Friday, 29 December 2017


Before I summarise the last year here is today in all its slushy, cold glory. We are on the snow line and in the top left hand corner is the new feeder S and K gave us for Christmas.

And a happy New Year.

Back to the blog - 
Where does it all come from? Looking back through the year at woodland brimming with vegetation, roses heavy with flowers and so on - where does it all go?

In the early spring the days lengthen and the first leaves come with rhubarb bursting from their crowns.

Then the cherry blossom erupts

to be followed by leaves.

The borders are full of forgetmenots and tulips,

then hesperus and alliums.

The way to the wood past the oriental poppy bed 

leads to a wild display of campion and pignut.

Aquilegia, self sown, flowers wherever it likes

and the roses and crambe bring drama to the garden.

The garden is haven for birds like the nesting pheasants

and there are mallard on the pond.

 The year moves on through waterfalls of Rose Rambling Rector.

Gradually later plants emerge - the Japanese Anemones complementing the resurgence of flowers on the roses.

And then the shadows lengthen as September comes with dew and a different light.

Harvests are taken,

the leaves turn and fall -

Where does it all come from - where does it all go?

Monday, 25 December 2017



A happy Christmas time and a good 2018 to everyone.

Images from 2008 show an unmade, underdeveloped garden waiting for its gardeners.

More snow in 2009 the night shot taken from the kitchen door.
The garden view does not seem to show a lot of change.

Moving on to 2010, a prolonged freeze and a bigger snow fall. It must be said we do have some semi tender plants in the garden and most of them survive. Of course the tender annuals and such, like nasturtiums, quickly go gooey.

Not all days were crisp and sunny, often it was overcast, even foggy.
Walking around the garden the footprints of birds and animals become evident. Under the snow there are tunnels made by the voles and mice.
In 2011 we only had one snowfall I can remember.

And so to 2012 and gloomy days. We are often at the dividing line between snow and no snow, up on our hill. Go down the road and it all disappears.

When snow falls later in winter clumps of snowdrops can be found sheltering in hidden corners.

2013 and one of the bonuses of living high on this hill overlooking Morecambe Bay is the view to the south - even in winter.

On the other hand watching flakes fall in the wood, driven onto tree trunks, can also be magical.

I do not seem to have any snow pictures from 2014 which makes me thing there was none of any consequence, and 2015 reveals only one of some light dusting in the garden. Perhaps Global Warming is having an effect?

2016 - 

We had one good fall and I remember walking into town (about a mile) with the camera desperate to try and find a Christmas Card shot.
The white stuff was gone in 48 hours, back to rain and grey skies.

So to 2017 and at the end of first week in December we had the first flurries, not a lot, just an early warning perhaps of things to come (or not).

Tuesday, 19 December 2017



I had a dream may have been said somewhere else but the other night - ! I was in the rough to the left of the sixth fairway at Ulverston golf course playing football with my friends I and S. I was dressed casually, S wore only shorts and I was stark naked lying on my back in the dew laden grass. Further to the left was not the fourth fairway but a river and behind that rose an enormous monochrome mountain with snow. I was somewhat concerned with my nudity but S told me not to worry, no one will notice. And they didn't. Passing golfers seemed to regard what was happening as nothing out of the ordinary. Then I woke up.
Later the same night I was in a car driving down a lane having waited ten minutes to get out of the Greenodd village turning when something felt wrong. I pulled into a passing place on my left and got out to find the inner tube of a tractor tyre under the car - just as a tractor thundered towards me. The driver denied it was his. Then I woke again.
I could not identify anything unusual I had eaten as I am on a diet to try and shed some lard pre Christmas.

So there you are - the weather is definitely not balmy but perhaps I am (barmy).
Back to gardening with three of views from behind the house - one a panorama.

It is this end of the house that will, hopefully, sprout our extension.

Out digging over a veg bed - it his cold, I am old and won't be told - north wind, coat, gloves and after an hour that is enough.

One problem in the garden are rushes - the damp helps - I have even just dug some young plants from the veg bed. This pic is of what once was the bridleway up the field behind the house. Then a local farmer dug it out and left a ditch, the contents of which come into our garden as our small stream. As you can see there is the odd rush growing beside it. So no wonder we have a problem.

Cannot keep up with the weather - pouring today with flooding down the road and 7C, Saturday black ice on the road to the extent R slipped and broke her R wrist. One man stuff for a while but at least she has a doctor to nurse her. Ah! The well laid plans of Christmas. At least her purple wallflower Erysimum Bowles Mauve is still at it (and she has bought four more from the man on the market.)

The white amaryllis R bought has flowered and we thought it was over but - now we have a new bud coming and I am feeding it. It will probably not flower until January but a bonus. The others are tired and we have only managed to get a small new bulb - after 4 years of flowers. I have not decided yet whether to just throw them away or try and fatten them next year.
The squirrels just keep getting fatter as if they have to eat and eat in case Kim and Trump decide to have a ding dong - they are like two small boys who have been given a AK47 to play with the way they go on. And if they carry on many innocents will get hurt (isn't that always the case).
They ought to be made to watch the 295 episodes of Last of the Summer Wine - more men behaving like children.

ps Yes I have been mucking about with the layout - clearer now.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Dawn in different guises from here on the hill looking over the bay. Recently we have had a few spectacular sunrises. We do not get sunsets as we face south south east but sunrises - ! Especially at this time of year.

The garden has been frozen solid at times which limits what can be done (If I had the will to do it.)
This begs a question - we have two outside taps and how do you avoid avoid icing up? You can use foam tubing or, as we have, wrapped them with the netting our birches came in a few years ago. Something else kept in case it might be useful one day - the shed is full of stuff like that.

The pond has been frozen though rain by Tuesday night has signalled slightly warmer weather. It is important to keep some clear water for birds and animals, let alone things that live in the depths. Work is mainly getting some salt onto the track and brushing any snow away from the back door, picking up fallen sticks in the wood for kindling.

The squirrels continue to materialise from somewhere and eat peanuts from the feeders. A friend has had both great and little white egrets on his pond (well it is more like a small lake) which does make us a bit jealous.

There are still things to see in the garden - sunshine, albeit watery, on the stipa gigantea and the wonderful white bark on the birches at the top of the lawn. (The lawn is what I call the vaguely mown meadow we have - R says it is just roughly cut grass.)

This photo really gives the sense of chill we have had - D down in her cottage has the fire lit - and I am not surprised.

So I need to get off my backside given half the chance, mulch and tidy (or the other way around), pot on some stuff, make a new flowerbed, etc etc.

Meanwhile a mug of tea by the wood burner I think.