I’m sure it will surprise no-one who follows my blog that my favourite quiet place is my garden. We live in a town and yet our back garden is surprisingly private, set slightly lower down than the house and with a high wall, a high fence, and a high hedge on the other three sides it’s easy to forget we’re in a busy built-up area. It’s like our own little secret haven, and because the back garden isn’t visible from the road visitors are always surprised to see how much of a sunken green space we have hidden behind the house. The front garden is inevitably much less private but I still love that it allows the house to be comfortably set back from the road, creating a satisfactory feeling of separation from the rest of the world we both truly appreciate ❤
A small orange rose plus several more buds for last weekend’s Weekly Prompt: Orange – hopefully it’s not too late to join in! 🙂
This weekend’s Weekly Prompt is ‘straight and narrow’, and the system of locks for raising and lowering boats at the end of the Caledonian Canal here in Inverness is certainly straight and narrow – and deep! 🙂
Red, orange, and yellow roses captured in sunshine after rain for today’s Weekly Prompt of Trichromatic 🙂
I was sitting having a cup of tea on the garden bench and couldn’t help but notice the beautiful shadows of the lavender on the arm – perfect for yesterday’s Weekly Prompt challenge of ‘shadows’ 🙂
I forgot what it’s like to host guests
Clean the house so it looks at its best
Tidy up random stuff
Make it look good enough
Hide the worst of our everyday mess
I’d got used to our lock-down delays
Quiet living and insular days
Covid curses no more
Cast bad spells on my door
Feels so strange to return to old ways
So we welcome old friends with a smile
And remark that it’s been quite a while
With great caution we start
With new joy in our heart
To embrace this post-Covid lifestyle
Two years ago we didn’t even have a garden, we were living in a one-bedroom first floor flat in London with no outside space at all.
And now here we are in a three bedroom bungalow in Inverness with garden front and back, and find ourselves slap bang in the middle of a pretty steep green-fingered learning curve. There are multiple really old rose bushes in the front garden just coming into bloom now, so I’m learning (generally by trial and error) how best to look after them and everything else plant-wise we inherited when we bought the house.
I’ve always loved spending time in nature and absolutely love having a garden, both in the passive and active sense, and our intention long-term is to grow some fruit and vegetables as well as flowers and shrubs so that our outdoor space can be practical as well as pretty. I’ve already added several herbs – lavender and thyme and rosemary and lemon balm – and intend to add a lot more scented plants as I go along.
Over this last year and a half since the Covid pandemic changed everything I’ve really appreciated having ready access to so much outdoor space, and my garden has become my little sanctuary in more precious ways than I could ever have imagined. I regularly cut the grass and pull the weeds and prune and dead-head and generally look after everything as best I can, only to find to my delight that as I nurture my garden it nurtures me in return.
British horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) said that ‘The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies’ and that’s exactly what I’m experiencing here – my plan for the future is I’m definitely going to become an old lady who potters in the garden, and I’m happy to report it’s a healthy habit I’m already starting to build now ❤
A nineteen thirties bungalow in style
Mock-Tudor boards on double-fronted bays
Old paint-peeled rendered walls that made me smile
And fall in love in oh-so-many ways
Its shabby chic and part-neglected air
Called out to me to make this house my own
Look far beyond its age without a care
Ignore its dated décor overtone
And now we live together in this space
Eclectic symbiosis oft appears
Where partial changes slowly taking place
Bring modern touches to the faded years
I love the way the blend of old and new
Creates a loving home for me and you… ❤
I found this sign on someone’s front door in town – what fun! I’m glad that crazy cats live there 🙂
It’s probably a bit late for both Weekly Prompt challenges but I only found this guy today and just had to share him – better late than never!
This is a sandstone effigy of a knight, and along with one small section of sandstone pillar still standing in a small, very old graveyard he is all that remains of a Dominican Friary built here in 1233. He has no arms any more, and his head and chest are extremely weathered, but if you look closely you can still see the design on his belt buckle holding his scabbard and long sword by his left hip. On his right side there is a shorter stabbing sword or big knife, and looking behind his shoulders there is still a hint of chain-mail patterning cut into the stone.
He’s maybe not the clearest of effigies to make out but the poor guy is just shy of 900 years old and sandstone is not the most hard-wearing substance on the planet, so I’d say he’s looking pretty good in the circumstances, even his knobbly knees. Especially as the friary itself was disbanded and destroyed during the reformation in the mid-16th Century, with many of the original stones being re-used for major buildings elsewhere in the town, so he’s lucky to have survived.
I’d decided today to explore two of the three old burial grounds within a stone’s throw of each other in the middle of Inverness – Blackfriars is the smallest and most hidden from view of them all, tucked in behind a rather ugly relatively modern telephone exchange building, and I’d never actually been there before so finding a 13th Century stone knight still standing strong was a pretty cool find. I imagine he’d be pretty spooky at night though, looming out of the wall like that 🙂