Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Sorry I'm not posting much, but the weather is so lovely it's a real thought to boot up the computer.

I go into the garden to do one thing and end up pottering for ages - to the extent I got sunburnt, quite appropriately on Sunday. So now I'm using high factor sunscreen again, as since chemo\radio-therapy I'm very susceptible to burning.

My family were playing football and watching it that day, so I had a whole day to me and decided to take off in the car. I visited the local scrapyard, where I bought an old mirror to put behind the horse trough and two wire contraptions that I've decided to use as plant supports for my daisies. The mirror looks great, reflecting light back into the garden, and I've used bamboo canes to mask its edges, which helps it to blend in - not a bad result for a couple of quid.

Although the birds are literally doing a double take as they come in to bathe, and it is now covered in their splash marks.

In yet another of the local villages I bought some plants, from an old man who sells them for 50 pence a clump over his garden wall. I bought loads of Icelandic poppies, which I love, as they look delicate, when they're actually as tough as old boots.

I love poppies, all the papavers and the meconopsis. The Welsh poppy has seeded itself throughout the garden, and I have big orientaland opium ones too, the opium poppy also self seed, though less effectively than the Welsh ones. And I have one meconopsis, but it is really too dry for them to do well here, although I do grow it in semi shade to try and give it the moisture it needs.

I've also noticed the resident thrush is back, whacking the snail population like some avenging winged and speckled Charles Bronson. But it's sad because he/she has lost the sight of one eye. I was able to walk right up to him on his blind side, and noticed the eye has a milky film right across it, much like a human cataract. It had better stay in my garden, where Gus the dog ensure that cats get short shrift

I'm also reading a book my husband got for his birthday, Chris Stewart's The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society. I don't usually like these expat type of books, usually they have a nah nah nah nana air about them, but I'm quite enjoying this one, which is about his life on a small Spanish hill farm - I especially like his description of going to Morocco to collect the seed of Moroccan Broom, Cytisus Battandieri, it's a gorgeous plant/shrub whose flowers smell of pineapple. I planted two in the big garden to replace one big one that had died out years ago, and they are now really popular with visitors who adore the scent on a summer evening.

Stewart also writes affectingly about N. African men walking for hundreds of miles through Spain trying to reach the market garden area of the country, just to pick up hard day labourer work in a labyrinth of polytunnels.

So lots of displacement activity going on here, but that's what summers are for, there will be enough long winter days to catch up on things......


Blogger PI said...

Make hay while the sun shines - I gotta million of 'em!
I love mirrors in gardens but MTL isn't keen. My friend Margaret has one and have just been wandering round her garden snapping her plants.
Hope I do them justice. Dandelion's friend is in hospital with cancer and wants D to get her a book about cancer. I'm going to suggest she reads 'The Cancer Chronicles'

4:46 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

I look forward to seeing the pictures.

Sorry about D's friend. I was operated on and started tretment in summer - it seemed harder to do it then as everyone else was out and about enjoying the weather.

6:02 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Your garden sounds lovely. I hope you have loads of long, summery days ahead to enjoy it.

7:54 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Love the avatar CB!

12:43 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Hello Apprentice! I saw you over at Jan's, and ememberes you'd been to mine once but I hadn't looked you up, and I've just been completely absorbed in the cancer chronicles, which are tremendous, deeply impressive, thanks so much.
I love your californian poppy, they are gorgeously photogenic things, especially with dew on. And I know just what you mean about ex-pat books being nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. I worry if I think I'm starting to sound like that. but I heard 'Driving over lemons' on the radio and thought Chris Stewart seemed a cut above.
I'll bookmark you and come back soon.

4:00 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

'ememberes' should of course be 'remembered'!

4:01 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi Lucy, lovely of you to look in on me.

I'm glad you didn't hold my expat rant against me -I was thinking more of that awful TV version of "A year in Provance"

Your part of the word looks lovely, those old timber framed building a wonderful.

The poppy shot isn't mine, I got it via the net, but I hope to take some of my own soon, when my new babies flower.

12:29 pm  

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