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Contents

August 2022

48

96

In the garden

In the kitchen

26

Craft

12 Harmonious lochside croft garden

22 The garden in August

26 Intricate detail of exotic climbers

38 Silver foliage for summer shimmer

48 Botanical bakes with delicate flavour

56 Golden parcel of succulent flakes

60 Sweet bell peppers for bold dishes

66 Regional & Seasonal:

Gilchesters Organics,

Northumberland

42 Rainbow displays of gladioli spears

82 Nutritious soap crafted from nature

94 Stationery with a colourful twist

96 Comfort in a carry cushion

100 Preserving pretty petals

124 Readers share their creative talents

4


104 82 42

70

Countryside

History and heritage

Regulars

114 The countryside in August

116 Hidden world revealed along the

rocky shoreline

70 On the trail of Wiltshire’s

mysterious white horses

104 Strength and beauty in an ancient

building skill

6 Readers’ letters

8 Our LandScape

35 In the garden

40 Subscription offer

58 In the kitchen

92 In the home

5


LOCHSIDE GEMS IN

A CROFT GARDEN

The owners of a traditional Highland home have made the most of

its far-reaching views with softly hued plantings from exotic climes,

which meld with the stunning landscape


48


SPRINKLED WITH THE

TASTE OF SUMMER

Petals and herbs provide pretty, colourful garnishes as well as delicate

flavour to botanical bakes, which are perfect for a sunny day

FOR A SEASONAL touch, botanicals, such as

edible flowers and summer herbs, not only add

decoration and colour to a variety of sweet treats,

but also texture and flavour.

There is a host of flowers to choose from, such as

dianthus, daisy, elderflower, nasturtium, viola and rose,

but it is important they are identified properly before

eating. Faded, dusty roadside flowers should be avoided

as well as those growing in areas frequented by livestock

or dog walkers, and they should always be free from

pesticides. Care should be taken if bees are about, and

the blooms checked and cleaned for small insects.

Picking young flowers in the morning before the sun

warms up ensures an intensity of colour and flavour.

Herb flowers, including basil, chives, lavender, mint,

rosemary and thyme, impart a more subtle flavour to

food than their leaves.

For best results, flowers should be used immediately

or refrigerated in a plastic bag for 2-3 days. Dried or

frozen flowers can also be bought for culinary purposes.

Flower ring biscuits

Makes 20

10g mixed edible flowers, such

as pansies, violas, daisies and

rose petals, torn or pulled apart

into small pieces

1 tsp dried lavender

2 tbsp rose water

230g cold unsalted butter, cubed

200g caster sugar

1 egg

450g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

115g icing sugar

30ml double cream

2 drops yellow food colouring

large, flat oven tray

baking paper

7cm round cookie cutter and

2cm round cookie cutter

Line the oven tray with baking paper. In a food processor, whisk together the

butter and caster sugar for 2-3 mins until thick and creamy. Beat in the egg

and 1 tbsp of rose water, then mix in the flour and baking powder.

Cut 2 large sheets of baking paper and place one on a clean kitchen

surface. Place the mixture onto the baking paper on the kitchen surface and

top with the other piece of baking paper. Roll the mixture with a rolling pin,

keeping the top piece of baking paper in place, until the mixture forms a

1cm-thick rectangle. Cut out as many large circles as possible, using the

larger cutter, and transfer them to the prepared tray, spacing them out from

each other 1cm apart. Use the smaller cutter to remove a circle of dough

within each biscuit and discard or add to the remaining dough to re-roll so

there are 20 biscuits. Place the tray in the fridge for 30 mins until the

biscuits are firm.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Bake the biscuits for

15-20 mins until golden and firm. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a

wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, combine the icing sugar, remaining rose water, double

cream and yellow food colouring in a large, shallow dish. Stir the icing until

very smooth, then dip the biscuits in the icing horizontally so that the tops

are covered. Place on the wire rack, then top with the edible flowers and

dried lavender. Allow to dry completely before serving.

49


MYSTERIOUS PAST OF

THE HILLSIDE HORSES


Carved into the rolling, chalky landscape, Wiltshire’s

giant white equines are a fascinating draw to this

rural county and an enduring presence watching

over communities through the centuries

The white horse at Alton Barnes

in Wiltshire appears to be

moving across the slopes behind

golden pyramids of neatly

stacked hay bales; their shape

mirroring the rolling hills.


LIFE ALONG THE

ROCKY SHORE

With the ebbing of the tide, a hidden world is revealed

in pools and fissures, populated by fascinating creatures

adapted to surviving where land meets sea

THE TIDE IS going out at

Wembury Beach in Devon, and

the sea is a surge of white and blue

as it rolls and swells against the

rocks, spilling up gullies and clefts as it is

pulled slowly, inexorably, away. A new

world emerges in its wake; sunlight

trickling across the flat, wet sand; seaweed

piled in ragged lines along the shore.

Mounds of black rock that once lay

beneath the waves are now exposed in the

briny wind that glances round the cove,

their reflections glimmering in the pools of

water that ring their feet.

The sea lingers too, in the ridges and

channels that ruck the cliffs, in cracks and

crevices, and in the dips of soft sand

around sea-scoured boulders. Here remain

secret, sunken worlds of spiky, leggy

animals, of stalked mouths, goggling eyes

and beaked and rippled shells. Rock pools

are endlessly fascinating; at first sight,

seemingly empty, but patience is rewarded

as a sudden flurry of sand or a twitch of

weed hints at the marvels within.

Ben Holt, of the

Cornwall- and

Devon-based

wildlife group

The Rock Pool

Project.

Shifting sands

The animals of the rugged shoreline are

not here by chance, as strays abandoned by

the ocean, but are part of a highly

specialised community primed to survive a

world in flux. The beach is an environment

of constant change, with its inhabitants

buffeted by the waves at every tide as they

swing between the relatively constant

conditions of the sea and the fickle world

of the sands.

“The rock pool environment is harsh,”

says Ben Holt, of community wildlife

group The Rock Pool Project. “In summer,

the water in a pool could be as high as

30°C, but in winter, it can be close to

freezing. At higher temperatures, all the

oxygen in the water will be quickly used

up, and when the sun shines, the UV

exposure will be high. On a hot day,

evaporation will make the water more

saline, but if it rains or an inland creek fills

and flows onto the beach, salty seawater

can become fresh.”

The ability to cope with these

challenges leads to a natural sorting: a

gradient of species stretching from the top

of the shore to the low tide mark. “The top

of the beach is exposed to the air most of

the time, perhaps only becoming

submerged at very high tide,” explains

Ben. “This is very different from further

down, which might be underwater for ❯

Microhabitats are formed among the rocks as the tide

recedes on Wembury Beach. The Great Mewstone, now a

nature reserve, can be seen in the distance.

116


The distinctive blister-like air

sacs of bladder wrack, Fucus

vesiculosus, allow it to float

upright when submerged.

The bright blue beads of the Beadlet anemone,

Actinia equina, are packed with stinging cells.

Young fish, such as these herring fry, may

also become trapped in rock pools.

Dead man’s fingers corals, Alcyonium digitatum

surround an aggregation of the instantly

recognisable Common starfish, Asterias rubens.


Glinting in the summer sunshine,

flint-covered cottages, with

their windows picked out in

contrasting red brick, line the

village centre at Burnham

Market in North Norfolk.

TEXTURED WALLS

IN ANCIENT STONE


PINK AND YELLOW roses scramble over the

bumpy, textured walls of a row of flint cottages in

Burnham Market, Norfolk. With egg shapes and

amorphous circles of blue-black, tawny brown, milky

grey and flecked rust, the protruding flints contrast with neat

flat-brick lintels around the windows and doorways, and the

evenly scalloped edges of warm terracotta clay roof tiles.

Fronted by a misty purple lavender hedge and tall hollyhocks

nodding in the summer breeze, these highly distinctive

cottages have not changed significantly since they were built

in the 17th and 18th centuries. “England has perhaps no

more curious material than flint: a stone of obscure origin,

quite unlike any other in colour and texture, and not used for

building in any other country on so extensive a scale,” writes

Alec Clifton-Taylor in The Pattern of English Building.

Flint is one of the most common, naturally occurring

stones in southern Britain. It is a type of quartz, or crystalline

silica, with a cryptocrystalline structure, which means the

crystals are so tiny that they are difficult to see, even when

viewed under a microscope.

Traditional flintwork can add shine,

colour and a rugged appeal to

buildings and ornamental features,

and is a skilled craft that has

endured through the centuries

Early uses

Flint was used by prehistoric man, initially for rudimentary

tools and weapons, and there is a 93-acre, 5,000-year-old flint

mine at Grime’s Graves in Norfolk as evidence of its early

importance. The Romans spotted its durable properties and

used it to strengthen the walls of their forts, such as

Anderida, on the site of Pevensey Castle in East Sussex. The

availability and resilience of flint meant that it continued to

be popular in the Middle Ages, when brickmaking was

uncommon, and other stone was hard to find or difficult to ❯

105


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