Stitchwort

Our designated daily exercise took us up the moorland hill that looms malignly in view of our house.  In truth we skirted rather than climbed.  It was quiet, except for the exuberant birdlife, and the fresh air was soothing and much appreciated.  The wildflowers are being to shine, it is their time.  The celandine, the violets, the thorn, all beautiful.  They will be there whether or not we are there to appreciate them.  I rather like that thought.  It is all going on even if we aren’t at the party.  Fair play, I say.  Get on with it, do your thing.

Stitchwort is one of my favourite spring flowers.  I love its name and its simplicity.  Although I cared to see it, it didn’t give a fig whether I was there or not.  That is how it should be.

Niche

Whilst rejecting me, someone described my work as “niche”.  I imagine it was not meant as a compliment.  I laughed, then did my puzzled face and felt a bit sad.  My writing is me, which surely means I must also be niche.  No one had mentioned it before.  But it explains a lot.

The photo is a detail from Antony Gormley’s The Planets which circle a seating area outside The British Library.  Which is full of niche stuff.

Blue

Bideford Long Bridge in the morning sun.  All is calm.

A moment earlier I had been passed by an excitable crocodile of fluoresence as a stream of school kids walked past.  I heard one of them say, as they pointed to one of the moored boats, rusted and land-bound and in the process of slow refurbishment, “Is that the Titanic?”.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear the answer.

The Great Photo Sorting Season

The Great Photo Sorting Season is now open!

When I say “open” I mean “I’ve been thinking about it without doing anything terribly constructive”.

My first delve into the recent past is a stunning Iris ensata.  This photo was taken on a July visit to Marwood Hill Gardens with my pal Deb.  If you wish to reminisce along with me check out my post Friendship.  It was a wonderful day, although I really should have written down the name of this beauty.  I will have to pop back to find out.  As anyone who knows this garden will know, it won’t be a great hardship.

 

Renewal

Today we went for a walk.  This is an example of the crazy things I have got planned for my month long sabbatical.  It was nice.  We may well do it again.

One of the first things we saw was large fallen tree, a beech perhaps but difficult to positively identify without scrabbling and a festive excess of cheese and pringles has rendered this impossible.  It had crashed into another on its unfortunate descent, felling a further substantial specimen as it toppled.   We need more trees not less, I thought.  Although not surprised, the high winds and wet soil often add up to unstable footings, the sight did make me feel a bit sad.

Then, as we wandered around the garden where OH used to work, we came across plants that he had put in more than 7 years ago.  A three metre high Leptospermum grandiflorum, grown from seed I collected from Marwood Hill Gardens, a Crinodendron hookerianum now a fine looking large specimen, a dozen fruit trees all maturing well, a silver birch past the lanky teenage stage, amongst many others.  And I thought, a good job.   In our own way, as gardeners, we help to renew, to replant and to take up the slack.  We may not be as good as Mother Nature, but we do our best.

Trees fall, it is the nature of things.  If left to their own devices they may well rejuvenate from the rootball, any dead will provide a new ecosystem for all manner of birds and beasties, fungi and fauna, and ultimately will feed the soil it lies upon.  All is not lost.  Often a tragedy is not as fruitless as it first appears.

Which brings me in a very round about, the taxi driver from hell, way to the year ahead, which is shuffling in the wings as I type.   We must all do what we can to find positives amongst the many negatives.  To keep on doing what we can to make this a better world.  To spread the love.  To renew and replant, to take up the slack.  All is not lost.  I am hoping so anyway.

And I wish you all a fabulous 2020, filled with fulfilment and joy and of course love.  And if you feel so inclined, get out there and plant some things.

 

Grevillea ‘Olympic Flame’

This beauty is Grevillea ‘Olympic Flame” with its exotic flowers that remind me of tropical birds of paradise or perhaps scorching uncut toenails.  Take your pick.  One image is definitely more attractive than the other.

Which ever you decide upon, it is a fabulous shrub and hardier than its fancy plumage would suggest.   I have decided to dwell upon the avian simile.