Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Flowers, rain and things like that

On the way home from York we called in at Breezy Knees Gardens, a privately-owned nursery and garden which we knew about from a leaflet in the hotel. We were somewhat dubious because of the twee (but memorable) name and then when the lady asked for £3.50 a head, I did have a few frugal qualms - Edinburgh's beautiful Botanic Gardens are free, after all.

But Breezy Knees was a joy. Several acres of mainly herbaceous beds - my favourite - and I think we must have been there on the best flowering day of the year - there was colour everywhere. Lovely lovely lovely.

They had lots of alstroemerias, many of them short-stemmed so they wouldn't need staking, and a rainbow of fantastic colours.

Nice wide paths, mainly wheelchair friendly (we have a chair for my mum for when she gets tired).

Look at that colour! A bed of achilleas.

And the wonderful wide skies - the surrounding countryside is flat (hence the breezes) so there's a great feeling of space.

Some touches to bring a smile.

Mum, Daughter 1 and her husband.

To understand this notice, you need to know that gardens sometimes specialise in particular species and hold the national collection of, for example, lupins. This notice says: Please close the gates. We are custodians of the national collection of rabbits.

Driving home, we saw another notice on the back of this van: Caution. This vehicle may contain carpet fitters.
It's pouring today. The cats came in from their morning stroll all wet and spikey: small indignant porcupines.
What is the secret of happiness, do you think? Health and love and solvency are probably essential but the small things help a lot: flowers, a shared sense of humour and a furry animal to stroke.


  1. Definitely all those things you mention - you don't have to be rich, but not having to worry about the next bill helps. Health we all take for granted until we haven't got it and love is a gift to be given without strings never to be taken for granted. So many small things can help though too - a shared sense of humour is a great blessing (love the carpet fitter sign). Knowing you'll be accepted just for being yourself is a big part for me.

  2. Ahh, I think you've got the perfect recipe for happiness Isabelle. And perhaps throw in a passion -- something that you love to do that will occupy your time. Beautiful gardens -- they look like they were worth every penny!

  3. What a great place to visit...I want to see the tall wellies up close! As for happiness...all of the above tick the happiness box for me...I have no money but have love, children, flowers, cats, food, water, family, friends..gosh I am truly blessed and I don't want too sound too gushy! why is it then that I very rarely feel happy? just the normal same old same old of life? I need to count my blessings more often.

  4. Definitely the small things. life without them would be quite miserable.

  5. Lovely gardens, I'd pay to see them too.
    What is the secret of happiness? Gosh, that's a bit existentialist - but all of the things you mention plus the ability to be content with what you have and not want more than you can have (easier said than done).

  6. You did well to get past that off-putting name and find a lovely garden! Not sure I would have done it....

  7. Sense of humor, top of the (secondary) list, no doubt there.


  8. I always enjoy your posts, as you must know. But sometimes there is something that makes it extra special for me: Small indignant porcupines - such an accurate description of a wet cat!!

  9. i'm with you ... except for the furry animal part ... and i guess i'd add gratitude (when i take the time to be grateful for whatever is making me happy, i realize that i am ... happy, that is)

  10. So glad you got past the terrible name - is there a story behind it? The garden itself looks wonderful and I shall look out for it if and when we are next up north.

    Happiness = small things? Definitely yes - and the ability to see them of course.

  11. I like your 'happiness' list. Typing this with a furry animal on the sofa with me. Have to re-type this as he tried to join in!

  12. Secrets of happiness. Hmmm. I think you and others make excellent points.

    I find that I'm much happier if I go out and mess around in the garden for awhile. Pull a few weeds, turn some soil over, inspect the "estate". Perhaps it's due to exposure to sunlight or some such.

    I think my son is the same way. He can be in a foul mood, but if I drag him outside, he'll soon start messing around with rocks or flowers and his mood will calm.

    This may just be something we humans need, a connection to nature and beauty.