Snowdrops – 10 surprising facts about these dainty little flowers

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Snowdrops - 10 Surprising Facts

One of the first flowers of the new year, the snowdrop is one our most endearing flowers. Not only does it remind us that spring is just around the corner, this delicate bell-shaped flower, has an interesting background. Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about the snowdrop. #1: It’s Greek name ‘Galanthus’, translates as the ‘milk flower’! Known by several … Read More

Giant Redwood trees, Victorians and The Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingThe Gardens


Wander around the formal gardens at Grim’s Dyke and you’ll be surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of nature. Lady Gilbert planted a stunning array of flowers and plants, with the most noticeable being several Redwood trees, now over 100 years old. As with any Victorian gardener with status, Lady Gilbert would have loved exotic plants – and would have relished … Read More

10 Facts about the Green woodpecker

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Green Woodpecker

There are three woodpeckers that breed in Britain – the Green woodpecker, the Greater woodpecker and the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The Green woodpecker is the largest of the three. Here are ten interesting facts about these colourful birds. #1: The scientific name for a Green woodpecker is Picus viridis The Green woodpecker is from the Picidae family of birds and … Read More

How to select the right bridesmaids for you

Samantha PillingWeddings

How to choose your bridemaids

The bridesmaids and groomsmen you select for your wedding day are going to play an important role, both before and during the event. It’s therefore essential, that you select the right people for the task. Here’s some top tips to help you make the best selection for you. #1: Think first, ask later! When you’re riding high on the euphoria … Read More

What’s the etiquette, when thanking your bridal party?

Samantha PillingWeddings

40752954 - row of bridesmaids with bouquets at wedding ceremony

Buying gifts for your bridal party is a traditional part of your wedding day, as is presenting those gifts to the recipients during your meal or reception. Gifts are given to those people you wish to thank, for either taking a part in your wedding day preparation or having a role on the day – but who do you give … Read More

Wedding cake choices – where traditional isn’t always best!

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Planning a wedding takes time, money and creativity. For many brides to be, their wedding day is a cumulation of many months of hard work and planning – ending in a day that’s visually spectacular and emotionally tiring! Many brides know what type of dress they want to wear, how many bridesmaids they want and what colour schemes and themes … Read More

Tips for choosing your baby’s Godparents

Samantha PillingEntertainment

Having your baby christened is a special and significant event for everyone involved. You’re welcoming your baby into the community of your local church, putting them on a lifetime journey into your chosen faith. For parents who aren’t or any set religion, a naming ceremony may be performed instead. Not only do these events celebrate your child’s journey through life, … Read More

The fairytale toadstool: Amanita muscaria

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Toadstools and mushrooms are a common sight in the UK. Whether you’re talking about the Victorian era or today, there are two instantly recognisable descriptions; one is that of the closed cup mushroom – and the other is the Amanita muscaria toadstool. You could be forgiven though, for not recognising it from its official name but, if I told you it was red with … Read More

November poppies: Their poignant history and interesting facts

Samantha PillingHistory

Amazing poppy field . Summer flowers .

  November is a month marked and remembered by poppies. In Britain, iconic red poppies are distributed by volunteers for the Royal British Legion every year. They are worn as a mark of respect for the fallen service men and women killed in conflict, during the two World Wars, as well as those who have fallen since. Wreathes made of … Read More

Annie Hall Cudlip

Samantha PillingHistory


Better known by her pen name Mrs Pender Cudlip, Annie Hall Cudlip was considered one of the most prolific romantic fiction writers of the Victorian era. She was also an early sweetheart of Sir William Schwenck Gilbert. Annie Hall Thomas was born on 25th October 1838. The only daughter of George Thomas, a gentleman officer from County Cork and lieutenant … Read More