Friday 24 April 2020

Over the Garden Wall

Hello Friends!

Yes, most of my contact with the outside world these days is over the garden wall, snatched chats with neighbours if we happen to be outside together.

While clearing an overgrown area the other evening, I spotted a bright yellow tennis ball.  It belonged to the little boy next door.  Two months ago I would have gently thrown it back.  Now, I called to his Mum to ask if it was okay to throw it back. How our lives have changed! She was happy so I carefully pitched it over the shrubbery.

I pondered upon this for a while, a little glimmer of what was once a normal behaviour, now changed forever.  Even when we are able to relax a little, in all likelihood Coronavirus Covid-19 will still dictate our lifestyle to us.  Unless a successful vaccine is found, like other diseases, in time it may be eradicated, but otherwise it's here for the duration.  For people with certain medical conditions {me, for example, with asthma} this means the current adaptations may be permanent. Whoa boy! Endless disinfection and hand washing.

Which got me to thinking: I hear the news channels speaking about "returning to normal", but what if you are like me and you don't want to return to that old normal, that which at the turn of the year we took for granted.  What, if like me, you can see the benefits of our situation?  The sky is bluer, the air is clearer, the silence is oh! so welcome and I am hearing birds sing, bees buzzing all day long. I am trying, arthritis permitting, to clear my garden in preparedness to grow fruit and vegetables again. If you try not to think about the dreadful and dire situation of the virus, everything else is so calm and peaceful.  As an introvert, the joy of not having to go out and socially interact is a huge relief and I am calmer and more content with my life. The planet is healing and beginning to breathe again.  She will relish this time to heal the devastating wounds we have inflicted.

I have seen a huge change in even my most basic day to day activities, and other than the endless disinfecting and cleaning processes, I am settling into the new routine well, and happily. How I cook and eat has changed; how I shop has changed; my focus on what is, and what isn't, important has changed; how much rubbish I am throwing out has decreased unbelievably {and I didn't throw that much out in the first instance}.  I don't want to go back to the normal that was before. I want this new normal, without the virus hanging over us.  If we don't all learn from this, then do we really deserve to be the custodians of the planet?

Okay, I won't go on any more about the virus, but I wanted to share my feelings. Thank you for indulging me and listening!

I am not yet happy to start walking about along the roads, but that time is coming, so for now all my photos are taken in my garden, and here's a few things currently blooming and growing in my cottage garden.

I could preface each of these with "it's my favourite flower", for I love them all!

Arum Lily in bud

Violets along a wall
Now, two Christmases ago, the first Christmas after my darling Mum died, I did not feel like doing anything to celebrate.  I did not decorate, but ended up buying a living tree which I garlanded with fruit and nuts, and birdseed, placed outside my cottage door.  The tree did not do well, and despite repotting it has not thrived.  The other day I decided to tip it out and use the giant pot it is in for something else, so imagine my delight to find it is suddenly sprouting tiny green buds all over!

Native fern

Aquilegia or Grannies' Bonnet

Libertia peregrinans or Wandering iris

offshoot! Free plants!


I just adore the delicate colouring on this pansy

London Pride {I can just hear Noel Coward singing}

Pennywort or Navelwort

Native fern

Pennywort flower
There will be many pictures of flowers and probably very little else on my blog in the coming months, but with each new bloom comes a promise of hope, a promise of a future that we must not mess up. We're being given a second chance, let's not let nature, or ourselves, down.

Until next time
Deborah xoxo

Friday 10 April 2020

Springtime and Gratitude

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all keeping safe and well?  These lockdown conditions are not easy for any of us, not even for one of hermit like tendencies such as me.  I hope you are finding ways to keep your spirits up?

Although there is a lot, and I mean an awful lot, of work to be done in my garden before it is properly back on track, I had hoped to get my raised beds in order this Spring.  They're new, so need assembling along with compost and topsoil to fill.  Can you believe that I missed getting the compost delivered by less than half a day!  With lockdown looking set to continue, the possibilities of securing some now look remote.

Thankfully, I found some bags from last year, but nowhere near enough to fill even one raised bed, so I must prioritise how I will use it.  My only way forward now is pots.  Not my preferred way, but if I can produce enough salad crops {leaves, beetroot, spring onions and radish} in a few pots, it will be a good thing.  I found a packet of watercress seeds.  Watercress is apparently very high in nutritional value, and I like it, so that is a priority crop.  I have a couple of dustbins that have soil in, so I will try my runner beans in those.  I also think I might empty the compost pile, for there might be something good in there!

Everything else, my berries for example, will now have to rely on what would normally be the supplemental feeding.  I won't get a lot, but I will get something and for that I will be grateful.

Here are a few flower photos from the garden this week.

Wednesday this week saw a full moon super moon, also known as a Pink Moon.  No, the moon did not turn pink, apparently it is so called after the many pink wild flowers found at this time of year.

I took the first photo on Tuesday evening, it was cloudy and shortly after this was taken the clouds covered the view.

On Wednesday evening the sky was clear, and the super moon, the biggest of this year, filled my lens and spilled out of the frame.

Quite a difference between two evenings, don't you think?

I have been puttering a little with some media.  Here's a little countryside inspired picture I made with paints and stamps.  Umbels and seed heads are a particular favourite of mine.  Just faffing about with no direction in mind, just playing with what I have helps take my mind off the frightening situation in which we find ourselves now.

I am trying to find my muse, slowly but surely it will return, in this I trust.  I am starting to bake bread again, and began yesterday by baking my Hot Cross Buns for this Easter weekend.  They were not that bad considering I used out of date flour and yeast, but I will not waste food if I can help it.  Flour and yeast are both in short supply right now, so the nation must be baking!  This can only be a good thing.

Each day on Twitter, I try to post five things to be grateful for.  I find this a positive and often uplifting thing to do, reflecting each evening on five things that made me happy or for which I am deeply grateful.  If you are on Twitter I am @BeingMyHappy.

Stay Safe, Stay Well, My Friends!

Until next time
Deborah xo

Thursday 2 April 2020

A New World

Hello Friends!

It's a new world, a strange world, in which we now live.  It's like waking up every morning into a reality of living in a B Class science fiction movie, and a new normal for each of us emerges as we disinfect the living daylights out of everything in an effort to destroy the hidden enemy, and we fight over toilet paper {does anyone know why?} and keep away from everyone.

In the midst of all this chaos, fear, and madness, the world still turns about us, though we may not notice as much as we did.  If we are lucky, we can still chat to our neighbours over the garden wall, strictly keeping our distance.

The clocks have sprung forward, the days are lengthening, and we cling with fervent hope to the day when this living nightmare will be over, but those days are a long way off.

My garden ticks and tocks the moments away, and although there is not much to show, there have been some moments.  Here are a few things in bloom.

Camellias, big and blousy, always boldly bright, and the pink are nearly over, the red just starting to take off

The Pieris gives a bright and bold depth of red to the border as the new waxy looking leaves grow and glow in the warm Spring sunshine

My beloved Pasque flower surprised me by suddenly opening this week.  You know I will wax lyrical over this in the coming weeks

A perfect, early Spring evening, peaceful, clear and crisp, in a darkening night sky.  The westering day fades in an ombre blue sky that seeps into shades of plum on the distant horizon.  Above our heads sat the new, crescent moon, smiling sweetly at Venus, the Evening Star, as she shimmers, a tiny and distant diamond of hope in the gloaming.

Of late, we are seeing more colour in our sunsets too, and the plummy shades tinged with mango and raspberry are delicious to watch each evening

I hope you are keeping safe in isolation.  Remember, you are not stuck indoors, you are SAFE indoors and that we are all in this together, doing our bit to help the NHS cope in the days and weeks to come.

Until next time
Deborah xo