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

thumb_IMG_0402_1024
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.

thumb_IMG_0399_1024
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!

thumb_IMG_0201_1024
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

thumb_IMG_0113_1024

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

 

Flowers · Garden · Inspiration · Writing

Planting Patience

 

thumb_IMG_9494_1024
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?

thumb_IMG_9522_1024
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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden · Inspiration · Nature

Hidden Gems

Hidden in the winter soil.

This Sedum, a gift,  from my parents’ garden.

Perhaps it hasn’t survived, I thought. Then, this.

thumb_IMG_8807_1024
Sedum after the rain

Worth the wait!

So if a gardener can wait, patiently, for the gems hidden below the surface to emerge, can a writer too? Is the preparation and maintenance work the same for the gardener as for the writer?

Words don’t come from nowhere. As a friend of mine, Rae Cowie, writes in her blog, you have to ‘fill the creative well‘.

Water and nourish to flourish with books, discussion, observation, experiences, emotions and, of course, time.

There’s more to this writing lark than sitting at a desk so I’m off out – and then, I’ll be back!

Wishing you all a lovely week and the best of luck in finding your own ‘hidden gems’.

 

 

thumb_IMG_8869_1024
Hellebores in flower

 

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.

thumb_IMG_8841_1024
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?

thumb_IMG_8831_1024
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?

 

thumb_IMG_8832_1024
Potatoes – hopefully!