stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


OK, I can handle it. Its cherry blossom time in Kyoto, and I am not there.

But I can remember when I was.

For some photos of that enchanted time, wander down the Dewy Path

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Still heading toward spring

The week began with a couple of days off, visiting some dear friends who live in a house with amazing views over the Bristol Channel to Wales. There was snow on the top of Welsh hills, but luckily - although there was a wickedly cold wind - we only saw two flakes of snow.

She has the most wonderful garden that always has something exotic blooming, no matter what the season. This time it was a magnolia stellata and some camellias in huge pots, almost too heavy to move any move, that caught my eye.

Back home in my garden signs of spring are more humble - the shy forget-me-not and the first flush of spirea leaves lift the spirits on a dreary morning.

The fritillaries have opened in the comparative warmth and lack of biting north westerly wind.

A quick walk in the woods looking for bean sticks reminded me of how, thirty years ago, I sat under this tree on a cushion of moss - so blissfully happy to have moved to the Dorset countryside from London. The holly trees always grow in a circle around the bottom of the beech trees, where the birds have dropped them (not from their beaks!)

And incipient bluebells flourish among the beechmast - a more attractive mulch than garden centre bark chippings.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In between the hail showers...

... I am pottering in the garden on Mothering Sunday. The sun is warm and inviting, but no sooner am I absorbed in weeding than the sky darkens and there is a quick stinging shower of hail. Dive indoors, and take off the thick sweater and gardening stuff and, of course, the sky is blue again.

Time to break the cycle, and have a freshly brewed coffee and upload some signs of spring discovered this morning on close inspection of the garden.

One of the snakeshead fritillaries that I planted last spring, to replace some vanished ones. they have flowered, hurrah! They really do best in damp meadows, but under the trees seems to suit them OK.

A shy violet was hiding at the base of the rowan tree. I think I brought these home to the garden originally from the woods in the village. They gradually disappeared, but my parents had taken some and they were growing in their garden in London. After they died and we were clearing the house, I dug some up to re-introduce them here. So I don't feel too bad at taking them from the wood all those years ago!

Some white violets that I bought from a garden sale have established nicely in the shade by the copper leaved epimedium ( I dont know which variety epimedium unless I go out into the hail and check to see if the label is still around)

A horse chestnut bud, more commonly known to children in England as a Sticky Bud, for 0bvious reasons . LLF has a gift for growing these from conkers but she doesnt have a garden right now, so we have several pots with small trees, ready to plant out at some point.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A few catch up photos

Warning! If you are of a delicate disposition, avoid the last image!

While waiting for some of these photos to upload to Blogger, I was having a cup of tea and gazing out of the window. I was admiring the sunlight catching the tiny new fragile blossoms of the two small ornamental cherry trees/bushes (prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai) that I bought last year. And lo and behold the largest bumble bee landed on them. I raced for the camera and tried to catch a shot before he thrummed off elsewhere. So big, and so early.

I hadnt noticed this patch of moss before. Its in the fork of the rowan tree where I hang the bird feeders. How long had it been there I wonder? I am usually too busy watching the birds!

This is the lovely clematis armandii that LLF bought me for my birthday last year. I am thrilled that it is so vigorous, and has such lovely flowers so early on in the year.

Just across from the house and down by the river, the breeze tosses the young willow branches.

A little indulgence buy at the local garden centre! All will naturalise, I hope under the trees. Cyclamen, primrose, crocus, hellbores, and a windflower (anemone blanda) We had one, but it didnt come up in its usual place this year where it had seeded itself. So I am helping Nature along a little!

A small primrose has established a foothold at the base of our drive wall.

LLF came to visit, with a wonderful Maison Blanc chocolate cake, very like a Sacher Torte. Yum!

Another food photo! YD (Youngest Daughter) and I tried the new place in town for lunch. It specialises in various teas - green, black, herbal, iced, gourmet. But we had toasted sandwiches (Emmental cheese and tomato) and coffee!

The same crocuses closed early morning, then open in full sun later on in the day.

A tub of red dwarf tulips.

My first patch of hellebores. They have spread so well in the last couple of years that I have bought some more. This first plant was a gift. How nice to see their faces, normally they seem shy and always look to the floor.

This isnt quite such a gentle image, but it does represent nature. We had stopped by the organic farm shop in a lovely valley, just over the hill from us. And a sparrow hawk had caught what looks like a dove. I dont know whose it was. But it made a meal for a hungry hawk - who had to eat it then and there as it was far too heavy to lift into the air. Ive been in Iona and seen a female sparrow hawk lift a starling away, but this was a more plump meal.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A few spring days ....

As an antidote to all the concerns and uncertainty over the restructuring and changes ahead at work - I decided to redress the work/life balance and take a couple of days off. Youngest daughter has some days off too.

We went to the coast at Kimmeridge yesterday, with tea and cake at Corfe Castle; and for an inland walk today. And here are some photos of daffodils in case you need cheering up! Never fails. Daffodils and sunflowers - both can be guaranteed to raise a smile.

And the weather is glorious!! After all the recent rain though, the countryside is like a sponge - tread on it and it squelches. Get tripped up by brambles and fall full length, all that happens is you get muddy. No damage just a soft landing - I know, I did it today!! Youngest daughter has only just stopped laughing. Luckily the mud dried quickly and was a warm day.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Nearly back blogging

A post ( plus a few phone pics) on my recent short visit to London can be seen over on The Dewy Path