Saturday, 19 July 2014

Yet Another Grand Afternoon Out  Hexton Garden Fete

7th SEPTEMBER 2014
  2 – 4.30pm    
Hexton Manor
Lake and Garden Walk
Luton Youth Jazz Orchestra
Owls – Tombola – Gifts – Puppet Theatre
Raffle - Teas – Cakes – BBQ
Children’s Activities (not a crèche) - Fun and Games for all the family
Entry to Fete Adults £3 – Under 16s Free
Picnic Hampers to Pre-order and collect on the day. Rugs provided
Select your favourite spot in the Manor Grounds sit and enjoy!
£10 per head – Please pre-order by Thursday 4th September
From Bim Cooper 07974 376347 or email
Hexton has two events coming up fairly soon:

First on August Bank Holiday Monday we have a bring and share picnic on the cricket pitch and in the pavilion. Starts at 2pm and finishes when we are fed up, all Hexton and Pegsdon villagers and all our extended 'family' are invited.

Then of course on the first Sunday in September we have our annual Garden Fete at Hexton Manor.  If I can work out how to do it then a poster will appear on this site!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Country Matters - Recommends

Did you know that the Lavender tea rooms have got some lovely recommends on Trip Advisor?  Check out the reviews here Trip Advisor

So I thought I would see if there are any other mentions out there - so a quick search and I spotted:

You can even check out photos galore of Hexton here:

and lastly here are the scores on the doors:

Have you made a recommend - would love to hear from you, let us know what you think of the tea rooms, the shop or the village :)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Plant producer

We have a number of people producing plants at Country Matters Hexton, Carolyn has been visiting Country Matters for a few years now, and for the last couple of years she started to bring plants to sell.  She tells her story:

I have always enjoyed gardening and love the challenge of raising plants, my parents have always encouraged me to garden, we had an allotment when I was a 'nipper' and Dad always had a greenhouse, he used to pay me to prick out seedlings.  

So a few years ago I encouraged my son to take cuttings and plant seedlings to earn some money, as it was difficult finding a job locally, but I will admit he is not such an enthusiastic gardener as me.  All of the cuttings have in fact been taken by him, but the subsequent care and potting on has not been exclusive to him!  But he does get all the earnings from the plants, so helping him a bit with his fees.  He says that I enjoy the gardening more so seems a shame to not let me get involved.  This year he has had more of an excuse not to get so involved as he is now at university.

The cuttings have been taken from the plants that are in my garden, and the seedlings have been raised in the conservatory and in cold frames in the garden.  Each year I buy a few more plants and find somewhere to squeeze them in - the lawn gets a bit smaller each year.  I  tend to stick to pink, white, lilac and blue colours keeping it simple to match, but there are occasional splashes of different colour.  I seem to be collecting a number of Penstemons along with a host of other perennials.  Here are a few pictures of the garden, it was just grass when we first moved in and over the year flower beds and hard landscaping has been introduced.

 This year my husband has sat in the garden potting on plants - so maybe we will continue to do the plants, as long as we can continue to sell them.

I do like to visit the odd garden or two for inspiration, and am working my way through gardens within easy driving distance.

Last year I treated myself to a new garden seat, and planted up a new flower bed next to it, I will have to take some new photos this year as the plants will be more established, perfect for eating my breakfast out there,  Just need to retire now.

I belong to Ampthill Country Market, and we have a stall on the market every Thursday.

When I am not gardening I like to make cards and also do knit and crochet, some of my things are also for sale at Country Matters.

I would love to know what sort of plants you like to buy, and whether you have bought any of my plants.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Local Honey

We have a good supply of local honey from hives in both Shillington and Hexton, all lovingly tended by one of Bedfordshire's premier beekeepers. We always have supplies of both runny and set honey. At this time of year its mostly the rape (runny) honey which sells and Andy brought fresh, and I mean FRESH, supplies in at the beginning of this week.

You may wonder why some honey is runny and some set, so thought I would share the information from the beekeepers site:

The type of honey made by the bees is dependent on the types of foliage and flowers available to the bees. Crops such as oil seed rape (the bright yellow fields in the spring) produce large quantifies of honey that sets very hard, so hard even the bees could not use it in the winter, garden flowers tend to give a clear liquid honey. If the beekeeper wants to produce a mono honey i.e. clover, orange blossom etc. the beehive is put out of range from other sources. This can be difficult for the small hobbyist and a blend of the season’s honey is usually the result.

It is also thought to reduce the effects of hayfever, it must be local, and you need to take a teaspoon everyday for several months before the season starts, some of our customers swear by it.

How do you like to have your honey?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

St Faith's Church, Hexton

Check out St Faith's church, Hexton.  The scaffolding is all down now and the areas which have been sandblasted are looking quite frankly gorgeous!  I for one never knew it could look so good.  The view above is with the lake at my back and showing the west door and the (collapsed) tower.  If anyone would like to learn more about the church and the village then get hold of a copy of Harvest of Hexton by Anne Ashley Cooper, it's a good read and very informative.  I believe you can get it from Amazon.

Walk around Hexton

Went for a walk round the village on Monday night with Fern and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Around the lake saw ducks, single swan and three heron as well as fish jumping.

Managed to get Fern to stand still for a minute whilst I took her photo.

A lovely yellow iris (?) by the lake.

Look closely at the bottom photo - what looks a bit like a mountain scene is actually the reflection of trees from the opposite bank in the lake.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Rapeseed Oil

We have Mrs Middleton's Rapeseed Oil at Hexton Country Matters.  The rapeseed used in the oil is grown at Barton Hill Farm, Bedfordshire - so only a few miles down the road.  Reduce your carbon footprint by buying locally.

It is very versatile and has a slight nutty flavour and high burn point.

There is lots of information on their website, including some recipes.

The oil is perfect as a salad dressing, and can be used in most of the ways that you would use other oils.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Rapeseed oil has a favourable balance of 'good' and 'bad' fats:
  • Less unhealthy saturated fat than all other cooking fats and oils - e.g. 50% less than olive oil
  • High in the healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9
  • It is also a rich source of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant
  • And contains plant sterols - which may contribute to the cholesterol lowering properties of rapeseed oil.
And brand new from Mrs Middleton is stoneground flour, again locally grown and milled at Stotfold mill.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Feeding time

So I stepped out of the house this morning with the dogs to go off and feed everyone, by the time I reached the bottom of the garden the lambs had gotten whiff off potential feeding action.  I fed the hens, ducks and turkeys to the sound of them bleating in the background and then made my way over to their pen.  They were so eager to get at their milk that both lambs, the hut and me got covered in lamb milk so now the lambs think that the milk bucket bites and they are frightened of it! Fed them nuts instead and they thought that I was trying to poison them.  Just another day at the ranch!

The above picture was before the 'incident'.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Hi from Hexton

Hexton is a small (blink and you miss it!) village on the North Herts/South Beds border.  We have talked in the past about declaring our independence but had second thoughts when we discovered how complicated it would be.   We've got a pub, a school, a church, two shops and a tearoom and the walking around here is superb.  There's a large car park at the school which walkers have permission to park in at weekends.  The estate which owns most of the property in the village is privately owned and most days we have farm traffic up and down the main (only!) street in the village.