Green time…

It’s a blog of parts again!  Looking back at these photos I realise I’ve been around a bit.  Time to stay still in the same place sometime soon, I think.  But it’s that magical moment when spring turns from empty trees to full leaf. Doesn’t it always take your breath away?


We started three weeks ago in Scotland, for Easter.  The rest of the country was bathed in sunshine but the west coast of Scotland had a lingering bank of cloud and rain sweeping over.  It didn’t matter – we were all just so happy to be home.  Bright and blustering for a minute the next day… Daffodils (not planted by us – they are much, much older) out towards the shore.  Matching our yellow doors perfectly!  A bothy breakfast for our first morning.  But more cloud rolled in…

Dogs and water: We had Easter day service at Keills Chapel, an amazing 13th century building on a much earlier foundation. It was rather wonderful thinking of 1500 years of worship on this very spot on Easter Sunday.  As always on the West Coast, the sunshine rolled in and the clouds parted.

It was a beautiful evening. 

The following morning Charlie left before dawn, with the dogs – I was staying up for a couple of days with a photoshoot both at the bothy, and the next day, at Ardkinglas House for an exciting little collaboration I’ve been working on for the last year or so.  I can’t say any more just now. It was such a beautiful early morning – the moon still in the air, reflecting on the still water of the estuary. 

While in the other direction the eastern sky was glowing.  That afternoon, everyone left and the house was astonishingly peaceful…. I went for a long walk, as the sun was slowly lowering. 

Out onto the peninsula…

Back to the stone pier in time for sunset, dipping into a flat calm sea, just the sound of tiny waves lapping on the shore. 

The following morning I woke early again. An astonishing morning…. mist rolling in off the sea.

The sea was mirror-calm.

And then to Ardkinglas, that wonderfully romantic house built for the Noble family by the great Scottish Edwardian architect, Sir Robert Lorimer.  A dream day.  I had wanted to come here forever.

Late that afternoon it was time to leave and I got to Glasgow in time for a walk at dusk.  Such a wonderful city. 

The scaffold. you see below is propping up the remains of Rennie Mackintosh’s great Glasgow School of Art. 


And then back to London, and then back to Dorset. Crab apple blossom just coming. 

Charlie’s tulips are crazy and amazing. 

Can you spot Enid’s ears (just to the right of the door).  Blossom time… An amazing field of dandelions on the cricket ground…
Afternoon walk:


We were back up to London and a very early morning walk to Regent’s Park, frothing with cow parsley. Perhaps my favourite time of year of all?


And then we were on the train to Bath – visiting beautiful Iford again. The garden is looking ravishing as spring arrives….


And back home that evening.

Now the blossom really has come out.  Astonishing mornings… Back up to London! I feel like a yo-yo at the moment. 

Back down to Dorset.  Amazing how much changes in a week – dandelions give way to dandelion clocks. 

Charlie’s Parrot tulips are on the kitchen table doing amazing things. 

And suddenly, the whole countryside has turned spring green. It’s a remarkable moment – early May.  But it feels as if summer will be here and gone all too soon.


I’ll be honest – work has been quite intense these last few days and weeks. We needed the Bank Holiday – if only to catch up and breathe again; but the beauty of nature keeps us alive, and excited, I always think – never more than at this time of the year. The optimism of high spring is so needed in our troubled world.



Dear Ben:

I look forward to your blogs,the photos you take, and the optimism that you give us. Thank you for your efforts to promote traditional architecture and historic preservation. You bring a humane quality to your work. Charlie is the world’s greatest gardener, bar none!
Regards from Lake Bluff, Illinois, USA

Joseph R Ornig

Joseph R Ornig

Oh my…..what gorgeous pics. As you must know THE EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS!
Thanks for this.


Your photography is breathtaking and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better when you shared the bothy and the west coast of Scotland you moved on to Dorset and Charlie’s tulips. Amazing, and it made my day!

Ann Collins

My heart lifts when your email arrives, it is like a hug for the heart. Thank you Ben.

Anne Ellis

Thank you Ben for the beautiful photo. The light in some of them is amazing. How refreshing spring is and very nice to see it through your eyes.
Best wishes,

Henry Gillespie

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