Thursday 4 August 2011

Tick, tock........

I can hear the clock ticking.   Yesterday all I could hear was the sound of children's laughter.
 We sat beneath the old apple tree and had a picnic.    We ate strawberries, blueberries, english cherries and fairy cakes my mother had made.
The old girl is laden with fruit.    In the autumn the children and I will pick apples and make a crumble.
The old tree is sacred to me, I have great respect for her.   I see changes.........we walk the path of old age together.
Temperatures have been high for the last few days.......30C (90F)
Today it is much cooler and it is raining.   I like summer rain.
I wonder how long the butterfly has been sitting on the flower.    Poor thing.   I carefully cut the stem and take flower and butterfly to the shed for shelter.   I leave the door open, she can take flight when the time is right.
The bees have done well.....the warm Spring was good in many ways.
A garden full of gifts.......
I cannot remember, in recent times,  when there was such an abundance of produce.
I watched the greenfinches feeding on the hips in the rain...... 
 I plan to use the haws for herbal medicine.    I believe in the power of nature........
 I put my faith in her each and every day.
I have found gardening quite challenging this year.   The dry Spring,  the cold, wet summer have left me feeling rather confused.    Each year is a journey, each year holds new experiences.      I never tire of the can frustrate me at times, but always I love it.         


  1. Hi Cheryl...I feel like I just read a excerpt from Tasha Tudor's life.. : }
    I love the way you word things...
    The photos'are just lovely ..
    Love Grace

  2. Thank you Grace,

    Always a pleasure when you visit.

  3. It would be such fun to stroll through your garden and then have a picnic under the apple tree. She is generous and gracious in her old age. You two are a lot alike. Sweet. Doesn't time fly when you are in the garden.

  4. Dear Cheryl,
    I love the photograph of the rain on the green apple. It is gorgeous. The Old Apple tree is a giver of gifts, like you.
    It has been a strange gardening year....I have tried to flow with her summersaulting ways. I am longing for rain. The storms went south of us.
    I have seeds yet to plant. I am waiting for rain.
    The sounds of the children's laughter shall sustain you.
    Your Mum's Fairy cakes will nourish the children always.
    Such a special post....thank you.
    The ticking of the clock....we shall slow time for just a few minutes so we can treasure these moments.
    Crescent Moon wishes,

  5. Hi Lisa,

    Having fun in the garden with the children is the best. It is hard to get them to come inside. At bedtime they are shattered...all that fresh air :)

  6. Dear Sherry,

    Yes, that is the right word summersaulting :)
    I have felt confused, so has the garden and wildlife. Nothing seems the same at this time.....

    The children laugh all the time. We all like to for the soul.
    They will be back on Monday.....and stay for three days. I shall do this each week until school starts again.

  7. Hi Cheryl,

    Very nice, plenty to see in your garden at the moment :)

    I'm very surprised to hear you've had a cold, wet summer? How different things can be just a few hundred miles away.

  8. Hi Liz,

    We have had dry spells and sunshine. BUT in general this part of the country has been quite chill with showers here and there. The ground is dry if you dig down but the surface is damp. I have just walked the garden with a cardigan has been a chilly night. I must be honest, at the moment it feels more like autumn......yet the weekend, Monday and Tuesday were roasting. Most odd.......
    The weather has really been all over the place.

  9. An unseasonable season but how welcome the deluge and the way it refreshes. The fruit are surely nature's still life works of art. Your love of the old apple tree brings it to life and there was much in your narative that reminded me of Eliot: "Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
    Even while the dust moves
    There rises the hidden laughter
    Of children in the foliage"

  10. Wow, what a selection of hips and haws! Will you make a syrup with the hips? I'm surprised to hear you've had a cool, wet summer. I thought it had been much warmer and drier in the south, but perhaps that was during Spring. It's lovely that you enjoy the time with the grandchildren so much.

  11. We had a very wet spring and then a really HOT summer so veggies are doing quite well here, too. Are fairy cakes sort of like we'd call cupcakes here? I've heard them mentioned a ton, but I've not seen them.

  12. Tku Laura,

    Also for the words of Eliot....absolutely beautiful. Made me feel quite melancholy.

  13. Hi Dan

    The Spring was hot and dry and seemed never ending.
    June was a wash out basically. July chilly and showery. Of course we have had sunshine during that period and it has been hot on occasions.

    I shall make rosehip syrup for the grand children and use some of the hawthorn berries for a tincture (for me and Mr P)

  14. Hi Monica,

    Fairy cakes: as far as I am concerned are a much smaller version of a cup cake.
    They can have icing and cherries on top.
    Or icing and sprinkles.
    I always include butterfly cakes which are a fairy cake with the top cut off. Buttercream is spread on top of the cake, the piece that was taken off is cut in half and put in the buttercream to look like wings. A dollop of strawberry jam goes between the wings. Absolutely Mum's are just the best :)

  15. Ah Cheryl that old apple tree is so wonderful. It is because of her that I began reading your blog. I followed a link to a post on your last blog about her, it was so beautiful it bought tears to me eyes. So good to see she is still with you and providing her gifts of love.
    Here in this post you have the apple, the hawthorn and the rose, the three plants of love.
    I adore your photo of the haws dripping with rain. So very beautiful.
    Hmmm you have made me crave fairy cakes, your picnic with the berries and cherries sounds fit for a fairy indeed.

  16. Weather patterns are strange some years. My great-aunt who lives clear across the country (in british columbia) has had the same weather as you. Her garden is not doing well at all, but then at her age (86) even with help, it can be overwhelming.

    I like your philosophy of putting your faith in nature. She is a great teacher and healer.

    Summer rain is so refreshing and I like your photos of raindrops on the berries and apple. The old apple tree is really special, isn't she?

    I will try to send you an email over the weekend. I have a new laptop and will see if it works so we can email once again. I would like to send you my book, but need your address. Failing email connection, perhaps I could ask Sherry for your mailing address, if you don't mind. Anyway, we'll "talk" about this if the email connection works.
    Have a great weekend.
    p.s. I hope the little butterfly is o.k.

  17. Such a lovely and thoughtful post, Cheryl. Some days I feel old, and then I look at the old oak tree which has probably been here for a couple of centuries and realize how the meaning of time is so relative. Gardening has been a challenge for me this year, too, with the recent heat and dryness. So much has been neglected lately--I was thinking the other day how I spent the end of August and September last year keeping up with weeding and all, knowing you were coming for a visit in September. I think I need another visitor this fall to get me motivated:)

  18. Hi Lucinda,

    Tku, for you sweet and kind words.

    How wonderful that the old apple tree brought us together. Perhaps she knew there would be a meeting of minds. I have learnt so much during these last few months, tku.

    The garden and house are filled with love.....the rose, hawthorn, and apple are all part of the picture.

    I rarely eat cake but my mothers fairy cakes are so light, so pretty, I am unable to resist:)

  19. My dear Wendy,

    Your Gt Aunt sounds like a wonderful old lady.
    She does well to take care of her garden.

    The old apple tree holds many secrets in her branches. I honour her each year with new plantings beneath her boughs. Each planting is done with a person in mind (as you know).
    This area is very sacred to me, and holds so many memories....

    Wendy, I do not know what to say. Your book is on my Christmas list. I would be honoured to accept such a generous and kind gift, tku.
    May I send you something in return??
    BTW I did email you yesterday. Did you receive it??

    The butterfly was fine.....when the sun came out, she went on her way with my blessings.

  20. Dear Rose,

    I so wish I was coming to visit you. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my trip. Things change, this year is not an option. I am sure though we will meet again :)

    I understand, sometimes my body lets me down and motivation is lacking. It is at these times I go and sit in the garden and give myself a good talking to. My mother does the same....despite being unwell she never gives up, I love her for that. She taught her daughter well.
    The old apple tree is tired and worn, yet there is a beauty about her that goes beyond words. When I see her in her party gown at springtime, I am overwhelmed. Then autumn arrives and she drips with fruits, I am humbled. She is old but still has much to give. I will try to follow her ways.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  21. How can you not believe in the power of nature when you look upon the Eden you (and nature) have made? I do so love seeing your garden.

  22. Tku NCmountainwoman,

    You are too kind.

  23. Hi Cheryl, I did receive your email - thank you! I was sending you a reply, but there was a problem. Nothing horrible, just a set-up connection bug that I need to iron out. It might take a few days, as I may have to bring my laptop back to the store to re set up this account. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I did receive your email and was soooo happy that we can correspond again. Talk to you later.

  24. Hi Wendy,

    Hooray......look forward to talking with you soon.

  25. It is always good to hear how your ancient apples tree is faring. It is also good to hear that your garden is producing so abundantly. Summer rain is such a wonderful gift. It refreshes the soul as well as the earth.

  26. You said it well. I too, never tire of the garden even in hardships. Right now this more than horrible drought makes me so sad for the plants in my garden and all through the city. Some water and some just let them die. I water just enough to give them hope that better times will come.
    And our ponds! The wild doves now land while I'm still near them. They see my 5 or 6 little ponds and love it here.
    David/ :-)