Wednesday, April 13, 2011
We can't win can we?
Remember all that snow, ice and frost which waterlogged all our gardens when it defrosted...we all said we don't need any more rain, but down it came!
That was back through February, since then...nothing!
It's been quite breezy and sometimes chilly lately, even overnight frosts and we've also had some good helpings of sunshine, but we've had no rain to speak of.
The weather men are saying it's been the driest March for fifty years and it's continued into April. Still no rain predicted for the coming week so we're having to water the garden night and morning.
The farmers are wishing it would rain as they've had nothing much except the odd light shower since the crops were planted which doesn't bode well for a good harvest.
I was speaking to one garrulous old boy the other day, praising the glorious weather...lol...I can't repeat what he called it, it certainly wasn't glorious!!
The spring flowers are very pretty but aren't lasting long, some are all leaf and no flower, and the trees are still pretty bare of leaf though the hedges seem to be greening up.
I planted all my seeds about a week ago, they germinated quickly and already they're right for pricking out into their next pots.
I've just spent a very enjoyable morning sitting in the sunshine underneath the beautiful blossoms of my Cheals weeping cherry and potted on around two hundred seedlings which I've loaded back into the greenhouse....still more to do!
They're flowers mostly, for my patio tubs, and veggie seedlings for the garden but none will be planted out until late May after all risk of frost has gone.
Part of a bough laden with blossom on my Cheals weeping cherry
Just a few of around two hundred seedlings I've pricked out this morning...these are french marigold 'tiger's eye'.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We've had some weird and wonderful weather just lately...lol...run the whole gamut from frost to fog.
Yesterday was a 'pea souper' of a day but last night it cleared and before we went to bed the change in temperature was apparent.
That sneaky old Jack frost came down and wrought his handiwork everywhere.
It was so frosty this morning that DH had pretty frost ferns across his car windshield.
We're back to fog, and cold wind with occasional rain today but last night inspired me to put pen to paper...hope you like it.
Last evening when I went to bed the moon was clear and bright.
The stars peeped down a-twinkling within the velvet night.
At sunrise when I woke and rose, the curtains opening wide,
The windowpanes were pearl, opaque. I couldn't see outside.
A tracery of leafy shapes the windowpanes adorn.
Jack Frost had been and drawn them there. Then vanished with the dawn.
Each windowpane's a beauteous sight
Of ferns and leaves and diffused light.
His ice creations, fragile patterns, delicate, a filament of grace.
Filigrees of snowy white, intricate as lace.
I've been to many galleries, the paintings there to see.
By famous artists, world renowned for their expertise.
But Jack Frost surely must compare with every one of these.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Each year a large stately home near us has a 'snowdrop walk' where you can meander through their grounds and woodland and take in the views of snowdrops as far as the eye can see.
We've done this walk many times now and the snowdrops increase with every passing year. They carpet the woodland floor and the formal garden's shrubbery with a blanket of white.
Yesterday a good friend and I followed the meandering path through the woods enjoying the sight and getting some welcome fresh air.
It was so beautiful after the long hard, icy winter we've endured, those little tiny pristine white flowers bringing us a promise of spring.
I wrote this poem a few years ago and thought you might like to read it, there are some pictures I took yesterday to go with it.
Heralds of Spring:
In the middle of winter the first shoot appears.
Lancing the ground like tiny, green spears.
Daily they're growing, pushing up through the mud.
And safe in the middle, a delicate bud.
The stalk elongates, the bud bows..so polite
To hang almost shyly 'til the time is just right
For the flower to open, so white and pristine.
The edges are picoted a delicate green.
Blown by the north wind, they curtsy and dance.
The heralds of springtime, the snowdrops all prance.
Carpeting the woodland floor
Covering a bank
As far as the eye can see
The star of the show...galanthus or snowdrop
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Well! another month is upon us...February.
My Dad always called it February Fill Dyke, meaning rain...lots of it...and it's raining today, pouring down just for you Dad....it'll probably be fine later on though!
It set me thinking, Dad had lots of little sayings about the weather, comes of being country born and bred and working on a farm from the age of twelve.
Living in the country then meant a lot different way of life than it does today and the seasons were marked by weather lore...little sayings to remember when things bloomed, when to do certain jobs and how to tell if the day would be wet or dry ready for working in the fields.
My Dad worked his way up to be a ploughman, tilling the land with his huge, gentle shire horses. Walking miles each day up and down the furrows taking in the scenery, watching insect, animal and bird behaviour, learning the little tell tales signs of the nuances of our weather.
He tried to teach us some of what he knew, we spent many wonderfully happy hours with him, walking the fields or helping him garden, learning about nature and the way of the year.
Times had changed though, the tractors were a force to be reckoned with and the trusty shires became redundant, surplus to requirements.
Dad loved horses all his life and even when he joined the army he was in the Horse Guards, and still working with his favourite companion.
I thought this morning of my Dad's little sayings and reminisced nicely for half an hour so I thought I'd share some of them with you.
You probably have your own memories and sayings but these are what I remember and a little poem he taught us too.
Whether the weather be hot,
Or whether the weather be not,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not!
Another favourite was the Poem of the Months.
I think it's words are a bit different to the Sara Coleridge one, maybe through passing it down by word of mouth.
January brings the snow
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain
Thaws the frozen lakes again.
March brings breezes sharp and shrill
Shakes the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lillies, roses
Fills the children's hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers
Apricots and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Brown October brings the pheasant
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast
Then the leaves go whistling past.
Chill December brings the sleet
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.
He always quoted 'Red sky at night, shepherds delight, red sky in a morning, shepherds warning' which my Mam always changed from shepherd to sailor as she was from a fishing family...lol... it foretold whether the weather would be good or bad.
'Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in.
Onion skins thick and tough, coming winter cold and rough'.
This speaks for itself and he was usually right.
'Oak before ash, we're in for a splash
Ash before oak, we're in for a soak'.
This refers to the leaves of the trees appearing and what the weather will be like through summer from their emergence in spring.
'Rain before seven, fine before eleven'.
This was very often true and helped when we wanted to go somewhere...well! it shut us up if he told us that...lol...
'Mares' tails and mackeral sky
Not long wet and not long dry'.
Based on the clouds it foretold a showery patch.
He taught us to look at certain flowers too, most of them close their petals to protect their pollen as the humidity rises so we used to say 'Pimpernel, pimpernel tell me true, whether the weather be fine or no'.
We never picked then, we could only observe.
The pimpernel is known as The Ploughman's Weatherglass.
'Beware the blackthorn winter' and 'Ne'er cast a clout 'til may is out' were another couple of favourites meaning rain and cold.
The blackthorn flowers first on bare stems and the March weather makes it bloom early but it can often be followed by rain and sleet and the 'may' or hawthorne tells us cold spells can be expected still in the month of May hence you don't get into your summer gear until after then.
Just some of the many sayings he had...a true countryman.
I miss you Dad.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Well, a week has gone by since I re-committed to Spark and this morning I've lost 2lbs. which is brilliant but it certainly hasn't been easy, in fact it's been quite an eventful week one way or another.
I've had a tight chest and no voice for over a week, it's not too bad and my voice is returning...if I don't talk too much...lol..
We went walking and birdwatching last Monday and I pulled a calf muscle...or so I thought...but it's turned out to be sciatica and by heck is it painful.
I have a 'bad' right leg due to arthritis in my knee and ankle which is a constant ache and the sciatica is in my 'good' left leg so I'm limping big time!
I've also had a Gilberts flare-up which makes me very achey and lethargic.
DH, trying to be helpful...bless! brought fish & chips for tea one night and yesterday we had a pizza. It was difficult, I didn't want to upset him...lol...but I did enjoy them!
He's promised no more being helpful...food wise anyway!
I'm getting there slowly so the 2lbs loss is a very nice surprise as I didn't think I'd have done very well as I haven't exercised at all, apart from the one birdwatching walk, and have been 'resting' all week!
Anyway it's taken me up to ninety pounds lost and it's reward time once again as I give myself a little incentive every ten pounds lost.
Not sure where or when I'll be able to get something as I'm not going far yet but I have seen a little bendable lamp in a sale which I'd quite like for next to the computer...I'm going to ring and send DH for it!
it's now later tonight, he went and got it for me, here it is!
It's a pretty shade of lilacy blue.
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