Indian Summer days

27 September 2015
Ben Pentreath

First up, an apology. Where was the blog last weekend, I guess you are wondering?  It was all written in my mind – but Bridie, at the last minute, got tickets for her, Charlie and me, and her cousin Toby, to go to watch the All Blacks v. Argentina at Wembley. Not your normal ‘Ben Pentreath Ltd’ Sunday evening, but now that I’m (step by step) on my way to (one day) becoming an honorary New Zealander… (perhaps even, one day, an actual New Zealander, who knows?) we couldn’t wait. It was amazing.  And by the time we were home, happy but tired, we were straight into bed and then headlong into the busiest week for a while.

Second up, I’m going to start the blog, instead of ending it, by saying that we’re looking for assistance in the architecture and decoration office (and the shop). Zoe and I are looking for a bright and cheerful intern to help a few days a week, full time, part time – we can be a bit flexible – to assist Zoe in the practice management. We need someone to rush around, run errands, do things, get stuff sorted, buy lunches for client meetings, keep the passageway swept, get to the post office in time, help presentations, generally just be there. All that stuff and masses more. If you think that is your bag, please get in touch. If you know the perfect person, tell them! And then best person to email is  We look forward to hearing from you.

So, now it’s time to settle in to last week’s blog, which has happily settled into this week’s blog as well. Because it’s pure and simple about the dreamy weekends we’ve been having down in Dorset… the long, warm, September days… Indian Summer at last.  I can’t admit that we’re going to be setting our alarms at 1.30am tonight to watch the blood moon, but that all seems to be part of this perfect autumn vibe, as well, doesn’t it?

Last Saturday we woke incredibly early to find the garden soft and drenched in dew. The rising sun cast long blue shadows. Charlie zoomed off to Bridport to rootle around junk shops and I stayed in the garden with my camera in hand.

P1020598 P1020599 P1020602 P1020604 P1020605 P1020619 P1020624 P1020625 P1020627 P1020628 P1020633 P1020641 P1020644 P1020646 P1020647 P1020652 P1020653

How we still have so many sweet peas at this time of year I am not sure. Charlie just says he keeps on picking them. P1020658 P1020660 P1020670 P1020674 P1020680

I love this morning moment.

As the sun rose and the day became warm, and then hot… we decided to take a walk down to the coast. It was a dreamy afternoon at Abbotsbury, with Chesil beach shimmering in the haze.P1020691 P1020692 P1020693 P1020695 And an afternoon quietly soaking up the rays, and fish and chips, and a pint or two, in the pub.

Charlie’s beginning to get busy. In just 2 weeks, his Pop-up shop is opening at 17A Rugby Street, next to the shop. Bridie and I can’t wait… (can’t wait, that is, to find out what on earth it’s all going to be about. Charlie’s not telling us anything).  But if the mantle shelf of his flower room is anything to go by, the little shop is going to be transformed into a magical world.  Make a note for your diaries…  I think he will be opening on Monday 12th October and we’ll both be there, on and off, for the next two weeks. And especially for the weekend of Saturday 24th… I hope you can pay a visit.
P1020727Back to the garden. Autumn evenings have never looked so beautiful.  This was last weekend:

And you blink, and it’s this weekend. It’s been a heavenly couple of days in Dorset. We went to a massive, beautiful birthday party in Broad Chalke yesterday, and back in time for rugby in the village hall last night, which was not such good watching as the weekend before. Today – nothing. I read my book for most of the morning and most of the afternoon (Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, which I am loving – as always with his novels). I woke up from a long sleep on the sofa. Sun streamed through the windows of the sitting room and dining room…P1020932 P1020933 P1020936 P1020937 P1020940

And the kitchen glowed orange:P1020943The garden was still, autumnal – the sun has heat but the air is chill.
P1020944 P1020945 P1020946 P1020947 P1020949 P1020950 P1020951 It’s about my favourite time of year.
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I popped across the green to see how the valley was looking.P1020980 P1020982 P1020984

And then home.P1020986

We’re sadly back to London tonight. It’s another of those weeks. I’ve written this while I’m cooking supper, and now I must go – and snatch the last hour of Dorset time, with Charlie, as the sky fades to  pink, then grey, and the sun sets on another beautiful Indian summer day.

16 comments on this post

Amazing photographs.. really awesome view .. everything greenish thanks for this post

I just felt in love with you garden, with the landscape, with everything! The pictures are breathtaking!


By now I’ve probably seen a hundred images of your garden and still I was blown away by these! Jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

deby (in Canada)says:

Ben Thank you as always for sharing so many beautiful images… I can almost smell the garden.
Good news about the Franzen- maybe will make it my holiday read… and even better news – we will be in London to catch Charlie’s Pop UP !!!


Another autumnal classic post. I particularly liked that bronze-red sunflower with the yellow tips; I don’t suppose you recall the name? Best, Nicola


Such flowers! The dahlias are magnificent. I think the job could be for me if I was 50 years younger!
Beautiful pictures, thank you. Flossie

Beautiful autumnal pictures.. and I love that you also have great taste in literature too! I have my copy of Franzen’s Purity on my bedside table, so great news that it’s a good read! Actually just booked tickets to see him at Manchester’s Waterstones, so he’s obviously touring to promote book I’m sure he’ll be in London too x

TJ Ruswarpsays:

The vegetable garden looks excellent. Purple climbing french beans (Blauhilde perhaps?) are a must; ornamental, delicious and hugely prolific; I also spy Redbor Kale and perhaps Cavolo Nero. Of the Brassicas, those are the two that work best on my allotment, both aesthetically and for the kitchen.

I don’t know if you’re growing tomatoes Ben, I spy no greenhouse – however – you’re in luck: you don’t need one. I’ve been growing Sungold, Black Krim and Tigerella in the open air for a couple of years and they’ve done wonderfully in our Cornish climes, cropping heavily since late July, with no signs of blight. You don’t even need to be around to water them.

Pierre B.says:

P.S. “shop” of course!… Sorry!

Pierre B.says:

Thank you for this blissful post. How many of us readers have you converted to dahlias?… Good luck to Charlie’s intriguing pop-up schop!

Once again heaven on a weekly dose, thank you.
Looking forward to Charlie’s pop up shop. Hopefully see you there when I visit.
Regards W

Beautiful floras! If only we have same floras in our garden, I would love to always stare at them. By the way, awesome captures. 🙂


Thank you Ben. It is the highlight of my Sunday evening to drift away from a warm sunny Michigan September to the misty autumnal evenings of England.


Mr. Pentreath, I love your blog. I too missed the absent blog of last weekend.

Please let us overseas fans see a little of Charlie’s pop-up shop when it opens – I’m sure it will be wonderful.

All the best,
Linda. Writing to you from what I call The Other London in London, Ontario, Canada.

Absolutely delightful photographs capturing the magic that is held within the first of autumn’s light. The garden looks bountiful and I’m impressed and surprised your sweet peas are still in full swing. Mine just retired for the summer.


Such a beautiful post…your Dorset stories and photos are among my favorites ever. I did miss your blog last week…so much that I was inspired to pull out your book for re-reading, which has been lovely. And I am thrilled to have found a Georgian (style) secretary within my budget finally, after two years of looking.

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