Saturday 30 August 2014

The magic of a woodland garden.......

   When I was a child my parents would take us to the woods every Sunday afternoon, during the school holidays.
 When we moved to the farmhouse, I decided that a woodland area would be my first project.
 I have to say, it is the one area that has been a real success.
 Why?    Because the rabbits tend to leave it alone, so everything just gets better and better.
 There is a faerie garden in the wood.   Poppi and I started this when she was two.    I treasure this, for it holds so many beautiful memories.
 This little faerie was a gift from my father...........she is weathered and worn but has a quality that is so enchanting.
 Ted the gnome, guards the wood..........he has been with me for forty years.   I do not like garden gnomes but Ted is different, a bit special and he is very much part of the garden.
My mother made a remark the other day, that started me thinking.
'You do realise dear, that in a few years you will be living in a wood'   The words came with a smile.............I have to say she is right.  

The Robins breeding season has been extremely good.    There are many juveniles in the garden.   The parents have been trying their hardest to chase them away from the garden and some have left.   The little chap in the image is reluctant to leave, I think they may have a fight on their hands with this one :)

Monday 25 August 2014

An autumnal feel............

 Yesterday was warm, but the breeze had an edge to it.   Autumn would appear to have arrived but who knows with the English weather, it is never predictable.
 After spending most of the morning preparing food for my Mothers freezer, the afternoon was spent gardening.  
 It is good to see so many Red Admiral in the garden.   They are enjoying the flowers of Eupatorium 'rise and shine'.    I love the deep purple stems of this plant, it compliments the pink flowers.
 Mexican hats have not done so well.     There are survivors but not so many.  
 Without doubt my favourite combination is Arthur Bell and Salvia Royal Bumble.    I love the pale lemon and red.......
The hot air balloon came a little too close for comfort, skimming the trees as it crossed the garden.    Nella did not approve.........not too sure I did :)
I believe it came down in a neighbours field.

Bank holiday Monday and it is raining................

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Feathers, foliage and foraging.

 The copse is an area of the garden that I have dedicated to wildlife.   It is fenced and the gate to enter has a padlock.       The Grand-children love it but I only allow them in, if I am with them.
Whilst sitting quietly I noticed the Sparrow Hawk sitting in the willow.     She is a regular visitor, the garden is  part of her hunting ground.

   One day whilst walking across the garden, miles away, dreaming of what may be.........the tips of her wings brushed my shoulder as she flew past.   Her victim this day was a sparrow....she flew into the hedge and whisk the creature away right in front of my eyes.   From that moment I have been fascinated with her.

It would appear she caught a juvenile wood pigeon today..............I had seen one following its parents around the garden.
 The Acers are turning..........I could not be without them.    The Autumn colours are amazing.
 I have some in the ground and many in tubs.   I find them reliable and even when neglected they do well.
Nella and I walked early this morning.   I decided to pick some blackberries, it took ages to get enough ripe berries to make a jar of chutney.    This is just a trial, as it is a new to me recipe.  I did not  want to make a huge amount, only to find I did not like it.   There are plenty of blackberries to come, so depending on the results, may make a large batch at a later date.
Also picked some plums and made some plum brandy for Christmas.....

Today, was one of those days, that was perfect.   You know, just an ordinary day, and yet its special......can't tell you why, it just is.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Autumn knocking at the door......

 I love this time of year.
 Walking the path to Autumn is a journey I treasure.
 I love the colours............
 the scents.........
 and the shadows.
 Autumn flowers will bring a smile,
and the garden will be full of hips, haws and berries to help the birds through winter.

Cooler days and nights are better for a woman of a certain age :)

What is your favourite season and why ?????

Sunday 10 August 2014

Why are hurricanes mostly given a woman's name ?

 The tail end of Bertha reached the garden around 11.00 this morning.     Nearly two inches of rain fell in two hours.
 When I walked in the garden I was most surprised at how warm it felt.    Warm and damp, as though I was in the tropics.
 It really felt pleasant.
 The weight of the rain has caused the plants to bow,
 but I am sure they will right themselves when the sun shines.
We are fortunate that the hurricane lost it ferocity as it crossed the pond.

The weather will be unsettled for the next week..........I wonder if autumn will arrive early???

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

 I crept into the garden early.    The Grandchildren were still sleeping.   Mr P was on his way to Bristol for a meeting.   I wanted to spend a quiet moment in the garden looking at  raindrops.
 There is such beauty in a garden.......if we take time to stop and stare.
 Reflections in a raindrop......what do you see ????
As I strolled around I noticed a Clouded Yellow.    A regular migrant from Southern Europe.
It feeds on marjoram, clover and thistles, I am pleased to say I grow these so it should be happy in the garden should it decide to stay.     Sadly, it will not survive our wet winters.

Overnight rain has refreshed the garden.   Temperatures have dropped to around 24C (78F).
Pleasant for the garden and the gardener :)

Monday 4 August 2014

 It was a busy weekend.    Saturday  was spent fitting the new farmhouse gate, it took longer than expected but still left time to ................
 stack the logs for Winter.    I slept well Saturday night :)
 Sunday a family get together at the farmhouse.   Youngest grandchild's birthday and did we have fun.
 Dominic loved his cake.........he took a while to blow his candles out, he was to busy watching everyone.
 Poppi loves a party and spent most of the time laughing.   Dominic adores her and followed her everywhere.
Riley gave Great Grandma a hug.........he has an affinity with the elderly.   My father and Riley were very close, he still misses Great Grandpa.
All in all it was a wonderful day.   The sun shone, we talked, we laughed, we played.
I could not have asked for more.