Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It's been over a week!

but i had no internet. I'm back now, so here are a couple of little bits to amuse. A glowing rose from my garden, which was given me for a fortieth birthday present a 11 years ago - no it's not my birthday but it's just come into flower and is so beautiful
 and  a little gem - literally, found buried amongst some of my "stuff" that I've been sorting through, I remember spending what feels like hours now, holding it close to my eye and watching the reflected room change and blend as I twisted it slowly between my fingers.
I love the contrast of the two colours, each glowing in its own way

Friday, 17 June 2011

first fruits

shed shadows
meanwhile, in the garden, things are growing beautifully

tiny green tomatoes

strawberries ripe!

The moon bed is just starting to show it's possibilities, these slender stems catching the evening sunlight look like little waifs at the moment, but their colour shines and the soft papery bracts, where flowers have been, hold the light for you to admire

The wonderful thing about gardens, which you just begin to understand after years of watching plantings fail or thrive, is that they are about time. These little plants, tentative in their field of brown earth, will hopefully bulk up and thrive over the next few years, until they fill, and perhaps overspill their space, and then there will be numerous stems twisting and twining about themselves and shimmering in the evening breeze, while the delphiniums stand stately behind them, glowing in the light

Nearer the house, Rum gives the betweens of his toes a quick licking, 
What does fur feel like against a tongue?
overhead, a lone plane rumbles along "away above the chimney tops"
and honeysuckle, clematis and jasmine promise colour and scent for future evenings
here clambering over netting, twining through the branches of two conifers, which I cut right back to bare wood and now use as supports
In Montmartre, in the spring, a few years ago, the streets were dotted with pots of jasmine, at the entrances to shops and on windowsills. Their scent so evocative, I bought this plant to remind me - two years later it is once more giving me flowers.


Done just in time for tomorrow, to hand in for this, which looks rather exciting for a hermit like me!

He has all seeing multiplicatory eyes, that watch the world in a very different way
 as he follows his companions buzzing across fields and rivers,

and charts the silvery trails of their flight
 feeding on flowers as he goes

up, up into a sky full of clouds like daisies

He's a very curious bee and really has been FUN!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sunset, walnuts and roses

Yesterday evening the sunset was so beautiful. I am always delighted by the view from upstairs in this place - it is so changeable and always holds my interest. The rain was moving in from the North, great clouds piling high on the horizon and the sinking sun caught them in its embrace and set the sky behind  them shining for a brief while.
 as the crows winged their way to their evening roosts
It rained overnight, not enough, but some, and today the garden was looking refreshed again so I thought I'd share some of it's delights with you.

Remember the walnut flowers I was so pleased about? Well they are now bearing fruit. Yes I know they are rather small, but they will grow and if the squirrel doesn't steal them all we may have some to eat come the autumn
The walnut tree is at the very bottom of the garden, along with this rose, which is almost swamped by elder, bramble and ash, yet holds it's glowing flower up to the air and has the most sublime scent. It is in deep shadow, and glows like a soft beckoning light within the undergrowth
On the way down there you walk along a raised path above the kitchen garden with a tangle of shrubs that form a touch and go boundary between us and the next door property. The hydrangeas there are just starting to open their buds, evolving from the most delicate green with a hint of yellow
to a tender china blue, which I guess will deepen as the season progresses.
In the kitchen garden this simple white rose, which I shared with you a while ago
has shown itself in its full glory. It romps and rambles about behind the greenhouse, over, under and through, reaching right up through the branches of the spruce to the sky above. It could be straight from Sleeping Beauty and would defy the most amorous and determined of Princes.
I am hoping it will be full of hips to feed the birds in the autumn.

Meanwhile at the top of the garden more roses are appearing. This was a minute spindly thing, shrouded by a great ugly shrub of no apparent virtues at all, which we had chopped down to manageable size. The rose has responded beyond anything I might have expected, and holds up these clusters of buds, just beginning to show a lovely clear, yet quiet shade of red
To think we might have just rooted out the slender stems, thinking "Ah, that'll come to nothing". I am glad I've learnt to let things be, and allow them to speak to me before making judgements. I look forward to seeing them all in bloom.

Finally, just to make you smile, Rum was not at all pleased when his brother hopped up to the place where he was taking his ease - a reproving look from the boss!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A fishy tale

When I was young I had neighbours whose household was a deep, and delightful contrast to mine. We were a three "woman" house of quietness and calm, no raised voices, no mess, very careful and serene, three females, three generations in a three storey Victorian terrace that had been in the family since the early 1900's. Mum and Ganna played the piano, I practiced the piano when nagged to by Mum, who taught me; drew, dreamed and  read ... a.lot. Our neighbours were a rumbustious, overflowing, full of life family, at least seven, often more as the mother of the household took in waifs and strays, fostering several children over the years, hosting numerous language students every summer and having a pair of "live in ladies" who were slightly simple, and helped with the housework in return for bed and board. One of them crocheted a yellow blanket for my daughter, known as "Bla Bla" which she still tucks under her pillow at night in her student digs in York.

This family had pets. I mean they had PETS! Not for them the over protected, single female cat who had to be got in at night, and for whom all other trespassers to the garden had to be banished with the "cat extinguisher" - a washing up liquid bottle full of water, wielded with a  fierceness that was quite startling, by my blue eyed, fragile looking Mum. No, this family had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, the odd grass snake and a tank of tropical fish! I would go next door, always careful to ring the bell, always told, generously, to "just come in Kath, you know you're welcome". I would cuddle the dogs and take them for walks, peer in awe at the cages in the back yard full of sawdust and mysterious rustlings, and watch mesmerised as these wonderful scraps of neon brights and floaty fins moved effortlessly round the tank, while a "thing" made bubbles in the corner. I longed for a tank of my own, complete with angel fish, tetras, guppies and all the other strange aquatic creatures that swam "Next Door". But, NO came the reply. They would cause mess - an unforgivable sin, and use up power with that bubbling "thing" in the corner, and supposing there was a power cut, candles would do them no good at all, and of course we couldn't possibly go on holiday because who would look after them then? The logic of Mum's arguments was always unarguable.

Eventually I managed to persuade Mum that a small bowl with goldfish would be allowable, but ONLY if I looked after them properly and cleaned the tank out regularly and made sure I fed them and all those other things that - I have to confess - I was slightly lackadaisical about! So, I got my goldfish, and eventually a small tank to keep them in. and water weed, and pond snails and funny coloured gravel at the bottom. But, true to Mum's expectations, I was a dreadful fish keeper, the tank grew green and slimy, the gravel turned a nasty black and Mum ended up cleaning it when I "didn't get round to it". The poor fish got sick and died, little soggy bodies floating to the surface to be taken out and ceremonially buried "up the back" in the rough ground behind the house - my neighbour officiating as chief mourner. I learnt that fish were probably not my forte. However, while fantasising about the wonderful fish I might have, if only Mum would let me, some of that long quiet time was spent with felt pens and a piece of paper. I fund the result in one of the many suitcases that came from Mum's, tucked away with a little bit of her love.

Here it is!

complete with careful taxonomic and entirely imaginary labelling! A gift to the future from a twelve year old me!  

Monday, 6 June 2011

four bees twice!

My bees are starting to buzz about, they have a landscape to fly over
four of them are pretty well complete
but the other four need their own landscape to keep them happy
and the housework is shouting more loudly than they are!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

My 100th!

gosh, I'm getting very old! So for my hundredth post, come for a walk in my garden

These two sleep on the well in the warm, guarding the source at the very top of the garden, just by the back door
the little Japanese lady still welcomes us to Wol's walk, but a renewed, refreshed walk, first the weed membrane and stones,
 now filled and planted,
 moistened by rain

warmed by the sun
Wol in his cage has  nearly disappeared behind a curtain of ferns
While across the garden
the moon bed has been cleared

and planted
and down the steps and into the productive part of the plot, my good soul has planted vegetables, here in evening shade,

and filled the greenhouse with many good things
the hydrangea are budding
the rambling rose is in bloom, 
evening sunlight glances through the branches, catching the trunks of the ash tree

and the spruce has plump green cones dangling from it's branches. I wonder what will feed from them later in the year
Back to the top, and that hole has been filled, but not yet covered
and at last we have a wonderful long shower of rain, just to help everything flow