Quiet days are made of this

14 September 2014
Ben Pentreath

A bunch of flowers for Monday morning.P1050556 P1050559

The dahlias are in their final flourish… I suspect that in a couple of weeks they will be almost over. So it was a nice thing to be able to pick a bunch of flowers from the garden before going over to coffee with my friends Chris and Caddy this morning.

It’s been a weekend of quiet visiting. For the first time ever, really, I’m looking at Dorset through new eyes. We’ve been to old places and old friends and it’s been great.

This afternoon, lunch with my brother and sister-in-law, followed by a beautiful walk through soft early-autumnal woods and meadows.
P1050569 P1050575 P1050578 P1050579

The stone bay window that I added to Jon & Laura’s house a few years ago is mellowing. The soft autumnal light suited it well.P1050582

After the happiest afternoon we left and made our way home. The light had taken on extraordinary qualities – and we made a detour to the coast.
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The road down to Abbotsbury had never looked more beautiful.


And on the way home, another detour, to serene Friar Waddon House, which regular readers will know is about my favourite in the whole of Dorset.  The facade glowed grey-pink in the evening light.P1050597 P1050598

As did the garden back home. I’m not quite sure how all the dahlias in the border got the soft apricot or palest pink memo; I don’t think it was by design, but if it was an accident, it works.P1050605

The veg garden is slowly getting ready to go to bed for the winter, but cosmos and sunflower linger on in these warm autumn days and nights.P1050620

The dahlias have had the best year of their lives.P1050629

And, lying in bed right now, everything in the valley completely still and silent, I’m wondering if I have had too.P1050638

No need to say anything else. Happy weekends are made of this. Pottering around, revisiting old friends and old haunts, and doing nothing in particular at all; but for once, it all feels very new as well.

23 comments on this post

lillian sharpsays:

I was indeed inspired… to re do my bedroom in the colors of the dahlias above. I can hardly stand it . They are exquisite. My heart leaps up. I also do not believe the lake and boathouse really exist. I wish that were mine. So beautiful.


I hope you don’t mind, having knocked on your door and got no reply, I wandered into your garden last Sunday (14 September).

It is 15 years since I had visited L Bredy, connecting with my grandparents.

I had attended the service in St Michael’s. My G Grandfather was rector at L Bredy in 1920s and my grandmother was married from the Parsonage. I have photos of my grandparents standing in the garden on their wedding day on 1922, and I hoped to locate the precise spot of the photo, which I did. I made another connection – my GG grandmother is buried in the church yard.

The parsonage and garden look stunning – what a difference since my last visit in 1999. What a wonderful place L Bredy is.

My partner spotted the article on the Parsonage in Country Life a few months ago and it was fascinating to read all about it.

deby (in Canada)says:

Oh Ben
I have been coasting along all week on your obvious happiness and just realized I hadn’t commented, Sally says it best… and we are so fortunate that you share.
Please do let us know details of the pink dahlias- they float along with your mood.


The third photo reminds me of being a carefree child roaming through the fields and woodlands of Somerset during the endless days of summer.

paulo canhasays:

Dear Ben,

it´s the first time I wrote a comment in your blog, I didn´t because of the beauty intimacy of it, that I feld I was invading a space that’s not mine.
just to tell you how much I love to come, to read it. one never gets bore. thanks so much for sharing. one is always expecting another journey, as we travel along with your thoughts and photos. best wishes, Paulo

sue cosstellosays:

Do post more dahlia bed photos. We never tire of the wild autumn beds of color. Extrodinary!

Nice interior decoration and architects design

Suzy O'Briensays:

This makes me homesick for England


A beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing.


I am reminded of the line from the Talmud, “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are”.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful spirit.

Ann Harrisonsays:

Love reading your Dorset posts especially…your road down to Abbotsbury strongly resembles the road to the coast at Tomales Bay in Marin County, California. The road, the curves, the dairy cows, the water ahead…

And might I gently speculate that your feeling “for once, it all feels very new” may be connected to an expanding heart?


Classic Pentreath post. Many thanks for the bouquet of flowers, the houses, and the landscapes, all in such delicious shades. Nicola


I’m not very good with dahlias, think they either love or hate you, however I will persevere. Your anemone’s are nearly as good as mine so that even things up..


I’m going to ditto the comment made by Sally; perfect.

Victoria Ballingersays:

Your photographs and comments are pure escapism…….please continue!!

Elizabeth Cornwellsays:

Although I live in beautiful Northumberland now,I used to live in Wiltshire,and at times,reading your blog about Dorset,I wish I still did live there.It is such a lovely area & the houses are all built of that gorgeous stone.Never mind I think we have all enjoyed a wonderful autumn.

Friar Waddon House looks exquisite. These anglo-dutch houses are so easy on the eye. Quite perfect. Up here we have Belton House, which is much larger, and perhaps a little coarser. There was also a small, lovely house of this type at Uffington just outside Stamford, but it was burnt down in the early years of the last century and not rebuilt.


There was something very restful and soothing about this post – thank you. As mellow as the autumnal light flowing in soft waves over the gentle hills.


I wish I had the words to express how much I enjoy your Sunday night/Monday morning blog. For over a year, since I bought your book, I’ve looked forward to each posting. Your photos take my breath away. The way you capture a garden, a doorway, an alley makes me ‘see’ in a new and different way. I appreciate that you take the time to share all your thoughts and sights with us. I’m a tired grandma in Ohio, longing to be/see England one more time. Your website helps stems my self pity.

This looks to have been the perfect weekend full of friends, splendid old homes and gardening. The dahlias are spectacular in their peachy palette. Enjoy them while you can.


You write with such eloquence. I discovered your blog by happy accident and am completely captivated. You shine light on the joy in the simplest of tasks; vistas, slices of time, in the sheer contemplation . What a privilege to enjoy snippets of your world.


Looks lovely Ben.
Just curious to you lift your dahlia tubers & store them over winter or do you just leave them in the ground?


It’s the light within that has taken on the most extraordinary quality as well.
Such a beautiful post to read and pictures to scroll through. Thank you for sharing your home and happiness.

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