In my back garden just now the little red pelargonium is doing fine, as are all my succulents, although my herb pots are looking a bit tired and probably need a bit of love and attention to perk them up a bit.
In the front garden some of the roses are looking a bit careworn, too, but thankfully the last of the lavender is holding on to its scent, even though the flowers are fading fast… 🙂
Last year I had two supermarket-bought pelargoniums growing in pots indoors, but after a while they really weren’t looking happy wherever I put them. Eventually all their leaves yellowed and fell off and they just looked bald and sad, so earlier this year, worried I might kill them off altogether if I wasn’t careful, I finally decided to plant them outside in the garden instead and just wait and see what might happen.
They both limped on bravely until all their remaining leaves totally disappeared, but still I left the ailing plants where they were. For the longest time my pelargonium plants appeared to be nothing but wizened brown stumps in the ground. However come early summer, although one of my plants was most definitely dead and already disintegrating back into the earth, the other was showing the tiniest stirrings of life and so I left it where it was to see if it would begin to grow properly again.
Over the next while it just sat there in an odd kind of stubborn limbo, a bit green and a bit brown, neither fully alive nor fully dead, so after much deliberation I dug it up a few weeks ago and moved it to a different spot in the garden… And here it is today, no more than about 3 inches high, but with healthy green leaves and red flowers again! 🙂
I know I’ve posted several very similar images of the red pelargonium sitting in my cold, unheated conservatory all winter.
It’s truly been a beautiful bright splash of colour standing proud against the otherwise dull grey monochrome world outside – or against a lighter snowy backdrop, like today – and look, still it continues to flower 🙂
After careful monitoring I’ve taken out most of my plants from our North-East-facing conservatory and have re-sited them elsewhere throughout the house – the conservatory really is far too cold in the winter for many of them. However I’ve left the few slighty more hardy UK-native plants in situ and I’m delighted to see they’re still in flower even now, bringing a bright splash of colour at the end of the year.
I’ll have a re-think in 2021 about where best to site my current houseplants on a permanant basis, and which newcomers to add to my growing collection, but I’ve had such fun experimenting and finding my feet this year with both my garden and my conservatory. Even after 20 years of living in an upstairs flat with no outdoor space at all, I’m delighted to find I’ve not lost my green fingers after all 🙂
One of this biggest issues with this damned coronavirus pandemic is the way daily life is necessarily restricted in a never-ending nightmarish rolling-plan kind of way. What we can do, when and how we do it, and who we can it with is all tied up in where we live, and – here in the UK anyway – our everyday lives have inevitably become so much smaller, tighter, more closed in and revolving around home but sadly without having any extended family visiting indoors at all.
Sometimes I feel so enclosed and enveloped within the suffocating folds of this cover-all blanket ban it’s like I can’t breathe, like when the constricted airways of an asthma attack leave me with a tight pain in my chest and seriously struggling to draw breath. And yet it feels like there is limited relief to be found anywhere, that there are only so many ways we can ring the changes and use the few notes we do have to create ourselves a new tune so it’s not just same old, same old, day in, day out.
But then I stop and think – well, with bell-ringing you only have the available bells you have in situ, and yet when rung together with planning and care there are often far more possible sequences and combinations than at first seems? Perhaps this Covid 19 pandemic may turn out to be the same and it’s just a case of finding out how to do many of those things we can do differently enough, find enough permutations to make life feel new and interesting again?
I feel like I definitely need to find a way to get myself out of this rut I’m stuck in, stop looking at what I can’t do any more and focus more on what I can – go deep, not wide. Like how many ways can I photograph the same flower, the same view, the same surroundings? Learn to work more creatively and more productively with those few bells I have – basically find new ap-peal-ing ways to ring the changes, passing the time until this pandemic finally passes and life can open up again 🙂
Red and green always seems such a Christmassy combination, even at the beginning of September! And for the past couple of days as well as a trio of bluetits a little robin with its fluffy orange-red breast has been feeding at our bird feeder, so nature seems keen to remind me that winter will be coming soon. Thanks nature, I know the fast-cooling weather has been a little uncertain lately but personally I haven’t actually quite finished with summer yet, and surely autumn still needs to have her beautiful blaze of glory before chilly winter blows over us with her icy breath and frozen fingers… 🙂
Reflecting on my life experience always tells me a lot of things. Right now it tells me not to worry too much when I have a down day or two, or three or four or even more, because I know that this too shall pass – and sure enough, so far it always has done. Thankfully this miserable depression I struggle with never lasts for too long these days, and even when it does linger more than I would like I understand enough of life to know that now is not forever.
Understanding my life experience allows me just to sit tight and breathe my way through the dismal down days, to distract myself by looking for the inherent beauty in the natural world around me. On closer inspection even the simplest of red flowers in my conservatory where I sit shows such beautiful dark rivulets delicately threading the back of its throat, its finely-veined petals gently flushed with the deepest pink shading as if its life-blood also pumps through a vibrant beating heart. I listen intently until I almost hear its heartbeat mirror my own, and I feel strangely comforted.
Nothing in life is ever as simple as it seems, things are rarely starkly black or white, good or bad, and nuance colours us in a variety of shades with each hue bringing its own specific spectrum of understanding to our lives. I feel blue at times and I see red at other times, I have dark moods and bright moments and very occasionally find myself bathed in glorious rainbows of hopefulness. But however much I stumble or falter along the way in times of darkness, I always know I’m travelling along the right road and my still-beating heart, fragile as a flower, tells me I’m doing just fine… 🙂
I love the fuzzy background you get from a narrow depth of field – it tells you look, this is the bit of the image I want you to focus on, the rest is just setting and context. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to see the bigger picture, to look at everything across the frame with equal concentration, but sometimes it’s just too much and distracts too much from the main subject.
Right now in life I feel like I need to focus in on the little bit of world right in front of me, and blur out all the rest into fuzzy obscurity. Not ignore it or pretend it’s not there, but just have it all sitting there blended softly into the background, allowing me to focus sharply on noticing and nurturing the immediate details of my everyday reality closer to home 🙂