Another dress for warm weather plus a look at a lovely small garden

Hi everyone and hello again!

It continues to be really warm in the UK (for a change) and I have worn several different summer outfits including this dress.

My garden area looks a little washed out and is not as yet exactly as I want it. The soil is very poor and full of flint and chalk, and, I think, hadn’t been dug over for years. When it’s the Autumn and we’re back to wet weather I shall get some compost and top soil and add that. Then I’ll plant more permanent plants. I fancy a yellow-berried cotoneaster in the corner fronted by a deep purple hardy geranium. Where the foxgloves are I shall plant a verbena bonariensis at the back and I fancy a yellow flowering plant with white/sliver foliage – can’t remember the name.  It’s lovely to have this little patch, but gosh it gets dry and needs watering every day because of the condition of the soil.

This was Sunday the first of our forecast hot days. So we visited a garden, which is absolutely unique and in my eyes, very beautiful. I don’t really like traditional National Trust large gardens with their rolling vistas and carefully planted beds. This garden, Driftwood in Bishopstone, is open to the public and is gardened by Geoff, a simply amazing gardener who also bakes a delightful cake. It’s the perfect place for tea and cake!

And the reason I like the garden? It’s quirky and small and full of plants arranged in different areas or ‘rooms’. Here are some pix of the garden, and my dress, which was bought new during the lockdown from Mango. Remember those day when we couldn’t actually go into a shop?  That was when all my shopping was online.

That’s Geoff and me chatting together at the top of the garden. Here’s another shot of the garden – see how packed with plants it is!

The quirkiness is everywhere.

I used to have one of those teacups on a metal spike in one of my gardens and bought, of course, from Driftwood.

The dress is 100% cotton and the material is very fine so it is wonderfully cool on a hot day.

That’s my birthday hat and the shoes were bought new years ago.

I’ve seen that horse in a variety of places around the garden!

I’d just washed my hair that morning so it was all over the place!  There was a slight breeze

There’s a patio near the house which contains many succulents.

Didn’t I say it was a perfect place for tea and cake!

Actually we had our tea nearer the house under a very lovely sun umbrella and I didn’t take a photo as I was very much in the moment looking forward to my homemade coffee cake and a cup of Yorkshire tea!

There you have it. An unusual garden and an unusual day. Why an unusual day, because wow, it was hot, but just about OK to wander around for a bit and then sit and chat with Geoff. Altogether it was just the most delightful afternoon. Here’s the website again for you to browse and see more of the garden.

That’s all for now. I do hope the weather is being kind to you wherever you are.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

Another dress for warm weather plus a look at a lovely small garden
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24 thoughts on “Another dress for warm weather plus a look at a lovely small garden

  • 15th July 2022 at 8:45 am

    Amazing garden… certainly makes a statement.

    • 16th July 2022 at 9:34 am

      It’s wonderful and everything he charges for (entrance, tea and cake) is given to Macmillan Cancer Support. Since that garden has opened he’s raised over £150,000 for various charities of which nearly £100,000 has gone to Macmillan – it’s an amazing effort on his part.

  • 15th July 2022 at 9:13 am

    What a treat to visit a garden like that and your dress has the perfect foil. Could you plant potatoes, in the first instance, in your little garden or are you constrained by your neighbours? That really improves soil. I do envy you having a garden we only have a balcony with seating for two and so our planting is limited. Enjoy the weather some places are way over 30 degrees here.

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:13 am

      Actually when the weather is wetter I’ll go along a certain walk nearby and get some horse manure which is left out for all to help themselves – think the garden is desperately in need of more sustenance like that. Plus some top soil. Think the foundations of the complex of flats were dug deep and we have sub-soil. When I planted a lavender, which is thriving btw, I found three whole bricks just under the surface!

      It’s Monday 18th and it’s throbbingly hot so we’re staying in!

  • 15th July 2022 at 9:53 am

    This is lovely…the garden, it’s keeper, and the fashion you bring to the garden setting, Penny! The flowing dress, wide-brim hat, and red sandals are a great combination for a garden stroll and a sweet treat. Please thank your photographer for us!
    Things are improved here with husband home from the hospital. I’m thankful for the fun, active days spent with adult children and grandchildren. Back to real life as my husband’s caregiver.
    Love your closing line on your reply to my last comment on July 12th. In spite of the chaos of corrupt political situations in both our countries, you stated, “And yet family and friendship and a love of life does compensate. thanks Charlene 😊”. Way to hit the nail on the head, Penny!! May your warm weather continue to bring you these delightful days…Charlene

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:17 am

      The garden is absolutely delightful and so full of plants, it’s a treasure, as is the gardener and his charity work as all monies (entrance, tea and cake) go direct to charity.

      So glad your husband’s health has improved. And thank you Charlene for contributing to every post – I so appreciate this, thanks so much 🙂

  • 15th July 2022 at 11:19 am

    That would be great for us to visit next time! I love those cups on a stick!! Enjoy your weekend Penny!

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:20 am

      It’s an amazing garden Nancy and I love visiting it, but the patio area is on the flat and that’s about all! There are many steps up and down and a steep slope at the front before you get into it – just saying so you are aware 🙂

      It’s Monday now – enjoy the heat! Keeping well out of it now! xx

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:21 am

      Yes, three cheers for yellow, my favourite colour! Thanks Michele

  • 15th July 2022 at 12:23 pm

    Well, Covid finally got me Penny! I did feel as if I’d been run over by a steamroller but I’m (almost) fine now. I have read all your recent blogs and I have loved your summer dresses and the tutti – frutti skirt! I think when it’s really hot, dresses are the way to go as they are so much cooler than any other item of clothing.
    The Driftwood garden is charming with sufficient quirky features to peak my interest. I also find smaller gardens can be more appealing than a grander equivalent. It’s the same with makeover house programmes. I always prefer the ones that feature smaller properties and tight budgets!

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:25 am

      Oh no, to Covid, but glad it’s mostly over now. I’m crossing everything in sight as my daughter visited on Friday and had what she thought was the tail end of a cold rather like the one we had, but lost her sense of taste and smell on Sunday and tested positive! So, we’re waiting for a couple more days to pass before we know we’re ok. So many people have it.

      And on a lighter note that garden is just so lovely. Thanks June and continue to take care.

  • 15th July 2022 at 4:08 pm

    What a beautiful dress, the essence of Summer and looking great on you! I do enjoy seeing photos of your home and garden. Here in New York it has been truly Summer weather, hot Sunny days for some time now. We really need rain though. When promised it fails to materialize. So far most of the trees and shrubs are still green but the grass in so many places is turning brown. At my complex we are encouraged to water the small front lawns but if there is to be a water crisis that seems wasteful. My back patio garden, all potted flowers and herbs, is doing well. I like to sit out there in the early mornings as I have my breakfast, watch the birds and critters, sometimes a tiny chipmunk or even a wild hare. In the evenings I like to watch the fireflies come out, they never fail to amaze me.
    What a lovely and interesting garden. I like to see the gardens of my neighbors as I take my walks around the nearby park. There is one home, a kind of English Tudor type, which I have nicknamed the ” Midsomer Murder” house. Not because anything untoward has taken place there( that I know of) but the house and pretty garden could be part of the TV show.
    Next Sunday I will be off to a week on Chincoteague Island. Looking forward today the grandkids coming over this afternoon for a dip in the complex pool, it would be nice to see them before my trip. When they were younger we would rent a house for all of the family on Chincoteague but they are getting so mature and have their own plans for the Summer. Well that’s it Penny.
    Love, Darby

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:33 am

      The dress is so cool to wear and but I have shorts on today (Monday 18th) as it’s really hot! Unusually so.

      How great to have a patio your own, my area is not enclosed, but still I love it and will work on it over time to get it how I want it to be. That garden I visited is amazing and I’d say not typical as most English gardens have lawns with beds – this is jam-packed with plants and not a blade of grass. It’s really quite exotic and lovely as well.

      And yes, I do know the feeling of grandkids growing up as the 16-yr-old has a life of his own now, but when he does come round he’s so interesting to talk to especially about films – he’s quite the film buff! Enjoy your vacation! Thanks as ever Darby 😊

  • 15th July 2022 at 5:03 pm

    That looks like a lovely place to visit, Penny. I love all types of gardens so I’m easily pleased but I really, really like ‘Open Gardens’ week/weekend when you can go to a lot of ordinary peoples gardens and admire them.

    The Mango dress looks beautiful on you and so cool; great with the hat and reddish (?) coloured sandals.

    Good luck with your little garden plans; the soil you described reminded me of our garden in London when I was a child full of stones and bits and so crumbly and dry. Nothing grew in it except weeds – my parents were not gardeners!

    Have a lovely weekend and try to stay cool in the very high temperatures we’re facing next week..

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:48 am

      The soil in the garden is grey and thin and full of stones and when I planted my lavender (which is thriving) I had to extract three bricks! The whole little area needs a lot of attention, but when the weather is wetter I’ll take a walk to where some horse manure is left out and get a couple of buckets of that!

      That garden is amazing and I agree it is rally nice to visit Open Gardens to see what. ordinary people do with their gardens.

      The Mango dress is a great success considering I bought it online. It’s a keeper so should recoup the expense of buying something new, something I hardly do at all now, thank goodness!

      Thanks Veronica – trying to keep cool right now as it’s Monday! You keep cool too xxx

  • 16th July 2022 at 3:04 am

    Penny, first, you are stunning in this dress and hat! Yellow is definitely your color! Second, I would never want to leave that garden! I love those teacups…I’ve see them here and always wanted to get some. I’ve also seen them where they’re filled with suet for the birds. I want to get some fairy sticks for my garden next spring. Last, I love succulents, but I just cannot raise them. I don’t even overwater them! They just sense an enemy in me, I suppose!

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:53 am

      Thank you so much Marsha and yes yellow is my favourite colour! And the dress works well – yay!

      The garden is amazing isn’t it! I’d say it isn’t typical as most English gardens have lawns and beds to each side, this one is so good with its ‘rooms’. It’s actually quite exotic and those quirky tea-cups – aren’t they great!

      Thanks again Marsha 😊

    • 18th July 2022 at 10:50 am

      Thank you – the beautiful garden was a great opportunity to take some photos. And the dress – so pleased with it – thanks again 😊

  • 18th July 2022 at 8:11 am

    You certainly look very cool and lovely in your yellow dress. Once again fashion has gone back to earlier styles, this time the late 70’s! Platform shoes were all the rage then but I didn’t believe my Mother wore them in the 40’s until I saw a photograph. How wonderful that Geoffs visitors have made such a huge sum for charities. Warm down here in the south but it was very breezy yesterday. Just back from a lovely week’s cruise but HI now has Covid. I’m OK at the moment ; it is strange the way even members of the same household don’t always get infected at the same time. My (70th)birthday get-together was cancelled at the last minute because my daughter had Covid but her sister spent 8 hrs in close contact with her and did not get it! We knew it was a risk going on a cruise as it was inconceivable that the virus would not be on board. It has been a difficult year with my diagnosis and there is so much Covid about that anyone anywhere could be a source of infection. Judgments about risk are so difficult and often idiosyncratic. We are not prepared to go to an airport yet our children are. One family went to the Barbados and back with no infections. C’est la vie!

  • 18th July 2022 at 11:01 am

    Hi Lynda and yes, I agree with you, the look and the dresses at the moment are very Laura Ashley and voluminous too, but good in this hot weather.

    I’m so glad you had a good cruise, you deserve it so, but oh blast about the Covid, what a shame, but inevitable – that’s why I’m avoiding cruises for the time being. We’re crossing just about everything as daughter and family came round on Friday. Daughter had what she thought was the tail end of a cold, very similar to the one we had, but on Sunday she lost her sense of taste and smell and tested POSITIVE! We didn’t have that but our cold was nasty but we always tested negative. Anyway, we’re waiting to get through the next few days to be sure we’re OK. This Covid situation is going to be with us a for a very long time and I agree we just have to do our own risk assessments. It won’t go away until we get a vaccine that targets infection as well as serious illness.

    Fingers crossed for you too, Lynda.

  • 20th July 2022 at 11:50 am

    Love that yellow dress and hat Penny. You look marvellous in yellow. I’m with you on National Trust gardens. I prefer more informal ones with looser planting. If you’re ever in Devon the Garden House at Buckland Monochorum is lovely. Their website is:

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