bees · Flowers · Garden · Wildflowers · wildlife

There are leaves scattered on the grass. September is a time of change. It is a time when people leave and scatter. This is a natural process, one I, as others do, have to learn to live with. Change can be a forward movement, exciting, often nerve wracking but energising too.

We’re in the middle of a ‘tropical plume’ as the radio DJ called it – very warm this week but today there’s a smirr of rain. It does bring out the shades of green in the garden. After seven years it’s a much more mature garden.

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Comfrey – Symphytum officinale

The sunflower peeps over the fence, hopefully making our neighbours smile. Usually I plant the seeds in the vegetable bed so we see the sunflower’s bright, cheery faces too.

This year our small vegetable plot has really been taken over by the giant muppet-like monster that is the comfrey. I am totally taken with it – the bees have loved it. Apparently after a bee has drunk the nectar, the flower produces new nectar in two minutes. I’ve used the torn up comfrey leaves as slow releasing feed, ripped up on the base of the tomatoes plants and in the bottom of planting holes and, as the plant itself likes to do, I’ve spread the message far and wide!

Good Earth Dahlia

A giant pompom dahlia flower is bobbing its head at me from over in the corner, chatting to the enormous daisies which were a gift from a friend. The garden has a wild, overgrown look at the moment but I much prefer the soft lines of this to one that is too clipped and severe. It reminds me of the Oscar Wilde fairytale of the Selfish Giant.

Are there any particular flowers you love in your garden?

I am reading ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn and the poems of Emily Dickinson.

bees · butterflies · Garden · Latin names

Our Natural Time and Tide

September the start of the new academic year but the end of the summer, the seasons sweep me along, caught in the rise and fall of the tide of time. I am excited, new beginnings, time to tidy the garden after the fullness of summer, time to pare down, to cut back and move on. Time to let go but also to plan.

Taking the time to watch the bees and butterflies.

I’ve learned of the importance of the change of seasons on physical health, to me it has an immense bearing on mental health too. We move, behave, react to the natural rhythms of the seasons, the tides of the year.

 

Yesterday I watched the swallows balancing on the line, today I’ll search for the glistening September spider webs.

 

It is a beautiful morning. thumb_IMG_4692_1024The honeysuckle (Lonicera Caprifolium) has grown over the fence and this year we could smell the delicate fragrance drifting on the summer evenings as we passed through the gate.

Now small perfect cherry-red berries have emerged, plump and juicy, a feast for the birds. Sunshine illuminates it on the morning side; the east. The west will have to wait for later in the day to feel the full glow of the light. To sit at the kitchen table and look out of the window at greenery has been my aim since we moved here, it’s getting there.

 

A garden, like everything else, takes time.

 

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This sunflower grew in the pot with the cordon pear tree – a lovely surprise!

I am reading Guardians of the Wild Unicorns by Lindsay Littleson and Swimming with Seals by Victoria Whitworth.

bees · Books · Flowers · Garden

Back to Bees

I never think of myself as a non-fiction reader and yet here I am, having recently finished reading Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and one of my favourite summer reads this year was ‘Robbing The Bees’ by Holley Bishop. It’s a mixture of fact and fiction (faction, narrative non-fiction?) published in 2005 and hugely enjoyable. thumb_IMG_2221_1024

The thing is though, it only heightened my wish to have bee hives. I’m like a child who wants a pet and is not thinking at all about the practicalities.

One of the things I love about going to farmshops and summer fairs is the chance to buy local honey and after reading Bishop’s book I’ve been left thinking that I should eat more honey, with all its health benefits. In fact I think I’m going to try to have a spoonful of honey every day.  What a lovely thought!

 

Bees on the Comfrey and the Borage

bees · Wildflowers · Writing

Ten Minutes to Spring

How do I feel? I want to catch this moment! Paint it, sing it, tell it, share it!

The sun is warm – yes! – and blinding me as I write this.

Ten minutes in the garden, I’ve been telling myself. It’s a way to get started. Well, it always stretches, doesn’t it? That’s a good thing though.

So, today it was the turn of our ‘wildflower patch’. thumb_IMG_0201_1024It was so successful last year but over the winter it had become covered in long grasses and piles of damp leaves.

I picked up the long handled rake ready to attack then suddenly noticed a fresh green shoot sticking up. Of course! I had planted some bulbs in the autumn. I’d nearly forgotten about them. What a gift!

With care, I raked away. More and more shoots began to appear and the ground cleared easily.

I’m a bit nervous, will the wildflower area be as good as last year with so many insects enjoying the flowers? Well, I guess only time will tell but now I feel at least we’re off to a good start.

So my thought for the day? Begin with ten minutes and scrape away carefully, let’s see what’s underneath. It’s a trick I’m trying with my writing.

 

 

Looking forward to using this – a gift from a lovely friend!

 

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!

 

bees · Flowers · Happy

Bee Happy

I wrote a blog post last week and for some reason it didn’t save.

Not a great start to a Monday morning when I was hoping to just check it over and publish.

Still, oddly enough the post was about little things and how they can make you happy. In the scheme of things I decided, this was not a big thing and certainly wasn’t going to make me unhappy.

In fact, in a cup half full sort of way, perhaps it was a good thing? Maybe the post wasn’t that great anyway and now this was a chance to start afresh?

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Top 20 things to make you happy

A few years ago I cut out this clipping from a newspaper. For a while I hung it up in the kitchen and then I used it as a bookmark. I hadn’t seen it for sometime and had forgotten about it until thinking about this post.

On my way to try and find it amongst the mountain of books on my bedside table it was there; lying on the floor in front of me!

Somehow it must have blown off the table as I picked up a book that morning! Bizarre, definitely meant to be anyway!

 

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Taking part in the bee count makes me happy!

 

 

Taking part in the Great British Bee Count has made me really pay attention to the beauty and intricacy of flowers. I’ve spent a few moments each time watching the bee at work, an amazing sight and well worth taking the time to see. Definitely a small thing I would like to add to this top 20.

 

 

 

So, here we are, blog post written, photos included, a small thing but certainly one to make me happy – I could add it to the list above.

I’d love to know, what small thing makes you happy, is it on this list or something different? 

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The beauty of an allium.