Summer cabin envy

Hawaii Mark McInnis

Colarado B. Winsett

Francis Lake Yukon Eric Hegsted

So this lot are a selection from Cabin Porn [seeing the book again at Port Eliot took me back to the site]. They all have that DIY touch that I like, but equally I am looking at the surroundings. The log cabin, with dog, is in Francis Lake, Yukon, Canada, the woodland one is in Colorado and the seaside is from Hawaii!!! I would never have put a clifftop view like that in the islands I would love to know if any of my Hawaii friends recognise that stretch.

Yukon, Eric Heisted :: Colorado, B. Winsett :: Hawaii, Mark McInnes

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Seen on a beach trip


A trip to the beach at Whitsand Bay involves walking down one of the cliff paths. We tend to make our down through the chalets at Freathy and then walk along the beach and we usually pick low tide so we access as much of the beach as we can. As you walk down through the chalets the hedges are tall to give some privacy to the chalet owners /guests and so you get glimpses of sea just on the horizon which tempts you even more. At the moment the cliff is full of wild honeysuckle and what looks like yellow wall flowers so the scents wafting past are tantalising. As we reach the last bit onto the beach, we see the cliff erosion that has filled in what was a very small inlet. Then as we walk along the beach at the waters edge we see a lot of jelly fish, this one is a Compass jelly fish as it has lots of strands going from the centre out to the edge. Him indoors particularly liked the arrangement of seaweed alongside.

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Gravel garden tidy


I’ve been able to have a real good tidy up in the back garden. I was given two chalet gifts which were a couple of Aeoniums both with local names, the green one is Cornish Tribute and the dark one…Poldark…of course. I potted them up and placed by the back door. This year I have left the back garden to itself and all kinds of plants and flowers have emerged. In amongst that top picture are grasses and thistles and geraniums, all of which are prolific self seeders, yet some performed better than others and some towered over others so that the ones that couldn’t cope are hiding and sun depraved. So I put a day aside to take it in hand. I dug up a grass that was in the middle fighting for space and placed it in a pot to come back to life (no picture until it’s better, it really is just a lot of brown spiky leaves at the moment but with green shoots coming). I placed a buoy in the gap and then tidied up the rest cutting back the plants that had flowered and were now a little bit over. The thistle proved hard and spiky -I marvelled at how it attracted butterflies and bees yet they didn’t stab themselves to death on its sharp needles; I got seriously stabbed. The problem for me and for the future is once the thistle flower goes to seed, boy does it go to seed and they were carpeting the gravel and catching in the cobwebs on the back of the chalet. I am going to have to be vigilant to stop more coming up and I am most certainly going to have to wear gloves.


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The little things at Port Elliot


At this year’s Port Elliot Festival my eye was taken not so much by the usual and familiar vistas of the grounds and festival but by the unexpected and hidden places. On arriving we came across this gypsy caravan [which wasn’t very hidden but most certainly unexpected] with a beautiful interior all matching the colours of the outside; one tiny bed and stove and apparently big enough to be pulled by one small pony. Similar caravans were for sale and we noted they were cheaper than most cars!! I think one would look very nice parked alongside the chalet as an extra bedroom for guests. Following signs for a Noel Fielding watercolour exhibition we were led down underneath the front lawn and into the cellars of the house, where we entered the servants rooms- the carpenters room, the lamp room and finally, best of all the room that held three very large sherry casks, and when I say large that’s 468 gallons of sherry large!! Festival buddy Sam said she understood now what drowning in a butt of Malmsey meant. I loved the passage way into the house, that was partially lit by daylight coming through the grills above and the path that was made up of the oldest [dampest] cobbles. I equally loved the gardens and borders and took a photograph of a plant I liked which I then had identified by the Higgledy Gardener [it was a Cerinthe], so, we bought up packets of seeds to replicate the borders… hmm yes, I will keep you updated with that! As we walked around the gardens the produce that was growing looked so luscious even in the little garden of the bric a brac shop at the estate entrance. Finally I saw my favourite cabin website in book form on the shelves of the book tent amongst lots of other goodies, the temptation of which we just had to walk away from.

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The beginning of summer


Summer starts with a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan for a fix of Kneehigh, the Cornish theatre company who pitch their large tent called the Asylum in a field alongside the gardens and offer a selection of their shows, which have a style all of their own. Plus if you buy a ticket you can wander the lost gardens before the shows and after the crowds have gone, which is rather lovely. There was also a trip to St Ives and Barbara Hepworth’s house and garden ; the train journey is great because you leave the large intercity train at St Erth and hop on a little two carriage train for a 15 minute ride along the coast…and the weather was ‘hotter than Hawaii’ according to the newspapers. Back on our coastline in East Cornwall the verges on the main road have been cut back, (see my previous post) but thankfully the council haven’t touched the back lane here, so the wildflowers are still in profusion. The planting in our back garden is also getting rather wild, the colours of which seem at odds with the buoys that we picked up on our beach walks. The evenings have been balmy and we’ve managed supper outdoor and walks to sit and watch the sea from a bench high up overlooking the bay. A pair of whales were spotted in Whitsand Bay yesterday but unfortunately it wasn’t when we were keeping an eye out.

Coming up next week, the annual Port Elliot Festival plus, some summer culinary highlights… well here’s hoping.

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So we’ve said goodbye to June and weather wise it finished with more than a hint of winter, even a week into July we have jumpers at the ready and travelling to Dorset yesterday the mist and fog did not suggest the middle of summer. I’ve noticed on my travels that there’s been a lack of grass cutting in parks and public areas but if this is a council cutting exercise then its one of the few that I am happy about. The effect is just so pretty and has to be beneficial to wildlife. Driving back home through Anthony the pathway follows along the road and is usually a verge with the usual wildflowers near [or on]the wall, then a path with a strip of grass alongside, next to the road which is usually kept short…


Now this is almost shoulder height, you can’t even see the wall that separates the field.


I know this because someone was walking along and I could only see their head and shoulders


The rest of the verges are thriving with wild plants and we notice buzzards sitting on the telegraph poles staring at the dense undergrowth waiting for something to stir. In the coming weeks everything will start to go over and start to look tired but for the moment sun, rain or wintery weather I am loving the overgrown roadsides and parks.

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Lakeside Cabin Envy

Lakeside cabins


photo on 

I see lots of loungers for chilling on the deck[s] above and as much as I would love to be  there right now I have to say the one below is more my thing. Seen, I believe from another deck, a view of a wooden cabin with a living roof and a little boat just waiting to be used, a little shabby chic and just what I like. Looks like just the place to retreat to when the world gets too much.



Johner Bildbyra AB / Lena Granefelt



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