An English country garden The distinct style of a cottage garden, complete with informal design and dense, traditional planting, is at its best now as flowers burst into bloom
Blowsy pink phlox sit happily alongside shaggy, yellow-flowered telekia and orange marigolds
Palest lemon hollyhocks, white ox-eye daisies and fiery red crocosmia glow in the border
Sweet & tangy Nowâ€™s the time to enjoy the mouthwatering, refreshing and sweet taste of a summer pudding made with freshly picked raspberries
Raspberry summer pudding Serves 6 500g raspberries 250g redcurrants 3 tbsp golden caster sugar 4 tbsp port or raspberry flavoured liqueur (optional) 6-8 slices day-old bread Single or clotted cream to serve
Place raspberries, redcurrants and caster sugar in a pan and cook gently for about 15min until soft and juicy. Stir in port or raspberry liqueur. Remove crusts from the bread. Spoon a little fruit juice into a 900ml pudding basin and line the base with bread, torn to fit the circle snugly. Spoon in some fruit. Continue layering fruit and bread, finishing with a layer of bread. Place a saucer on top to weight down. Chill for between 8 and 24 hours. Carefully turn out onto a dish and serve cut into slices with cream.
Raspberry and coconut ice lollies Makes 6
100g icing sugar
400ml coconut milk
50g golden caster sugar
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp cornflour
Grated zest of 1 lime or 1 lemon
Combine the raspberries and caster sugar in a bowl and mash well with a fork, and reserve. Place the cornflour and icing sugar together in a saucepan and gradually whisk in the coconut milk. Heat gently, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the desiccated coconut and zest. Allow to cool, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin forming. Divide the mixture into two halves. Stir about a quarter of the reserved crushed raspberries into one half of the coconut mixture. Divide the mixture between six lolly moulds. Divide the remaining crushed raspberries between the moulds and then top with the plain coconut mixture. Swirl the raspberries and coconut together a little with skewer or small knife. Insert lolly sticks then freeze until solid. Turn out of the moulds to serve.
Raspberry mousse Serves 4 450g raspberries 3 sheets of leaf gelatine Juice of 1 lemon 200ml double cream 2 egg whites 50g golden caster sugar Push the raspberries through a nylon sieve to make a seedless purĂŠe. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water for 2min then gently squeeze out the water. Place in a heatproof bowl with the lemon juice. Stand the bowl in a saucepan of hot water and heat, stirring until the gelatine dissolves. Remove from the heat. Whip the cream until just standing in soft peaks. Fold half the raspberry purĂŠe into the cream, and then add the dissolved gelatine. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar and fold into the raspberry cream mixture. Layer the mousse and remaining raspberry purĂŠe in one large or 4 individual glass serving dishes. Chill for at least 2 hours or until set.
Pastel-coloured beach huts line the sand at Wells-nextthe-sea in north Norfolk
Homely huts on the sand 70
Patricia sitting on the steps of the beach hut that she built herself using the shell of a garden shed
What could be more reminiscent of summer days at the sea than a brightly painted beach hut?
Mirrors placed in the hut’s rear windows create the illusion of size and reflect the rustic furnishings, such as the wood cabinet
Stencilled lettering covering a wall of the hut with a verse from John Masefield’s Sea Fever
N THE HAZY early sunshine of a summer’s morning, Patricia Miller makes her way through the pine woods at Wells-next-the-sea in North Norfolk and along the sand past a higgledy piggledy row of coloured beach huts on stilts. When she reaches number 26, she climbs the steps, puts down her bag and breathes a deep sigh of relief. “I never fail to take pleasure from opening the door, looking in and finding everything as I left it, spotlessly clean, and all ready for me to put the kettle on, and make myself some bacon and eggs,” says Patricia. “It’s a world away from my mobile ringing and the iPad bleeping. It’s so simple and peaceful here.” Patricia’s hut has a tranquil atmosphere and she has furnished it simply but tastefully with beach-themed ornaments and finds. A rustic wood cabinet holds a pretty collection of shells, keys and seaglass that were all found washed ashore. On one wall, a local artist has stencilled the words to one of her favourite poems by John Masefield called Sea Fever: “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her ›
A wooden box with jam jars of ox-eye daisies and common hedgerow flowers gathered on a walk – buttercups, daisies, dandelions, clover, scabious and lime green spires of weld
Buttons in bloom • Photography: Tom Bailey • Styling: Emma Kendell
Right: ox-eye daisies are submerged in large glass vases with citronella tea lights floating above. To ensure the daises stay at the desired level, they are cut to a length slightly wider than the vase. The flowerhead and cut ends are then wedged against opposite sides of the vase
Above: a large daisy-chain garland can be made to decorate a table setting for afternoon tea
Swathes of gently swaying ox-eye daisies carpet fields and roadsides in summer. With their button-like stamens and surrounding white florets, these flowers are a burst of sunshine that can be brought into the home 57
A glorious purple haze Fields of sweetly aromatic lavender create an impressive sight in the Hampshire landscape where this beautiful plant is grown for both its essential oil and delicate flowers 84
TRETCHING ALL THE way to the horizon, silvery-grey foliage holds masses of violet lavender blooms aloft. Midsummer is when this drought-tolerant evergreen plant flowers, transforming vast areas of land in Hampshire into a purple sea of scent, creating a local landmark. Here, Tim and Anne Butler grow English lavender on more than 24 acres of land. Two giant fields, set against ancient woodland, are dedicated to growing the vibrant plant which has been used as a herb with culinary and medicinal uses for more than 2,500 years. “Farming in my family goes back about eight generations,” says Tim, whose family has worked Hartley Park Farm for 85 years.
Growing English lavender They grow four main varieties of English lavender, which belongs to the Lamiaceae or mint family. Each has a different use. ‘Folgate’ has a mild aroma and produces top quality lavender oil. ‘Maillette’, a strongly perfumed lavender, makes quality essential lavender oil. Vibrantly coloured ‘Imperial Gem’ is used for dried seed production and bunching, while ‘Grosso’ is a multipurpose lavender harvested for drying. This is also distilled to produce lavandin oil, which is similar to lavender oil, but with a slightly stronger scent. Using lavender oils taps into a long tradition that goes back to the Egyptians who used it for mummification and perfume. Cleopatra is supposed to have used lavender to seduce Julius Caesar and
Mark Anthony. The ancient Greeks used lavender to battle constipation, chest pains, and throat infections. However, it was the Romans who found this versatile herb invaluable, using it for bathing, cooking and scenting the air. In medieval times, washer women would dry laundry on lavender bushes, and it was grown in monastery infirmary gardens as it was believed to help fend off illness, including the plague. Today it is used in aromatherapy for its calming effects to help relaxation and to relieve headaches. Tim and Anne distil and sell their own lavender and lavandin oils at their farm shop, along with dried lavender and a range of lavender food products including chocolate and biscuits. â€ş
Tim and Anne Butler with wicker baskets full of their English lavender