Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Cleaning the Garden

The last few days I've spent a good deal of time working in my garden. I'm reaping the rewards of some hard work in the autumn but even so I have a lot of aching muscles which haven't been used much during the winter months. It's so satisfying to see the earth that has been flattened and compacted by winter rain turning to a lovely rich black as I clear all the debris and fork it over. This stage only lasts a short time until the wind and sun dry it off but the general effect remains and all the new growth pushing its way into the spring sunshine is clearly visible. I've by no means finished but enough is done to make a real difference to the way the garden looks. Above is the rather winter weary garden before I started.

A bit of before..........

...and after. A lot more of the bed is visible here as the before picture was taken a couple of weeks ago.

Taken from about halfway up the garden looking towards the house. The trees are apples, a Victoria plum and a pear, they will look lovely in a few weeks. The plum is always first and when that flowers I can always be certain of seeing a pair of bullfinches:) The large tree in the background is the oak which Neil and Ces were married under on a wonderful hot,sunny day last June. And this is where I indulge in a little nostalgia trip:)

This is the oak tree with the first of the eighty-odd wedding guests.

A nervous looking groom and minister waiting for the bride - the minister is Francesca's brother and it was his first wedding! He did it beautifully too.

The bride and her father arriving.

Last one - this is inside the marquee, most of the chairs were on the top lawn at this point being used as seating for the guests. The tree is real! I had two old and decrepit apple trees removed to make room for the marquee but I told them they had to work round the crab-apple. It actually made rather a nice feature.

This is the helleborus orientalis that I showed in bud in a post at the end of January.

Magnolia buds starting to open - just in time for the snow that has been forecast for Sunday and Monday!

L and I are off to London tomorrow for the Country Living Spring Fair, it's an early start as we are getting the 7.27am train but at least we'll have a leisurely breakfast to look forward to. Below are a couple of photos of Gabriel taken last week, he's in Suffolk this weekend visiting his other granny and grandad and his great granny who was 90 on Thursday. She has said that the best present she could have would be to see Gabriel but she has no idea that she is actually going to. I'd love to be there when she realises - Neil is under instructions to take photos!

Gabriel and his mummy.

Gabriel with granny.

This has ended up being rather a bitty sort of post but there we are - sometimes that's just how it goes.


Janet said...

Your house and the garden are just beautiful and I'm so glad you shared the wedding photos with us. Plus the photos of little Gabriel are just precious. He is such a darling baby and his mom is so pretty. What a wonderful family you have.

Sheila said...

Have a fun and a relaxing day at the Country Living spring Fair Rowan. Your garden shows how hard you worked on it. I envy you all the pretty things in flower and the emerging bulbs.
The photo of Gabriel and his Mummy is precious..he is so tiny..His great grandma will be delighted.

Betty said...

Your pictures are spectacular and your grandson adorable.

The wedding pictures are lovely as well as your flowers.

I've enjoyed my visit tremendously.

Betty at Country Charm

smilnsigh said...

I wanted to say that your house and garden are lovely... And Janet beat me to it. :-)

Hope you have a lovely time this weekend and that your predicted snow doesn't materialize. As it did here. Yish...


peppylady said...

Nothing is in color yet in my garden but my friend Quenella who lives east of me has her snowdrops in bloom and I have a picture of them on my blog

Kelli said...

Beautiful home and gardens!!!! I can tell you put a lot of hard work and love into them! Wonderful wedding photos and the picture of Gabriel and his mom is just precious!!

Mousie said...

dear, you've worked hard!
your photos, garden, house are gorgeous but the most beautiful one is Gabriel...give him a gentle kiss...
love from Mousie

Simmy said...

What a lovely photo of Gabriel and his Mum. You may do well to reminisce about last summer as I hear snow is forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Can you believe it?

Hope you have a lovely day out at the Country Living Fair - lucky you.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Lovely pictures Rowan. The wedding must have been a wonderful success. The tree in the marquee looks super.
Gabriel is adorable! Enjoy the Country Living Fair, I subscribe to the mag and one of these days, maybe i'll get to the show.

Remiman said...

Today's prompt for Sunday Scribblings was "inspiration." I can say that your home is an inspiration and a testitment to hard regular work. You've created a beautiful respite. I'm enthralled and at the same time motivated to get my gardens spruced up. When the snow leaves....AGAIN.)
Gabriel is looking just fine...thriving with all the care and attention he's receiving.
I suspect now that the hibernation season is receding we'll be hearing and seeing more from you! For this I'll be happy.

Ragged Roses said...

What beautiful pictures of a very lovely garden. The wedding day looked wonderful and your family looks delightful. I'm glad you had a great Mother's Day too!
Kim x

Love Bears All Things said...

Helleborus, I have a white one in my garden but didn't know what it was called.
The baby is beautiful.
Enjoy your outing.

Nabeel said...

i wish i wish it was spring here .. well i guess it's near .. Chicago is cold .. well not that cold (what we're coming from) .. anyway .. the picture with the baby is soo cute .. both mom and baby are cute :)

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Your garden is showing wonderful signs of spring! We`re suppose to get snow today yet again, but at least it won`t stay long. What a beautiful wedding tent and such sweet pictures of Gabriel and Mummy!


UKBob said...

I always like to see a border with the soil worked over.

Nadine said...

Rowan, your garden is sooo beautifully organized ! I've always dreamed of such one ! Here we call that garden pattern "un jardin de curé" (I guess I could translate it as "a priester garden" >>>> all divided in squares and rectangles, with small alleys between them). You have done it beautifully !

And what a nice mariage ! Not to speak about the cutiest little Gabriel in the world !

Hugs & smiles...

Knot Garden said...

That is exactly what I should be doing in my garden. Maybe when this cold snap's over. You have a beautiful garden and a lovely family.
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very nice comments!

tash said...

Your garden is looking lovely and so is Gabriel! I'm so glad you're getting to spend some time with the little one :) The wedding was beautiful - your lawn was the perfect spot.

I'd love to go to that Weald and Down museum, it sounds just my kinda thing - pity it's so far from Northumberland. I'm sure you'll really enjoy your course, mine was nothing as interesting, just work stuff - but it proved to have some added bonuses completely unrelated to the course itself. It's surprising how things turn out!

I saw you mentioned about the hawthorn coming out into leaf, they make a wonderful addition to a salad, as their colloq. name is 'bread and cheese'. Tasty :)

Gardengirl said...

The wedding pictures in your garden are beautiful. It must have been soooo romantic to have a garden wedding. Gabriel is tiny and so precious. New born babies bring such joy to all of us.

Jacran Cottage said...

Your gardens and your house look wonderful! Nice to see the wedding photos as well as that gorgeous little one!!

Rowan, do you know what happend to Plain and Simple? I can't get to her blog anymore, I end up at some annoying page that is difficult to get out of, something to do about spyware . Is she OK?

Daisy Lupin said...

You are lucky to have been able to get out and do some gardening, I have been trying for a week, but wind, hail and rain are stopping me. Your garden looks as though it will be beautiful and I love the steps coming down from your house. Lucky you going to the Country Living Fair. Gabriel looks so sweet.

Jacran Cottage said...

Thanks for getting back to me about P&S. I've been missing her, I really enjoyed her blog. If I'd known she was going to delete her blog I would have printed off some of her interesting posts. If you are in touch with her again, wish her well from me would you. Thanks.

Patty said...

Beautiful photos ! Your garden is wonderful, just laid out perfectly.
The wedding pictures so delightful and sweet Gabriel is growing so fast and its easy to see where he gets his good looks

mrsnesbitt said...

can't wait to hear about the Country Living Fair! My favourite Magazine.

oneblueegg said...

found you via Mary...what a beautiful home and garden you have and this little one oh gosh..precious beyond words! makes me want another:) oops nope no no no no no er no no.....a grand baby would be nice tho:)well...somewhere down the line! nice to meet you!