Midsummer spell

Midsummer spell

Scarlet tiger moths flutter around the house in the early evening, weaving a spell of midsummer. The air they move through is filled with the scent of mock orange; a heady concoction, filled with memories of summers past. In the depths of the shady end of the garden the wild strawberries are ripening; fairy fruits [...]

Welcoming winter

Welcoming winter

By half past four the sun’s rays are fleeting. Shafts of light cross the garden floor, low where leaves lie, setting the liquidambar's colours on fire. Tomorrow, at bedtime, we’ll set the clocks back by a precious hour and be ready to welcome winter. The ritual of making a fire each evening makes up for [...]

A handful of greengages

A handful of greengages

Picking greengages from the tree in the garden has become a seasonal ritual. Usually the first fruits are ripe by the second half of August, but this year I haven't had to wait that long. Everything outside seems a good week or two ahead, and I have to keep reminding myself that there are still [...]

Midsummer magic

Midsummer magic

The sun-filled hours of the summer solstice herald the days of magic and enchanted evenings ahead. Friday is St John’s Eve. There are fresh herbs to pick and the first of the peas to harvest. And dotted about the floor of the woodland end of the garden the barest handful of tiny, bright wild strawberries [...]

New mud on old boots

New mud on old boots

A walk is always a good way to start the new year.  So yesterday, despite grey skies, we headed out.  Along the track leading down to Bablock Hythe, the fruits of the old year cling on as the new year's flowers come into bloom. Hidden among the trees is an old physic well, similar to [...]