Up Hawkshaw Lane

Evening walk up Hawkshaw Lane in a warm breeze. A few blackbirds perched on the lines sing the day's lullaby. It was a summer's day, a blustery and dazzling day, full of kites, cotton-grass and buttercups. Holcombe Hill cotton-grass Now there are only two of us, and we leisurely follow the lane up towards the…

Indoor gardening (2)

And while snow and ice are burying the few flowers that had appeared in my garden (essentially hellebores, nothing else yet)... The little soufflés have risen.More snow fell last night... ... I keep myself busy with my indoor friends. After my last post on the subject, a very kind reader and neighbour came and gave…

Snow

For the first time since the Beast of the East, we have snow in Canterbury. Instead of the jewel colours of iris reticulata, we have this: Night glows with the blue Arctic winter daylight. How I wish my camera could capture it. Day dazzles and speaks of far-away mountain peaks one could see, faint in…

Indoor gardening

... or is it ? It wasn't so long ago that I thought houseplants were not really plants, and I considered the growing craze for indoor vegetation as a mere consumerist pursuit, like others, guided by fashion. One would covet the it-plant (ficus lyrata, anybody ?) in the same way as the it-bag (I would…

A prologue

Estrella, the angel. A small room. On a narrow bed tucked in the far corner, under the window, the pale thin mound of Estrella’s sleeping body. Against the opposite wall, alongside a washstand, a rush-seated chair. THE ANGEL, nonchalantly leaning back in the far-left corner, opposite the bed, hands in the pockets of his robe,…

A gardening blog supposedly

I know. Gardening hasn't featured on this blog for ages (not even pictures of the summer abundance !). Its title is starting to feel embarrassingly misleading. I sometimes think of dismembering it into several better-focused blogs. Musings and considerations on writing could be added to Constellation, which is a personal anthology, whereas the Gardening Diary…

November

Quiet fireworks this year. Acer palmatum Osakazuki Fly agaric A coral fungus Magpie inkcap Magpie inkcap Alliums Purple Sensation, Flax from Normandie, Cortaderia, Stipa gigantea, Fritillaria meleagris, ostrich feathers

Last day

That's it. It's done. This was my last day working for the school. I can't complain, my contract was extended to cover the whole school year when I should have stopped at Easter. I was already on borrowed time. It hurts. Back in France, in my previous life, I jumped through the hoops of an…

Birthday boy

Last minutes of his eleventh birthday. I am not quite sure why I feel the need to write this tonight. He has always been his own little person. His English grandparents said of him, when he was a toddler, that he had his own agenda. Yet he was not really stubborn - on the contrary,…

Cloud garden

I have wanted to write for weeks, but lacked time or mental disponibility. Yet, now I am here, I can't remember any of the things which were burning my fingertips. Writing in English this evening feels like learning ice-skating: a graceless muscle-wringing exercise, where not falling flat on the face is the best one can…

Fake gardener

I am not a true gardener : I don't grow edibles, or so few they don't count. The size of my garden is to blame, but so is my privileged existence in a rich country where it is more convenient and often cheaper to buy food at the supermarket (oh wait... ). I therefore get…

and so about the afterlife

  and so about the afterlife I say to him, you see my mum and I are standing at opposite ends, she not able to imagine that we who think and feel - her voice just like frail hands against a heavy door - might be no more whereas I well I struggle even to…

Promise

With real Roman tiles, Sir. (I know I need more oxygenating plants, will order some for the pond, as well as that stuff against that nasty green algae which is already starting to choke the pond...). By the way, I hope the fact the frogspawn is not floating doesn't mean our future tadpoles are doomed.

First gardening day (hello newt)

At last, I have stepped into the garden. The new (temporary) teaching job I started in November, in a public school's international French section, as well as the storms unleashed upon us, kept me from coming out and greeting the first signs of the growing season. As soon as February appeared, I could feel the…

Childhood

And whilst I busy myself with plants only a handful of people will get to enjoy, words fly asea and children grow. We emerge from the Docklands Light Railway under the imposing hull of the Cutty Sark. Above Greenwich, clouds and sun weave a fine maritime sky perfect to blow wind in our imagination. Your…

Crazy young July

... and still waiting for the dahlias, echinaceas, echinops, salvias, miscanthus, pomegranate and others. What little land I have works hard ! I must apologise for the bad quality of the pictures, my phone's camera messes up contrasts. Colours are accurate (at least on my screen).  

Mind your own business

Minding my own business is something I am quite good at, these days. This discretion is probably less born out of virtue than a consequence of my near reclusion. Apart from school runs and equivalent walking to and fro between children's activities, I am my own company, which usually suits me. I have been spending…

Bye bye turf

That's it, I've lost it. Just like the rest of the country, but on a grander scale. Jugez-en par vous-mêmes : two days ago, I had this sudden urge to move my beloved and innocent acer palmatum Katsura into the shady bed. A modest and reliable potentilla fructicosa inherited from the previous occupants, which in…

White blossom

I am glad Storm Gareth has finally tired of blowing over our isles. Unlike in February, the temperature has resumed normal lows and I need a jumper and two fleece jackets when I go round my garden (using my husband's fleece last as it is big enough to wrap around all the layers). I have…