Tag Archives: yoda

wedding bouquet - lavender (from our garden), antique lilac rose, aster, freesias

Wedding, glorious reds, roses, lavender and love – Six on Saturday – 29 September

This weekend, some of the plants in the garden are fading away and some are reaching their full glory.  We’ve had sunny, warm weather in Manchester (20C degrees) – though it’s been windy.   I’ve been happily reflecting on the year that’s gone by.   It’s our first wedding anniversary this weekend, so we’re away.

I’m joining up with the Propagator and his band of gardeners from around the world for Six on Saturday (though I wrote and photographed this post on Friday – I hope the scheduling works = oops it didn’t). Here’s his latest post for 29 September 2018,

It’s very simple – take photos of six things around your garden or locality and write about them – it can be anything from plants, to new projects, disasters or wild successes.  I’ll be catching up with all the posts next week

1. Arbour on the decking

Wooden arbour seat with pitched roof

Arbour with Salvia Armisted

This is the new Arbour finished – we used some of our garden centre wedding vouchers 🙂 We’re thinking about painting it to match the fence.  What do you think?

2. Hydrangea

Hydrangea panticularta white flower head fading to pink

Hydrangea fading to pink – limelight

I took a photo of this last week – it was pure white. six on Saturday – Hydrangea Panticularta – 22 September 2018

3. Saliva with Yoda

yoda and red salvia

yoda and red salvia

As you can see, they’re in front of the arbour at the bottom of the garden.  The salvia came from B&Q so the label was less than helpful – Red. It’s about 18 high at the moment and is enjoying the late September sunshine.

Yoda arrived in the garden about six years ago – he moves around but has been at the bottom of the garden all year.  I love yoda and he’s appeared many times on the blog – #yoda. I’ve loved Star Wars since I saw it aged 11 in 1976, so it’s been mentioned a few times too – Star Wars

4. Sunset? Rose

orange rose with thorns

orange rose with thorns

This beautiful rose was one of the few flowers in my front garden when I bought the house nine years ago.  Its bud is a deep orange, opening and then fading to a faded red, orange and yellow – like watching a sunset. It has a fairly strong rose scent so I think it’s an older style rose. It usually flowers in two bursts in June/July and September but depending on weird weather conditions it’s flowered in November and January (in different years!)

This rose has appeared in vases often:

Fellow gardeners – any idea what its name might be?

 5. Virginia Creeper – red!

virginia creeper red on wall

virginia creeper on our neighbour’s wall – 29th September 2018

a fence covered in red virginia creeper leaves

red virginia creeper

It’s been sunny and warm here in Manchester this week – and as you can see the neighbour’s Virginia Creeper is looking stunning. Two weeks ago it was was green

6. Our first wedding anniversary 🙂

I hope you don’t mind that these pictures are from a year ago, but my wedding bouquet had lavender flowers we’d grown in our garden.  All the flowers from my wedding bouquet had special meanings for us but I’ll write about that another time.  Lavender is my favourite flower and My Chap loves it too.    We have about 15 lavender bushes around the front garden – it loves the full sun and rubbly conditions.

wedding bouquet - lavender (from our garden), antique lilac rose, aster, freesias

my wedding bouquet – lavender (from our garden), antique lilac rose, aster, freesias, sea holly, eucalyptus

The lavender bushes in our garden have looked just as stunning as they did this time last year.  Every time I walk past lavender or smell the scent it reminds me of the BEST DAY.

me in purple wedding dress with husband jumping with backs to camera Abbeywood garden Cheshire

At Abbeywood Estate, Cheshire – 28 9 2017 – My Chap jumping for joy – Photo by Sara Porter Photography – our awesome wedding photographer 

We had a flower, love, laughter and music filled wedding – I wore a dress in my favourite colour purple, covered in flowers.  We got married in a beautiful garden on a glorious September afternoon with our family and friends from near and far – We had an afternoon tea, two wedding cakes and dancing til very late. When you get married at our age you do exactly what you want 😉

Here’s some lyrics from a special song at our wedding –

You and me were always with each other
Before we knew the others was ever there
You and me we belong together
Just like a breath needs the air
I told you if you called I would come runnin’
Across the highs the lows and the in between…

you and me written and sung by you + me

YouTube video You and Me – You + Me

We love each other mind, body and spirit – we always will.  He’s my last and greatest love – my rock.  He thinks I’m pretty awesome too 🙂

*****

What happy memories do flowers or plants remind you of?
Do you know who sings ‘you and me’? 

Have a lovely weekend – and fingers crossed my blog scheduling works 😉

Carpe Diem

love Bec 🙂

 

In a Vase on Monday – in the pink with Pimms (and tennis)

This week I’ve been watching a lot of tennis (and drinking Pimms).  It’s definitely part of my summer schedule to watch Wimbledon, I’ve watched it since I was a child.  My Mum loves watching tennis, so I caught the bug from her.  We went to Wimbledon in 1977 when I was 11 – Centre Court tickets. We saw Billy Jean King and Martina, Ile Nastase, a very young John McEnroe. we had a brilliant day. I’d love to go again, need to remember to apply for the ballot 🙂 A friend told me she won ballot tickets for the Ladies Final in 2009, when Serena beat Venus, so it’s worth a go.

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Dianthus and Lavender In My Vase on a Monday

So for today’s vase, I thought I’d do a Wimbledon theme.  There’s always plenty of flowers and plants around the Wimbledon site – and it all looks lovely from what you can see in on the TV/  I picked some dianthus (commonly known as pinks), some  purple perennial wallflower (which is still flowering!), white pelargonium and a different lavender from last week. These colours sum up summer for me – pinks, reds, purples and whites.  My strawberries are over so I couldn’t include them 🙁 The plants aren’t looking very happy in the heat even though they’re in the shade.

Hot hot hot in our garden

It is very dry in our garden, as we’ve only had significant rain one evening last week and once in June.  The temperature has been in mid-20s for a couple months now – with no cloud cover.  Our houses in the UK aren’t designed for this level of sustained heat.  I have the curtains shut at the front of the house and I am grateful for once for a north-facing back garden.  I’d been gardening in the shade when I can too. I’m using the watering can every day- the water butts are full again from last weeks rain so that helps.
The huge moorland fires at Winter Hill, by Bolton and Dovestones, by Oldham are only a few miles from me – the smell of smoke hung across the city centre for a few days two weeks ago.  The firefighters are still dampening down the peat, many footpaths and a few roads are closed.  Grim.

The flowers are displayed in a small jug with roses on, that I bought at Bodnant Garden, a National Trust property, where My Chap and I got engaged in June 2016.  We have picnics often so one of my small hampers is a prop too. I’ve written before about Bodnant, and the jug has appeared before, too:

I don’t have any dainty teacups to put in this shot, as I only have chunky big mugs for tea but I’m sure you get the idea with the mini jug, and the sign is a nod to the scoring in tennis and the small picnic hamper.

Do have a look at Cathy’s post in Rambling in the Garden – she has zinnias this week which I’ve never attempted to grow. Maybe next year.

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The History of Pimms 

I love Pimms – I drink it all year round, usually in pint glasses without fruit just mint and Ice.  Drinking pints of Pimms is my Dad’s fault as he couldn’t be bothered to go back into the kitchen to pour more Pimms when we were sat out enjoying the sunshine in the back garden.  I like the Blackberry and Elderflower Pimms too – it tastes like alcoholic Ribena.  Yoda likes Pimms too 😉  For those that don’t know Pimms was invented in 1823 by James Pimm who owned oyster bars in the City of London.  It’s a gin-based drink and even now the herbs and spices used are a secret recipe.  He went on to invent a number of Cups based on different spirits including No. 6 Cup (vodka),  No 3 Cup (based on Brandy) now available as Winter Pimms.  I drink Winter Pimms too and that’s lovely as a hot drink on a cold, wintery evening.   All the other Cups are phased out at the moment 🙁

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Here are some of my favourite Pimm’s recipes in addition to Pimms and lemonade.  My dad used to put borage in our Pimms but mint is fine too.

Pimms and ginger ale

  • 1 part Pimms and 3 parts ginger ale over ice

My Chap particularly likes this one with a quality ginger beer.

Cranberry Pimms 

  • 375ml  Pimm’s No.1 Cup
  • 1litre sparkling lemonade, chilled
  • 200ml cranberry juice
  • 1 sliced lemon as garnish
  • Mint leaves as garnish
  • Redcurrants or fresh berries, as the garnish

yoda collage with pimms

You can see that Yoda has aged a few years in these pictures too…

*****

Do you have any favourite summer drinks?  We love gin and tonic too. My Chap has a collection of gins.
What do you have planned for the week?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx xxx

 

My ‘Mindful’ Garden – I’m in the moment

To Dwell is to Garden – Martin Heidegger, (1889-1976) German philosopher

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Physicist and Nobel Prize winner for General Theory of Relativity

With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment – Nhat Hanh (1926 – he’s 91!), Buddhist Monk

For me, Gardening is mindful, being in the moment. It doesn’t have to be me ‘doing’ things, it’s about the scents, the rustle of leaves, the birds, the hum of lawn movers in the distance. For me, when I’m in the garden, I’m in the moment – I find watering, deadheading and weeding relaxing – and planting too. For me, it’s about peace and recharging.

About my garden

It’s small, it’s rubbly soil and north facing; the neighbours have huge conifers, which make it even shadier at the end of the garden.

I love it – our small, sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the world

I’m content in the garden.

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Before I bought my house – Summer 2009

In high summer 2016… some of the conifers on the right have gone now – but those on the left are even bigger 🙁

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My garden is a work in progress – like me. I’m 51 – I definitely feel I’m in a new chapter with My Chap (my new husband) holding my hand, metaphorically too. To be fair, he does all the digging and heavy work as I have osteoarthritis. It’s a team effort in the garden.

and there’s always time to eat and relax.

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Many pots planted (and watered), and always Yoda – any season… Yoda (and Star Wars have appeared many times on this blog).

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My favourite flower

I love lavender too – it figured very heavily at our wedding in September 2017 (it was our ‘confetti’ too) I have about 20 different plants around the front garden which gets sun all day.

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Lavender and a cabbage white butterfly

Many crocuses and violas too. Always something for the birds too.

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It’s not all purple flowers though – there’s lots of colour around the garden. Orange and yellow life my mood in Spring. I love tulips too.

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Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank, American Botanist

Meanwhile, you’ll find me in the garden, drinking Earl Grey or a Pimms… you’re welcome to join us if you’re in the area 😉

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What do you do that’s mindful?

Originally, I wrote about what my garden means for me for the April competition at Cottonopolis Women’s Institute. We were asked to suggest our mindful activities, there was a vast range including knitting/crochet, sewing, baking, art or drawing, listening to music, and a few people like me loved walking or being in the great outdoors.

Our speaker in April was Deb Connor – an all-round star who led some mindfulness exercises and stretches. She’s a trained mindfulness teacher, an acupuncturist and is a vegan too.

I’ve been doing mindfulness for a couple of years now – which combined with over 10 years of yoga has really helped my mental wellbeing. I’ll write about this another time.

Women’s Institute – Cottonopolis WI, Ancoats, Manchester 

We have so much fun at WI meetings, in June we made beauty products from lavender, peppermint and coffee skin scrubs.

If you’re local come along…

Let me know in the comments what you do that’s mindful? Do you have a garden? What does it mean to you?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx

In a Vase on Christmas Day – what no snow? 

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share ourselves blessings, all the snow in Alaska won‘t make itwhiteBing Crosby (19031977)

I’ve been thinking about blessings alot this Christmas One of my favourite Christmas songs is the duet between the mighty very missed David and Bing – The Little Dummer Boy. Though, I don’t consider Christmas season has started until I hear Fairytale of New York. 

We have music on most of the time when we are in the house.  We’ve got modern Christmas songs at the moment, as we’ve been opening presents, reading cookbooks and drinking coffee.  My Chap is reading Lisbon and I’m reading Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles.  I think I might be writing about food more on the blog next year – My Chap says he’s going to bake more too.

In my Vase

For my Vase today, I have snowberry from a neighbour’s hedge (I love living in #Monton), some curry plant leaves (as food is integral to our Christmas and life), the Son of Tom hardy fuchsia by the kitchen window (#fuchsias a long time love), bamboo which came in a pot from My Chap’s garden when he moved in with me,  and some sticks (red)  from the one of the few shrubs in our garden when I got moved in.  I’d never noticed before how red the bark is, as it’s usually pruned before now.  It’s a bit of a mishmash but that’s a bit like life, isn’t it? We become sum of all the parts.

25 December 2017 – In a Vase on Monday – snowberry, fuchsia, bamboo

Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden has bright red Cornus around a candle, on a bed of pine cones and rose hips. Very festive – do have a look at the ‘vases’ from around the world added by the #IAVOM team, they’re added at the bottom of Cathy’s posts every week. These flowers have lifted my soul in the dark times.  Thank you, everyone 🙂

Cathy will probably fall off her chair in shock when I post my link as I’m on the right day! I’m usually at least a day late!

So Merry Christmas to all my readers, especially all the In A Vase on Monday gardening bloggers from all around the world – may your gardens’ grow well in the direction you want with few pests (especially slugs!) 🙂

May your days, be merry and brightWhite Christmas (composed by Irving Berlin in 1942) 

So let’s have merry and bright days, not just at Christmas but every day. It’s the little things, that make the memories.

So, especially today, I am thinking of all those no longer with us; my darling, unforgettable brother Matt,  my wonderful Dad Jay, the man mountain Steve, and the force of Nature, Uncle Fred.  All loved cooking and often made turkey curry on Boxing Day :-. My Husband does that too 🙂 I’ve written about them before at Christmas and will write about them again, I’m sure.

Bright memories – Forever in my heart xx xx xx

25 December 2017 – Yoda loves Christmas too

I loved ‘The Last Jedi’, it‘s complex, dark and funny. Leia, Luke and Rey showing the way (and yoda too).

 ‘May the force be with you’Star Wars IVII (1977?)

The sun is shining, so my Husband and I are off for a walk, along the Bridgewater Canal, holding hands as usual  🙂 #365daysofselfcare

Today’s photo on Instagram for #blurtmerrycalmness.  Day 25: CONNECT – thinking about all our friends and family from around the world who came to celebrate our wedding in September with us 🙂  It was a wonderful day 🙂

Instagram @becinmonton

Carpe Diem,

Merry Christmas everyone,

Love Bec xx xx xx

Happy 1st Birthday – views from my garden bench

Time moves in one direction, memory in another

William Gibson (novelist) b 1947

I won’t ever forget 2015 – the most physically and mentally demanding year of my life – it all changed in late April when my friend died.  I have so many good memories from our adventures together over 25 years – we remained friends to the end.  I’m glad he and my Chap were good pals too.

All that happened last year stretched my resilence to its limit, but I’ve come through the other side.  It’s reminded me to stick to my principles, take care of myself and that there’s always a way forward, even if it’s tiny steps.   Counselling, mindfulness, tai chi, yoga, and walking in the great outdoors, espccially time in my garden, have all helped me top up my resilence.   My Chap, my family, and my friends all helped too. It’s a long and complicated journey to recovery but I’ll get there.

I started my blog a year ago today – here’s my first post  – much of what I said I’d write about is still just as relevant now:

  • where we visit – I love history as well as time in the garden
  • what’s been happening in our lives
  • cooking and crafting too
  • my thoughts and dreams for the future
  • many pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot.
  • And maybe, just maybe, some campervan adventures…(well that didn’t happen – the campervan went on its way in July 2015)

William Ford Gibson coined the team ‘cyberspace’ in 1984 and wrote about the principles that govern how something like the world wide web might operate.   Tim Burners Lee ‘invented’ the internet in 1989 (at CERN).  Cyberspace has given me so much over the years, I’ve worked with academics, since the early 1990s so I was an ‘early adopter’ of email and the www – I’m fortunate.  Most of all the web has given me ways to stay in touch with my friends and make new ones – and I met my Chap on an internet dating site five years ago.

Alot of the time last year, I’ve really struggled to write, which is a bit of an issue when I write for a living.  But my blog has helped as I can write about things I love.   I’ve found a lovely, friendly and helpful blogging community too – especially all the gardening bloggers.   I’m still an amateur gardener compared to most of them but that doesn’t matter.

I’ve joined a few topics which have helped me in the dark times:

  • In a Vase on a Monday

I’ve really enjoyed contributing to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by Cathy from ‘Rambling in the Garden‘ which involves picking flowers and plants from your garden or the local area and putting them in a vase.   Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is – so do join in.

I love looking at everyones vases, from across the world.  It’s given me so many ideas what to plant in my garden too. The flowers and vases have lifted my spirits in the dark times.
Most of all, everyone is so lovely, friendly and supportive.  I’m going to try to comment more this year on people’s vases.  I’ve appreciated every single comment on my vases, and I hope my vases and flowers have lifted someones mood too.

in a vase in monday

In a vase on Monday

See more of my Vases – 2015

  • #100happydays

The #100happydays challenge has helped me look for positive things every day, even when I’m having an exhausting day. My favourite part of the 100happydays challenge was writing about Lisbon – a wonderful city which I know we’ll visit again.

lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

Castle de Pena (10/100), don't panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100)

Castle de Pena (10/100), don’t panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100) #100happydays

I’m a bit stuck with my updates from December for #100happydays  at the moment – as 7th December was a very, very tough day but I got through it.  And frankly, I was glad to see the back of 2015.   You can catch up with more of my #100happydays photos here

Life IS better in the Garden
My garden continues to be my solace.  I know it, my pals and family, but most of all my wonderful Chap will help me get to where I want to be.

yoda in the snow and plaque Life's better in the Garden - copyright R Jones 2016

yoda in the snow – Life IS better in the Garden taken 17 January 2016

I think yoda will be making a few more apprearances in 2016 too…

Happy 1st Birthday Cottonopolis Women’s Institute – January 2015

I’m a proud member; I’ve tried so many new things this year, met lots of new pals and had fun too.    I’m going to write more about my WI adventures in 2016 too.  If you’re local join us… if not have a look for a local group.  There are Men’s Sheds too.

#100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

#100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

Blogging in 2016… Carry on carrying on

There’s alot of changes ahead at work but I’m going to try to look for opportunities, be positive and try to make a difference – and give everything including my blog, my best efforts – as I continue my recovery.  In 2016 my blog will cover:

  • where we visit – I love history as well as gardening
  • what’s been happening in our lives – we’ve got a holiday planned in Cornwall in May
  • more cooking and ‘crap’ crafting too.
  • my thoughts and dreams for the future – and to be braver!
  • more  pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot
  • yoda
  • This year I promise to write a bit more often, improve my photography skills, answer ALL my blog comments but most of all ‘Have fun blogging

Thank you to everyone who’s read or commented on my blog – I appreciate it more than I can say = I’m still surprised where you all come from.

I hope you’ll all tag along with me – Life’s an adventure – Live it

And I’ll be ‘seizing the day’ this year for definite, once I can find some more energy…

Offically Spring is around the corner (even though the daffodils and crocuses are already flowering)

Love

Bec xx