Leafy Summer Lanes

A country lane in summer

The mood has changed and things have moved on. Spring, which has been ‘all in a rush with richness‘ has now calmed down and settled into the warmth of the ‘lazy days’ of summer. Summer verdure is everywhere—a glorious season of lush growth, beautiful flowers and fruitfulness. Distant views are now masked by the more restrained greens of summer, giving us a feeling of being comfortably embraced by foliage. We’re closed-in with a sense of security and well-being as we enter these cool leafy summer lanes. Continue reading “Leafy Summer Lanes”

An English Cottage Garden in June

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Despite the efforts of the R.H.S. Chelsea Flower Show organizers to encourage innovation and modern garden designs, the public still seem to vote for traditional gardens. This year Chris Beardshaw again won the popular vote for Best-in-Show with his cottage-style planting.  I’m totally in agreement with the public here.

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Alone with the Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus begins in first light.

Morning has broken

Waking early the other day, I suddenly decided get up and listen to the dawn chorus. Opening the patio door wide I sat there ready to enjoy. I was in for a magical moment: 

All is quiet in the surrounding houses with only the odd noise of traffic. To be alone like this in the stillness is a delightful experience. I can begin to feel I’m hearing Eden’s echoes amidst the stillness and untarnished beauty of that first morning.

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The Superabundance of Spring

DSC_6728.NEFThe Superabundance of Nature

The superabundance of nature in the spring-time takes our breath away as we see new beauty unfolding on all sides. Every field, wood, hedgerow and garden erupting into fresh green. In G.M.Hopkins’ words it is ‘all in a rush with richness‘. We are bewildered by the profusion.

With bird song at a peak. the woods and gardens ring with the sounds of life. Nature, it seems, is exploding into life just now. The sight of a Brimstone butterfly, an Orange Tip, or an early Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in the garden as they search for nectar, just adds to the excitement.
Thanks for joining me for this post. I hope your presence will encourage me to try to do justice to this most wonderful season. 

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Spring Symphony

Highdown Gardens, West Sussex
Highdown Gardens, West Sussex

Creative Spring

A sense of exhilaration is in the air. Hibernation is over and the natural world has re-awakened. So have we, after a winter indoors. The cattle released from the wintering sheds into the grassy fields, and the newborn lambs  jump and frolic for joy in their new sense of liberation. The birds also burst into full throated song as a prelude to the nesting season. There is a sense of joie-de-vivre everywhere as the longed-for  acceleration of spring begins. As Shakespeare puts it :

‘From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,..’

From Shakespeare’s Sonnet 98 

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No silent Spring please

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Sing on sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,

Sing on sweet bird,  listen to thy strain,

And aged winter, mid his early reign,

At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.’

Robert Burns

 

The other day (Feb 1st ) I was sitting indoors when I heard a sound for which I am always waiting at this time of year. Opening the window, there it was, loud and clear, crisp and melodious—unmistakably the first Song Thrush—right on cue, singing its heart out claiming a territory for itself.  It’s my favourite songbird, especially because it is the first bird to sing. It gives us so much pleasure by its beautiful solo performance – a herald of the dawn chorus to come, causing ‘aged winter to clear his furrowed brow’.

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