Gardening, with fresh air and beauty, is the best tonic and we all loved it yesterday. The sun shone; daffodils were coming out all over the gardens; fruit trees in the walled kitchen garden were blossoming (the cherry plum and the peaches/nectarines); leaves were pushing out in the borders, the herb beds and on the soft-fruit bushes; and the birds were singing.

Final winter clearance jobs were tackled with renewed energy, removing more scrub dogwood and stubborn mahonia in the wrong place. Meanwhile there was the joy of spring mowing, tidying and planting to bring lovely new colours and crops.

Have you thought of joining our happy crew? Our new volunteers day is on 26 March – arrive for a 10.30 start!