Wafts of Wild Garlic reach us before we see the fresh green leaves springing up from the verges of the uphill pathway.
We bag a few fragrant blades (permission sought and granted) to blitz into pesto later.
Taking the trail up into the woods, we find dens to suit each and every design taste. If none fits the bill, then simply remodel or start from scratch to create your own.
The kids find sticks as they dodge, duck and dive through the woods, and clamber up fallen down branches. The well-equipped timber playground will have to wait.
I admire the bare branches of trees soon to be green-leaved and welcome the bursts of bluebells bravely pushing through, despite the trampling feet rampaging amongst them.
We are too early for the still slumbering Yeti. The time-conscious mountain beast seems to prefer afternoons (between 2pm and 4pm is best). Gently mute, when awake he likes to “chat”, and will answer any questions as best he can with a nod, a wink or a wave.
Leaving the woods to the den-builders, No. 3 and I breathe in the open air of the viewpoint with its big skies, wide views and crazily giant rubber gloves. Artwork that is brought to life by the wind.
A pair of massive, erratic, searching white-gloved hands. Threatening? Intriguing? Beautiful? Kind of weird? Definitely mesmerising in its unpredictability.
Further down, my budding photographer captures Spring’s new growth, trying to excuse the lovely sunshine its awkwardly accompanying shadows.
We stop by sculptures, and neatly edged beds ready for the fresh season.
Finally a coffee in the café, with its generous outdoor space. A proper room outside with wellies to borrow, toys to play with, plentiful plants (some to purchase), and arresting artwork that you can almost inhabit.
And a new activity to try out in the Garden Room – Sweet Sculptures. For those who have been happily running wild in the woods, the takeaway option is available.
So back home and pesto production commences. A haphazard hashing together of wild garlic leaves, squeezes of lemon, crushed hazlenuts, rough gratings of parmesan cheese, some seasoning with generous drizzlings of olive oil, and a last fridge find of a few leaves of basil.
Hey Presto, Wild Garlic Pesto!
But please do not confuse Wild Garlic for the beautifully perfumed Lily of the Valley, or you may suffer more than a simple dose of pungent breath – as described here.
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens is unique, with an abundance of innovative energy. It grows better and better each year. For more information click here.