Showing posts from January, 2012

A year in the life of a tree

Over at Patiopatch Laura is recording a year in the life of a wych elm.  Recording requires close looking and I thought I would join in if only to ensure that I really looked at my trees.  Trees are crucial but it is easy to regard them as a pleasant backdrop to the real business of flowers.  That might be so in a tiny courtyard garden where it is possible to control everything but my garden is so close to natural landscape that you could lose the flowers (sadly) and retain a sense of the place but lose the trees and it would become a wasteland. The first question was which tree to choose.  I was tempted by one of the huge oaks beyond the field or a towering ash but in the end I decided to restrict myself to trees on our land.  The big sycamore at the bottom of the drive is a lovely tree.   I know people are snotty about sycamore: it is not a native, and not even as old an incomer as the field maple which was brought in by the Romans.  But the tree has a comforting bulk about it and

Thinking about the garden

Gardening in January is a miserable thing.  Paths are muddy, soil is cold,  and all those things you didn't cut down in the autumn so as to be wildlife friendly and which you hoped would stand whorled with frost against a low sun droop and drip sadly in a soggy, bedraggled tangle.  All the talk about winter gardens and structure which you can ignore in the summer when your garden is flowering its socks off comes back to haunt you.  Yes you do need the hardlandscaping and paths you can't find the time or money to sort out.  Yes indeed, you should have more evergreens.  I usually cope with January by staying inside by the stove.  This year in particular I have been knitting. I made a Moebius cowl, partly because I loved my first neck warmer so much and partly because I have always been fascinated by the Moebius strip which apparently has no beginning and no end.  Actually knitting one was amazing.  I still don't really understand how it works as you knit it on a doubled


A few weeks ago Karen at An Artist's Garden blogged about time: not having enough of it, finding it all used up on some of the things she loves while other things she wants to do are forgotten and undone.  Judging from the number of comments made, she struck a chord with a lot of us.   I have always been obsessed with time.  I remember as a teenager reading Andrew Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress" Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down and think which way To walk,and pass our long love's day; Thou by the Indian Ganges'side Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the Flood; And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow. An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast,

End of month view for December and what is in flower on 2nd January

For most of 2010 and 2011 I took part in the end of month view in the garden, hosted by Helen at Patientgardener   It has been fascinating to have a record of the passing months although I must admit I slipped a bit at the end of last year.  My garden sadly does not have fabulous bones, even though it is in a fabulous place, and particularly when autumn and winter are windy and wet it all looks rather soggy and sad.  So I have decided to cheer myself up by posting pictures of what is in flower in the different areas as well and to my surprise a lot was in flower when I went out with my camera on the 2nd January 2012. Here is the side garden.  How I wish for a crisp gravel path running up towards the gate and out into the field to the workshop.  At this time of year the grass is muddy and worn.  Truly uninspiring. But there are things in flower if you take the time to look. In the foreground of the picture, behind the sweet box, the first of the hellebores has started to

Resolution time again

I have been blogging nearly five years!  Astonishing.  One of the results of this is that,  as with any form of diary keeping, I have a record so I have been reading back through the resolutions I have made (or not made) in January 2008 and January 2010 .  I don't seem to have made any at all in 2009 and certainly every now and then I just decide not to.   I did make some last year.  Here they are with some thoughts about how they went.  That might just be the decider as to whether to make 2012 a "resolving" or a "not resolving" year! I will make more time with friends and, if going away from home is a bit tricky just now, more invitations for people to come here.   Mmm patchy results with this one.  I have managed to get away and to spend some time with friends.  For the very first time, a year has gone by in which I haven't seen one of my oldest friends although I am about to do something about that.  I think I could resolve this one all over again!