a country home – Harriet and her hamlet in Herefordshire

by Sharon Santoni

Now and again we love to feature country homes around the world, in particular when we come across them via instagram.   Here at My French Country Home I have my  own routine, my colour palette, my seasonal preferences, but I think its fascinating to see how that plays out around the world in other country homes.

Today I am happy to feature the beautiful world of Harriet who lives in Herefordshire in England and publishes her pictures on the instagram page called @yomargey.     On her IG profile she very endearingly describes herself as : “Recalcitrant wife : mother of my four children : instagran : failed gardener : professional loafer”.

Harriet and I have never met –  not yet at least – but we have chatted on the phone and I am very happy indeed to introduce my readers to this talented and gentle girl, who knows how to recognise beauty in her everyday life, and that is a quality I will always relate to.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Harriet.


Bonjour Harriet!  Thank you for inviting us over to your beautiful home.   We have a few questions for you, but first of all, how did you find your house, and which part of England do you live in? 
We live in Herefordshire, it was the house I grew up in and when my parents wanted to downsize six years ago, it was fortuitous that we were about to move house at the same time.
outside view of a white country home in autumn
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I like a relaxed comfortable look which is scandi influenced with furniture gathered and inherited over the years.
We know that your IG account is not business related, but just for the pleasure of sharing your pictures.  
When did you start your IG account, and why do you think your audience loves your work so much.
I’ve had an IG account for over 5 years but started showing more interest in it about three years ago. I find it a great outlet for my creativity and love the connection with friends that I have made through it.
white table set outside with wood chairs
Why do you call yourself a failed gardener when it looks so wonderful?
I inherited a fabulous garden with the house, my parents both being serious gardeners. Basically I’m a very lazy person and so I haven’t kept it to the standard they set, hence the term failed gardener!
Your photos are very artistic, do you have a training or background as an artist?

I studied history of art at university and I’m sure that helps with composition in my pictures. I also used to develop and print the photos from my old SLR camera, so I have always been interested in photography.


outside farm equipment in a frost bitten field at sunset

Was the greenhouse original with the house? What are you growing in your greenhouse right now -or- what are you using it for?

The greenhouse may not have been built with the original house, but I don’t think it would have been much later, it’s certainly over 100 years old. There are a couple of grapevines with desert grapes, one black and one green and a fig tree. I also propagate plants and sow seeds in there.
old glass greenhouse with flowers and rock wall
What’s the name of your sweet dog? and what is his story?
Our dog is called Bullet. He is a Jack Russell and getting on in years now at the ripe old age of thirteen.   He used to be an absolute terror, although my husband called it ‘having character’, but luckily he’s calmed down a lot in his old age. I like to think he enjoys his appearances on the grid, people always seem to enjoy seeing him anyway.

jack russel terrier sitting in front of a bike and tan wall

On your IG account we see lots of pictures of lovely pubs and restaurants?!  Is that typical of –  English country life ? Going off of that.. What are your favourite pubs and restaurants right now?
The pubs and restaurants…. maybe it is an English thing, but everyone likes to go out and eat, yes?! My favourite place to eat at the moment is the Ethicurean, a wonderful restaurant set in a walled garden just south of Bristol. Closer to us is The Lough Pool Inn in Sellack, Herefordshire, a proper English pub complete with roaring fire.
view of white country house at sunset in winter
Can you explain your love of #knolling and what it is?
fern knolling


I’ve always enjoyed doing flatlays and arranging things appeals to my love of order I think. I only recently discovered the art of knolling, and I’m a big fan! It seems to have struck a chord in people and I often get tagged in their knolling pictures which I enjoy sharing in my stories.


autmn leaves knolling


What do you enjoy growing in your garden?

I love growing vegetables, they always taste so much better don’t they. A wide range of salads, tomatoes, courgettes, beetroot and some soft fruit.

What is your favourite season at home?

I actually love all the seasons, it would be so dull if it was sunny every day! Having said that I am and always will

be a Spring girl!


outside wall with vines and a place to sit and large window


Thank you Harriet for sharing your home with us.

If you want to see more, pop over to Harriet’s Instagram page .


Taste of France November 13, 2018 - 8:57 pm

Harriet does indeed have a beautiful home and garden. I love her aesthetic. Thank you for introducing her!

AnneHH November 13, 2018 - 9:45 pm

I have never heard of knolling before and I love it and am so happy to know that there is a name for arranging objects that is very pleasing to the eye. Here in the US, I believe that Martha Stewart’s magazine started doing those sorts of flat layouts in their editorial pages. At the time, to me. it was a completely new way of displaying objects in magazines. I will definitely follow Harriet on Instagram. Thank you very much for sharing her story with us and for teaching me something new.

Barb Moore November 13, 2018 - 9:45 pm

Harriet has a lovely home! I especially love her photographs taken on misty mornings. Thanks Sharon for this new introduction.

Terri November 13, 2018 - 10:40 pm

Following Harriet on IG as of today… what beautiful pictures… and home too of course !!! Thank you so much for sharing …

Bronwyn Lee-Coward November 13, 2018 - 10:56 pm

Harriet’s house seems cosy, warm and inviting every thing you would expect in Herefordshire UK. I have always felt that I was born in the wrong hemisphere, possibly because my ancestors were all from England and Ireland three generations ago. I just love that purple Clamatis (correct me please if I am wrong) growing on the wall of the house. Nothing beats your house though Sharon, it is idyllic.

Debra mundt November 13, 2018 - 11:28 pm

Thank u for introducing us to Harriet! Love her photography and zen attitude!

A.F.N. November 14, 2018 - 12:46 am

Lovely post and creative, sensitive photographer in Harriet. Enjoyed all you had to share with
this guest Sharon. Thank you.

Colleen Taylor November 14, 2018 - 1:09 am

Harriet looks like a lovely person to get to know. I hope you both will be able to meet each other at some point. Her photos set such a beautiful mood. X

Dottie Monta November 14, 2018 - 1:39 am

If it is a “truth universally acknowledged” that we all enjoy looking at others’ interior spaces, may I add that we all find what others find charming enough to photograph equally interesting! (Children who photograph new scenes and subjects while traveling benefit greatly from this idea.) You and Harriet open our eyes, help us appreciate the beauty around us, and inspire us more than you know!

Sharon Santoni November 14, 2018 - 8:43 am

Thank you Dottie, your words are very kind, …. and I love that you quote Jane Austen on my blog 🙂 !

with hugs


Denise Tyrrell November 14, 2018 - 2:04 am

Oh what a lovely introduction to Harriet- I hope you do this again- I like be it!

Sharon Santoni November 15, 2018 - 12:23 pm

Hi Denise, We plan to do more of there 🙂 Stay tuned

Victoria Savu November 14, 2018 - 2:05 pm

Loved meeting Harriet. Her house is lovely and inviting. I will start flowing her on Instagram. I agree with Denise and would love to see more beautiful homes. Thank you Sharon for sharing.

Cathie Noonan November 14, 2018 - 6:35 pm

Does Harriet have an e-mail? How do I subscribe to her blog?

Thank you so much.

Sharon Santoni November 15, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Hi Cathie, Harriet doesn’t have a blog but just posts to instagram. You can see her page here: https://www.instagram.com/yomargey/

kind wishes

Pat November 15, 2018 - 6:09 pm

Oh I love that house and property, and like Harriet my favorite meal is at a proper English pub complete with roaring fire.
Thanks for introducing Harriet, I’m off to find her IG page.

Chevonne November 15, 2018 - 6:48 pm

Is there a way to follow Harriet other than Instagram? Thank you.

Emm November 17, 2018 - 5:55 pm

Aside from the very pretty pictures of a lovely house and her nice story (thank you for those), I am thinking that your headline would make for a clever children’s book: “Harriet’s Herefordshire Hamlet.”

Catherine Kelly November 19, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Hi Sharon,
I ordered the box for younger ladies but it hasn’t arrived as yet! Can I expect it soon?
God bless,
Catherine Kelly

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