A family story driven by a love of the land, beauty and conservation.

This is the first spring following the completion of our new courtyard garden at Thyme, our property in Southrop Gloucestershire. Following a very wet winter the landscaping has taken full advantage of the warm and wonderful spring sunshine with the gardens turning a fabulous verdant green. We are so sad not to be able to be welcoming guests to dine outside in this fabulous vast south facing courtyard that adjoins the Ox Barn, Thyme’s restaurant. 

One of our most treasured assets at Thyme is our huge open spaces, both inside and out and our connection to the land and to nature. This has always been our passion and now, more than ever, is so important.

We as a family are all here, holding the fort along with a core team who are keeping everything shipshape and safe until we can open our doors again. A lot of time has been spent in the vegetable gardens, adjacent to the water meadows, we have been immersed in the wildlife and the chorus of bird song entertaining us while we work.

We welcomed the cuckoo to the meadows here on the 15th April.  Hearing its iconic call at sunrise is always a wonderful thing and knowing it has travelled all the way from Sub-Saharan Africa never ceases to remind us of the resilience and wonder of the wild.

We have other visitors from afar, small and invisible unless you are looking, last year we spotted 4 different species of reed warbler, again, all journeyed from the Southern hemisphere. These small things demonstrate how important it is to conserve wild spaces and we know that their wellbeing is inextricably linked to our own, we are missing our guests on our early morning bird song walks but rest assured wildlife is bursting forth, oblivious to our worries.

Our vegetable gardens as I write are still in the early stages of sowing chard, spinach, beans, courgette and herbs, beetroots carrots and leaves, too small as yet to harvest but rhubarb is always a reliable and early star and we have been eating lots of it.  Rhubarb is a wonderfully easy-to-grow, decorative and delicious vegetable, with its bright stems and vast leaves. If you do fancy growing them, they do well planted in beds or in large containers to accommodate their root system. Best planted in autumn, they come to life from March to June, and even earlier if using a terracotta forcer. Beware, while the stems make a delightful pudding, their leaves are in fact poisonous due to their extremely high content of oxalic acid.

We have been holding a weekly family dinner party, laying our tables with our linens and taking it in turns to cook a dinner inspired by memories, stories and destinations. Week on week, it has been something to look forward to, adds structure to our week and gives Friday a Friday feel!

We send everyone our very warmest wishes to stay well and hope we can welcome you here in the near future.

Caryn Hibbert
Founder & Creative Director

Thyme is represented by GP Associates.  Contact Janine for more information.