Flowers · Garden · Happy · Nature · Photography · Writing

Simply Not Perfect

Life isn’t perfect.

When I started writing this blog I was very aware I didn’t want it to be a relentless round of cheery posts with no indication of the reality of life.

On the way I’ve found it to be so much harder to write a blog post about sadness. I don’t want to be the person spreading sadness and yet there are always things that upset, worry and make me sad.

No one has fabulous days every day.

It’s the tough days that make me appreciate the good ones all the more

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Searching for the sun.

So if I post a photo of my garden, I’ll usually take it on a bright, sunny day. Sometimes I’ll have to wait for quite a few days for the sun to appear and when it does I’m out there,  really appreciating the light.

For every flower, fruit, vegetable and so on I’ve been proud of, there have been the plants I’ve put in the wrong position, or not fed correctly, or something (who knows what!) and they’ve not survived.

However, every seed, every bulb, every plant has been planted with optimism – I’m going for the cup is half full!

I guess there’s ups and downs in nature and in life but I’m going to keep on plugging away.

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A close up of  a murmuration of starlings at Aberdeen beach. (Not a very sunny day!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Flowers · Photography · Trees

I’m just saying …

Introducing my Magnolia Stellata.

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Now, here’s the reality. thumb_IMG_8974_1024

Okay, so there’s only one flower so far this year! I planted this tree in September 2015. We lived in Holland for a while and I loved the Magnolia trees there so much I had to plant one when I started working on my new garden.

Taking a photo of this one flower and putting it up on this blog brought me to thinking about the saying, Never judge a book by its cover.’

In fact I love sayings, especially ones like What’s for you won’t pass you by’ and Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’

There’s something about the sheer common sense of them. There’s a comfort in knowing they’ve been passed down the years, a thread, a link with our past that we can give to the future.

Do you remember the people who said them to you?

These sayings are timeless, just like flowers. Little gifts to share and pass on to our future generations.

Flowers · Garden · Inspiration

Sowing Seeds

I wonder, is a gardener a secret optimist? I know gardening is supposed to be good for your mental health and I think it must be because it certainly gives us the gift of hope.

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Cornflower seeds

The very act of planting a seed, the mystery of opening the seed packet, tipping up the seeds – what will you find inside? Will they be fat beans, round nasturtiums, tiny poppy seeds or maybe the tiny shaving brushes of cornflower seeds?

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Delphiniums – grown from seed last year and actually survived the winter too

Scatter, place or drop, cover with soil. Water these presents of Nature, give the gift of life, clear, splashing, tumbling down onto the dark soil, ready for the magic to begin. 

Something will probably grow. Maybe not all the seeds you planted. Perhaps some will be eaten, some may wither if you forget to water them, but there is a chance. After all:

“Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”

(D. Everett, The Columbian Orator, 1797)

It’s a beginning, a start. What more could you ask for?

I wonder then, is a writer an optimist too? Seeds of ideas appear, you have to be brave enough to plant them, water them, feed them give them life. When you open up your mind to writing, what do the seeds look like? Will you allow them to open up to the world?

 

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Potatoes – hopefully!