We love getting recommendations for great things to do, see, read, make and eat, so we decided that we'd give you, our lovely readers, a few of our own recommendations! Each month, we'll give you a run down of what our team have been up to, giving you the chance to follow suit, and visit, read or make the same.
This month's round up is very much dominated by both plants and books! We've clearly all been enjoying getting outdoors and reading! We hope you might find some of these tips useful, particularly during the summer holidays.
As you might have noticed, we love interacting on social media, so would LOVE you to share what places, books, recipes, projects etc you've been enjoying, by joining in our new hashtag #seekinspirecreate on Instagram. (you can find us here if you're not already following.)
Miserden Nursery - Laura Pashby (deputy editor)
My new favourite spot for a gentle weekend wander is Miserden Nursery. Set in the magical Cotswolds village of Miserden, this is a lovely family-run nursery boasting the most beautiful collection of Victorian glasshouses that I have ever seen. There's a wonderful selection of plants, many of which are grown on site. Gardeners will be in heaven here, as will Instagrammers! I'd be the first to admit that I have an obsession with glasshouses, and these are both elegant and characterful, with the perfect amount of wabi sabi charm. I'm still dreaming of the scented geraniums... Oh, and if you want to make a day of it, you should definitely stop off at The Daneway pub in nearby Sapperton. It's run by blogger Emma Bradshaw, and it's the finest country pub around.
Isabella, Plantation, Richmond Park - Caroline Rowland (editor)
Richmond Park in South West London is probably best known for the deer that roam free and it's stunning vistas, but set deep inside this vast parkland, is a magical little spot called Isabella Plantation. An enclosed garden, which to me, at least, feels very much like a secret one! Not easily stumbled upon, the pathways lead you past ponds, floral displays, mini waterfalls and as we told our daughter on our last visit; fairies hiding amongst the bushes! It is like a retreat within a retreat, as the main park, whilst beautiful, is open to cars, so you never feel completely removed from the hustle and bustle; except when strolling amongst the blooming flowers and wooded areas of this little hidden gem.
Two books to quietly inspire - Caroline Rowland (editor)
My daily inspiration comes from the wonderful creative community that is so active and engaging on social media and within the blogging world. I love seeing projects that have come to fruition as a result of blogging, so I really enjoyed two books recently from creative women who originally started their journey with blogging. Fine Little Day by Elisabeth Dunker and A Year of Mornings by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes. Both books left me thinking about the beautiful imagery for days after. You can read more about how they inspired me over on my personal blog: Patchwork Harmony.
Enjoying my own garden - Catherine Binnie (marketing manager)
I've been spending a silly amount of time gazing in amazement at the Agapanthus I planted a while back and that have finally produced a gorgeous display this year. These are Lily of the Nile and I love their delicate, structural blooms. The fact that something has grown and is even (whisper it) flourishing in the garden is a first. As a gardener, I’m all about benign neglect, which doesn’t work out brilliantly for most plants. Turns out Agapanthus are quite happy being neglected and flourish in cramped, dry conditions. Perfect!
Shopping at Didier and Dandelion - Olivia Williams (brand & advertising manager)
There’s nothing quite like the utter joy of discovering a beautiful new independent shop, is there ? That moment you can feel the magic of the owner singing from every treasure? At Didier & Dandelion, owner Claudia has created an edit of the most dreamy vintage & handmade pearls. The curated collections change with the season & as Claudia sources new pieces, but what unites everything - from the cosy welsh blankets and the natural candles to the unusual vintage French pieces and Scandi gorgeousness - is that everything is timeless & individual. Each item is carefully & lovingly sourced. This little haven is located in Monmouth, on Monnow Street, and is a real retreat from the bustling world. Soon all of Claudia's treasures will be available online & that magic can fly through the door, directly into your home.
Iceland - Lucy Davidson (designer)
Recently I took a trip to Iceland and I couldn't believe the scenery and the space. I was so overwhelmed with the colours and the variation of environments. If you find yourself in Rekjavik and looking for food, head to The Sea Baron , a lobster soup restaurant. My favourite day trip was to the waterfall Skogafoss, a little bit of a drive, but absolutely breathtaking. Oh, and if you are a knitter or weaver, keeps your eyes peeled for some great wool shops, which are also super cheap! I fell in love with this stunning country, and cannot wait to go back!
The Abbey Nursery @ Forde Abbey, nr Chard, Somerset - Kath Webber (sub editor)
Set in the grounds of Forde Abbey, a majestic 800-year-old Cistercian monastery, is The Abbey Nursery and gardens, a beautiful plant and gift shop. It is worth a visit to Forde Abbey for the gardens alone - the walled gardens in particular are beautiful, brimming with seasonal delights and framed by the looming medieval building. The Victorian-style borders are bursting with colour in the summer months, and year-round you can enjoy the fountain and lakes in the extensive grounds, and say hello to the lawnmower- a small, white, elderly pony. The plant shop sells the wonderful array of colour you can see in the gardens, there's an ever-so-popular tea room (try the caraway cake!), a pottery and the gift shop sells local food. Don't miss the Summer Fair (last week of July) for more local produce, and dogs galore.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler - Catherine Binnie (marketing manager)
I’ve been making the most of warm evenings and sitting in the garden with my current read, which is Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler. I’m loving this modern take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. It’s a great summer read; light-hearted, wry and fun, but, as you’d expect from Anne Tyler, written with deft brilliance. And I know you shouldn’t judge etc… but just look at that lovely cover!
We hope you've enjoyed seeing what are team have been getting up to, when we are not beavering away on the new A/W issue plans! Please do join in the hashtag and share too! Go forth and #seekinspirecreate!