Primrose Hill: month twelve…
We're home from our leisurely stroll through Primrose Hill, with a few delicious treats in our shopping basket and a new book: lunch and an afternoon reading in the summerhouse at the end of the garden beckons.
The summerhouses that we now covet at the Chelsea Flower Show had unusual beginnings, starting their life in the 16th century on grand estates as... banqueting houses. In an age when the main meal was taken at midday, fashionable hosts served dessert in a banqueting house sited away from the main house, giving guests a bird's-eye view of their elegant gardens and the surrounding countryside. Sometimes they are all that remains of a grand house if it was rebuilt or, sadly, destroyed, like the Banqueting House at Eyton-upon-Severn in Shropshire, the last remnant of an Elizabethan manor house which burnt down in the 18th century.
As fashions changed over the intervening centuries, we've seen everything from rustic gazebos modelled on ancient Greek ruins and grand orangeries for raising tropical fruit to children's playhouses and the good old garden shed. During the pandemic, when so many of us were working from home, there was an explosion in the creation of home offices at the bottom of suburban gardens, including our own. And you're definitely still allowed to eat dessert in them ;-)
Our Primrose Hill summerhouse is a miniature version of the elegant Regency terraces we met in month two and is accompanied by one last block: a dainty butterfly. You can find the final pair of block patterns in issue 92 of Today’s Quilter and next month I’ll be finishing this year of posts by sharing my finished quilt. Time has flown, but then it always does when you’re having fun!