Country Life 20 April 2022

Country Life 20 April 2022 looks at golden retrievers, wildflower meadows, Doctor Dolittle and a beautiful old farmhouse.

Masterpiece: Jack Watkins deciphers the language of Doctor Dolittle, the man who talked to animals.

Golden retrievers: Beloved for their gentleness, admired for their picking-up skills, golden retrievers are real all-rounders, says Katy Birchall

Satan of the riverbank: The bizarre cormorant has a long-held evil reputation, but there’s plenty to admire in this tough bird

Tradition and modernity: Old and new are perfectly blended at Willards Farm in Surrey, finds Jeremy Musson

Where the wildflowers grow: Our flower-bedecked meadows may be all but lost, but there is hope in many unlikely corners, discovers Sarah Langford

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Books: David Profumo admires two magnificent fishing tomes

Tessa Hadley’s favourite painting: The author chooses a sensuous, mysterious whirl of time

The moonlight hunt: Jamie Blackett follows a terrier escapee across the sands

Kitchen garden cook: Melanie Johnson welcomes the first English asparagus spears

The good stuff: Hetty Lintell on serpentine love

Interiors: Get colourful with fresh paints, tempered with old techniques

A perfect finish: Two remarkable new gardens have grown from the renovation of an old barn in the Cotswolds, discovers Tiffany Daneff

Travel: Luxury at Lucknam, da Vinci in Milan and a new series on literary giants’ favourite hotels

Heroes and villains: Michael Billington salutes the ever-brilliant Ralph Fiennes in David Hare’s superb new play.

And much more