I recently took my plant stall to the annual Woolstone Open Gardens event.
Woolstone is a village near to where I live, it is just below the White Horse of Uffington Hill, and it has some (if you will excuse me for sounding like someone from an American sit-comy) faaaaabulous gardens: and how's this for riches, one of them has two lakes! Two! And a copper birch - as opposed to beech - which is a tree that I had never seen, previously.
They have a good-natured competition in the village as to which garden has the best view of the White Horse of Uffington: I have never been able to decide, they are all lovely.
For the last four years I have been invited to take my Plant Stall there, which is always fun: Penny Spink kindly allows me to set up in the paddock at the end of her truly lovely garden, but of course this means that I don't get time to go round the gardens any more.
This year, as the weather was so horrible, I decided on arrival that it was too windy to even attempt to put my gazebo up.
As an aside, I don't know about you, but I always feel that a stall of any kind with a gazebo is a "proper" stall, whereas a stall without one looks like a car boot sale.
Anyway, having allowed enough time to set up the gazebo, I had three quarters of an hour with nothing to do, so I used the time to have a stroll around Penny's garden, admire the walled kitchen garden, the Monet bridge - small scale but very attractive -and to see how the Tree House is getting on.
The last time I went up to the Tree Deck must have been five years ago, when the deck was complete but the tree house had only just been started, so I was interested to see how it looked now it was done.
Well, what can I say, it was adorable.
First you have to climb up the steep steps, to well above head height: through the latched picket gate with automatic closing hinge to avoid nasty step-back-to-admire-it-aaaaagh! accidents, and on to the deck.
The tree (an old willow) comes right through the deck, giving it a Faraway-Tree sort of feel: yes, of course, I mean that the deck has been built all the way round the willow:
The Tree House itself is thatched, and has a window and a proper stable door, as well as the little bench outside, for sitting out on sunny evenings:
Peeping in through the door, it has a painted kitchen with a range, pots and pans and so on:
And inside there is a little bed, a little chair, and a painted window with painted curtains and a painted view of the White Horse.
How lovely is that?
To see this for yourselves, Mill House Garden is open under the NGS, on Wednesday afternoons through the summer, it may be best to phone first, here are all the details, and I can recommend it very highly indeed.
Penny Spink is a lovely lady, very enthusiastic and very hands-on with her garden: her son is an extremely talented garden designer and has contributed to several gardens in the village, as well as much further afield. We assume that he learned a lot about garden design from his mother's passion, and it's plain to see in his designs that he is quite keen on tree houses!
So there you go, do you agree that this is the bestest Tree House in Oxfordshire?