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Showing posts from May, 2012

Enjoy yourself; it's later than you think

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A lovely few days have been spent away from the laptop although I didn't stick to my intention not to use the camera!  And what weather it has been for simply being rather than observing.  Today a soft, fine rain is falling gently on the garden and it feels as if all the plants are opening their arms to it.  My parents have been staying and are now on their way home so here is a whistlestop tour of what has been happening in the last couple of weeks.

Old friends who live in Canada came to stay.  There is something wonderful about the friendships that endure long spaces of time when you don't see each other.  The picking up again, the sense of connection, is always a delight.  There was a huge space of time when we were barely in touch as the rush and hustle of work and raising young families ate up our time on both sides of the Atlantic.  For the last few years we have picked up again with an ease and deep pleasure which amazes me.  You don't need to share the minutiae of …

A short break

I am just going to take a short break from blogging, nor for serious purposes, not to write a novel or go on a mature gap year to South East Asia, not even to devote my undivided attention to my family and friends.  I just feel like lying back into my life like flinging yourself into long grass and looking up at the sky.  I shall just have a few days off to float and be, without a word written or a photo taken!

Scented leaf geraniums

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I love scented leaf geraniums.  I love the flowers, delicate and perfect, and the scent of a leaf rubbed on your fingers.  I have Attar of Roses, Orange Fizz, and Lady Plymouth, Clorinda, Sweet Mimosa, Atomic Snowflake, Citronella and Deerwood Lavender Lad.  The names themselves are a pleasure.


This is Attar of Roses, grown for its strong rose scent which is used in the perfume industry.


This is Orange Fizz.  Rub a leaf between your fingers and the scent is the smell released by peeling an orange.  The flower, like all scented leaf pelargonium flowers, is simple: this one a pale pink flared with deep purple.


This is Citronella.  The flower is similar.  You might struggle to see the difference,  although the purple flare is more delicate, but the scent of the leaves here is strongly lemon, more lemon than a lemon!


And this is Lady Plymouth.  The leaf is a sage green with a white edge and the flower a simple, slightly lavender pink.  The leaves are scented a peppery citrus.

So you can …

Things beginning with s

Swallows: they are back.  I have been watching for weeks, looking out of the window, glancing up as I walk across the gravel, turning to look over my shoulder as I go for corn for the chickens.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Empty sky, despite the soaring buzzard, the flapping crow, the bouncing, skittering chaffinch.  And then one moment, looking out of the window for nothing, for something else, a swoop and a dive and a magic shape disappearing almost before you have seen it.  You stop.  You look.  You are waiting, too still.  And here it comes again: the perfect arc.  They are back.

And today a shepherd's hut.  A place to sit and write and dream, up here in the far corner of the field.  We have already decided to have one, so today is for detail: colour, height, position of sockets, how big to make the hearth for the woodburner.  A place to be and not to do with a far, high view up across the valley and up towards the hills.

End of month view for April

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Slightly belatedly, here is my end of month view for the coldest, wettest April I can remember!


All the ground in the side garden has filled up with foliage, day lillies, peonies, hardy geraniums, jostling with euphorbia and hellebores, these last still flowering away although the flowers are slowly turning to a pale, creamy green.  The colour here is mainly from tulips.  These are Hermitage, a new favourite.


Out in the field the little orchard is beginning to come into blossom and tiny tulipa linifolia is showing through the lengthening grass.



The apple blossom is in flower.


The peas are out in the vegetable beds.


The new native hedges are thickening up and beginning to deter dogs and small boys from crashing through.


The annual meadow is sown, fenced off from said dogs and small boys, but seems to be growing mainly scruffy bits of grass.  Sigh.


There are bluebells in the hedge bottoms, as always lovelier than anything I can create.


The new crab apple (Red Sentinel) which has replace…