Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer Solstice Celebrations

Today is always a bitter sweet day for me: the longest day.
I have celebrated the winter solstice for many years. It's a chance to give gratitude for the year that's been and to welcome the sun back to the northern hemisphere but this year my friend Lorraine, invited me to come and celebrate the summer solstice with her and some friends, in a tipi in the New Forest.






Tipi

The evening was clear and bright and it was so lovely driving through the New Forest, that I felt nice and relaxed by the time I arrived at the tipi.

I have never been in a tipi before and it's amazing how roomy it is on the inside.



Inside the tipi

My life is so incredibly busy, so it was wonderful just to step away from it for one evening and to focus and meditate on the things which really matter.



Where we built our Apacheta

After our meditation, we walked up to the hill to a beautiful beech tree, where we built an Apacheta, to connect with the standing stones, of which there are many around Dorset and Wiltshire. With each stone we placed, we offered our good intentions.




Apacheta

Maybe I shouldn't be sad at reaching the summer solstice because we start loosing the light but I should appreciate the light we have right now.

My garden is blooming at the moment and it's not the flowers which stay for months which I notice and appreciate but the ones that are fleeting like the peonies. They are over now but they'll be back next year and I have the dahlias to look forward to, although the cold winter has sadly halved my dahlia collection. I think replenish and dig up the tubers at the end of the season will be the way to go next time.
Peace and harmony.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Greenhouse happiness and a my new Toby Buckland Book

The greenhouse is looking like a proper greenhouse, with tomatoes in the growbags, two types of peppers and lots of chillies, which need potting on and a fresh sowing of purple sprouting broccoli. It feels quite lovely, standing in there with the light streaming down from all sides. In fact it has got a bit too hot but I don't like greenhouse shading, so I think I will fashion some sort of blind out of fleece.

My outdoor tomatoes have been planted out and I need to sow some more peas (my first sowings now have flowers!) carrots and parsnips. I learnt a very interesting fact from my new book by Toby Buckland called Practical Gardening Handbook and that is to pinch ouf the first fruit of the courgette, pepper and aubergine as they tend of be quite tough and seedy and doing this encourages more tender fruits.

I love Gardeners' World so much, it's my favourite programme and has been for many years but why oh why is it only 1/2 hour, I haven't even finished my glass of wine before it's over!

My gravel garden is looking quite pretty, with the Peony, my new Poppy and Iris in flower and my Crambe Cordifolia, smells like honey. Next year I am going to develop another part of the garden, to enable me to grow lots of lovely plants. I was eyeing it up last weekend. It's just a scruffy patch of grass at the moment, half in full sun and half shaded by the garage, so I will be able to grow a good range of plants. I think I'll start making a wish list now.

Crambe Cordifolia
Iris
Peony


Poppy












Wednesday, 2 June 2010

NGS Aviemore

When I contacted Sandy and Alex Robinson about visiting their garden to photograph, they asked me to come in the morning before the garden opened. This was the first time they had opened their garden for the NGS, so they had no idea, how many people would come, plus they said the garden was small and thought I might find it difficult to photograph with lots of people milling about.

A chair covered in lichen

The front garden has lots of interest with shrubs which are in flower at the moment, and packed with perennials like irises and alliums. There is a lawn and a gravel garden with a natural looking pond. I would be very pleased if this was my back garden, it was so beautifully planted.



A welcome seating area under the tree

When I entered the back garden, I noticed that it was anything but small. The garden has been designed, so that you can't see it all from one glance. The lawn was immaculate, helping to set off the plants and the trellis running almost the width of the garden entices you to see what is beyond. On the other side of the trellis was a beautiful and productive vegetable garden.


Vegetable Garden



Cloche

The vegetable garden was laid out with raised beds, which are not only practical but also look attractive. I was very envious when I spotted the compost heap. The contents black and crumbly, something which still alludes me.
At either end of the vegetable garden are ornate bridges, made by Alex, which cross a little stream running through the garden and on the other side of the stream, is a little path meandering through plants, which leads to a little garden room, also made by Alex.



Stream


Stream with garden room


Garden room

Sandy has designed this garden to perfection. It's very inspirational and has given me some ideas for my garden.
Aviemore is open again this weekend 6 June from 2 till 5, so if you are near the New Forest, then I can recommend a visit.
The details for this garden are on the NGS website http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/gardenfinder/garden.aspx?id=22289
A gorgeous garden to visit with lovely owners and scrumptious cakes - a perfect combination!
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