Monday, 24 January 2011

Dreaming of Days to Come.

We have almost finished the last of the three Christmas puddings and very lovely they were too. Christmas is behind us and the beautiful weather of the last week has brought spring ever closer. Dave and I spent a blissful few hours on Sunday beginning the post Christmas clear up of our garden and discovered so much growing beneath the covering of leaves, making me itch to start propagating and cutting back.

The mass of seed heads we left over winter to feed the birds is now being added to the compost heap, the parade of goldfinches and coal tits having moved away to more interesting food as the season gets going once more.

Not only are the earliest of flowers, the delicate snowdrops with their purest of white nodding heads, beginning to open

but tulips are also pushing their stubby leaves high above ground. The more debris I cleared, the more drifts I found which makes me feel somewhat better about the fact that yet again I didn't add to the bubs as I intended, the autumn/winter rush of orders making any garden work an impossibilty.

The purple petals of the arabis beneath the sitting room window are already opening and plenty more buds are tightly furled promising a pretty display later on in the spring when the drifts of dainty saxifrage open alongside.

How ever, much as we have started to wreak a little order on the neglected garden, there are many areas yet to tidy. I really should turn the compost heap as we are already adding more to it. The whole area needs a clear up as pots and buckets have been left there since the summer and now it all looks so bedraggled.

Of course, Dave and I are spurred on now we feel back in touch with our patch. I love to browse through the catalogues, bathing in the glow of the inspiring images within the glossy pages.

Sarah Raven particularly concentrates on fantastic photography and curled up by the fire I like to imagine our garden looking a little like this ...

which of course it doesn't. I will say though that over the years we have created rather beautiful swathes to look out on, pretty patches such as this tangled mass of lychnis, lupins and ever-manic nasturtiums.

We have made a large duck pond with an old fruiting cherry gracefully arching its branches over the pond and scattering confetti petals over the murky waters beneath.

In summer bright orange marigolds seed in any gaps and lift the green of the yet to flower lupins

and clumps of chives are everywhere, used in salads and posies with equal fervour.

There are all kinds of herbs growing through the perennials such as lemon balm, oregano and my favourite golden marjoram which looks so amazing when grown with lavenders or marigolds.

Gorgeous never-ending forget-me-nots with the prettiest of summer's day blue petals and surely the prettiest of names.

It's a garden where hens often escape to wander free (to peck and wreck)and the sound of ducks splashing and diving mingles with the sweet songbird always present;

where there are fruit trees and bushes of all kinds to provide us with the makings of jams and puddings and a number of alcholic beverages to boot. The children pick their own apples for packed lunches, grazing on red and black currants, scoffing juicy tayberries, and enjoying crumbles and pies made from our rhubarb and gooseberries.

It is a garden that changes constantly and provides a home for all manner of wildlife from newts to hedgehogs. It gives us vegetables and salads, a place to sit or for the children to play, flowers to fill the house with nosegays such as this

and although I had not intended to visit it in quite this way today, I am so glad I have. It is all just around the corner and the fun begins again! x


  1. You have a beautiful natural looking garden Pip. It would rival Sarah Ravens's any day!!! x

  2. looks so idyllic pip, i dream of having a garden like yours one day:) xxx

  3. Just beautiful! Spring is a bit further away for us, no tulips showing yet, but the snowdrops are on their way!

  4. Such a beautiful, inspiring post, Pipany! I'm so looking forward to all the garden days beginning again, and have got lots of plans which are just waiting for the weather to be a bit warmer and drier! Your garden is exactly the kind I like and your photos are very beautiful indeed! Helen x

  5. Oooh reading this is not helping my itchy green fingers one bit. I have planted a few hardier things in the polytunnel but with forecasts of more frost yet to come, I feel I must restrain myself slightly.

    Gorgeous pictures, you really make it feel as though Spring is just around the corner.

    Have fun choosing more lovely seeds to add to your garden.

    Sue xx

  6. Thank you so much for such a lovely stroll round your beautiful garden - just the kind I love. It made me forget the chilly grey day outside for a few moments and your prose was brilliant too - loved it. Can I come again some time?!!


  7. Your garden photo's cheer up this dark grey day in Holland. I am amazed to see that your tulips are already popping up out of the ground. It must be the higher temperatures in your part of the UK! Lucky you!

    My time on the couch is filled with seed catalogues and garden books as well. It gives so much inspiration!!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  8. I am starting to feel longings to be in the garden, getting it ready for Spring. You are way ahead of us down there though. Thank you for the beautiful images, I am even more inspired now.

  9. Oh what a beautiful post! :)
    Can't wait for garden days!
    Vivienne x

  10. oh how I miss my cute little white call ducks, we really must get some more :-( Fab garden by the way.

  11. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    I dream of a garden like yours Pipany - not the hodge podge of a thing I really do not know what to do with!

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  12. So true Pipany, it won't be long - the evenings are drawing out already!

  13. It is so gorgeous and I really am quite envious.

  14. Your garden is amazing. I'd love to spend a summer's afternoon there. Your hard work clearly can be seen x

  15. What a fabulous post Pipany, I've been devouring it hungrily! We've yet to see Snowdrops here, so I was looking longingly at yours. And your great big splendid chicken! I just want to cuddle......... her? A she? She's beautiful. I think I'm displaying my sad ignorance of poultry here, apologies for that! People's blogs are starting to get hopeful with the onset of Spring, don't you think? It's marvellous. I'm having to live through other's beginnings of Spring at the moment. Thank you for your beginnings of Spring Pipany. Love Vanessa xxx

  16. Needed a bit of soul solace so knew where I'd find it! For one moment i thought you meant you had just MADE your Christmas puddings! Beautiful, as always, Pip. jxxx

  17. Gorgeous gorgeous post Pipany - I adore your style of gardening - drifts of colour everywhere. I try to do that too and I'm getting a bit better at it. I have SO much cutting back and tidying before the fun bit though!

  18. You have tulips poking their noses up already? No sign up here. Gorgeous photos of your garden. I think I would feel quite at home there (and you here too I suspect!)