So what excites you?

I've been thinking today about what really excites me (no innuendo please). This was brought on by a combination of two different things to do: a tax related issue for a friend of my sister in law, which I am very happy to help with, and a conversation with Zoe about an area of our field which I would like to turn into a walk.

Zoe has very kindly offered to help me with planning a big piece of planting that is way outside the scale of anything I have done in the past. At the moment there are four native trees, very young and very stick like, facing four conifers along the bottom boundary of our field. I would like to make this area a path through more densely planted trees, shrubs and early flowering bulbs and perennials - a little bit of woodland that feels as though it belongs here on the hill. I suspect this is the equivalent of no make up make up - actually more difficult and more time consuming than an obvious full face of slap. I have been thinking about this and reading about possible planting for it for weeks and going out and looking at my rough grass and sticks and feeling that I have no idea how to transform what is in my head to what is on the ground. Today I had a fascinating conversation with Zoe which made me feel that she understood as well as anyone can who has not been here, what I want to do and something of why it is so difficult. It was just fantastic to talk to someone else who was as interested in it as I am. Thank you Zoe.

This is what it looks like now to give you some idea of the scale of the task.
So I promised her some pictures of the place and some further details about soil and site. I said the same thing to both her and my sister in law's friend: I might not get to it today but would be sure to send something by the end of Monday. And what have I done?

Well it won't surprise you to know that I have wandered around my windswept ground taking unappetising pictures of my scruffy patch of heaven. I have not read through correspondence from the Inland Revenue and considred a draft reply. You can always tell what you want to do by what you do.
This is what it looks like in my head. It may forever be a dream but you don't know if you don't try do you?

What can you somehow always find time for?


  1. How lovely to have a blank canvas. When we built this house in France it was on an acre of I had to do some of what you are doing, and it evolved, somehow partly on its own. I'm sure your plan will be great.

  2. I throughly enjoyed the conversation too, it is wonderful when you can talk to someone who is equally passionate about a particular subject, it was also surprising just how easy it is to talk to someone you have never met when you share a common interest, although Elizabeth was lovely and put me totally at ease anyway. Look forward to discussing ideas soon.

  3. I always find time to do creative things for my children and my home. This week, even though hubby and I were a bit under the weather, I made my elder son a memo board to hang on his wall (it matches his bedding). I'm working on a blind for his bedroom as well. Lovely daughter's furniture is about to be re-done, and my younger son has asked for a wall of cork tiles. I love making the house attractive and comfortable for my family and myself.

  4. i wish i loved gardening because i really do love looking at gardens, but i am not very good at it. i do grow some flowers but i would never call myself a gardener.

    what i have time for, no matter what: writing. that's it for me. that's the thing i can't do without.

  5. Tax? Garden? Garden? Tax? What a question! The garden would win every time.

    I think your 'field' will become an excellent walk. I imagine a journey through glades, colours, scents and textures. Please give progress reports. Weekly.

  6. Go for it Elizabeth! Your dream sound doable - especially with Zoe's help. Do you have deer problems? I'd forever planning woodland gardens and interesting corners only to have them destroyed by deer. Even native plants aren't safe if they are in an area in which the deer are accustomed to finding food.

  7. Well, I'd forget about the tax for a start! I just love starting new things & if I have an idea then feel the need to press on with it! Planning & creating bring real pleasure. I love your idea & the plan looks lovely. Hard work will be worth it in the end.

  8. What a great idea - how inspiring!

  9. Mmmm. Avenues of trees. Been watching old Monty and his gardens of the world. But you have to wait 100 years to have them mature and majestic - bamboo could grow quickly, but not I suspect on a Welsh hillside.

    Strangely enough, if I hadn't been staring at a screen all day, I might prefer the challenge of sorting out a tax problem (well something within my capacity anyway, which isn't much) to a mundane garden task like weeding in the cold and damp. Depends on the weather I suppose.

    Good luck with the avenue. (You could always try acacias!)

  10. I always find time to go on Purplecoo!
    I have a field here as well and have similar dreams (I love your pic) and plans but not enough energy as you I would think so I will watch yours develop. Great to have Zoe's expertise.

  11. Lovely plans - it's all a matter of being able to 'see' it in a mature state, because, like in our garden too, the stick-trees and rough grass and mud are hardly inspiring!

  12. I have always loved the thought of having a little woodland area, preferably one full of ancient trees but to create that ancientness (!) for the future would be amazing. I find scale a difficult thing to sort too Elizabeth - what's in my head rarely is what appears. As for finding time - well, blogging clears my head so I make time for that and anything creative where I can (including gardening which is a real passion of mine) xx

  13. As one who complains about never having enough time to do much, I usually seem to find the time to write - like now, when I should be unpacking from our skiing holiday. I can't even resist commenting on the online newspaper sites. Not that anyone cares what I think.
    The walkway looks lovely though - and a darn sight more enticing than anything to do with taxes.

  14. Your no-makeup-makeup is a great analogy! But I think I know exactly where you're coming from - something that's looks effortless, uncontrived and belongs. By the sounds of it you and Zoë have the perfect working partnership. Exciting indeed. Good planning, making and enjoying.

  15. Hi Elizabeth

    Have I really missed so many of your lovely blogs!!? Just gone through and read them all and then gone back and commented.

    You write with such self assurance and confidence now...and good to see so many new people visiting you!

    I wish I could find more time to do the things I love to do...perhaps the trouble is I have too many interests it is an impossible ask?

    Must do more writing...that's my real passion...and I love yours...

    warmest wishes

  16. I am rubbish at gardens - but like laurie I really would like to be good at gardening. I just get so confused and love all the plants and want them all and can't seem to plan out anything . . .so I envy you and Zoë being able to understand each other on this level. Lots of work in progress pictures please.

  17. Hmmm... what can I always find time for.... Well obviously coming and visiting kind and generous friends in Wales. And making/eating cake of course. Preferably a combination of the two.
    Thanks for a wonderful read Liz and a super dooper stay in your beautiful home.
    I think you should publish your blog as memoirs. I've been reading out entries to Aidy for about an hour as he washes Cnicht off his walking boots and tries to fold up our dry-but-still-somewhat-muddy-looking tent.
    Probably ought to stop reading and go and help him.....
    Much love
    Hannah xxx


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