What would your definition be of the quintessential English summer?
Does a hot summer's day, in a garden, listening to a brass band, surrounded by the heady scents of flowers, come close?
A visit to Burton Agnes hall and gardens
last Sunday provided all of that and more.
Admittedly there were only four instrumentalists, but the sound echoing round the courtyard was just wonderful and so atmospheric.
The gardens here are brilliant, especially the Walled Garden, which is another of my obsessions.
I really enjoy seeing how the original ethos of providing the big house with all year round fruit, flowers and vegetables has evolved and how the space is currently used.
Still with a large potager and lots of fruit in evidence, this walled garden is quite special.
In addition to containing over 4000 different plant species it is also home to the National Collection of Campanulas and provides lots of family interest with giant board games; chess, hop scotch, hoopla and snakes and ladders
each within its own satellite colour themed and incredibly private garden.
This one goes all out for the family visitors, with sufficient horticultural interest for plant lovers and walks (The Woodland) and The Maze to keep everyone happy.
Unless like my family (with several degrees between them) who could neither find the maze entry or having followed a small child in could not find their way out!
At least I had a quiet sit in the shade, listening to the music and smelling the wonderful heady scent of Paul's Himalayan Musk.
And again, surprise, surprise, tea and refreshments for the weary but safely returned adventurers.
Doesn't get any better than that.