May

10am - 5pm, Admission £4, Concessions £3, Under 16s & LAC members FREE

LandmarkArts Landmark Arts Centre landmarkartfairs

Ferry Road, Teddington, TW11 9NN, 020 8977 7558,

GodstoneFarmS42.indd 1 28/03/2018 landmark-surreyhomes-S18.indd LandmarkArtsCentreS42.indd 11:41

1 1 22/03/2018 23/03/2018 20:53 09:37

Above: Lalique

Perruches bowl the

opalescent glass with

a freeze of parakeets.

Est: £1,000-1,500

Left: 'Garden Chair',

chair sculpture

designed by Peter

Opsvik, 1985.

Est: £600-1,000

Antique & Collectors’: 11 April

Asian Art: 12 April

Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Sewing: 12 April

Decorative Arts: 26 April

Contemporary Art: 26 April

Garden Furniture: 10 May

Fine Wines & Spirits: 10 May

Plus buyers premium at

27% inc. VAT


EwbanksS42.indd 1 15/03/2018 12:06

planters on this hands-on half day


Entry: £45

Info: 01483 884000 /

Music & Theatre

Thurs 12 Apr

The Leatherhead Theatre, 7

Church Street, Leatherhead

KT22 8DN

British Philharmonic

Big Band in Concert

See The British Philharmonic

Orchestra’s big band in a charity

concert raising funds for Prostate

Cancer UK. The orchestra will be

performing the sounds of Sinatra

and the swing era as well as other

big band classics of modern


Entry: Adults £20, Under 18s £10

Info: 01372 365141 /

Sat 14 Apr 8pm

New Victoria Theatre, The

Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre,

Woking GU21 6GQ

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert

Ed Byrne spoils audiences as

he asks just how spoiled are

we? Is life really as bad as all

our moaning, complaining and

general whininess makes out?

Entry: £31

Info: 0800 912 6971 /

Mon 16 – Sat 21 Apr

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre,

Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX

Kite Runner

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s

international bestselling novel

and following a sell-out West End

run, the unforgettable tour de

force The Kite Runner comes to


Info: 01483 440000 /


Sat 21 Apr 11am-4pm

Watts Gallery Artists’ Village,

Down Lane, Compton,

Guildford GU3 1DQ


A chance for 13-16 year olds to

learn how to capture creative

What’s On In April

images on a DSLR camera

with the help of professional

photographer Lynn Weddle.

Entry: £25

Info: 01483 810235 /

Sun 22 Apr

Painshill, Portsmouth Road,

Cobham KT11 1JE

Introduction to Chair

Making – Make a Three-

Legged Stool

Make your very own traditional

three-legged stool with

experienced woodsman Mervyn

Mewis of Green Wood Works. All

plans and materials supplied, no

experience necessary.

Entry: £110


Sat 28 Apr 10am-4pm

Farnham Maltings, Bridge

Square, Farnham GU9 7QR

Belt making

Make your own beautiful madeto-measure

leather belt using

traditional skills and specialist

tools. No experience needed, all

materials provided and if time

allows, you may also have time to

make another small accessory.

Entry: £70

Info: 01252 745444 /

Listings are correct at time of going

to press but may be subject to

change. Readers are advised to check

with venues before making

arrangements. We can list your event

in the next issue of Surrey Homes

for only £15! Please supply up to 50

words that should include date, time,

venue, and any entry price to or send

with payment (cheques payable to

JPS Media) to What’s On, Surrey

Homes, Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone

Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF.

Surrey Homes reserves the right to

edit text to fit space allocated. If you

would like your event listing to be

accompanied by a full colour

reproduction (42.5 x 62.5mm) of a

poster or other pictorial image, the

total charge will be £95. Deadline for

the May issue is 13 April 2018.

Kent Garden Show

& NAFAS Regional Flower Show

Sat 26th, Sun 27th & Mon 28th May

Gates Open 9.30am - 5pm (last admission 4pm)

Featuring over 300 exhibitors with a wide variety of goods.

Floral marquees with stunning fl oral displays including

medal winners from Chelsea. There is a food hall,

craft pavilion, brass band & children’s rides.

Garden furniture, water features, garden sheds and

buildings, tools, sculptures, & much more.

Jacqueline Aviolet will be in attendance all weekend to

give answers to your gardening questions.

Tickets available now.


available at

the gate & online

Prices: Adults £8.00,

Seniors £7.00

Children up to

age 16: Free

30th March - 15th April 2018






Sorry no dogs

Hundreds of baby lambs due

Meet the Shepherd

Easter Trail with Chocolate treats






Animal handling, goat milking, tractor

rides, pig racing and pony rides daily!

01795 474660

The Kent Showground, Detling ME14 3JF

GardenShowWT194.indd 1 15/03/2018 12:52




BockettsFarmParkS42.indd 1 19/03/2018 11:01



Win a pair of 18ct white

gold dazzle diamond

stud earrings worth £555

Established in London in 1991 and in Riverhead for 18 years, Dominic Walmsley

Jewellery has earned a highly respected reputation. Specialising in bespoke,

contemporary jewellery, handmade in our workshop at the back of our shop, the

professional and welcoming team are delighted to offer guidance on their collections

or discuss and design bespoke pieces for any special occasion. In recent years they have

specialized in redesigning and combining existing jewellery to create breathtaking new

pieces which retain their sentimental value and can be handed down through future

generations. Dominic Walmsley Jewellery Limited 3 The Square, Riverhead, Sevenoaks,

Kent TN13 2AA

How to enter: For your

chance to win a pair of 18ct

white gold dazzle diamond

stud earrings worth £555,

just answer the following

question: When was Dominic

Walmsley established? Enter

your answer with your

contact details* in the online

form at surrey-homes. or post to:

The Dominic Walmsley

Competition, Surrey Homes,

21 Stone Street, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 3HF by 30 April.

There is no cash alternative

or exchanges and the prize

must be taken before 30 April

2019. *All entrants’ details

will be passed on to Dominic

Walmsley and Wealden

Times Events. Please let us

know if you do not wish

your details to be passed on.

Congratulations to Patricia Saunderson who wins our February competition for a Denbies Wine Estate Gift Experience


Jane Howard’s

Fables from

the Farm

It’s that joyous time of year for new arrivals on the farm

and Jane has some very important dates in her diary

Spring officially kicked off on 20th March but after that

especially cold and snowy snap, the arrival of the real

yet unofficial thing, whenever that happens will be

very warmly welcomed. April usually delivers the goods and

heralds lots of changes on the farm and all of them are a cause

for great joy.

Given hay and somewhere dry to shelter, our hardy native

Sussex cows would happily outwinter, but they would churn

all the fields into a muddy quagmire and effectively put paid

to any expectation of a good flush of spring grass. Instead, our

grass was only winter grazed by sheep, so once the soil reaches

a temperature of about 10C it will turn green and start to

grow again and will be the sweetest, freshest grass of the year.

Having been housed since November, turnout is a cause

for major bovine celebration. Tentative at first, the cows

come out of the barn and suddenly realising they’re free they

stampede off, frolicking and kicking their heels in the air in a

complete show of joy and happiness.

For the mums things will settle down after about three laps

of the field but for the calves it’s a completely

different matter. Having been born in February

and March they’ve never really had the

opportunity to test drive all four legs. But once

tried there’s no stopping them. Round and

round they go, turbo charged, until, they run

out of muscle power and puff.

For the bull, the advent of spring is even

more exciting. George, our resident stock bull,

who I’ve written about often, has now packed his bags and set

off up the M40 to pastures new in Great Missenden.

After three years of loyal service, his two-year-old daughters

– now known as bulling heifers - are ready to come into the

breeding herd so we needed a new sire. Enter Eric, who will

arrive on the farm at the end of this month.

But Eric won’t be the only arrival this month. The first

swallows should come back to Coopers from south of

the Sahara (which makes George’s journey seem a little

insignificant) any time from 14th April.

Last year it was the 16th and for the past

“It’s funny how

despite advancing

years, the journey of

tadpoles into frogdom

remains fascinating”

ten years they have only ever varied the date

by one or two days. I know this because I

keep a diary of events that happen on the

farm – and have done so ever since we came

here twenty years ago.

In our first year a purveyor of animal

feeds and mineral blocks gave me a swanky

A4 desk diary, and has done so every year

since. With no appointments or meetings to write in, it makes

for a wonderful record of our farming year and of what’s

going on in the natural world. This recording of the times of

recurring natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate

is called phenology and it’s a very addictive hobby.

Frog spawn always appears in the ponds at the beginning of

March and is now just hatching into a wriggling black soup

– funny how despite advancing years, the journey of tadpoles

into frogdom remains an absolute fascination.

I’ve also seen our first bumble bees, butterflies, ladybirds

and moths. But what I haven’t yet heard is the cuckoo.

When we first came to Coopers, they were a common sound

(anywhen from 12th April, if you’re interested) but last year I

only heard the cuckoo once and that wasn’t here on this farm

so it looks like they are in deep trouble.

Is there anything we can do? Fingers crossed the

nightingales arrive on 2nd May.

Follow Jane Howard – and the farm – on Instagram @coopersfarm




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Every diamond is picked with care, love and attention.

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56 Church Road


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Tel: 01273 205448


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