Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The soft smell of Spring...........

 It rained yesterday, soft rain, that penetrates the earth.   As I walked the garden, I took in the fragrance of rain hitting dry earth...........
 One of my favourite books is the Moorville Hours by Katherine Swift.     Lets take a brief stroll around the garden, along with an extract from the book.
 Even the rain smells different.   April is the month of sunshine and showers, rainbows and reflections, of small, puffy white fair-weather cumuli which bubble up into cauliflower-headed cumuli congesti behind your back and take you by surprise.
 Intent upon some late pruning, I hear the rain before I see it, rattling on the leaves in a rising wind.   'Only a shower', we say sniffing the air.    And it is gone, as quickly as it came, with ragged fragments of sky left in the puddles on the drive and a glaze of silver on the rose leaves.
 Falling from high altitude, short and sharp and heavy, the rain brings a whiff of ozone from the upper air, a hint of the sea; soon over, unlike the steady downpour of February.
 Indoors a shaft of sunlight is reflected from the bevelled edge of a mirror and shatters into pieces on the floor: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
A rainbow spans the valley, one foot on Shirlett, and other on Meadowley: Iris, messenger of the gods.   She bore a child of the rainbow, fathered by Zebhyrus, the West wind.

For it is - of course - a love affair, this passion for one's garden, and the very smell of it intoxicates, like the smell of a lover.

I leave you with that thought.....happy gardening :)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Bees and blossom........

 The bees were out early this morning.   Blossom and sunshine is all they need.    We had an overnight ground frost, and there is cold wind today but that does not seem to deter them.
 Large garden, or or country, small fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any  garden.    Not only for the gardener but for the creatures that live alongside us.
 The ancient medlar looks amazing.     I often wonder who planted it...........I spend many a moment gazing at it, thinking of those that came before me.
 Pretty in pink, ornamental cherry is a firm favourite...........
along with crab apple.

Have you a favourite blossom ?

Sunday, 26 April 2015


 I was looking at the pear blossom from Poppi's bedroom window this morning, when I spied the Green woodpecker.
 The yaffle  is a regular visitor to the garden and I have tried many times to get an image.
Its favourite food source  is ants.    Our grass is full of open invitation to dine :)

Happy Sunday safari................

Friday, 24 April 2015

To bee or not to bee ............

 I have kept mason bees for ten years.    I started with one unit and now have eight.    Mason bees are passive, so ideal if children or pets frequent the garden.
 The bees start to leave the unit at this time of year.    The males first, they stay in close proximity waiting for the females.
 After the female has been served the male will spend the rest of his days, sunning himself on foliage and feeding amongst the flowers and blossom.    The female will spend her whole life laying grubs in the units, filling them with pollen, and sealing each with damp soil.      At the end of her life she is tattered and worn, and more often than not  senile.
If there is such a thing as re-incarnation I do not want to come back as a female mason bee :)

Have a lovely weekend............BEE HAPPY :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Back to to the woods....

 Many years ago I was fortunate to take our children to visit the Redwood forests in California.     It is something I will never forget.    When we moved to the farmhouse I decided to plant one of these beautiful trees.   I chose a spot far away from the house, for these are the giants of the forest.    A deciduous conifer with yew like foliage, and wonderful autumnal colour.
She now stands at a mere 3 metres...........I will be long gone when she reaches full height but by planting her I leave something for future generations.
 Walk along the pathway to find the trout lily.....her leaves have been nibbled.    A pretty plant that refuses to self seed in this garden.    Oh well, you can't win them all.
 Alongside her is Lesser Celandine 'Brazen Hussy'.    A vigorous plant that I allow to have her own way (for now)
 Primrose Balarina Valentine is a good contrast to all the yellow.    
Ferns are a favourite of mine, and the woodland area is full of them.    The fronds of this fern always remind me of Medusa..........
I am enjoying this Spring.     It is taking its time, there has been no rush.    Each day something new arrives.
 Bleeding hearts edge the pathway.    They seem to grow as I look at them.
I notice the little bee fly as I walked back to the house.    Fascinating little creature.   Its proboscis is very long to allow it to take nectar from deep flowers.   It hovers in the air above plants.    I spent far too long watching the insect and quite forgot that I had muffins baking in the oven...........oh dear, they are a bit too brown for my liking :)

Happy days ................

Sunday, 19 April 2015

In tune with nature............

 My mother has suffered with depression for as long as I can remember.    As a child I never quite understood what was happening............the change in personality, the darkness that descended on the home.
 Often I would ask her if I could take my brother out to Greenwich Park, just to get away from the heavy atmosphere.
My brother and I would spend several hours there, playing, running, and exploring.   My spirit would lift and I was ready to go back home to Mum...........

 Since Father died I have come to understand my Mother and the depression she lives with.    I like to think I have helped her through her most troubles times..........
 I still find it can leave me mentally exhausted on occasions.     That is when I turn to the is my sanctuary.
Alone with the birds bees and trees I am at one with nature.
 I walk the garden every day, I believe I must know every blade of grass, tree root and plant by now :)
 Of course, I do not.............gardens are mysterious places.   As I strolled this morning, I wondered what was happening beneath the soil.....the creatures, fungi and bacteria.     A world, deep beneath the plants and trees.

 Looking at the tree house, I think of the Grandchildren, bright lights in my world.     A season of summer fun ahead.
Life is ever changing............but it is good.   Problems arise but in a years time they are but a distant memory.

Happy gardening........

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Summer has arrived !!

 There are lots of insects in the garden.    Flying this way and that.    This one found the camera fascinating......
 The perfume from Armandii drifts around the garden.   
 It is hot today, around 25C (78F).    More like summer .......
 Most daffodils have faded but this is a late bloomer.      I love the tinge of green on the petals.
 Ferns have started to unfurl,
 bleeding hearts are making an appearance,
 and maples are in flower.
This period of heat will finish as the day ends.    Tomorrow we will be back to temperatures more suited to April.
What an up down Spring it has been.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Down on my knees............

 As most of you know, my favourite area of the garden is the woodland.    Spring, I believe, is the prettiest time of the year with regard to woodland plants.
 Each year I await the arrival of the first Epimediums.    I love tiny flowers, and the only way to truly appreciate these is down on my knees.     Versicolor is a real charmer with its low clump of evergreen foliage, attractively tinted when young.    Loose sprays of yellow and pink suffused flowers are so pretty.
 The cream coloured violet appeared in the garden a few years ago and is working its way through the woodland.      This is a gift from Mother Nature and I am truly grateful.
The garden Robin has been busy making his nest in our post box by the side of the farmhouse gate.    Sadly, I have had to deter him.    I did go to the garden centre and buy yet another robin box, which I have located near the post box.    Lets hope he uses it :)

Have a great gardening weekend.................I am planting roses today.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Birdsong and blooms

Bright mornings and birdsong........what a lovely way to start the day. 
 Planting tulips in pots has worked well.    Angelique is in bloom, one of my favourites.   Waiting in the wings is Red Passion.      
 Spring baskets have been filled with trailing violas.     
 Clematis Armandii now covers most of the ugly fence at the back of the garden.    Not recommended for small gardens or the feint hearted :) say it is vigorous is an understatement.    I love it, the fragrance is beautiful and the flowers prolific.
 Pieris makes a fine display.    I catch its scent as I walk to the front door.   Usually it is covered in bees.
I never tire of wild violets.     They seed freely here.    Such pretty little flowers.   

The weather is slowly warming up.    Temperatures are around 10C (50F).     We had a frost last night, which did not surprise me.     I had covered tender plants, so all is well..............  

Enjoy your Spring garden.