Continuing our theme of looking at old things on our doorstep, I put the mirror to one-side and instead, we headed for Coton Manor and Gardens. The Manor House isn’t open to the public, but the Gardens are open Tuesday to Saturday.
Based on the number of cars in the car-park, it was clearly a popular destination! We took the short walk to the entrance and after parting with £7.50 each and receiving our free map, we headed for the main event – the Gardens!
First impressions were great ones! So much colour and so much variety too!
This is clearly a loved Garden! Every blade of grass looked like it had been manicured within a millimetre of its life!
…and if that wasn’t enough of an assault on the senses (in a good way!), there were also… Flamingos! (Yes, really!)
Three of them in total, totally at ease surrounded by us humans, all trying to grab a photograph!
Our final stop was their outdoor Garden Shop. The area sported a large range of healthy-looking plants and where the size of some of the greenery was a clear indication of the TLC from the gardening team!
Whether it’s a sign of getting a bit older, or simply the thought of the generally heavy road congestion and plethora of speed-cameras nearer our destination – just thinking about avoiding taking the car this particular journey, was relaxing in itself! It may be only 100-or-so miles by road, but it’s two-and-a-half hours at least, behind the wheel! 🥴 So, not to be recommended!!!
OK, our journey may have required TWO changes of Train – Finsbury Park and Victoria Station, but it still felt good to NOT be staring over the top of the steering wheel for the journey! We arrived at 10.25 and Nicki met us at Sutton Station – and just 15 minutes later, we were sharing coffee at theirs and planning our weekend tasks.
Yes, it’s mainly a social get-together, but we’d also offered our services helping them around the house – but especially in the Garden
Whilst Richard concentrated on emulsioning the kitchen, we three headed for the front garden aka ‘the jungle’.
There was plenty of work needed here but by lunchtime, we’d made a small dent in it – with plans to completely remove the neglected foliage. The weather was not on our side. Not only was it freezing cold, every so often, it chucked it down with rain! Yuk! 😕
2.45pm: Back to work – and another couple of hours graft and we’d made some significant progress.
4.00pm: We might have done more, but the rain showers that had come and gone all day now turned into a downpour…
5.45pm: We soldiered on in between the rain, but in the end, the rain beat us – and so we downed tools and called it a day!
7.25pm: All that hard work was rewarded with some yummy food! Specifically, Nicki’s mouth-watering Lamb and her Mint Marinade!
8.25pm: Movie time! Courtesy of Netflix, we settled down to State of Play (2009) starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. It turned out to be excellent! But towards the end, I could feel my eye-lids drooping!
Not surprisingly, we slept incredibly well, and after a quick breakfast, we were ready for today’s challenges!
First job was to finish off the front garden – and that required numerous trips to the local Dump!
1.45pm: We ploughed on, and with Lunch on the horizon, by 1.45, it was ‘job done’!
2.05pm: Celebration Lunch!
3.20pm: Suitably fed and watered, we said our farewells and Nicki then dropped us back to Sutton Station for the 15.38 slow train to Victoria. Richard joined us for part of the journey as he was heading for Crystal Palace.
6.24pm: Home! An excellent journey, with all train connections working as they should! We felt a real sense of achievement this weekend and of course, it was great to catchup with our great friends – and help them out too! The stress-free journey there and back, has convinced us that this will be our preferred method of travel for future visits. Three hours door-to-door with an opportunity to doze, is an opportunity too good to ignore! (I must be am getting old!) 😊