Showing posts from February, 2012

What is the opposite of a show garden?

Today the sun shone and for the first time this year I worked in the garden.  I was moving snowdrops, splitting some of the larger clumps into bunches of seven or eight bulbs.  This year I have tried moving them "in the white", that is while still in flower.  I have split them very successfully and moved them in the green before but the beauty of moving them while still in flower is that I can see the effect that I have in my head beginning to appear on the ground.  They do indeed look good against the red stems of the dogwoods.  The bed which I grandly call the native tree walk is coming along slowly.  I wandered up and down, establishing that, yes, the winter aconites which I put in last year are coming up, and that of course there is scope to put in many more spring bulbs, more snowdrops, more irises and perhaps more daffodils.  I haven't decided yet about the daffodils.  If I do add some they will be tiny daffodils, either Hawera or the native daffodil, narcissus pseu

Beating the February blues

In April 2012 I shall have been writing my blog for five years.  Blogging is just built into the fabric of my life now.  If I haven't blogged for a few days I begin to feel a bit itchy, not quite guilty but certainly aware that there is something due, a bit like when you know you need to phone a friend and haven't got round to it. Five years of writing means you can look back.  Mostly I look back at the garden and the end of month view posts.  But you can also look back at what you were doing and how you were feeling at the same time last year, and the year before and the year before that.  I have been looking back today and the pattern is clear as day: in February I get grumpy. It is the lack of light and warmth I think.  It hasn't been a hard winter up here in North Wales so far but it still seems a long time since it was light in the evening and warm enough to sit outside.  I have had enough of a sky like a dustbin lid and enough of mud and murk.  The garden remains

Going away

If this blog has a colour it is green, the soft lush green of Wales.  If it has a theme it is the garden and the landscape and the kitchen - growing things, cooking things, eating them with family and friends.  Sometimes I think the rhythms of my life now are so seasonal and repetitive that they are not very interesting to others but this is how it is, so green and gold and grey are the colours.  This is a fawn and brown, bleached gold and blue blog today.  We went to Fuerteventura.  The reasons were entirely pragmatic: flights out of Liverpool at civilised times of day; a warmer, brighter climate.  I don't know what I expected really.  I had never been to the Canaries.  If I don't have deep countryside or wilderness I like cities, great European cities like Paris or London or Rome.  It was a very short break away from the various responsibilities of family.  I hadn't done any of the usual stuff, hadn't read up the history, learnt a bit of the language, bought any b

What do you wear when gardening?

Wellywoman blogged recently about what to wear when gardening   What a topic!  I didn't realise I had so many favourites and habits until I got going but the more I thought about it the more it felt like it should be a blog of its own.  Left as a comment it was going to be longer than the blog itself. So first of all gardening requires very comfy trousers.  This was fine until recently.  I have a pair of old M&S stretch jeans and would have said they fitted the bill.  The only problem is that they are just a little too big in the waist so tend to inch their way down.  They are, however, suitably battered which is essential for gardening trousers as, no matter how many times I tell myself I won't, at some point in any gardening session I will end up kneeling down.  The problem came when I bought a new pair of jeans, intended to be my smartish jeans.  Not the smartest pair of all you understand, not the ones that I might wear with heeled boots, but the next pair down, to be