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Showing posts from January, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Flowers for the New Year

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It's time for the annual flower census, where I pay particular attention to what's in bloom at VP Gardens in the new year. It's the only time I do this; my reasoning is there's plenty of interest at other times of the year, and if January has something, then I must be doing something right. As a result it's the only time I can do an exact comparison between the years and it's good to have that. Of course, the weather has a major role to play in what's actually there. There are always some surprises. The main one this year was daffodils in bloom before Christmas. Even more surprising is they've continued to bloom, despite almost two whole weeks of below average temperatures laced with ice and hoar frost. They actually flowered a few days ahead of the snowdrops and I'm pleased to find the snowdrops are now restoring order to the seasonal world with their delightful display both in the garden and on the public land next door. Here's this year's

Unusual Front Gardens #33: Turning Japanese

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  My frequent walks into town last year revealed Chippenham has its very own Japanese-style rock garden , sometimes also known as a zen garden. It's been covered with leaves most times I've passed by, but just before Christmas the owner had tidied it up and raked the gravel into the desired lines representing water ripples around the rocks. I like its simplicity. I wonder if the owner finds it a calming and meditative experience to maintain it.

A year in cats

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This week we said our final goodbyes to NAH's aunt, who passed away peacefully in early December at the grand age of 94. With her passing we no longer have any distance caring responsibilities, plus the elder Chapman baton has passed to NAH and and his elder brother. I'm finding it quite hard to adjust to these circumstances, as part of what's made me who I am the past 13 years or so is no longer there. In the meantime, I've spent quite a lot of time over the past few weeks thinking about the good times with my aunt-in-law, who was a lot of fun and the source of many of our good times. Part of her lasting legacy is the family's love of cats and the annual cat calendar. For many years a December delight was the Whiskas one plopping onto our doormat; she'd saved many a label from her cat's favourite tinned food to provide this regular event. Whiskas stopped doing their calendar around 10 years ago, and we took on the mantle of providing one, firstly with photo