Canford Village


All of these pictures are of a row of cottages in the tiny hamlet of Canford in Dorset.

The cottages were built for farm workers on the local estate, which covered a large part of this area. This estate belonged to Lord and Lady Wimborne, who lived in nearby Canford House. The house is now a private school. 

I took these pictures of Canford Village because I thought the cottages and gardens looked charming on the morning I was there. The village is tiny, consisting solely of this one street of cottages and a few other houses. 

The full name of the village is Canford Magna. It is situated just to the south-east of the small town of Wimborne in Dorset. Wimborne has an ancient Minster church and an interesting Museum in the town centre. For those who like seeing modern crafts for sale there is a Crafts Centre with tearooms on the edge of the town. All of these are worth a visit.



What a charming cottage. The hanging baskets are very pretty. If you look carefully you can see that the occupants have planted lavender on either side of the entrance so that you brush against the plants and release their aroma as you enter the garden. Such a nice idea.

We call these windows 'leaded'. Originally each window consisted of many small pieces of glass held together with strips of lead. In the past it was difficult to make large panes of glass so windows were constructed in this manner. Nowadays you can still see windows like these in older houses or houses that imitate traditional styles of building. They look lovely but probably make the rooms quite dark.

The house number is thirteen. In Britain this is considered an unlucky number and some superstitious people would not consider living in a house with this number. In some blocks of flats and hotels the number is not used at all. Obviously the people who live here are not bothered by this and must indeed feel lucky to live in such an attractive home. In fact lavender is considered a lucky plant, so perhaps that is why they have planted it here.



This little gate with it's charming arch of roses leads into the garden of the last house in the row. The owner of the garden has cleverly trained a beautifully scented climbing rose over the arch. If you look closely you can also just see the flowers of a honeysuckle peeping out from the sides of the arch. The combination of these two scents was just heavenly.

If you are wondering what the little box to the left of the gate is, well, so am I! It's not a bird nesting box so it must be there for newspapers or bottles of milk. It was empty when I visited, so it will have to remain a mystery.

 In Britain you can have bottles of milk delivered to your door every morning by your local milkman. At the end of each week the milkman calls for payment. Everybody used to have milk delivered in this way, but nowadays many people just buy their milk from the supermarket with their other shopping and this service is slowly dying out.


It was a lovely sunny summer morning when I took these photos and the gardens looked at their best. The weather can be very uncertain in Britain. Sometimes the summer is dry and hot but more often there are spells of rain and cool weather. This can be unpleasant if the weather is wet during your summer holidays, but all the rain does benefit the plants. After a period of rain the countryside is wonderfully green and lush.



I think that this cottage must have more than one door as it would not be very convenient to have to jump over this plant pot every time you wanted to enter the house!

The combination of weathered old bricks, white paint and the flowers looks wonderful together. The colour of the climbing roses match the busy lizzies in the pot perfectly. I always plant some busy lizzies myself each summer as they grow well in shady corners of the garden and flower right through the summer, until the first frosts kill them, often as late as November.


Here is a close-up of the front door of number thirteen. The owners seem to be in the middle of doing some sort of repair job, with the bits of wood and bricks that have been left on the porch, but I can't see what needs fixing. Perhaps they have gathered these bits and pieces together to make some improvements in the back garden.

The mixture of blues, pinks and purples of the flowers in the pots is a very pretty combination, especially set against the pale gravel of the path. Gravel was a very popular choice for garden paths in Victorian times and is currently enjoying a revival in popularity, as people like the traditional look it creates.


Just down the road from the cottages we have just seen is this lovely example of a traditional thatched cottage. Many British people dream of living in such a pretty cottage with roses climbing the walls. If you visit our Crafts section you can make your own, but unfortunately only as a needlework tea cosy. The real ones are much more difficult to acquire!




Hamlet is the word used to describe a very small village. Here it is little more than a collection of houses along a road.


not bothered

A casual, slang expression. Here it means that the owners are not concerned about superstition. 

It can also be used to show a lack of interest in doing something. As in-

'Shall we go to the cinema tonight?' ' I am not bothered, I would rather stay at home.'



This can refer to things connected to heaven or God. Here it has a wider meaning; when you have a very pleasant experience it makes you feel that you are in a perfect state 'like being in heaven'.

dying out If something, such as a skill or tradition, is gradually ceasing you say that it is dying out.



When winds, rain and extremes of temperature have aged a building you say that is weathered. You can also use it about people but be careful to whom you say it!

'The old fisherman had a face weathered by years at sea'



In this case it means a short period of this type of weather.

You 'spell' a word by naming all the letters of the word in the correct order.

If you are a magician you 'cast a spell' over someone by saying some magic words which turns that person into a frog (or whatever you want!).

thatched cottage The word cottage is generally used to mean a charming old country house that would probably have originally have been occupied by farm workers. The roof is 'thatched' when it is made of straw or reeds. It is a skilled craft to be able to construct these roofs.