Agatha Christie, Greenway

I had always wanted to visit Greenway, the picturesque summer house of Agatha Christie in Devon. On a recent weekend away in the lovely Dartmouth, I was lucky enough to fulfill that wish.

The magic that is Greenway

My obsession with Agatha Christie really started in the 1980’s with the BBC TV adaptation of the Miss Marple books, with the fabulous Joan Hickson. I absolutely loved them! Loved the nostalgic era, the clothes, locations etc. My favourite adaptation was and still is Sleeping Murder, set in Dilmouth which is of course Sidmouth. I’ve been to Sidmouth so many times and actually found the location of Guy and Gwendas house which was situated in nearby Budleigh Salterton. So being just a slightly obsessive, I couldn’t wait to visit the house where Agatha Christie spent her summers and even reputedly used as a location for “Dead Man’s Folly” and “Five Little Pigs”.

View down to the Boathouse

Greenway did not disappoint. Agatha Christie acquired the house in 1938 for a total of £6,000. £41,426 in today’s money. Built as a Tudor mansion in the 16th century, the house passed through several owners before Agatha Christie bought Greenway. Indeed it was requisitioned during the second world war by the War Department. Today Greenway is in the hands of the National Trust, who were gifted the house in 2000.

I wish I could grow these exotics all year round!

Although due to COVID restrictions it wasn’t possible to visit the house, the garden was a still a joy to walk around, even in the rain! The place has a romantic woodland feeling about it. From the superb views down to the Dart estuary to the walled gardens and the Peach House and Vinery. Especially the Boathouse with its historic plunge pool, where Agatha hosted parties.

View to the greenhouses and Peach house

You could just imagine the family and summer visitors playing tennis on the court and having fun on the famous Clock Golf Lawn and croquet court. Greenway was in its heyday in the 1950’s.

As a gardener, I admired the exotic planting. In particular the Chinese rice-paper plant and the echiums. There was definitely a sub-tropical feel to the gardens. Beautiful magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias all thriving in the acid soil.

I would love to come back to Greenway in the near future, when I can visit the house and perhaps see the dahlia border and once again lose myself in the nostalgia of a time long since passed.

February Escapism, Homemade Style!

Hi guys. A very belated Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s been over 6 months since I’ve written a blog. With a mixture of home schooling and an increase in sales to my Etsy shop (one good thing to come out this situation!, I don’t seem to have any spare time whatsoever.

At least it’s now February and spring in around the corner, the afternoons are getting longer and it’s not quite so dark early. Think, next month should see the start of Gardener’s World too!

Just some of the seeds I bought from Wilko’s!

This year, apart from the usual suspects of tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots etc, I have bought some dwarf climbing French beans and also some borlotti beans for the first time. I usually grow runner beans but fancied a change this year. On the flower front I’ve bought a new type of container cosmos from Sarah Raven as well as a Tithonia. Also, I don’t have much luck with sunflowers, but couldn’t resist the Helianthus “Magic Roundabout”, I think it was the lovely name which attracted me. I also went for “Ms Mars”, a cute pink sunflower.

My favourite Sarah Raven seeds

I’ve always loved gardening, but, along with so many other people last year, I found it so beneficial during lockdown. It was lovely to get out after home schooling and spend some time gently weeding or seed sowing and dead-heading in the garden. It’s been difficult to get much gardening in lately, due to snow and generally wet weather. However, i’m really looking forward to getting out there again and getting stuck in. Plans for half term include mulching and sorting out the greenhouse!

Hopefully. I can get started on my seed sowing campaign shortly. First to begin with will be the chilli plants. I always look forward to January in the garden centres; most of the Christmas stuff has gone and the new seed varieties are beginning to appear on the shelves. I recently made a trip to Wilko’s and splurged on some vegetable and flower seeds. I always buy the basic varieties from Wilkos as year after year, they are always reliable and of course a great bargain! Any seeds that are a bit trickier to get hold of, I now generally buy online at Sarah Raven. My obsession with Sarah Raven started last year, when I ordered a packet of the “Turquoise lagoon” sweet peas, a beautiful and eye catching colour in my garden. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Sarah Ravens dahlia bulbs were magnificent last year. Twice the size of other competitors.

Some fun books to read!

Other things during the past couple of months that have kept me sane are books. I seem to have an obsession with book buying at present. Sainsburys is good for cheap and cheerful reads, but I’ve recently discovered the Bookshop site, which helps struggling independent bookshops. I’ve ordered a few books from there. My recent reads include “Small Pleasures” by Claire Chambers, set in the 1950’s about a single woman and her life. Also I read “Father” by Elizabeth Von Arnim, she of “Enchanted April” fame. Although I did enjoy this book, it was quite a slow read. One other recommendation is “The girl who reads on the Metro”, by Christine Feret-Fleury. As a book lover and a francophile, I really loved this book. Its gentle and nothing much happens but if you like books and France, then I think you will love it.

Just some of the magazines that have kept me going!


With regards to TV, I’ve enjoyed watching “Dash & Lily” on Netflix. My 50 plus friend recommended this to me and although its about teenagers, it’s a lovely watch and is set in the famous Strand bookshop in New York. I was lucky enough to visit the Strand a few years ago (pre kids!) and would absolutely love to go back. In fact, I enjoyed the series so much, that I ended up buying the book. Also, along with 63 million people, I have enjoyed watching Bridgerton on Netflix too. I didn’t realise that the series was based on the books by Julia Quinn – I may be buying some of her novels! I used to love costume dramas and the classic works of fiction they were based on. I think it’s the romantic side of me. Bridgerton and Dash & Lily are pure escapism from daily life. Nothing wrong with that. ..


Our Favourite Recipes

Spaghetti with Tomato, Spinach, and Shaved Parmesan

Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Toasties

Grilled Asparagus & Poached Egg on Toast