Monday, 31 December 2012

Happiness is the way

Shed no tear! O shed no tear!
The flowers will bloom another year.
Weep no more!  O weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
                        From Faery Queen by John Keats  

Today's pansy basket - with its promise of delight to come in the in the new year ahead

Don’t evaluate your life in terms of achievements, trivial or monumental, along the way … Instead, wake up and appreciate everything you encounter along the path.
Enjoy the flowers that are there for your pleasure. Tune in to the sunrise, the little children, the laughter, the rain and the birds.
Drink it all in… there is no way to happiness;
Happiness is the way. 
                                               Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Pablo's Christmas outfit

Compliments of the Season and best wishes for 'happy gardening'     in 2013 
                           Pablo Cat.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Twas the night before Christmas ...

Pablo waiting for Santa to appear down the chimney

Tradition has it that girls who wish to see an image of their future husband should walk backwards around the nearest pear tree nine times on Christmas Eve. I guess most women are too busy with last-minute preparations to find time to do this, but if anyone is so minded, there are two pear trees in Pablo’s garden that he is more than happy to be utilised for this purpose.

Bringing greenery into the house at Christmas was an Egyptian tradition when palm branches were used to celebrate the winter solstice and the Romans used evergreens to for the same purpose. Holly and ivy from Pablo’s garden has been picked for use in seasonal flower arrangements.

Christmas swag
Gawsworth \Church festival
 You can’t beat the smell of a real Christmas tree and it was a joy when, on a visit to Gawsworth Hall in Derbyshire to see the Christmas flower decorations, we also had the opportunity to visit a Christmas tree festival at the nearby church. The church looked splendidly festive and there were mince pies and teas to be had in the church hall, presided over by smiling ladies who could have stepped out of an Agatha Raisin novel. 

Jesus was said to have appeared to a poor peasant family one cold winter’s night. The couple took pity on his plight and took him in and fed him. When the couple woke the following morning, the cottage was bathed in a heavenly light. As the child left, he took a branch from a nearby fir tree and stuck it in the ground, saying it would provide food and comfort each winter for the family as repayment for their kindness. 

Happy Christmas

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The holly and the ivy

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!

                                                           William Shakespeare

Frost and snow have ensured that no real gardening could take place during the past few days. Despite the season, there is still colour to be seen in Pablo’s garden in an occasional perennial that hasn’t as yet been affected by the frosts, including some of the this year’s pentstemons and salvias.

There is also one climbing rose, viewed from the French windows, that still bears one solitary red rose which continuously waves at me from the left hand border – a wonderfully uplifting sight.

Evergreens take the lead now. The holly tree has very few red berries so perhaps it won’t be such a bad winter after all. Legend has it that the cross was made of wood from the holly tree and thus the holly must suffer by bearing thorny leaves. Its berries are supposed to represent drops of Christ’s blood.

Ivy leaves from the garden with shop-bought roses
The ivy, which is often such a nuisance in having to be regularly chastised from entwining itself around the guttering, now comes into its own. Because of its clinging nature, ivy is seen as the feminine counterpart of the masculine holly. Small birds love to nest in it in the spring and in the winter it is perfect for flower arrangements.


A white flake here and there – a snow lily
Of last night’s frost – our naked flower beds hold;
And for a rose flower on the darkening mould
The hungry redbreast gleams. No bloom, no bee.
                                         From ‘Winter’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti