Spring turning…

17 February 2013
Ben Pentreath

I was sitting at my drawing board this afternoon, in Dorset, having dropped off my friends Tom, Maisie, Moss and Vera at the station. And I suddenly realised something. It was 5.15 and still light. When did that happen? It wasn’t long ago that it was pitch dark at 5.15. In the blink of an eye…don’t you get that feeling that a cold, wet winter might at last be passing?

It was the quietest weekend.  We did nothing at all.  Well, a walk to the lake:

followed by an afternoon curled up on an armchair watching Robin Hood (1938 version)

while I planted out broad beans in the veg garden.

Out in the garden, yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t help feeling that spring is around the corner.

And that was that.

(Phew. A lot simpler than Gay Marriage).

24 comments on this post


he he! xxx

I love all your lovely photos of England. The landscape and lighting is so, so beautiful. We have another month plus before we’ll see any spring bulbs here in Maine.

PS Ben, if you were going to wallpaper a bathroom. (, or would you)Can you suggest a paper? I know I would like it. Did you order the paper for your guest room? I LOVED it and the curtains.

Ditto to literally everything everyone has said. You are perfect!!I long to be ther in your shop, your parsonage, your garden, with you on your travels and in your head. It is all so beautiful. I mean I LONG to be there enjoying your life. I wish you could post something every day.


Children make a very nice addition to your home, Ben.

Margaret Powlingsays:

The back grass has had its first haircut of the year, Ben, and yes, light still at 5.30 this evening.


Hi Ben
We’re staying in Chideock, down the road to you I think, not sure where you live? The weather and everything else has been in West Dorset has been glorious, the half term break any of us can remember!

Deby (in Canada)says:

Ben, I held my breath hoping for some Dorset this week and you didn’t disappoint. It was minus 17 here in Port Hope yesterday and freezing rain at the moment. All your pictures this week are so cheering- that electric green on the hillside of the last picture is a jolt of utter happiness. Thank you


New to your blog~how beautiful it is~here in the mountains of Western North Carolina we had snow overnight. It was very beautiful but…..waiting for Spring. Love Love Love your woven willow fence!


Hurrah for the (implicit) endorsement from a design guru: Watching movies on the laptop is the way to go! They can be snapped shut & tucked away to remove temptation on weekdays, and there’s no need for a big, ugly telly taking up mental and physical space. Our 5-year-old still occasionally gets spooked watching movies on jumbo screens at her friends’ houses. Why make the presence of multi-media-commercial-culture any larger in our lives that it already is?

That little girl in all her beautiful bright colours, against the sea of green, is like a spring bouquet – a bolt of joy straight into the heart …concentrated hope…a burst of the season yet to come. Love what you do Ben.


Ben, I appreciate your gardening/decor/design AND your political/societal/urban development posts. Your gay marriage post was an interesting perspective for me on how a gay man in another country views the topic. In America, people seem to be either very for or very against gay marriage, and it was refreshing to hear someone (gay or straight!) say “Eh, whatever”. I don’t agree – I think it’s important that everyone have equal rights – but, your thoughts on the topic gave me another viewpoint to consider, and that was wonderful.

I read your quasi-political posts on the high street, and response to the gentleman who wrote you a letter about Poundbury, out loud to my husband – they were interesting, well-delivered posts on critically important development/responsible growth issues.

Don’t change a thing! Moreover, it’s your blog, so write what you want.


looks so lovely.


How very beautiful! But it is as cold as it has ever been in Brooklyn Heights. The sun shines but the wind is right off of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. This could be a tease. April, I seem to recall, …

Philip Krabbesays:

Must be a relief for you Ben not to bring up anything controversial this time… but its the power of the Internet which I’m sure you realized!
Looks like a very calm, nice and quiet weekend at your place, spring seems to be a bit longer ahead in Dorset than here! 🙁
But it was a good appetizer for the spring that we all long for.

Likewise, likewise, likewise. I see St. David’s day coming up on my calendar and I remember being in England and seeing real live daffodils blooming in the ground on that day…. Here in New England we’ll still have snow in March, but Spring is still coming soon (just not as soon!). Ah, the English spring is so lovely.

Liza Vandermeersays:

Here in northeastern Ontario (Canada) it’s still -20 C for significant periods of time, and we have what feels like tonnes of snow (I’ve been shoveling it.) BUT the black-capped chickadees are beginning to sing their courtship song, as they do every February, so apparently spring will be arriving, eventually … and yes, the daylight hours are growing longer. My crocuses won’t come up ’til April.

Jill Rowesays:

Each year at this time, I wait for your posts on the beginnings of Spring in Dorset ~ like your notice of the sun stretching a bit longer each day, I know that when I see this post, that it’s the beginnings of Spring as well (even if it is far away) and I grow excited for the first signs of it here. The snowbells at the base of the maple tree in the front yard and the purple and white crocus in Central Park. Soon enough!

I love the stream running through the garden and the french doors in the house just set off the whole page…


Oh to be in England,especially the English countryside,during any time of the year!

As inspiring as ever!
I’m a new arrival to the world according to Ben – and I love it – you have a wonderfully optimistic view of the world and it lifts my spirits every week! This post especially because it celebrates the simple pleasures of life – I’ve started the Cape Town fan club….. come and visit us soon.


What, no politics?! 😉
This looks like an absolutely perfect weekend. And I have to say I am tremendously excited about the prospect of watching your garden come alive over the year…what a privelege.

Ellen Spencersays:

So beautiful! I remember snowdrops in February when I lived in Kent years ago. Right now in New England we have howling winds, snow and cold!

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