Friday Flowers

This week I have felt really tired, its been a struggle to get through the day and I have been more than happy to fall into my bed at bedtime.   I have been too tired to chat, too tired to text, too tired to tweet and even too tired to think of  anything to write on my blog.   Sometimes life just gets you like that, or maybe it’s just me that feels unsociable on occasions.

This has also meant that whilst I generally have no trouble in finding inspiration for subjects to write on the blog ,  this week I am quite happy just to post photos.   It’s not me being a lazy blogger, it’s just me not having anything of any interest to say at the moment.

I do hope that  words start to flow soon, tomorrow is the last day of the month and the End of Month View post is due.  I am collecting  photos and hoping I will have plenty to report about the garden at the end of June.

Meanwhile, today is Friday Flowers and I am happy to be able to show off a few photos,  taken this evening, of flowers in the garden.

– Lavender

– Gazania

– Thyme

– Erysimum

– Sweet Peas

Most of them have a lovely perfume too, and a small posy  is guaranteed to cheer up the day.  Perhaps I should have picked a bunch this morning to start my day off in a better frame of mind.

  • Coming up next on the blog :  End of Month View – June 2012

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

The theme for this Weekly Photo Challenge is CREATE:

“The best part about creating something is being in the moment, relishing the creativity you’re experiencing, and letting your actions guide you to an end goal. Then you can step back and admire your work!”

I have created many things in my life.  The most important is my daughters, however I can’t take much of the credit, I just started them off and set them in the right direction.   They are something I step back and admire all the time, mainly because they are their own creation.

Then there is my garden,  created over 12 years.  It was an ivy covered expanse which has taken time, love and dedication,  a bit like bringing up children.  Most of my posts are garden based and I wanted to do something different this time.

Sitting right in front of me, under the coffee table is a knitting box, full of elements of creation –  knitting needles, yarns,  patterns  galore and half knitted items waiting for me to create something.

I used to knit a lot, especially chunky jumpers for my late, ex-husband and my daughters were kitted out in hand knitted clothes.  As they grew older, the knitting stopped; until my grandson arrived.  Out came the knitting needles and baby knits were the order of the day.    My granddaughter, who arrived 4 years later has not been so lucky.   As I have got older, so have my joints and arthritis has affected my wrists.

I am like a child in a toy shop when it comes to wool shops.  I buy patterns and yarn, start knitting with gusto and then my wrists give out and I give up.   In the box there are balls of soft baby bamboo yarn in orange, yellow, red and white, which I bought 18 months ago.

Needless to say I didn’t finish it and  recently resurrected the pattern, fortunately it goes up to 6 years, and started to create a striped cardigan for her second birthday.

It needs a lot of concentration, the different knitting stitches are part of the pattern, it was my idea to use different colours.  I do create difficulties for myself!

My grand daughter  had her second birthday a few weeks ago and her cardigan is still on my needles.

I have made a promise to myself that I will create this special cardigan for a very special granddaughter, within the next few weeks.   Having writing this post, it has spurred me on because now everyone who has read this will know that there is a cardigan waiting for me to create.

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The Grass is as High as an Elephant’s Eye… Nearly

There is something special about having an interesting, and different, garden near enough to be able to visit it regularly.   Sussex Prairie Garden is certainly different and interesting.   I have written a couple of posts about this garden, mainly because of its development throughout the year.  It never looks the same from one visit to the next and I like to be able to share my visits with you.

The enormous variety of grasses in the six acre prairie garden will be as high as an elephant’s eye within the next month or so.

The other exciting, and unusual, thing about Sussex Prairie Garden are the sculptures from local and international artists that you will find displayed around the garden, within and on the edges of the beds.   As the garden grows through the season the artwork is enveloped by the planting and when walking around you suddenly notice pieces carefully placed.   There is always something new, such as the coloured lambs and the sheep with its wire coil springs  for a fleece.   Click here for more information about the Art in the garden.

On my first visit, one  piece of artwork that amused me was the “flying tea set” in the grass.   From the photo below you will see how the grasses grow making  it look as though it has grown in the garden, rather than being placed there.

Paths meander in and out of the borders and at the far end of the garden, there are two mounds with benches at the top.  I love to sit up there and survey the garden from a higher level, and just contemplate on how lucky I am.

This is usually followed up by a lovely cup of tea in a decent sized mug, from a proper teapot, sitting outside and viewing the garden again, from the other end.  The home made cakes are excellent too!

Sussex Prairie Garden, near Henfield, West Sussex is open 1pm until 5pm from June 1st until October 14th 2012.

Great Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent : A Secret Garden

Two months ago, I re-read  ‘The Secret Garden’ written by Frances Hodgson Burnett.   At the same time I did a spot of research into the writer, and discovered that Great Maytham Hall was the inspiration for her famous book and that the gardens were open to the public through the National Garden Scheme on 20 and 21 June.   I also wrote a post in April called ‘The Secret Garden and my Discovery’ and said that I intended to visit the gardens at Great Maytham.

I went to Great Maytham Hall on Wednesday.  As everyone knows the weather has been pretty dire, with wind and rain most day so I couldn’t believe my luck  that it was a fabulous, sunny, June day for my visit.  I discovered a beautiful garden which was well worth the drive.

Frances Hodgson Burnet, lived as a tenant at Great Maytham, a Grade II listed building in Rolvenden, near Tenterden, Kent between 1898 to 1907.     It was the discovery of an old door in a wall and a garden hidden behind, that became the base of  her book, although she set it in Yorkshire and not in Kent.

Frances lovingly restored the garden,  planted it with hundreds of roses and spent many hours sitting in the tranquil garden writing her stories.

In 1909, Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned by the owner to redesign Great Maytham Hall, a house originally built in 1721.   He landscaped the terraced lawns in partnership with Gertrude Jekyll.   Although Lutyens retained the old walled garden he removed an old gate, the one that Frances had found, replacing it with a wrought iron one.

The lovely gardens at Great Maytham have several walled gardens including a walled pond garden,

and, a typical Lutyens pergola covered in roses.

In recent years the property has been converted into expensive apartments.  The pristine and tranquil gardens, have one full time gardener and the residents assist with jobs such as weeding and dead heading, as well as their own allotment area and greenhouses.  I couldn’t help thinking, as I walked around, what a magnificent place it was to live – a Lutyens/Jekyll garden, beautiful views and the history that goes with it.

Although the gardens are only open to the public for two days in June through the NGS, it is open for private viewings by appointment so if you want to see it for yourself this year, just give them a call.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond. ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

The Glory of the Garden: Bateman’s, Nr Burwash, East Sussex

This wonderful poem was written by Rudyard Kipling.

Today I visited Bateman’s, a National Trust property, in Burwash, East Sussex. This was the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 until his death in 1936. Along with a number of famous poems and books, he also wrote the poem “The Glory of the Garden”.

I felt rather than write a lot about this interesting house and peaceful garden, the poem and a small selection of the many photos I took this afternoon would do it better justice.

Bateman’s, Burwash West Sussex : Rudyard Kipling’s Home 1902 – 1936

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

The Mulberry Garden – Batemans

And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Sweet Williams growing amongst the vegetables

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

The wild flower meadow by the old mill

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

Bateman’s, Burwash

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