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.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gardener's Assistant

I've just not been finding time/energy to post recently but thought I'd better do a short one just to show that I'm still around. It's a busy time of year for everyone of course. When the weather has allowed I've been spending as much time as possible in my garden and I have had a willing helper as I've worked.

This little robin is extremely friendly and is obviously urging me on to greater efforts so that he can get on with helping to remove any food supplies that I uncover. He seemed quite willing to pose for the camera though the photos aren't very good as I was crouched down and wobbling about a bit so they aren't very sharply focused. Some clicking on all the photos I'm posting would probably be a good idea.

This is one of his favourite places from which to survey the scene.

The results of our efforts - still quite a bit to do in the beds hidden by the terrace walls and in the front garden though.

Family history research always comes to the forefront in the winter months and OH has been uploading a lot of family photos. This is my favourite of my two boys taken when Neil was 3 and Steve was 5. It's normally in a frame on the wall and you can see how the colours have faded over the years.

This was taken about 8 years ago when they were joint best men at the wedding of their friend Fabiano. Steve is left, Fab in the middle and Neil on the right.

Earlier this week as I came back from a meeting in Grindleford I saw the sign advertising Christmas trees for sale at the National Trust site at Longshaw. I decided to get one and leave it out in the garden until I'm ready to put it up. On the way from the car park I passed this lovely old drystone wall covered in mosses and lichens.

There was a school group visiting the Christmas tree area, they'd been in an indoor classroom area and had just come out to look at the trees and I think they were choosing one to take back to school.

The tree I chose waiting forlornly on the terrace, hopefully I'll get it up towards the end of next week. Still have all the outside lights to do once I get a dry,still day. OH would be a great understudy for Scrooge so I'm on my own with all the decorating.

Finally the little jacket I've made for Gabriel, I wish I could make a better job of sewing things together, it's never as well finished as I'd like. Still, it will keep him warm which is the main thing.
A bit of a mixed bag but at least it shows that I haven't fallen off the edge of the world:)


Janet said...

So glad you haven't fallen off the edge! All your photos are good no matter what. That old dry stack wall is gorgeous. I love moss and lichen....don't know where that comes from as there wasn't much of it where I grew up. And your little helper looks so cute perched on the handle of your basket.

I think Gabriel's new sweater looks just fine. We always see all sorts of flaws that no one else ever notices. Besides it was made with love and that will always warm him.

Val said...

Always lovely to read about your world.

I tagged you for a meme on my blog. I hope you can find the time to play.

Anonymous said...

You know I don't think I've ever seen an English robin before! It's adorable! So different from our American robins. The little jacket you made is lovely and looks just perfect to me. Have a wonderful week! ~ Lynda xo

Jenny said...

I loved the pictures of the robin- one of my favorite movies is The Secret Garden, and he looked just like the one in the movie- friendly and inquisitive. I enjoyed the pictures of your sons too- I can see why that is one of your favorites as they're adorable. Thanks for posting- I was just wondering how you were doing earlier this week. said...

They are such game little creatures, robins. For a while we tried to get ours to eat from our hand, and though we did get close we gave up due to freezing conditions! Nowadays we are watched from all sides by our little red squirrel-nutkin, who should be in training for the gymnastics-corps of the London 2012 olympics!

The cardigan looks beautiful and warm, too - I know Gabriel will love it and it'll be a keepsake for his parents when he is older.

The tree is lovely, too.

Monique @ said...

Hey there you are again !! Such lovely pictures. You have two very hansome sons !! I love the pictures of the garden and the little robin. I miss my little robin in the garden. I found him at the beginning of november at the porch of my back garden. I think one of the cats got to him. I was so sad. I really miss him !!! I hope another cute little robin will find his way to my garden again.
That little vest is so cute. You have done a great job !!!
have a great day !!

PAT said...

It's so good to hear from you again, Rowan! Your photos are all beautiful! Handsome sons, you have there!

I love Gabrielle's new jacket.

I'm looking forward to seeing your tree decorated!

Your garden looks wonderful. Ours is under ice and will be, a few days more!!


Ragged Roses said...

Lovely to hear from you Rowan. Your robin is much tamer than the ones in my garden - as soon as the camera comes out, he's gone! Love the jacket for Gabriel.

miss*R said...

I think we are all caught up in the business of this season - litha, yule, christmas, whatever we choose to call it... I cannot wait to see how you decorate your tree and celebrate your yule-tide.
Your garden looks gorgeous :)

Leanne said...

Ive just done a post all about the folklore of the robin. they are such great little birds, so full of character and life. Leanne x

peppylady said...

I can see you been very busy.

There no way anyone does anything with the gardens.

Plus making Gabriel a jacket.

Mary said...

Lovely to read your post - I've missed you - and the pics are great. The guys look like Il Divo - can they sing!!!! The garden is lovely and how I miss those English robins - ours are so huge over here. Makes me think of...."The North wind will blow and we shall have snow and what will poor Robin do then, poor thing" etc.

Jacket is awesome Rowan - you did as fine job - I'd like it in my size!!

Stay calm, enjoy the season, all will get done - it usually does doesn't it?

Greentwinsmummy said...

Rowan the photos of your garden are stunning! it reminds me of the Secret Garden,all Wintery & magical & having the robin there too ah! lovely :o)

Remiman said...

It seems to me that the only time there is no work to be done in the garden is when it's under a foot of snow. But that's as it should be; even the garden needs arest. Plus the exercise of shoveling snow from the drives and walks is a refreshing break from spading the loam.
Your boys are quite handsome and rightly due your admiration of them.
We purchase our "tree" this past Sunday and will get it up this cming weekend. I do help with the tree but the lions share of the decorating is done by D.. I, however do see to the musical accompaniment while the decorating goes a pace.
I'm glad to see that you've hung on to the edge of the world and pulled yourself up to say Hi! ;)

Anonymous said...

just wanted to let you know, that you can find me at my new address now. I made a blogger account, so it's easier to comment on other people's blogs. I made my own blog too, so if you want, you can visit me there !!
Have a great day.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I love Robins, and isn't their song wonderful to hear at this time of year?
It certainly is a busy time, especially with little ones to consider.
The family has been to the lakes for a few days. Back in harness now though. Will post as soon as I can download my pictures.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I forgot to say, the little jacket is lovely - is it a Debbie Bliss pattern?

Sheila said...

I adore those little English robins. When I receive a Christmas card from the Uk with one on it, I always keep it. The robins here are man eaters, quite large and their breasts are not as vivid red.
Thank you for the christmas card..xx
The boys look very handsome don't they...!

Julie Marie said...

I'm glad you were able to take some time to blog. I miss you when you're away.

I love your little English robin, and Leanne's too. We don't have him here (our American robin is really a thrush), but I have books, postcards, etc. that feature the fat English robin.


Andylynne said...

I really like your photos of the Robin. I have one on my computer I had from birds of the UK website. I had no idea that Robins in the UK were so different looking than their US cousins. But they sound like they have similar antics. Robins here are bigger and dare I say not as cute as your Robins. But they are cheeky and lots of fun. I look forward to them every spring.
Your boys are as handsome grown up as they were adorable children. My tree is not yet trimmed so don't feel to left behind. The photo of the children and the trees is adorable. I have enjoyed catching up with your blog.

Marilyn said...

The sweater is beautiful. I love the color and the large buttons. Beautiful, just beautiful!

meggie said...

A delightful post! Love the Robin.
Love your children's photos, & also the lovely jacket for your grandson.

Kelli said...

What a great update! I love the pictures of your robin friend...just lovely. You did a wonderful job on the jacket, it's just beautiful!

Strawberry Lane said...

Oh my, so many wonderful things in your post. Loved the photos of the sweet little robin and the views into your garden. And .. what great family photos and memories that go with them.

And ... another sweet sample of your beautiful knitting.

kate said...

Gabriel's jacket is so sweet - I love it. It looks incredibly well put together. He will look great wearing it.

I will be keen to see the Christmas tree in full decoration. It is such a busy time of year ... I tend to get nostalgic in December and do as you, looking through old photographs and the like. Your sons are both handsome ... how time flies from when both of your boys were little.

Patty said...

awarded you an award, one you well deserve.

Breezy said...

Good to see you back Rowan the robin photos were great aren't they lovely to have around the garden

smilnsigh said...

Glad you updated but not to worry about entries, at this time of year. We are all busy, in one way or the other.

Thank you for your lovely photos, per usual.

Be well and don't stress over anything, this Season.

Or ~ Try not to. :-)


Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Cute little bird and your sons look very dashing in that photo. More interesting things to read and see :) That little sweater is sweet!
Have a Merry Merry Christmas Rowan!


Paula said...

Love the robin as he gazes at you with your camera. The greens and blues of the English countryside at this time of year are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.


Julie Marie said...

Dear Rowan,

Thank you so much for the Briar card. I had actually looked that them on the Internet and wanted to get them for my Yule cards, but found them a tad spendy and ended up ordering from another site. Now I have a Briar card! No doubt next year I will get some of these to send to my special Yule friends.

My card is not as swift as yours but it should be there within the 12 days of Christmas!

Have a wonderful, wonderful holiday.



Rosie said...

I think your little helper is lovely - we have used a Robin photo for our Christmas cards this year and so many people have been delighted with them - they are colourful little birds at this time of year. Your garden looks wonderful after all your hard work. Merry Christmas to you and your family:)

Mary said...

Hi Rowan - Just stopping by again to wish you and your family a joyous Christmas - may the coming year be one of peace, good health and much happiness.
Hugs - Mary.

Naturegirl said...

Carols by candlelight heartily sung ..sending you Christmas blessings to you and yours! hugs NG

Nadine said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family, Rowan !

....and thanks for these beautiful photos !


Mousie/Paisible said...

I hope you had a lovely Xmas dear, the photos here are beautiful as usual...I hope the coming year will bring you sun and peace and love and all you wish...
be well my friend...

Sharon J said...

I love those photos of the robin, especially the first one.

And that little jacket isn't badly finished at all. I think it looks absolutely adorable :)