Goodbye England and so long Hidcote

The 5th of January marked the end of my 4 month sojourn at Hidcote Manor Gardens and the start of my adventures in Japan. With all the travelling Phil and I did during the UK leg of our TRIAD experience I realise that I failed to post many blogs about my experience at Hidcote. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in this most prized of jewels in the National Trust’s crown of gardens and was grateful for the opportunity to work with the very passionate, knowledgeable and skilled garden team there. Thank you Andrew, Gordon, Sarah, Matt, Eric, Richard, James, Kes, Bertie, Tom, Jamie and Mike! I realise this is beginning to sound like an Oscar speech, but a special thanks to the garden administrator James for ensuring my TRIAD experience went as smoothly as possible, and also to Ann for helping me to settle into the student accommodation.

Whilst at Hidcote I was involved in a wide range of horticultural tasks – my favourite was working with the team to clear the beds in the old garden of half hardy and tender perennials (see pictures below), lifting and potting up a number of Dahlias and Salvias to propagate from for next year’s display. I will miss the view out over the garden from my room in the student accommodation and the glorious sunsets from Heaven’s Gate! The garden is simply stunning and if anyone reading this blog is yet to visit, then I urge you to go soon – it is at it’s best in spring and summer when the borders are alive with colour.

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In preparation for impending trip to Japan, the garden team threw Phil and I a leaving do at Yo Sushi! in Cheltenham, giving me my very first experience of sushi and sashimi and a taste of what was to come in Japan.

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My family and I also held a Japanese-themed leaving party over the Christmas holidays where we sampled a few aspects of Japanese culture and food, eating sushi, yakitori, miso soup and edamame beans, making origami and playing Fukuwarai – a traditional Japanese party game played around New Year where blindfolded party guests attempt to ‘pin’ the features onto a face. I am not sure I have quite learnt to pronounce fukuwarai yet. I even gave my usual Christmas gingerbread house a Japanese twist, by making a Japanese Gingerbread Temple for the party table!

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8 comments

  1. Nancy West

    Have a super trip, Rhiannon your posts up to now have been great and we look forward to hearing and seeing about all your exploits in Japan. Safe trip God speed, Nancy West

  2. Lynlord

    Hi, Rhiannon. Thank you for inviting us to join your leaving evening. We really enjoyed it and I surprisingly enjoyed the sushi too! I hope you are settling into your Japanese life for the next few months. We are staying in a riad in Marrakech, the only guests most days. Very relaxing and peaceful inside our oasis until we venure into the street, as you know from your trip here. Have fun. Thinking of you. Love from Lyn and Roger.

    • rhiannonharris2014

      Thanks Lynn – it was lovely to have you there! The sushi here is much better than Waitrose finest! Have fun in Marrakech – I miss life in Morocco. Drink plenty of nus nous for me!

  3. Bruce Cox

    Hi Rhiannon,
    Very best wishes for an enjoyable trip to the other side of the world.
    Your Japanese Gingerbread Temple reminded me of the Big Ben cake you made for me last year.
    Your blog of Hidecote was fantastic in its variety of shots of the gardens and the sunsets.
    Take care.
    Bruce x

    • rhiannonharris2014

      Thank you Bruce! I had quite gotten out of the habit of cake decorating before embarking on the gingerbread temple. I miss making cakes for you all in the bothy back at Chartwell. X

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