Saturday, 30 May 2015

Living In The Moment

We are in the middle of a stretch of sunny weather and I am trying to enjoy every moment. Although I am always behind on the garden, running to catch up with the work, I always try to take some time out to smell the roses (literally and metaphorically). I am now the proud owner of a new poly-tunnel.

It is my first time growing in one and Galician Summers are hot so this year is an experiment to see if I can grow tomatoes, aubergines and various peppers without frazzling them to death. Fingers crossed it is going well so far.

Every year the flower garden next to the house gets brighter and more varied. The smell of the Californian lilac is heavenly and the bees and hover flies agree with me.

 There are masses of butterflies and yet the buddleia is nowhere near flowering yet but I have plenty of nettles for the caterpillars to thrive on and a mix of wild and cultivated flowers all year round.

Ill health has given me reflection time this year and necessitated two trips to the UK (a third is planned). Although not terminal after much thought and discussion with Tim, some priorities have changed. I am reducing the area under cultivation to a more manageable  size until I have help or regain my former vigour, although the latter outcome seems less likely as I continue to age.

So here I am smelling the roses, living in the moment, eating peas, broad beans, field beans, chard, broccoli and mangetout. Sunning myself on the patio every chance I get. Quaffing home made elder flower cordial and mead, and generally enjoying the good life. There is nowhere else I would rather be, and if Tim were here with me to share in natures joys, life would indeed be perfect.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Garden of Rememberance

Gardens are not simply pretty, they create memories. My arum lilly has produced its first flower in Galicia.
I have several more dotted around but these arums have a story to tell. When I bought a new house in the UK with my first husband, my Grandmother dug up some arum lilly roots from her garden wrapped them in newspaper and gave them to me for my new garden. She also told me their story. When she was newly wed to my Granddad he was a gardener at Charterhouse Public School. He bought her some roots of the arum home to her as a gift.  Ever since she had faithfully taken pieces to every house she had lived in. This all happened nearly a hundred years ago and she died aged 95, a good age. 

My Granddad  died before I was born so I never knew him but the lilly is the best link I have to both of them.  My daughter bought the pieces of root over to Galicia in her suitcase from our house in the UK. Perhaps she will carry on the tradition to another generation.

 When I wander through the garden I see the plants but also the people who helped me with them. Over Winter, Tim and I chose four old  style scented roses together, including an old Gallica, Damask, and Moss types. I await their flowering with excitement, I won't be able to look at them without remembering the choosing process and discussion that went into it (there were lots to choose from). My daughter also can't resist a scented rose and I have a couple of impulse buys from her in the garden. The gift that lasts.

Trees are an even better way of leaving your mark on the landscape.

“A thing which I regret, and which I will try to remedy some time, is that I have never in my life planted a walnut. Nobody does plant them nowadays—when you see a walnut it is almost invariably an old tree. If you plant a walnut you are planting it for your grandchildren, and who cares a damn for his grandchildren?” 
― George Orwell

Tim and I have planted a couple of Walnuts, we both hope we will live long enough to eat a nut from them but if not maybe our grandchildren will.