Showing posts from May, 2011

End of month view for May

Here is the side garden.  The hardy geraniums are blasting away, the peonies are just finishing and the poppies are about to come into flower.  Come closer and you can see it all surging upward. And closer still Out in the field the daffodils are long since over, the apple blossom is gone but the wild flowers in the orchard are coming into flower. You need to take the path to get in amongst them to see them properly. This is fox and cubs which I mentioned in an earlier post. Around them the ox eye daisies are just about to open, late I know to those who live lower down and further south. A spire of self sown white foxglove pushes up through grasses and plantain. The cutting garden is still more promise than plenty.  It will be good this year I hope.  Everything in it is timed to be in flower for Ian's birthday on 1st July.  I realise this makes me sound like a Chelsea wannabee and really it will flower whenever it wants to and the weather allows, but that is the

Over the hills and a great way off....

A day off booked and in the diary and a weather forecast full of wind and rain.  I am going to visit Karen at Artist's Garden to see her and to look at her garden, last seen in cold and empty February .  The weather map on the BBC site shows a violent pulse of blue and green storm sweeping the North West corner of Wales in the morning.   After breakfast here in the North East corner it is windy, the air cool and brisk with the promise of rain, as I let the hens out, open up the greenhouse and decide that I will go, rain or no rain. Westward, rising high on the Denbigh moors and the wind is snatching at the car.  It is too high and bleak here for trees.  Buffetted sheep huddle by piles of stones, pummelled by the wind.  I head down to the A5 and find the short cut through Ysbyty Ifan is closed to traffic.  The sainted sat nav sends me down towards Dolgellau.  As the car descends below the treeline there are branches on the road and new leaves whipping through the air, torn from t


I went to Malvern.  I took some pictures and thought some thoughts but I have read a number of Malvern blogs now and don't think I have anything much to say that hasn't been very eloquently said already.  I can tell you that Monty Don is not as tall as I thought he was, that I don't like blackboards and lava lamps in gardens, that there were fewer nettles and wildflowers in this year's show gardens than there were last year.  This last observation is a bit sad as I had felt very on trend last year.  I wasn't too keen on the garden dominated by a pterodactyl, although it did include some shapes of real beauty.  I could have moved into the Garden for Life and lived there.  Malvern's version of the Wicker Man was truly fantastic. So I am going to tell you about my lifelong changing relationship with exercise, just because I have been thinking about it. When I was a child I used to run down the road along the edge of the common and know that I was running like t

May, doing too much, stuff

Today I drove the border between England and Wales, a glorious green journey.  I stopped and drank coffee from a flask in a layby full of lorries, overlooking fields singing with vivid blocks of green and gold, the Black Mountains of Wales rising away towards the horizon, half hidden by scuds of rain against the sunshine. I thought about family.  My brother is still in hospital, four months on from his stroke.  Today he made me laugh and, driving home when no one could see, made me cry.  I marvelled at his wife's strength and his own determination to hold onto himself. I thought about all the things I am doing and not doing, gathering in lists of duty and interest and clamour.  I will carve out time to plant things and to weed endlessly, mindnumbingly, and have been mining for hogweed root in the native tree walk and planting hardy geraniums.  I will cook and clean and prepare the cottage and talk to my parents and children on the phone.  Somehow I have not rung the bank or sol

Rain, wine, friends, cake

Rain - teasing me, throwing drops on the greenhouse roof, darkening the flags, tossing the twisted willow, passing over leaving the sweetpeas still gasping. Wine - a glass by myself, FIL sleeping, my visiting parents in the cottage, Ian away.  Cliche tells you drinking alone is a bad thing, this feels like entirely earned luxury. Friends - a day snatched yesterday from normal life with people I would not have met without blogging but who are now woven into my life.  Lots of laughter, some sounding off, driving home smiling. Cake - made two lemon cakes which sank spectacularly.  Tasted wonderful as had to fill the hole with icing.

End of month view for April

So much dry weather and, over the last few days, so much wind.  With our stony free draining soil my garden is desperate for rain.  Today we will do things in order.  Come out of the kitchen door with me and turn left into the side garden.  Ignore, if you can, the lengths of cast iron guttering piled on the rotting table, waiting to be painted and giving a gentle air of Steptoe and Son to the area by the door. Here is the side garden, oddly quiet and green just now.  The hellebores are still holding on to their flowers in the foreground but the daffodils and tulips have all gone over and the peonies and the oriental poppies which will be the next overflowing of colour have not yet started. So most of what is happening is foliage: fennel and hellebore and dicentra here.   For the first time that I can remember it was obvious today that the hellebores and peonies were wilting in the searing wind, after weeks of dry weather.  I always mulch in here in spring and that is usually enou