Showing posts from April, 2019

Lent the Austrian way

We noticed immediately Lent is a much bigger deal in Austria because everywhere we went there were all kinds of traditional decorations on show. Wreaths and painted eggs were to the fore, and I loved this arrangement I found in a garden in  Selzthal . Austria's population is 70% Catholic, so I'd expected churches there to have special decorations. Naturally they'd taken it a step further at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, where we saw Peter Baldiger's dramatic installation, Sky of Stones . Here it is lit in purple for Lent; then it will be in gold for Easter, and finally red for Pentecost. The installation of 1,332 'stones' (they're made from paper) is on view until June 10th 2019. In the cathedral's precinct, Blumenhaus zum Dom was stacked and decorated with gorgeous wreaths and blooms. They go for pussy willow in a big way in Austria*. As well as these little bunches for sale at the shop, I saw someone dwarfed by her purchase

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Good in death

We spend lots of time celebrating our floral highlights (and quite rightly so), but I've pondered floral death recently. I'm currently greeted by plenty of hellebores in their final throes when I step outside, and I've decided I really like them. It means they add a couple of weeks extra interest after they've strutted their stuff round the garden. This is of particular value in the areas I've guerrilla gardened, where I tend to leave things to fend for themselves. The pictured patch of "June's hellebores"* - of unknown parentage and given to me by June (RIP) from choir - have slowly spread themselves out and formed a couple of lovely clumps at the side of the house despite the challenging conditions I've given them. Admiring them in their death showed their promise as a seedbank for future guerrilla gardening. I walked along the public land yesterday and there are plenty of potential spots for them which will make a cheery sight when I walk

This is for Lucy

There's hardly a day that goes by when I marvel at the strangeness of blogging and social media. It's attracted a lot of attention recently for its downsides, but today I'd like to celebrate its positive side. When I tentatively set foot online with my blog in 2007, I never thought it would give me all kinds of opportunities; best of all are all the new friends I've made here in the UK and all over the world, all connected by a love of nature and gardening. One of the earliest of these was Lucy, who has a wonderfully different way of looking at the world and generously shares it via her blogs and photos . I had the good fortune to visit her and her family a couple of times when they lived in Weymouth, but now they are much further away in Halifax. Those of you who read or create Tree Following posts may not know that it was Lucy who created this meme, which has helped many of us slow down and view one object over time and in finer detail; something she does

Unusual Front Gardens #30: Fill yer boots

Great to have my mate Mark  contributing to this blog again, albeit via a new media - he usually emails them to me! We've had wellies previously* ( here and here ), so it was only a matter of time before flower-filled boots were found. They're quite apt seeing Mark spotted them in the Lake District. * = There may be more in the future as I've spotted some in Rowde outside a farm along with a flower-filled tractor tyre. I just need the courage to stop on a busy main road and snap them. Sadly the "face" I spotted a little further on is no more.

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: O the pleasure with trees!

O the pleasure with trees! The orchard—the forest—the oak, cedar, pine, pekan-tree, The honey-locust, black-walnut, cottonwood, and magnolia. Walt Whitman (1819-1892) from Poem of Joys  - in: Leaves of Grass The magnolias are magnificent this year, helped by the unseasonably warm weather of the past few weeks, plus the lack of frost. Views like this one of my neighbour's tree reaching peak magnolia, and those at Westonbirt Arboretum last week (like the one below) make my heart sing. The pleasure with trees indeed.