Flowers · Garden · Vegetables

Fair Weather Gardening

I am a fair weather gardener – okay, pretty much a fair weather everything, but that is, as they say, another story!

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The bee and the Bird’s-foot trefoil

So the arrival of autumn brings with it a dilemma for me. I love being out in the garden but not on cold days so, will I plant winter crops? A nice dilemma to have, I admit.

This spring and summer has brought us fabulous weather and much bigger crops of fruit and vegetables than we’ve ever had before in our garden. So, maybe this is the year?

Normally I stick to planting bulbs hoping for my own mini Keukenhof! Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths and snakeshead fritillaries for outside and hyacinths for inside. This year though, I think it may be time to be brave and plant some winter crops.

The thought of trying out a new plant is exciting, a wee trip to the garden centre (always lovely!) will it be seeds, a small plant, or a splash out treat of a more fully grown one? Something to look forward to as the nights begin to draw in and the glove drawer is opened once again.

Of course, as I write this the sun is warming my hands on this keyboard, making me smile as I look out onto the crazy chaotic wilderness of our wildflower garden.

Still, a gardener must be an optomist, so, here goes.

 

 

This years’ produce has given me inspiration!

Friendship · Garden · Nature · Poetry · Seasons

Starting September

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September spiders, weaving webs from window to washing line.

A new academic year, time to refresh, rethink, reconsider.

Will we look at the web we’ve built for ourselves?

This is a new beginning, brighter, warmer, sunnier than January 1st. Life is full of hope and possibilities. New opportunities.

September sun shining after a cleansing downpour and it’s time to declutter. Do I need quite so many things? Can they be recycled, reused?

It’s the same with the garden. Time to tidy up, wash out all the pots ready for next year.

Amidst these thoughts for the future, I’m going to take a moment to think of all the good things. Yes, it’s exhilarating to plan new adventures but I think the starting point must be where I celebrate all the lovely people in my life and the successes, large and small.

Wishing you a happy, sunny and successful September! What will you celebrate?

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
–  Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

 

bees · Wildflowers

Wildflowers

 

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Where flowers bloom, so does hope. 

Lady Bird Johnson

All summer I have asked in every garden centre I’ve been to (and there’s been a few!) if they had any Borage plants or seeds.

I must have been too late though as there was no sign of either.

I had read Borage is brilliant for bees so was quite enthusiastic to have some in my garden. Eventually I thought, I’ll just have to wait for next year.

Imagine my surprise when on returning from two weeks away my little wildflower garden (planted with a packet of un-named seeds) had turned from this to this!

I had a sneaking suspicion that the little blue star flowers might in fact be Borage and they are! It was growing in my garden all along! Right under my nose.

Funny how often things turn out after all.

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Borage (Borago officinalis) also known as star flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Molly appreciates the wildflowers too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A cottage garden!

 

Houseplants · Nature

Health and Houseplants

 

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Spider plant and babies. (Chlorophytum)

I grew up in a house with trailing spider plants, busy lizzies and goodness knows what.

One house we rented had a resident cheese plant so big it grew along the ceiling. It was a bit nerve wracking trying to keep that alive!

Anyway, I resisted having houseplants in our new home. I concentrated on working in the garden but I guess I missed the house plants.

So, after my daughters started to buy all the trendy succulents and had been encouraged by their Grandpa to try cactii, I finally bought some and … I’m loving them.

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My new Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

 

There’s a calmness about the shades of green, a generosity in the way the leaves open out to the world.

What a delight to look at the flower on this Peace Lily.

House plants are said to have many benefits to human health.

One of them is that we exhale carbon dioxide and they use it up in photosynthesis and give us more oxygen.

 

 

Another is better memory retention – now, I just have to get into the way of remembering to water them!

Do you have a favourite house plant you would recommend?

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Might just have bought this the other day! Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

 

 

 

 

 

 

butterflies · Fairies · Nature

Butterfies and Fairies

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Small Tortoiseshell

 

Do you ever just know you are in the right place at the right time? Sometimes you’re lucky.

This Small Tortoiseshell butterfly did a tour of my garden before settling down for a rest.

I’ve always been fascinated by the symmetry and beauty of butterflies. Maybe because as a child I loved stories about fairies. If you look closely at the depictions of a fairy’s wings then really they are the wings of a butterfly. And so, it always seems to me there is something magical, something of another world about them.

Perhaps seeing a butterfly reminds me of those childhood days, lost in a book of fairy stories, transported to another world.

Just for an instant as they grace our presence.

 

I recently read had the pleasure of reading a beautiful book, ‘Cicely Mary Barker and her Art’ by Jane Laing. I’ve posted my review on GoodReads.

Ever wished you could name the butterfly that is fluttering by you?

Well, the Big Butterfly Count  is on until the end of August. There is a handy App you can download.

Butterflies must flutter into my thoughts  more than I realise. One of my very first blog posts  was about butterflies and there have been more since!

A Butterfly Moment

A Kaleidescope of Butterfly Moments

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”  ~Hans Christian Andersen, The Complete Fairy Tales

Time for a short story? One of my favourites is The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link.

 

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Take some ‘thyme out’.
Flowers · Garden · Inspiration · Writing

Planting Patience

 

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First ever cornflower grown from seed.

Do you stop, hold your breath, count to ten, raise your eyes to the sky?

What helps you to be patient?

Do we have time for patience in this world?

At the graduation day of my nephew last week the speaker included this quote:

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Gardening and writing are both a game of patience.

Think of the countless authors who have folders full of rejection letters, think of the gardener planting seeds.

Patience and hope are needed. Will your writing develop into something truly worthwhile? Will the seed you planted or the cutting you took grow into something beautiful?

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Honeysuckle grown from a cutting

I have just been so delighted by this honeysuckle – I took a cutting from the one in my garden last year, dipped it in some rooting powder and stuck it in my raised bed.

Hey presto!

A beautiful flower and even better, I got to divide it in two; one for my garden and one to give to my parents.

 

Definitely a win for patience and hope.

Now just to keep on writing!