These are in a vase on our dining table today: I can understand you might look twice, trying to work out what they are. I’ll tell you: they are peonies after all the petals have fallen. What was left as the petals began to fall was so beautiful that we decided to keep them for a few more days to enjoy the architectural form. This … Continue reading In a vase on Monday : peonies from France to West Sussex #IAVOM
Somehow, during lockdown, I’ve been completely unable to write a blog post. I don’t really know why. Perhaps one reason is that for me to retain my sanity in these strange days, these days when I should have been building my new non-working life, I’m focusing all my efforts on the here and now, counting the blessings I have, enjoying where I am. Perhaps writing … Continue reading Six on Saturday, life in lockdown, volunteers, and self seeders
2020 is a year that marks a new beginning for me; much more time at my disposal and a long list of things I wanted to incorporate into my days. By the end of March I would have expected to have been at the French house several times, quite worn out from heavy-duty gardening for hours on end, but oh-so-satisfied with the progress that would … Continue reading Here? There? Roadblocks in a no-man’s land …
#IAVOM – In A Vase on Monday – is a great idea which I’ve used a few times. You pick some flowers from your garden, arrange them, photograph them, and then write about them. I’ve cheated once or twice using bought flowers, mainly because the opportunity to use garden flowers for me is limited, and until recently my time has been very limited too. Its … Continue reading #IAVOM – almost 5 months later!
Just four days after my 22nd birthday I moved into my second house, one I was to stay living in for almost 39 years. 13 days before Christmas, cold and dark, life remained mostly on the inside. Christmas Eve brought the arrival of a 9-week old Irish Setter, a surprise Christmas present (not something I would either recommend or wish on anyone). The puppy arrived … Continue reading Chionodoxas: a sparkling thread linking my homes across the years
We had many snowdrops in our Surrey garden from where we moved nearly five years ago, as the first stage in our French adventure. Mostly they were Galanthus nivalis (i.e. the common snowdrop) but I’d also introduced a few choicer cultivars. I don’t remember where the first snowdrops came from, whether they were already in the garden in 1975 when we moved there, or whether … Continue reading Snowdrops and me; is this a virus?
Taking on the development of a 3-acre garden in another country was never going to be for the faint-hearted. At the best of times we can only be there between a third and (absolute maximum) half of the year. The land is fertile, the rainfall plentiful, and the temperatures temperate throughout most of the year. So the plants grow fast. We can only do what … Continue reading Compost, communication, and pain
Planting bulbs is one of my least favourite activities. The task usually falls to my trusty OH, with my responsibilities lying with research, selection, and buying. Last autumn I was determined to get ahead and made a wonderful selection from Peter Nyssen whose excellent customer service (via Karen and colleagues) is renowned on social media. The plans were limited to the Sussex garden, as I … Continue reading Spring bulbs: success, failure and looking ahead to the future
The best laid plans of mice and men … (Robert Burns, so Google tells me). These were the plans: 14th October, arrive at the French house, stay for three nights, back to the UK, final preparations for my final event, draw breath briefly and then get stuck into a new life that some call retirement. Well, change has occurred but with it has come some … Continue reading The best laid plans … calamities and change
I’m off to the French house today for three nights. It’s a flying visit partly because I haven’t been there since the end of August, a longer gap than usual because my husband had an operation, and partly to meet with various builders to finally sign off on the major works earlier in the year. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a hair appointment … Continue reading In a Vase on Monday #IAVOM Sussex