Getting ahead…

9 January 2012
Ben Pentreath

I was going to be helping Robin in the shop this weekend. We’ve been taking it all apart and putting everything back – repainting, fresh carpet, and a good New Year change-around – as well as getting everything ready to open the interior decoration studio later in the spring.

Anyway, as I say, I was meant to be helping. But Robin said he was very happy doing the new display himself (in fact, I got the feeling he meant happier). I’m endlessly being told to get better at delegating – so what could be better than jumping in the car and driving straight down to Dorset?

Nothing, that’s what. The weather was beautiful – spring-like, almost. The valley was filled with the sound of birdsong and I spent the whole day in the garden; again this morning. There is something innately satisfying about a long hard day’s work in the garden. And, for once in my life, of that slight feeling of getting ahead. I’ve cleared the borders, and we’re mulching it all from the great pile of compost that has magically, mysteriously, made itself from a years’ worth of veg peelings and garden waste. I’ve moved the cloches in place to get patches of soil a little warmer, ready for sowing next month.

And today I sowed my broad beans. Getting ahead!

Last night I went over for supper with some friends – and picked this little bunch of flowers from the garden for them. That was inspiration, indeed.

I came back this evening to London. Robin has done a truly brilliant job in the shop. But that is another story. Visit when we open in the morning, and we will post some pictures very soon!



10 comments on this post

ah blimey! i have the same camera and my photos are no where near as stunning as yours! proof that it’s who holds the camera that matters…what settings do you use that create such magic?

Of course, paperwhites. Fabulous.

Really beautiful pictures. Re the flowers, I have identified most (viburnum, snowdrops, cyclamen?) but I was wondering about the larger white ones, are they hellebores? Dorset is looking fabulous, but I am also looking forward to the pictures of the new studio. Wishing you all the best for 2012.


Yes indeed – hellebores, or perhaps you are also looking at paperwhites. Sue, I still need to take the photos in the shop and I will post them as soon as I have, all best, Ben

Lovely images. The sweet flowers for your friend and also your garden with its cloches. And you just reminded me it’s time to mulch. I wondered about the distance between Dorset and London, as you seem to go back and forth easily. It looks like a lovely spot to have a country house. Happy New Year!


I always admire your photos – I especially loved the homage to London last year – the terraces in Islington in the pale sun were dream-like. After seeing your blog I made a special excursion (from deepest Putney) to the Estorick (the great Mcknight Kauffer exhibition) and then walked all the way back to Bloomsbury having been reminded of the joys of North of the Thames where I once lived. I know it’s who is behind the camera that is more important but could you divulge what camera you use? If not the exact make and model, perhaps the type of camera please??


Dear Ian – of course, it’s a Panasonic Lumix and the code number on top says DMC-TZ10… Simple and it’s always taken excellent shots. All best, and thanks again, Ben


Something elegant about flowers and jars, I have just moved and feel very energised to get ahead now in the new garden.


I love your photos. In Sweden we have -3c and 5 cm of snow today.
And no flowers until April.


BRrrrr chilly! Yes, there are some advantages to grey damp England! 🙂

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