Wednesday 30 April 2014

Sweet memories.................

 Yesterday, whilst weeding, I heard the sky lark sing.   It took me back to a field, my hand in my Grandfathers, looking up at the sky.    We watched and listened to the sky lark many many times..................
 Gramps had a small holding where he kept chicken geese and ducks.       Grannie would preserve the fruits from the orchard.    Vegetables grew in abundance.    They led a quiet life.
 It was beautiful weeding beneath the apple tree, her blossom falling like confetti.
Weeding done I decided to collect Mothers groceries and take them to her.     As I was leaving she gave me a small book.....a collection of writings she had done over the years.   I would like to share one with you.   She wrote this to my father just before he died last year.
 How dear you are, to me no one is kinder.
You would give me the moon to play with, should I want it, and it were possible.
A knight on a white charger?    A handsome prince?
No not you, something far more.
A simple man, with simple tastes, yet, something far far more.
Resolute as a heartbeat, steady as a rock.
At the helm, with fair winds to guide you,
Your goal to bring love and joy.
To me, you are a wondrous being.
That is why I will always love you...................

By Ruby 87 years young :)

Saturday 26 April 2014

Spring to life..............

 Camassia are in bloom.   I started planting bulbs several years ago and add to them each year.   The colours vary from pale blue to purple.     They are a gem at this time of year.
 Geranium Phaeum is one of my favourite flowers.   It is the depth of colour that appeals to me.    Every plant this year has been cropped by rabbits but they have come back stronger.  
 Bee flies seem to have increased in numbers.....there are many flying around the garden in search of nectar.    Cowslip seem to be the favourite bloom at the moment.
 Third Grandchild Dominic is a delightful little chap.    He is just too funny for words......when he leaves us after a visit, I spend most of the time smiling to myself.   Poppi and Riley adore their little looks like he may join them both karting when he is a little older.

It is raining today..........warm rain.    Not sure if we need it as the soil is still damp from winter.   I feel slightly out of control this year......I seem to be gardening amongst triffids, everything seems to grow overnight.        It will come together, it always does but at the moment it feels a little daunting.

Have a good weekend and enjoy your garden if you can :)

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Typical April weather, sunshine and showers.

 Weeding has been a challenge this year.   The wet winter has given everything a fighting chance.    Rabbits droppings make the soil  rich in nitrogen, so the garden is full of nettles.
This large bed is full of wildflowers, perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees.   The understorey has spread and by doing so has pushed the weeds out.  
Now they have seeded in the pathway.   I have spent most of the day removing them, a time consuming project.
The tree house is much loved by the Grand-children and is very much their space.   Poppi has planted pots of lavender in pots and troughs to edge the stairs during the summer months.
Nella has spent the day chasing rabbits from the garden..........I really do not know what I would do without her.

It would seem the week is going to be sunshine and showers, typical April weather.
I am enjoying the lengthening days and the opportunity to be outside without a coat.
Happy days...................

Sunday 20 April 2014

The magical apple tree.........

 Each year she seems to grow more tired.    A dressing of leaf mould and wood ash from the fire, seem to keep her going.   Old trees, like old people, can be inspiring.
 Life burns bright in them, whatever their handicap.
 Birds nest, insects hide and the hollow trunk holds so many secrets.    We can enjoy these special trees today largely thanks to the individuals, past and present, who have cared for them and ensured their survival.
        It takes only one person in the life of a tree to mutilate or destroy it.    I often wonder what will happen to her when it is my time to leave the garden...................

Friday 18 April 2014

Oh to be in England now that Spring is here.

 The fruit trees in the garden are covered with blossom this year.   Crab apple is so useful for wildlife, blossom for the bees and then  fruits for birds.   I have made crab apple jelly before now and it is delicious.
Geranium macrorrhizum is  great for ground cover.    I have also found that if I plant around favourite rabbit plants, the odour that the leaves produce when brushed, keeps the rabbits away.
 Pulmonaria, another bee plant.   This is a particular favourite for me.   Many years ago my father gave me a plant from his garden.   Each year I divide them and plant them in the woodland.    There is now an little plant has produced many.
 Epimedium 'Frohnleiten' I adore this little woodlander.     I love its spreading happy, the way it dances in the breeze and the fact the new leaves have a pretty red tinge.  
 For the first time in this garden, all the maples have flowered.    Whilst they are very tiny flowers, they look so beautiful en masse, they really are a picture.   
Pulsatilla..........not too sure if I like the red.    I much prefer the pretty purple flowers, but sadly the slugs seemed to prefer those too :(   They have devoured every purple bloom and left the red.   Such is life...............

Hope the sun is shining and your garden is thriving....................

Tuesday 15 April 2014

The humble bumble

One of my favourite pastimes is photography.   My favourite subject is bees, and for sure the bumble bee tops the list.    I take dozens of images each week and most are deleted.   Every now and again I take a photograph that really pleases me.   It takes patience, and a little  bit of luck to get a good picture.   Yesterday I spent two hours in the garden with my camera and in the very last minutes captured this garden bee working amongst the blooms.     I like the softness of the image and the detail on the bee.   It was worth the time and effort......another photograph to put in my 'bee book'..............

Sunday 13 April 2014

Down on my knees

 I have been down on my knees for most of the day.    I enjoy weeding.    It gives me time to get close to the plants and study them.   I also find it very calming.    I love the Dicentra and Maple together.....the colours are perfect.
 It gave me time to appreciate the tiny little bells of Tellima Grandiflora.   A woodlander, a gift from a blogging friend a few years ago.   Each year I split the plants and now they edge the woodland walk.     I do so love small blooms............... 
It has been a beautiful day....wall to wall sunshine.    My mother has spent the day with me.    She loves to sit in the conservatory and watch me work around the garden.
I rustled up a salad for lunch with plenty of herbs from the garden.      
We chatted  about Dad ...... Mum told me so many lovely stories about their courtship........things that have never been mentioned before.

All in all it was a good day...........

Tuesday 8 April 2014

In Repose

 My father was a quiet man.   Often, he would sit in the garden, gazing into space, his thoughts his own.    I would ask "Are you ok Dad?"     My mother would swiftly reply "He is in repose"
 Dad would turn his head towards her, a twinkle in his eye, and smile.    Yesterday as I took photographs of the blossom on the cherry trees, I thought how much my father would have loved to see this 'little orchard'.    Planted in his memory, how I wish I had planted it when he was alive.
As I walk away, I look my minds eye I could see Dad, sitting in the old deckchair, floppy hat, miles away.   "You ok Dad?"
"Yes........... I am in repose."

Monday 7 April 2014

 Stillness: The sound of the rain.     The bee fly waits.
 The gardener waits.........
Patience is a virtue.