The Pyjama Walk

It has got to that lovely time of year when I am woken by the dawn chorus. On a weekend, I like to get up before the rest of the family. I put on my dressing gown and slippers, make myself a cup of tea, slip on my wellies, and take a little walk around the garden.

Everything seems more delicate and precious early in the morning.

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ (foreground) and ‘Alida’ behind.

Like a small child, just woken up.

Lupin foliage, silvered with dew.

Poppy foliage is bursting out of the ground. Here it is, intermingled with swords of gladioli. I love the feathery texture of poppy foliage at this time of year. It has the most exuberant explosions of leaves.

Foliage of Oriental poppies and gladioli

This is perennial cornflower, Centaurea montana. It is a bit bleary, but this is the magic of early morning. Everything sparkles. There are purple crocuses in the background, which are also delighting me.

Centaurea montana foliage, with purple crocuses behind.

Here we are in the corner of complete neglect. This is the little dwarf iris which inspired me to grow more in pots.

Iris reticulata, variety unknown.

I will be back to take more photos when the sun reaches round to it, because that is when you really appreciate its colour. For now, it is muted, and just touched with dew.

Some delights are quickly done. This little clump of Crocus tommasinianus was more fleeting than most. I am hoping that it will seed itself around this little bed, and I will find its babies next year.

Crocus tommasinianus, collapsing.

This clump of daffodils is one of a few planted around trees in our garden. I love the sparkly grass behind.

These are the last of the snowdrops. They are in a very dry bed alongside our garage. They don’t get a lot of sun in the summer, which is probably how they have survived in this less-than-ideal spot. They will soon be engulfed by red valerian, Centranthus ruber.

I have also planted the Mediterranean spurge here, Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii.  This has become a go-to plant for difficult places. It is drought tolerant, doesn’t seem to mind how much sun it gets or doesn’t get, and it thrives on neglect.

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

In the next couple of weeks, I will watch these alien inflorescences lift their heads and open out to brightest lime-green. The lime-green is fantastic against the sage-green foliage.

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

I drift around to the front garden, and bump into the milkman. There is a clink of milk bottles, the snick of the gate closing, and he if off.

I have these large chalky crocuses, but forget the variety. They are very like Crocus tommasinianus in colouring, but twice the size. When they are closed, we can appreciate the gentle twist to the petals.

I have planted Crocus ‘Pickwick’ in pots with my tulips. Any day now…

For now, their foliage is providing telegraph poles for spiders’ power lines.

I round back, around the other side of the house. I just stop to admire the new honeysuckle foliage. There are such beautiful tones of pearly sage, and rose-grey. More power lines.

This is the start of my morning wanderings. I am re-connecting with the garden. The windows and doors will be thrown open during the day. There will be muddy footprints across the kitchen floor, and gardening gloves thrown on the kitchen table.

It has begun.

You might like to join me as the garden wakes up? You can click on the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of this page to receive an email each time I publish a post. I aim to share with you little pops of wonder that are there to be enjoyed. Gardening should be fun above all else. There will be the odd hint or tip thrown in, but you can feel free to ignore them, and just bathe in the sun, letting your petals waft in the breeze.


49 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing such a lovely start to the day. I wish spring was anywhere near as far along here! I am still looking at the dried sunflower stalks and Russian sage leaning out of the snowdrifts. It’s a bit chilly to be outside for more than a moment in my house robe. But I am hopeful March will go out like a lamb…

    1. I love that saying about March! We haven’t had any lions this year, just a fluffy lamb!

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    Oh, it looks lovely!

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    It is a wonderful time to walk around the garden this time of year accompanied by bird song. I usually pop out to feed the birds, the robins are waiting, and then a quick tour of the garden.

    1. It’s the best way to start the day, isn’t it?

  4. Cathy says:

    A lovely post again Ali. And you have a milkman?! Wow, I didn’t think they existed any more! My snowdrops are yet to flower and yours are going over already. We must be several weeks behind you. Have a good weekend!

    1. Yes, about six months ago we went back to milk deliveries so that we don’t go through all the plastic bottles. I love the clink of the glass bottles!

  5. crabandfish says:

    Such a beautiful garden and I love the early morning quiet and freshness. Here we are still sweltering in hot summer weather. Enjoy the impending spring.
    Flavia

    1. Thank you Flavia! I can’t imagine sweltering weather at the moment. It is blissful to just feel the gentle warmth from the sun.

  6. Christina says:

    I hope the day continues in such a lovely way for you. Today the sun is shining and the sky is blue, plus it is warm! Thanks for sharing your early morning walk around the garden.

    1. It was a pleasure, Christina.

  7. Heyjude says:

    Such a delightful morning walk Ali. It’s gotten a little chilly to pop out in the pjs here now!

    1. Yes, these photos were taken when it was warm!

  8. It is all so pretty. I may have to take a step away from social media for awhile as it is making me quite envious. I have enjoyed winter, and we are probably right where we should be timewise, but we are at least still a month away from daffodils. Monday night it is getting down to 2F(-16C) and that is just plain depressing. How I long to walk in your gardens with you and breath in your beautiful English spring. Everything is absolutely beautiful!!!

    1. Oh my goodness, that is cold! I would love to welcome you to the garden.

  9. A few months away from your experience, but I too love early morning strolls through the yard, coffee in hand, puppy ahead, deep breathing….your images and words will get me through the next few weeks of snow and ice!

    1. Yes, it’s not quite the same when you need snow boots on! You will enjoy spring all the more.

  10. bcparkison says:

    Love those blue pots. Everything looks lovely in them. And I am glad to see the begining of poppies. I think I have mistakenly pulled up the ones I have tried to grow in the past thinking they were weeds. If the ones I scattered yesterday make an apperence maybe I will know.

    1. It is easy to mistake newly sprouting plants for weeds. I have done that before.

  11. susurrus says:

    The emerging honeysuckle is stunning. Your daffodil picture reminded me of the cover of The Garden that arrived this morning.

    1. Thank you Susan. I really love the tones of the honeysuckle too.

  12. Lovely…I can almost see you in your pajamas and rainboots! Your garden looks wonderful! We are setting records for rainfall, so I’m not really enjoying the beginnings of Spring yet except from the shelter of my home. There are a couple of doves nesting in a pot near my kitchen window and they are giving me great pleasure. Eventually, the sun will come out!

    1. The doves sound lovely! Yes, and as my mum says, ‘even when you can’t see the sun, it is still there’.

  13. I enjoy early pajama walks, too, with a mug of tea cradled in two hands for warmth — but only after the worst of winter has passed. Still buried under 10-12 inches of snow! Love all your cobalt blue urns! I have one, but I’m planning to paint and “glaze” the two front porch clay planters when the weather warms.

    1. That sounds like an exciting project. Yes, this Moroccan blue is one I never tire of. Perhaps because it is like a deep blue sky, and every plant looks good in it.

  14. Chloris says:

    Lovely shots. I love the idea of drifting round the early morning garden, walking through the dew and breathing fresh, unbreathed air but I can’t seem to be able to do it, I shall just have to let you do it for me.

    1. I’m happy to take one for the team!

  15. Love the frosted lupin leaves!

    1. Lupin leaves are my favourite.

  16. The light is lovely for your pyjama walk.

    1. Yes; the morning light has really been lovely.

  17. Cathy says:

    I always have a ramble as soon as I can in the morning but admittedly I am dressed first and three times a week I have been swimming first – but it’s always a priority. The first reconnection-with-the-garden of the day is always so special, isn’t it?

    1. Yes, that is it, exactly. Reconnection with the garden.

      1. Cathy says:

        Yes, it’s almost physical, isn’t it?

      2. It is. It’s quite profound.

      3. Reply to Ali and Cathy ~ My first priority after putting on the kettle for tea is Morning Prayer, so in spring and summer and well into fall, that’s my prayer room! (In winter, it’s my study, looking out the west window.) So, you see, it’s natural for me to putter out there in my pajamas.

        By the way, I’ve noticed that some readers spell “pajamas” with a “Y” as “pyjamas.” Interesting.

      4. Yes, I have noticed there is an English and an American spelling. I guess because it came from a Hindi or Urdu word, I think. They are both approximations, so the spelling is a bit moot!

  18. Ann Mackay says:

    It’s a magical time of morning! It’s a little early in the year for pyjama-walking for me, but it’s something I love to do in summer. (Then the problem is finding the time to go back in and get dressed!)

    1. Yes, it is dangerous on a work day!

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        I can imagine that you might get there a bit late on a really nice morning…hehe!

    2. haha ~ I sometimes pause to pluck some weed, deadhead a daisy then, not realizing the passage of time, I find myself down on hands and knees and scratching away in the dirt. In my pajamas, no less!

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        Hehe, I can understand that one! 🙂

  19. Such a magical morning! It all looks so wonderful and full of life 💗

  20. Lovely to see all the new life sprouting! Isn’t a clear crisp morning just beautiful!

    1. It is. I feel very lucky to be able to enjoy it.

  21. I love to do that too and now that mornings are lighter, I can just about do that before work too. It’s the small things. X

    1. It is, Sophie. The light mornings and evenings are wonderful, aren’t they?

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