Friday, August 21, 2009

Welcome to my English garden in August - flowers, bees and butterflies!

We may have had far too much rain but the garden is still a joy! After today's rain I took some photos. I managed to click on butterflies and bees exploring the flowers on more than one shrub. Bees were buzzing around too. Quite a number of them on our glorious eucryphia with its simple four petal flowers and magnificent stamens. The hydrangeas have been slow to come into flower but their blooms are huge and colourful. Buddlea and a sprinkling of azalea blooms, plus a number of flowers we have planted and which have grown from seed. The raindrops sparkle in the sunshine and the birds are happy picking early berries as well as helping themselves to seeds and nuts. Squirrels make us smile too. We don't have to water the garden as nature is doing that for us. True, we are losing some roses but those that are smiling in the sun and glistening with raindrops are a joy to behold. The trees are in their full summer foliage with the silver birches waving in the breeze like triumphant cricket supporters. Holiday makers can keep their hot beaches - they are nothing compared with the peace and tranquility of an English country garden!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Watery Break In Derbyshire!

We have just returned from an eight day break in Derbyshire. We had rain most of the time but clear spells when we managed some walking — the woods at Chatsworth (always a delight), the path in Dovedale (heavenly riches) , the nature reserve at Carsington Reservoir (a perfect haven), and the last section of the Tissington Trail (easy walking and a joy for cyclists), We visited my sister and took her to the lovely nature reserve at Attenborough (about a mile from where we lived many years ago — mentioned in my book of childhood memories, When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in red Boxes). And we visited my husband's sister for tea (at Matlock), and joined both his sisters plus husbands for a meal at the Grouse and Claret at Rowsley.
We came across a fantastic log in Dovedale, 'chissled' by nature, which reminded me of a poem I wrote recently. I decided to put it here with the photo of the log plus one of me with my sister. Although we are not a bit alike, one might say that both my sister and I have been similarly sculptured!

Nature’s Sculpture
By Gladys Hobson

Like twisted log tossed on the beach
each groove and knot
forming nature’s sculpture.
If mind is open it can reach
a story true
of life and death —
crafted in lines bold and free
in hollows and grooves
and swirls and knots:
a distorted body —
a soul tormented?

Or is the story nature tells
far from what my eyes do see?
For beauty lies within the heart
and sings a different melody,
Those crafted grooves
that make me shudder
were earned by life’s experience.
Each tells a story of its own
yet builds into a perfect whole.

Again I look into the mirror
unafraid of what I see;
for nature’s sculpture so defined
is beauty of a different kind.
I am who I am —
yes, this is me.