summerhousebrushpen branchI’ve got another chance this morning to sit and draw my mum’s leafy garden. The summerhouse was built in the 1930s. I remember meeting Enid Baines who had lived at Smeath House before the Second World War and she told us that they’d built it. A neighbour across the road, John Haller, engineer, keen golfer and founder member of Horbury Pageant Players, told me that he remembered playing tennis in the back garden at Smeath. When we moved in we found the net stored in one of the outhouses but by then a large rectangular rose bed had been cut out of the middle of the back lawn.

fir top limeWe’re going back to the era when ‘who’s for tennis?!’, garden parties, Agatha Christie and Jeeves and Wooster.

As boys, my brother and I adopted the summerhouse as our clubhouse. Don’t think William and the Outlaws; this was the headquarters of the ambitiously named Horbury Junior Naturalists’ Club, modelled on the British Junior Naturalists’ Association.

A great garden to grow up with.

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