Exotics

This is the time of year when I often sit in our conservatory, with its colourful views of the garden and its good light for reading or sewing. Today there is the added bonus of the sweet fragrance of orange blossom. Our potted orange tree is flowering, releasing its heavy scent, and reminding me of Mediterranean holidays, sitting under shady trees where oranges hang heavy like golden globes against the blue sky. I am amazed at the way those trees seem to be able to blossom and bear fruit at the same time.
Sadly there are no fruit here on our potted tree, but there other refugees from Mediterranean climes. The bougainvillea flowering valiantly in purple against the grey sky, and the undemanding succulent, living quietly on the windowsill all winter, pushing forth its exotic flowers.

Our regular walk at Kingston Lacy this morning revealed more exotic treats. Glorious tree peonies which can hardly hold their heavy flowers upright, delicate orchids in the Victorian glass house, and neon coloured delicately scented deciduous azaleas…

Who needs faraway holidays, with all this on the doorstep…

Garden sweets

Tasks to do in the garden today included stretching netting over our (rather large) fruit cage. It was definitely a two person job, and a bit of a challenge, but we did it. And now the swelling cherries, and green strings of tiny currants, can begin to ripen and sweeten in the sun,  with less chance of them all being eaten by birds. They always get some though…1-IMG_2787The garden at this time of year is glorious, and a wander around provides a feast of different kind –  lots of “eye candy” of colours, shapes and views.

Wide Stretches

Lovely sunshine today, and after stretching some muscles I didn’t know I had in my Pilates class, I decided to take a quick trip to the beach. It was warm enough in the sun to sit and drink coffee on the cafe terrace,  watching a few hardy souls swimming, coloured caps bobbing in choppy, cold looking waves. The beach was not busy, a few toddlers filling and emptying buckets with fine powdery sand, and some guys fishing at the waves edge. I took a gentle stroll along the flat sand, patterned with countless colourful shells and stones, watching the shapes of waves. Then I returned to the cliff top and sat in the sun, viewing the wide expanses of sea, sky and empty stretches of sand.
There is nothing like a walk along the beach to widen the vision!

Looking toward Hengistbury Head and The Needles

Looking toward Hengistbury Head and The Needles

View to Old Harry Rocks

View to Old Harry Rocks

Path less travelled

It’s bluebell time and we have a wonderful ancient woodland nearby which is carpeted with these beautiful flowers at this time of year. We set off to walk around the wood the other morning but were put off by all the cars parked all along both sides of the nearby lane. Obviously lots of others had the same idea, the path to the bluebell wood was very busy…
So we drove on and found a quieter place to walk.

Along an old track we met dog walkers and not many others. We enjoyed bird song, sweet smells of damp woodland, and banks of bluebells under lime green shade. Other wild flowers offered their own delicate and less intense beauty, and we took time to stand and stare.

Two old pathways, both well worn, one less popular than the other. Sometimes less is more…

Passing flowers

I am sitting listening to the sound of rain on the conservatory roof, and watching the garden as the sky changes from blue to grey. The end of April is producing more typical weather of sunshine and  passing showers.

The flowers are coming and going too. We have had banks of primroses this year, which have lasted for weeks  and are now beginning to fade. But I picked a few in a photograph and have preserved them in a small quilted piece.1-IMG_2679

Medley

Medley was a word used by a member of my Library writing group this week to describe our different contributions. It can mean a collection of unconnected disparate items, but I like it because it has musical overtones and suggestions of composition and harmony.

St George’s Day this week saw SCAN0036an enthusiastic medley of people meeting at the library to launch a community writing project. I have been working with local author Tracy Baines who has generously offered her time and expertise to launch our “Life on the Hill” project. It was fun to tell our stories and discover our many different interests and experiences, sharing aspects of our lives together here in Colehill. We hope to eventually produce an anthology of words and pictures to celebrate our little corner of England, and I hope the process of composing our “medley” will produce many layers of harmony together!

Another medley of people with different styles, skills and personalities also met this week at Embroiderers Guild . Inspiring textile artist Fay Maxwell got us working with coloured fabrics, ribbons and wools on painted canvas. Simple ideas, with huge scope for different interpretations. The work produced by the group reflected our diversity, and was a joyous medley of colour and texture, which we all enjoyed.

Fay's inspiring work

Fay’s inspiring work 

Our "medley" - work in progress...

Our “medley” – work in progress…

April smiles

Into April and I am emerging from a virus of some sort. The non specific aching leaden limbs “why do I feel so miserable?” sort. But it is lifting at last. We have had some lovely sunshine which is helping me feel better, and the garden does its usual show at this time of year.
Here’s a taste…127___04

And another source of delight this year is grandson William. It is strange to think we did not even know of his imminent existence this time last year…1-IMG_2639

We met up with William, and Tim and Sofia on a visit to Bath where Ben is now living. We had a lovely walk together along the two tunnels pathway and experienced the reality of a long dark tunnel (1.5km), with light at the end of it. There were helpful distance markers, lights and even music to encourage walkers and motivate them to keep going.
The expression “light at the end of the tunnel” is for me the epitome of the importance of hope in our lives. Physically walking the metaphor was a good experience, and a reminder of the fact that faith, (even in dark uncertainty), love (of those who walk with us) and hope (light at the end) remain.1-IMG_2626