Be still, Life

A simple meditation on the calm brought by gazing at a few cut flowers. Flower gazing brings peace, and wisdom, and enlightenment.

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Sunlight is transformative. Petals and leaves become translucent and their network of veins are revealed. The fine down on stems and buds are illuminated. Sunlight is a transitory and elusive quality in the garden. Which is perhaps why it is so magical.

From Screen to Green

We’re halfway through the summer holidays in the UK and I wonder how many households are having arguments over screens? If left to their own devices my children would spend hours in front of a screen.  As I would have done at their age.  And did, in fact, with the telly. Screen-time can be creative…

A different angle

Summer is really for just enjoying the garden. There are minor chores, if you want to call them that, but really these a pretty pleasurable: deadheading, tying in a tendril here, pulling out a weed there, eating a strawberry, sniffing a rose. I do a lot of basking.  We can call it mindfulness if you…

Deadheading delights

My favourite job in the garden is deadheading. Not only do you feel you are having a good tidy up, getting rid of the shrivelling flower heads to make way for fresh new growth, but you also get to examine a plant close up. You get to appreciate a flower in its many stages, from…

Portrait of a rose

If I had to choose one rose above all the rest, it would probably be ‘Munstead Wood’. It is a rose that looks beautiful from bursting bud to blown bloom. I have a thing for crimson roses that are just touched with plum. ‘Munstead Wood’ has the velvety texture of a Gallica rose.  In some…

After the Storm…

“There is peace even in the storm.” Vincent van Gogh Last night we had the most brilliant electrical storm.  I woke up to torrents of rain cascading down the gutters and thundering on the roof.  The windows were open and so the curtains were billowing.  Then came the thunder and lightning. I love a good…

Learning to play again

Can you remember when you were last really absorbed in a task? When you lost yourself in the pleasure of carrying out one step, and then another?  Worries floated away as you just focused on the job in hand. This is flow. Children generally achieve flow very easily. They will arrange buttons or stones just…

Darling Buds

In the gap between the end of the tulips and the start of the poppies and the peonies, we can bathe in the lush growth of May. In February there was bare earth, just the odd clump of snowdrops.  The growth in March was ankle-high, with crocuses and primroses.  April, knee-high, with the tulips. In…

Ageing Beauties

I am infinitely more at ease with the way I look in my forties compared with my teens, twenties or thirties.  I have heard women complain that they feel invisible as they age, but maybe I felt too visible when I was younger.  Or visible for the wrong reasons.  I was judged on what I…

The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Beautiful Swan

For the last couple of weeks I have been bud-watching.  You can see these posts here: first Early Birds, and then The Dawn Chorus and Bursting Buds. On Friday evening, this is how Stevie and I inspected the trees, accompanied by evening sun, a glass of wine each, and the smell of the barbecue.  It was the…

Opening to the Sun!

Something magical happened on Saturday: the sun came out!  And stayed out! You could hear gardeners around the country stampeding to their back doors to get their wellies on! But once I’d had a little potter around, a bit of weeding here and there, I decided I just had to sit in the sun.  Here,…