‘No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn’Hal Borland (1900-1978) American author and naturalist
No one in Britain can have missed the weather the last few weeks, #thebeastfromtheEast, #StormEmma and more snow due this weekend. I hope you don’t mind, but some of this post was written a couple of weeks ago, and the rest today, as another wintery weekend looms. Also I’ve been a bit stuck, very tired and osteo-arthritis aching but I’ve been plodding along. I feel a bit like Spring, stuck around the corner, nearly in reach but not quite. I saw something on twitter today, which made me laugh:
Winter this year, is like a person who leaves the room in a huff, only to come back in ‘and another thing…’ only to leave again… and return…
#theBeastfromthe East brought about 4 inches of snow to Monton, it’s very unusual to have this much, usually, it’s about two inches, as it’s very flat around here with many canals. It was THAT cold and icy our local Parkrun (Worsley woods) was cancelled… this never happens as it’s under trees and very protected compared to most Parkruns. Fortunately, my Chap was OK about this, as the air was far too cold for running – you wouldn’t think to look at him that he has asthma 🙂
The wind chill dipped to minus 12 during the night, and minus 8 during the day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold in the middle of the city. I’m very used to cold when I’m up a mountain and layered up. It reminded me of the very cold day in January 2015, when we went to Neuschwanstein, in Bavaria with my Brother and his family, who were visiting from Australia – happy memories 🙂
A very cold, snowy day in Monton on 4th March 2018
It wasn’t lost on me that 1st March was the start of the meteorological Spring – so I layered up with my thickest, longest waterproof, gloves, hat, scarf and boots and ventured into the garden to see what flowers I could find. I was surprised to find some tête-à-têtes, and some purple perennial wallflower so I quickly picked the flowers, and put them in a vase with some lavender. The vase has appeared in ‘In a Vase on Monday’ many times, I wrapped ‘bee happy’ washi tape around it. The print is part of a series – the Winter print with descriptions of moons has appeared too (Worm Moon, Pink Moon and Flower Moon) at the start of meteorological Winter. Butterflies and bees seem a long way off at the moment, but like most things, they’ll be back.
‘It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure’ RobertKurson, author (1963– )
Happy New Year 2018
Happy New Year everyone, may your 2018 be happy and healthy. We’ve been down south to visit my Mum, and only got back to Salford for Hogmanay, so I decided to pick plants from both gardens. I cut some Cornus (dogwood) from my mother’s garden which has bright red stems and variated leaves, and when I got home, I cut some Hypericum from my front garden. My garden is very wet and blown about, but there are crocus and narcissi poking through the soil, and the hellebore are flowering so they will probably get their chance next week in a vase.
This was one of the first vases My Chap bought me; it has appeared a few times in In a Vase on Monday as has the Hypericum, inflower though ;-). There’s a few shoots poking through too, so that seems appropriate for a new year too…
Please have a look at Cathy’s vase this week, over at Rambling in the Garden who hosts IAVOM, as well as contributions from gardeners around the world.
My Mother’s Garden – frosty December 2017
I’ve written a few times about my mother‘s garden, she’s lived in the house since it was built in the 1970s – there’s many happy memories of food, playing games and relaxing in the garden with the family. My mum is the gardener in the family, my Dad mostly dug holes for plants, mowed the lawn and grew herbs. I get my love of gardening from my Mum.
The soil is clay so that’s why much grows in pots and a North facing garden just like ours in Salford. There’s usually a great many fuchsias in pots on the terrace – as usual, they’re living in the garage over the winter (there’s a window). My Mum has a gardener to do the heavy work, and pruning now, as she’s been retired along time. My Chap and I do get roped in when we are visiting though.
2 January 2018 – frosty Berkshire garden (including Dogwood)
We had a very quiet Hogmanay, it’s been a very tough year with loss, health troubles, especially my osteoarthritis, but I’m on the mend now and am much more myself. But 2017 was the Best of Times too. I married the love of my life 🙂
The weather took a major turn for the worse this week (12-19 May 2017) – it’s hurled down for most of the week, the garden certainly needed it – everything was really parched. But, all the rain meant I didn’t get into the garden much, let alone anywhere else. I’ve also been feeling very tired, and arthritis pain is high. However, I’m continuing to note down activities, people and things that make me happy or I’m grateful for.
Thanks, Emma from www.misspond.com who inspired me to blog and also writes regular posts on Happiness. One of the things, I love about blogging is meeting (usually virtual) new friends, finding a community and developing a network of people all around the world.
Here are five things that helped bring me happiness this week:
1. Hen Do arrangements
Officially, according to tradition (recent tradition, mind you), I shouldn’t be organising my own hen do – but I am. It’s because I have friends from various parts of my life work, locals, friends from uni, women’s institute and friends I met for random reasons over the last 30 years. My two UK bridesmaids have a lot on in their lives at the moment. One lives in London and is doing a Masters. The other is local to me in Lancashire, but she has a very hectic family life, busy life and her own 25th wedding anniversary do to arrange. I thought I’d get the ball rolling so I asked everyone what they might want to do… So I’ve done a survey – I want to give people a chance to get to know each other, potter around Manchester, and also have some fun. No dressing up, no tackiness, no clubbing (I’m too nackered). I am quite sure an Afternoon Tea will be involved 🙂
2. A visit to Salford Angels Women’s Institute
I’ve been a member of Cottonopolis WI (since it started in January 2015), we meet in Ancoats, just north of Manchester city centre, on the first Wednesday of the month (7.30pm). Do come along if you’re a local. There’s always cake 🙂
I’ve written a few times about WI means to me; the fun, camping, adventures and excellent meetings and speakers – it’s most definitely not jam and Jerusalem – it’s been a campaigning organisation since its inception in 1915, lobbying for equal pay, The WI were founding members of both the ‘fair trade’ and ‘Keep Britain Tidy’.
One of the great things about all the new WI’s around Great Manchester is we do lots of joint activities and people attend other WI meetings – so I know ladies all over the city. So on Thursday I went off to see the Salford Angels and had a lovely evening, with plenty of cake.
3. A walk around our neighbourhood – Monton in Salford
My Chap and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood after we’d had our tea. It’s something we do often in the summer evenings. We have a good look at all the flowers and plants in front gardens, noticing plants for our garden. It was lovely to chat about this and that, nothing complicated or heavy, just a good chat and a laugh or two.
We are lucky to live in Monton, in Salford. It’s very green place, the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of my street, Worsley Woods are a mile, or so away, and there’s a couple of golf courses (not that we play – but there are many footpaths). There’s even a parkrun at the end of our street.
It has a lighthouse that’s 30 miles from the North Sea (it’s really a garden shed) – just another reason why Monton is a bit quirky.
19 May 2017 – the lighthouse by the Bridgewater Canal, at Monton, Salford -30 miles from the sea!
4. Lunch with my pal C
I had a great time catching up with my good pal, hearing all her news and discussing my news – it really lifted my spirits. She’s a good listener. I’ve known C for over 12 years, we shared an office at work. She’s an IT geek and I’m not 🙂 Our birthdays are a couple of days apart, we usually go out to celebrate our birthdays, involving cocktails. Annual trips to Manchester Christmas markets, days out to Dunham Massey. She’s part of the Cottonopolis WI posse too – and obviously, she and her husband will be at our wedding in September.
5. My Gardening magazines arrived
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I love our garden and gardening. I’ve been a bit lax about taking part in In a Vase on Monday recently, but I’ve got my eye on some margarites for next week. Bloggers get involved from all around the world. Their beautiful flowers lift my mood when I’m feeling low. This link hosted by Cathy at:
This week my Gardeners’ World and Royal Horticultural Society Magazine arrived. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking through deciding what we might plant, or if money and space were available. The Gardeners’ World is very accessible for beginner gardeners like me, the RHS one helps with plant pests, plants that might suit our shady, north facing soggy back garden – and Latin plant names too.
6. Royal Horticultural Society Bridgewater Garden, Salford
We’ve been to RHS Tatton Park garden show most years (we are going again this year), but I only got around to joining RHS last year. I can’t tell you how excited I am that the 5th RHS garden Bridgewater will be a mile or so from our house up the Bridgewater Canal from our house (hence it’s name). It’s great for Salford in so many ways, not least employment and training. Watch this space, as it develops – work has started, it opens in 2019 – the plants need time to grow 🙂
An update on my #100happydays challenge – http://100happydays.com/ from the end of November 2015; work and preparations for Christmas completely caught up with me so I’m way behind with my summaries. Reflecting on these pictures, reminded me of the importance of family, friends, doing the things you love and most of all how much flowers and my garden can lift my mood. Have a good week everyone and come back soon to see the next instalment.
#100happydays 42/100 fuchsias still flowering in November, 43/100 mid week roast chicken dinner, 44/100 talking to my brother, 45/100 this card made me laugh
42/100 – Fuchsias still flowering in late November
I’ve mentioned a couple of times on my blog, and on twitter, about how weird the weather has been in the UK this Autumn. In our part of Salford in Lancashire, most of the flowers in the garden continued to flower well into December – fuchsias, dahlias (see below), geraniums, hydrangeas, etc. Other fuchsias in the garden flowered right into mid December and starred in a Vase on Monday.
It’s been very mild but wet especially in December – we had dreadful floods in elsewhere in Salford only a couple of miles from me. Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Scotland have all been flooded – it’s just dreadful as it wrecks lives, homes and businesses.