Chickens, Other Gardens, Uncategorized

Not a gardening post

This weekend was unfortunately spent not gardening, so this is a ‘not gardening’ blog post.  I was Not Gardening for various reasons:

  1. The weather was poor, which was actually a good thing because…
  2. I had to paint my study, and keep getting distracted by the good weather and the garden when really I need to Get On With It.  My study is my little refuge – for reading, writing, blogging and occasional staring at the garden while planning the next job…!
  3. It was quite a busy weekend with a grown-up party, a kids party and a visit to my parents to take into account, as well as a hairdresser’s appointment to keep.

However, even when I’m Not Gardening, I’ve found it’s difficult to shake the gardening habit. When I was in town for the hairdresser appointment I popped into a few shops and discovered that my eye is now drawn to garden-themed clothing.  The evidence…

I’ve also been inspired by a couple of books which will hopefully help with my garden plans – I’ve been reading Chicken Coops for the Soul, which I stumbled upon at the library when I was looking for something completely different.  It’s a useful insight into the realities of chicken-keeping and is helping me to get an idea what it might actually be like, if/when I take the plunge.  So far, it’s not putting me off!

I have also recently received this book which I ordered from a second-hand online shop…


…and I can’t wait to get stuck in.  Although I haven’t read it yet, it’s one of the inspirations for this blog – Monty kept a diary, written and photographic, of everything they did when they moved to Ivington and this book is the result.  Now.  I KNOW I am nowhere on the scale of the mighty Mr Don, but we do plan to be in this house for a long time, so I’d like to think that a record of the development of the garden would be a great thing to look back on in years to come.  And if at that point I’m a big famous gardening expert *ahem* , a publishing deal will certainly be very welcome…so I’m getting started early!

Look at this face, how could you not trust the advice he gives…

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Don’t even get me started on his new puppy.

So, as I said, it’s been a weekend of No Gardening.  Followed by today – the Springiest of Spring days and, Sods Law, I’ve had to go to work, in a windowless office, with zero plants or soil or anything.  It is genuinely frustrating, to have to spend such a beautiful day indoors, but when I start to get worked up about it I remind myself that I am very lucky to have a good, flexible, part-time job, and that my three days of work allow me to have two days of non-work and the means to own the house and garden that we do.  So the next time I get annoyed about it, I will take a breath, count my blessings and walk through the office door, dressed  in one of my lovely new garden-themed shirts…




Other Gardens


Just a small selection above of the hundreds and hundreds of snowdrops currently on show at Cambo Country House and Estate, near St Andrews.

Cambo hosts a National Collection of over 350 varieties of snowdrops and is one of the only places I can think of where you can visit a country house, woodland, gardens and the seaside almost simultaneously!  Its proximity to the coast means a ramble through its gorgeous wood, taking in huge carpets of snowdrops and aconites, gradually leads you out to the coastline.  My children (and husband, and father-in-law!) took great delight in mucking about in various rockpools while I was content to try and snap some of the flowers.  I was glad of my Nikon 5100 which has an articulated viewfinder – I was able to get the camera down nice and low for some shots close to the ground.  They were a bit hit and miss but I think I managed to get a few decent photographs.

It was also a really bright and sunny day and the afternoon light coming through the woods was perfect.  I really loved this visit to Cambo – it was so relaxing and inspiring to see the huge numbers of flowers and plants on show, and gave me a chance to appreciate the first flower of spring – the snowdrop – in all its hundreds of forms, as we have absolutely none in our garden at Alvare!