Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring - getting down and dirty

The last couple of months I have:

- Had really bad hay fever (the evil rape seed).
- Become obsessed with any programme featuring Alex Polizzi.
- Discovered that I can move a tonne of top soil by hand - I am a strong and powerful woman!
- Been whipped in the face by dog wood.
- Had dog wood up my nose.
- Been ensnared by 10 foot long brambles.
- Been stung by nettles.
- Fallen over in flower beds.
- Got RSI from overuse of secateurs and loppers.
- Seen a red kite, hares (multiple) and a badger in the village.

It's been all about gardens - visiting and working in them.  

I have swapped chasing bad debtors and sitting at a computer for wrestling with bind weed and ground elder full time and don't my knees know it! I have never worked so hard in all my life or ached so much.  I appreciate so much more - being clean, putting slippers on, bed, weekends.....  

I do look like Stig of the Dump but life is simpler, quieter and less hectic.  I no longer have a car, I no longer peruse online clothing websites and add to cart.  When it is dry I garden when it rains I clean the house, make big batches of soup for the freezer or bake cake.  

In March we visited Fonthill House Gardens, one of the gardens open to the public in the National Garden Scheme.  It consists of formal gardens with mixed borders, woodland and an organic vegetable garden.  The whole estate consists of 9000 acres.


Fonthill House Gardens - It was a grey and cold day

Magnolia - Royal Star

Oooo, I love a sweep of lawn.

We kept warm in the greenhouse

Quite a view

Wouldn't mind living in this little estate cottage in the woods

Nobody in the pool today.

Now I am gardening full time I have had to ramp up the calorie intake - obviously.

Sarah made rolls - these also froze quite well

I made banana and walnut cake which is good to stave off hunger pangs

The garden at home has been colourful


Sun, green - oh yes

It must have rained this day - celery, carrot and ginger soup

Oh, and this day - chocolate muffins


We both had bad colds and coughs.  Probably the shock of leaving a heated office for the first time in 14 years and gardening at 8.30am in the morning when there is a hard frost on the ground!

This was the cathedral in all it's glory when we attended a concert that we were supposed to be singing in.  Cough, cough....

More gardens - 

This time Corsham Court.  I was very impressed and would like to go back and visit the house one day.

The gardens were designed by Capability Brown and extend to 17 acres

The blossom and daffodils were amazing


Beautiful Viola 
- but once sniffed your nose becomes desensitised and you can no longer smell it!

A late treat for Mother's Day

The weather was perfect

This lady, wearing a bright red dress and hat looked very glamorous

Don't know who they are but they look content sitting in the sun

Apple blossom

Sham Ruin - a folly built by John Nash around 1797

Fritillaria Lutea in our garden - we saw these at Corsham Court too.  Bit droopy looking for me.

I prefer upright flowers like these tulips - Blue Diamond

This is a new tulip for us this year too - Monte Carlo

It has been gorgeous!

I am not the only one to be excited by the longer days, sun and (hopefully) warmer days to come. We are sure that Eddie must have been a street dog from Athens in a past life.  He lies on the drive all day, following the sun and only comes in when it gets dark.

Eddie, the 10 year old puppy

I'm off to don my wuzzy bottoms, wack the heating up and watch Alex Polizzi in some sun drenched Italian town wafting in a vest top and linen trousers.  I bet she doesn't do her own gardening.

'In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt'.

- Margaret Atwood

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