All work and no play isn't all that fun so the girls and I took my mum to the flower show at Ingliston today. Clematis above - so many flowers per plant. Yum.
My agapanthus plants look a bit dead after our severe winter. Only a bit dead; I have hopes of a partial recovery. These ones looked stunning.
I'm never quite sure what I think about bonsai but I think I do quite like them - not so much from the horticultural point of view - they're hardly natural - but from the artistic point of view if they're beautifully shaped. And anyway, gardens aren't really natural. I fight quite hard against nature, which in my garden's case would be hairy bitter cress, shepherd's purse, red campion and couch grasss.
A little bonsai copse.
Lilies. Not quite of the field. They smelled heavenly, though.
And chrysanths, again not quite as nature intended. Huge lollipops. Or popsicles.
Look at this paeony! It was as big as a saucer.
Various plants in a planted display - paeonies, alliums etc.
I've just finished reading (in very short, late-night chunks - slices more like) a wonderful book: The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift. I must read it again in a less fragmented way. I'll quote from the blurb on the back: "In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This... book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Hours takes the form of the mediaeval Books of Hours. It is a meditative journey through the seasons, but also a journey of self-exploration. It is a book about finding one's place in the world and putting down roots."
She writes about her garden, about the monks who used to live at Morville, about history and poetry and her family and the weather and butterflies and mazes and all sorts of things. She can make even mowing grass sound interesting:
I like mowing. Up and down, backwards and forwards, each time a different slice of the garden, each time a slightly different view. Time to look. Time to consider. Would that penstemon look better over there? Would it be fun to cut a window in the hedge over there? And all the time, that wonderful smell rising. And when it's finally finished and the shadows are lengthening, and you stand back to admire your handiwork, the swallows come skimming the smooth green surface of the newly-cut lawn like skaters on a vast green ice-rink.
My poor brother slipped yesterday while getting off a punt on the Cam in Cambridge (he and his wife were visiting their children, both at Cambridge University) and fell and broke his jaw. The poor chap - who unlike me takes after the lean side of the family and needs to keep his strength up - is having to exist on soup and smoothies while he heals. He reads this sometimes so - hope you're feeling a bit better, big brother.