Very real, very short-lived, very beautiful and dust-free. Dahlias from the cutting garden at Green and Gorgeous which is a explosion of flowers tucked away between Oxford and Reading where it's possible to wander round admiring the blooming rows, coveting the polytunnels full of colour, and inhaling the scent of sweet peas. There are cut flowers for sale, but today was a pick-your-own dahlia day, which for me is the equivalent of being let loose in a sweet shop.
Rachel Siegfried has created a wonderful busines - the place is bursting and the flowers are full of vigour and energy.
She also grows and sells vegetables, and today there were a few pale blue eggs which are almost too perfect to crack.
Not far from Green and Gorgeous is the old and pretty village of Nettlebed where the church has been converted and now houses The Field Kitchen, a great cafe and deli which is worth a detour. Especially if you have just been to visit Nuffield Place. We saw the house which is unchanged and fascinating - the free-to-roam policy is excellent and means you can spend as long as you like in Lady Nuffield's sewing room and Lord Nuffield's very boyish bedroom - but the cafe is serving cakes that wouldn't have been out of place during the heyday of the house, and are so dry you wonder if they are really real.