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Another 2 years has flown by since I did the tweeks to update the site. The amount of trees that I have put in since first coming here in 1984 mean that even on hot days there is always somewhere shady to sit- the cool freshness beneath the trees is very special. As I  get older and need more places to just sit and recover from the mowing,scything and raking, another rustic bench appears!  Also created this year at the end of the field in the willow pleck is a mini labyrinth and firepit area- it has a real healing feel and so tranquil- great to sit around the firepit (aka an old washing machine drum), watch the flames flicker and sing or tell stories whilst toasting marsh mallows! The strem is next to it so  water there for emergencies...

In the meadow, as I had added yellow rattle that parasites on strong grasses, the slender ones have been able to flourish without the competition and after the hard winter in 2017/18 there appeared marsh orchids on site! They have spread further this year so hopefully are now a permanent feature. From a distance the steep bank looks just shades of green and brown but walk across it and, as you can see, many flowers appear and the bumble bees, crickets and butterflies are there to welcome you (and the 3 remianing Soay sheep now about 13 yearsold.

Ceramics continue and the latest is a sequence of platters that were inspired by the work creating the labyrinth. see website as below.
Hope to meet old friends and makenew ones when you visit.

Been busy setting up the ceramics and also working with Oasis Life biography work so just have not added to this site - now time to redress this!
Have a look at my ceramics website www.maggiekingstonceramics.co.uk  and contact me if you would like to have a play with clay with your stay. Otherwise, the 3 remaining Soay sheep are still doing a great job on the meadow and the cowslips and elderflower were in full bloom this year.

The blossom has been glorious this May. So hope the fruit crop will be as good as last year.  I am just completing the BA(Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts degree at Hereford. Really enjoyed stretching my creativity- specialised in ceramics- look at my website www.maggiekingstonceramics.co.uk for more information. A sample of the Rock Pool series is below. Sorting out studio space so soon hope to offer opportunity to stay and play with clay!


The summer has been good this year, with rain but plenty of sunny dry days to enjoy the countryside. The hay crop harvested as big bales as the wet spell prevented enough drying time for the small bales- though still plenty in hand from last year.  We now have a new village hall just down the road a lovley venue if you want to arrange a friends and family venue. email stokeblisskyrevillagehall@gmail.com
Otherwise activities continue as last year.

After a very wet year with the field flooded for a lot of the time, we have at last had a proper Spring- Dylan Thomas's reference to the 'Green Fuse' is certainly apt as grass, cow parsley and nettle are all out to just grow! the Spring flowers are great- see below the ones on the bank outside the Peastwing. see photo file at end- can't get it to insert here! The wonders of updated technology escapes me.

It is now July and the weather is proper summer! The hay crop is in (all 89 bales), the local cricket match has been played and the fete season is in full swing.  The is lots to do in the area with local activities in the parish magazine and on our parish web site of www.temevalleysouth.org.uk There are local Quiet Gardens at St Mary's Church Kyre and up on the ridge above at Wolferlow. See www.quietgarden.org  

Still to come are Nozstock just down the road near Bromyard, Tenbury Agricultural Show,  H'art in September when the Herefordshire artists open their studios for all to see, and Bromyard Folk Festival, Tenbury Applefest just to mention a few activities.
It is now coming up to Christmas and the Holy Nights. after a late autumn with good colours the time for tree felling and log storing for next year is upon The Retreat. Alder logs and Hawthorn come from my land- you can't get much lower fuel miles! So time to send Alan up the trees or to attach ropes as he fells and Maggie steady pulls to ensure tree falls where it should. He has been training me over the years he has been roped into working at The Retreat to fell trees, build wood stores and generally slave away before returning to his home to relax by his fire!

Sad news re Toffee

Previous visitors will be sad to hear that my dog Toffee died in June- he developed heart problems with a murmur and couldn't understand that he need to slow down a bit - so in June in decided to chase something down the garden and just kept running- but his heart failed with the exertion- a quick way for him without having to struggle but he will  be missed.
Only one hen and 1 duck and drake survived the foxes celebration of the jubilee weekend he took 2 ducks before the weekend and then obviously went on to celebrate more and the 2 cockerels and one hen went after the weekend. The remaining hen, drake and  duck are flourishing- so far! (Photos of before the fox lunch)
Did you know that if you let chicory go to seed there is the most lovely display of clear blue flowers a bit like michaelmas
daisies and they last for a long time! The best crop in the veg cage has been the self set poppies- all shades and very large plants!
Maggie Kingston,
May 12, 2013, 4:04 AM