One of my favorite short walks (2 miles) around Kenilworth starts below the curtain wall of the castle and heads northeast across gently rising fields toward Chase Lane. The walk offers some of the best views of the castle. I took this walk alone over the lunch hour today, stopping on the way home at the Albion Street butcher (for some Warwickshire sausages) and greengrocer (for red cabbage and potatoes). This photograph, taken a few weekends ago, shows one of the more distant views of the castle on this walk. The footpath here crosses a field of borage. Between the rows of borage, with its deep blue, star-shaped flowers, there were thousands of tiny yellow wild violas (viola arvensis) in full bloom. In the green field beyond the hedge in the distance, there were still a few red wild poppies blooming.
Speaking of flowers, late August and September are the dahlia season, and we were fortunate, on our walk to Baddesley Clinton, to find the dahlia border in full bloom. England is justifiably famous for its gardens. Writing after his April 1786 garden tour of England (on which he was accompanied by John and Abigail Adams), Thomas Jefferson wrote: "The gardening in that country is the article in which it surpasses all the earth. I mean their pleasure gardening. This, indeed, went far beyond my ideas." The generally mild climate makes flower gardening possible year-round. At the moment, the local gardening shop is selling winter pansies. Meanwhile, the farmers are harvesting their wheat fields, plowing, and spreading manure. For the past several days, the air has been heavily laden with the smell of manure, and today there is a definite autumnal nip in the air.