Not everyone loves gardening. I have always loved pottering in the garden and although I can no longer do anything but look, I still get such a lot from the experience. It is the sense of tranquility I think; it is a space, however small, where I feel I can forget any worries about the world and where it is heading - I get enough of that fron reading The Times each day (I do want to know what is happening everywhere but little of it these days fills me with a sense of pleasure). But if you have the same kind of feelings that I have then please sit down with your morning cup of coffee and whatever you eat with it (kit-kat, tea cake, scone anyone?) and click on John's post today - I have just left it after wandering between the photographs as they increasingly filled me with the same feeling I get from my garden. Go to 'By Stargoose and Hanglands' on my side bar and see if you agree -it has certainly been the high point of my day as it sit here recovering from Shingles. )
You may think of Red Valerian as a weed (my gardener certainly does) although I read somewhere the other day that it is an important medicinal plant - does anyone know what it is used for? It is 'out' in my garden, standing up tall and strong against a background of an evergreen hedge and I love it.
And amongst a plethora of self-sown Aquelegia is a new - and very welcome - addition. It is large flowered and is a very deep purply=blue and I welcome it with open arms and hope it seeds freely - it is the most beautiful colour.
The Alliums are bobbing about in the rather strong (and rather cold) East wind which is blowing in across the North York Moors from the North Sea and as it does so it dries up our soil even more at a time when everything is sorely needing a good drink of pure rain. My gardener planted twenty three years ago. Rather than seeding from their dark pink heads they seem to be disappearing (only ten this year) - I suspect field mice are the culprits - alliums are in the onion family so they possibly make good winter food for the Sunday dinner table. I know where a family of field mice live in a hole in one of my stone walls - I see them now and again - and welcome them. I don't begrudge them an allium or two (and when I see the alliums in the giant tent at Chelsea I can only think of mine as 'poor relations'.)
Pink rock-roses are everywhere - if there is a rock they will find it and quickly cover it. And I am not short of rocks - plenty of those apart from the dry stone wall at the top. If you are familiar with The Yorkshire Dales you will know that dry stone walls abound - walls built over hundreds of years, built with stones dug out of the earth they surround, knocked down by sheep and built up again by dry-stone-wallers or the farmer. I was talking to a retired farmer the other day who has a daughter who is a professional photographer. He commented (with puzzlement I suspect) how she had hundreds of photographs she had taken of stones. 'Stones' he said with puzzlement in his voice - as much as to say -when you've seen one you've seen them all. How differently we see things - the sheep looks at stones and sees a possible escape into the next field if there is a wobbly bit of wall (the grass is always greener both to a sheep and metaphorically to a lot of humans); the farmer looks at stones weighing up which one fits best in the space in the wall he is rebuilding after the sheep has knocked it down; the photographer with a fascination for stones looks at a stone and sees the beauty in its colour, its shape, the bits of moss growing on it ---. Perfect example of 'it takes all sorts'.
Don't forget to pop over to 'By Stargoose and Hanglands' will you?