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Three ‘Cabbage White’ butterflies fluttered together without interruption. There was an abundance of lesser known apple varieties.  The industrious beehives surely belied an atmosphere of apparent serenity.

Acorn Bank is somewhere that has the potential to, however briefly, suspend any preoccupation with the modern world.

Located in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, the National Trust’s Acorn Bank includes a 17th century house, gardens, a watermill and two orchards.

My main reason for briefly stopping by was to explore the small but intriguing herb garden.

Although not all were in flower during August, I followed the sinuous paths that led past an abundance of reputedly medicinal plants.  There were plants supposedly associated with love and those with stress – I assume to instigate and alleviate respectively.

There was the vibrant dark pink ‘Siberian Moonseed’, that sounded more like a rare elixir one might voyage across continents – perhaps on horseback – to acquire.  There was the ‘Apothecary’s Rose’, the name of which might evoke imaginings of a heartrending medieval romance.  There was ‘Convallaria majalis’ – just my favourite of all delicate flowers, better known as Lily of the Valley. The Quince – the Portuguese variety of fruit, which apparently has numerous supposed therapeutic qualities – took centre stage.

Elsewhere was a small assortment of very demure hens, sitting contentedly amongst a collection of ‘traditional’ apples with intriguing names such as ‘Irish Peach’ and ‘George Cave’, and an apiary of beehives that just kept themselves to themselves.

Acorn Bank was welcoming and engaging with a delightful profusion of plants, and apples!

Find out more at: Acorn Bank

© Laura Claire H 2014

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