We knew our first 'Father's Day' without Dad wouldn't be easy, so my next-in-line sister Fiona and I, decided to face it with our chins firmly up, just as Dad would have expected of his girls.
Simon, Fo's other half, came up with a plan to bundle us into his truck with Bugsy the German Shepherd, then drive us to Goddington Place an impressive manor house with beautiful gardens, open to the public on Sundays.
I absolutely loved the formal English gardens, so perfectly planted, with each delightful garden leading through to another.
I wish I could share the scent of the lavendar here with you today, but instead you'll have to breathe deeply and imagine it filling the air ...
You know me, I can't leave a flower unphotographed ... and these glorious gardens were so bloomin' beautiful, my little point 'n shoot camera was working overtime!
We packed cagoules and it was as well we had, as every time the sun burst cheerfully through, more heavy clouds rolled in soon after. It was as if April had arrived in June!
Fortunately, the quintessentially English tea-room, prettily decked out in green and white gingham, was on standby to provide coffee and handmade Victoria Sponge cake ... oh yum!
Fo enjoying a rather large slice of Victoria Sponge heaven!
We walked through rock gardens, past sheltered pools, along green paths lined with imposing yew hedges, we sat on the lawn in warm sunshine with Bugsy, enjoying a falconry display, we gazed at the countryside vista beyond weathered garden walls and finally, moments before the heavens opened, discovered hidden treasure at the end of a wonderful woodland walk ...
For Fiona and me, finding these woodland foxgloves on Father's Day was treasure enough ... Dad, a keen gardener, was so delighted with his own display of these stately bells last summer, it was impossible not to smile when we stumbled across some yesterday.
Foxgloves weren't the only secret this lovely garden had to offer though! But I'm not going to spoil the fun of discovering Doddington Place's secrets, so if you have an hour or two spare on a Summer's Sunday afternoon, why not visit and discover them for yourself!
Fo, Simon and Bugsy
Thanks for yesterday you three, I'm so glad we were able to share Father's Day together x