Tuesday 30 December 2014

Winter wonderland.

 We had a hoar frost last night.     
 This morning every twig and stem was rimmed in ice.
 Is there anything more beautiful.
 Wondrous works of art.
 I became totally lost in the moment......
 My camera and I become one.............
This is a morning I will not forget..............

Monday 29 December 2014

Looking forward to Spring

 Christmas was a joyous occasion.....Poppi sang carols as we all gathered around the table. 
A game of hide and seek in the garden was such fun.   Although it was cold, wrapped in woollen jumpers and bobble hats it did not seem to matter.   To see the Grandchildren laughing, cheeks rosy ............a family coming together, at this special time of year.
 The garden does not have much to offer.......but what it does give, is especially beautiful, at this time of year.    The berries of our native stinking iris  are a good example.
 The lemon - yellow flowers of Mahonia have such a powerful scent.......a wonderful lily of the valley fragrance.   Planted along the woodland walk, with Christmas box, it is pure joy to walk each day and take in the heady scent.
Helleborus Niger is top of my favourite plants.   I have dozens in the garden.   During the cold months of winter they are an absolute joy to behold.   Although they appear to be fragile, they are survivors in this garden.
Anna's red is showing, it will not be long before she displays her beautiful burgundy blooms.

When I planned the garden 13 years ago, I wanted a garden that had flowers all year.
Not for me, although I love my plants, but for the bumble bees that nest in the garden.
I was fortunate just before Christmas Day to see a queen bumble bee feeding on the Mahonia blooms.   I cannot describe the absolute joy this brings.
To help nature survive these cold winter months is a privilege.

I am now looking forward to Spring.     As each day passes we are given a little more light, and to any gardener that is something to look forward to.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Cold and frosty morning

 It is early, a cold and frosty morning.
 A winter garden, silhouettes..................
 and ghostly forms.
 A time to stand back and just enjoy one's hard labour.
 A time for me to sit in the conservatory, with my little dog, a cup of coffee and my gardening books.
And to look upon a garden lovely enough to lift  my spirit even on the most sombre and overcast days of winter.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Looks are deceiving........

Yesterday, as the sun was setting, I managed to capture the robin amongst the bare branches.    During the Summer, this youngster, tried to chase his parents from the garden.
To say he is aggressive is an understatement........he frequently pins other birds to the ground, and tries to peck at their eyes.    I know that robins are very territorial but I have never seen such an aggressive bird.     Have you ????  

Friday 5 December 2014

Looking up to the sky........

I walked the garden today camera in hand.   I was thinking of my Gt Grandmothers favourite poem God's Highway.    I can remember the first two lines:

Some people pass through this wonderful world,
And never look up at the sky.........

So, I took random photographs, pointing the camera to the sky.
Most were erased but this one I really like.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

This really was a secret garden.............

 While Mr P was sleeping yesterday I decided to look through my treasure box.   I cannot remember the last time I did this.    There is nothing of great monetary value, just a box full of memories.....my memories.        At the bottom of the box I discovered some papers tied together with a piece of green ribbon.       Amongst them were the following images of my last garden....taken by my father.   I did not own a camera in those days and have no other photographs of the garden.
 It took me back to the tiny walled garden.     Sheltered, and secret.....it could not be seen by anyone, the walls kept it just for the family.   A blank canvas when we moved there.   Oh boy did I enjoy planting this tiny plot.     
 I was, at that time, a novice.   I knew the basics......my father taught me well.   Putting them into practice was another matter.
 You can see from this image and the writings, my love of bees goes way back.....in fact, to childhood. 
 Another memory.....one of my darling Cavaliers....Ellie a rescue dog.    I wish I could share more with you....the tiny pond.....the balcony garden.....the old wall.......sadly this is all I have.
Apparently when the new owners moved in within a year the garden had been cleared.....minimal was the new owners preference.   I can remember feeling so sad when I was told.    What about the wildlife that lived amongst the ivy....where would the bees go.....would the thrush find a new nesting site.    Nothing stays ours forever, everything changes.

Where is heaven?   Is it not
just a friendly garden plot,
Walled with stone and roofed with sun,
Where the days pass one by one.
Not too fast and not too slow,
Looking backwards as they go
At the beauties left behind
To transport  the pensive mind.

Bliss Carmen.............Where is heaven ??

Saturday 22 November 2014

A garden is always full of surprises..........

 Leaves of Arum Italicum have emerged.   The beautiful marbled leaves are a bonus to a Winter garden.    They sit beautifully among the ferns in the woodland area.
 Prunus Autumnalis flowers from Autumn till Spring.    I love the weeping form.    Flowers are small but plentiful and stand up to the weather well.
Candelabra Primula is in bloom, such a surprise.   The exceptionally mild weather has given it thoughts of Spring.
 Pots full of fuchsia are still giving beautiful displays..............hard to believe really.    I  am not complaining......
I love the mini forest in the copse.   Surely this must be faerie land ?

Each day I have walked the garden.     Much needed at times.   It has been a difficult week but the news is good, Mr P is home.    He is recovering slowly...........we do not know what the future holds but we are positive and strong in mind.   I personally feel the worse is over and the future is bright.   

Thank you all for your words of kindness and compassion.   
They have helped me get through this week and I am grateful to each and every one of you.

Saturday 15 November 2014

The autumn of our years.

Life is full of ups and downs.    We all have our own story to tell.    
 If we didn't have downs, then we wouldn't have ups.........if that makes any sense.
 The Autumn garden has never looked more beautiful...............and yet.
Yesterday Mr P  was told he had two low grade tumours in his bladder.   On Tuesday he will have them removed.     We are both positive,  we will work our way through this............the consultant is optimistic.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood................Marie Curie.

Have a wonderful weekend........enjoy your loved ones.

Monday 10 November 2014

Patience is a virtue...........

 I first noticed Nuthatch in the garden during the last weeks of Summer.   I have been stalking them ever since.    To get an image has been virtually impossible, that is until today.
 Dressed in a green jumper, skinny jeans and a green bobble hat I sat amongst the vegetation.   This is not a good look I hasten to add.  Raindrops dripping down the back of my neck,  I sat for twenty minutes.    My limbs aching I was about to give up when the Nuthatch returned.   I managed to get a few images...............not perfect but at least you can see the bird on the feeder.
It is great to have Nuthatch in the garden.     The pair are with a group of Blue and Great Tits.
I am hoping when Spring arrives they will choose to stay in the garden and breed.

Sunday 9 November 2014

New Homes.........

 I went to a meeting yesterday in the village hall.   A planning application has been put forward to build 300 new homes in the village.    The turn out was good and the vast majority of people were against the build.
 Why?    The village is situated on a flood plain.       Headcorn struggles with drainage and sewerage, at this time there is no plans to improve the systems if the homes are built.
We had two inches of rain last night......the images show my garden this morning.   More rain is forecast for the week ahead, so the situation will only get worse.
I am no academic but please let common sense prevail......are the council not aware of climate change.    Where were they last year when the worst floods for hundreds of years hit Kent.
I realise more homes are needed.....but please please please not on the flood plains.

Saturday 8 November 2014

The dance of life.

 I remember the first time I saw a hare in the wild.   I was walking across fields with Gramps and Pincher the dog.      I thought it was a rabbit.   Grandfather delighted in telling me the difference between the two.....also the legends attached to the hare.
 Since that time they have fascinated me.   Sadly they are in serious decline..........I have not seen one for a long long time.
 When I saw a hare for sale in a shop window,  I had to go in and take a look.   I loved the sculpture .....I knew it would be perfect for the house.     Mr P and I no longer buy Christmas presents for each other......for no other reason than as you get older there is little you truly need.   So, if we see something we truly love, we buy it........in short this is my Christmas present from Mr P.
This piece will be treasured for a long time.............

.......and the mist thins to reveal the southwest......a shining wheat field, speckled with brilliant blue cornflowers and red poppies.    There are picnic baskets spilling the remains of the labourers food.   One field has been scythed, except for a single tussock.    A heat haze blurs your vision, and in the rolling landscape you sense a shining figure.    The men are standing back in a   group from the last swathe of grain and one by one they throw their scythes to cut through it.   As the last scythe flies, the air shimmers and the grain is sheared like the head of the solar king, crowned with wheat.   As the bright stems fall among the poppies, a huge hare bounds from the stubble and disappears across the fields.   The heat haze turns to mist which obscures the scene, leaving you  with the bittersweet taste of sacrifice and harvest.....the dance of life.

The path of Druidry...................Penny Billington.

Have a good weekend

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Golden days..........

 The fallen leaves beneath the Maple look so beautiful I am reluctant to clear them.   The carpet of gold is a wonderful addition to the Autumn garden but .........

 it is a job that needs to be done.   Tools gathered I set about my task.     The weather is perfect for such a job.....blue skies and a chill in the air.    For me, this is so much better than a workout in the gym :)
 Leaves are gathered and taken back and forth to the copse.   In a year or two, leaf mould, to spread around the woodland borders.    I am so locked in the moment I continue working..........I had only meant to clear the leaves nearest to the house, but sometimes the mood is right.
 Before I know it twilight.............that time between the setting of the sun and the coming of darkness - the perfect time to be alone in the garden.   Sounds magnify, I hear the birds, Tom next door calls "Mummy"......I can smell smoke in the air and rotting apples.    I do so love this garden.
I am reluctant to go in....one last capture, one last moment.     What a beautiful end to the gardening day.