Showing posts from December, 2020

Seasons Greetings!

I don't often 'play' with my photos after I've taken them, but as soon as I'd used a posterize app on this cheeky little robin in my garden, I simply knew I had to use it as this year's Christmas card. Have a wonderful festive season, no matter what life has thrown at you this year. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Weekend wandering: A fresh look at Poinsettias

I've tended to pass poinsettias by in the run up to Christmas, but this tasteful display in a local florist's window during my recent wander around town made me pause and think again. They're quite an unusual plant, so here's a little more about them... They originally hail from Mexico, where they were valued by the Aztecs, who used them to decorate their temples and also thought they represented a new life for warriors who'd perished in battle. Another Aztec legend says the plants red bracts represents the blood of a goddess who died of a broken heart. This inspired the plant's French name, Etoile d’amour  aka Star of Love.  Poinsettias became more widely known following a botanical expedition to Mexico in 1803. It was named as a new species, Euphorbia pulcherrima by Johann Friedrick Klotzsch in 1834. The name poinsettia comes from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US official to Mexico, who was an avid botanist and brought it back to the United States in the

Weekend Wandering: Festive Chippenham

My walks have seen me in the centre of Chippenham a lot more lately because it's taken on quite a festive air. Whilst Christmas is set to be a much quieter affair this year, it's time to celebrate what's actually happening to cheer us up out there. It also means there's a chance of surprises - like the well-known local rider who often brings his horse down the traffic-free high street. Sunday's get up meant he was stopped quite a bit on his travels! There's a charming  Joy of Christmas window display which consists of artwork from 24 talented residents - both children and adults - together with their thoughts on what makes them joyful at this time of year. The canny town council have placed these in the windows of civic buildings and also at some of our independent shops. As a result the trail covers quite an extensive area and I found some not-known-to-me before shops which I plan to return to. I was also pleased to my friend W 's work is one selected for

Thinking about trees

I've been thinking about trees a lot lately: partly because it's National Tree Week currently, but mainly because they've featured prominently on my walks over the past few weeks. It's been a spectacular autumn and even now there are still a few leaves left providing a last shot of colour to brighten the first few days of winter. When they're gone, their structural forms will still be there, quietly doing their thing and helping to lift my mood. There is much to be grateful for in their sturdy presence. I've said before we're blessed with whoever selected the trees for our estate and I was pleased to find Chippenham now has its own Mr Treeman again. He's new to the job as the town council has only recently taken over the management of our open spaces from the county council and NAH found him surveying the trees by us earlier this week.  I hope he approves of the choice trees we have alongside the usual suspects. I made my own discovery a couple of mont

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: To Walk

This photo may not look that enticing but it's deceptive as it shows the start of a marvellous adventure I've had this year. It's the footpath which runs by the side of our house and marks the beginning of nearly all the walks I take locally. When I set myself the goal of walking 1,000 miles in 2020 my heart said yes and my head said no. It's a mind boggling number and even dividing it by 366 didn't make the target seem any easier. Could I really walk 2.73 or so miles every day ? The answer to that question is no, because I didn't walk every day... but on many of them I walked far in excess of my daily walk allowance. It took my head nearly three months to acknowledge that it might, just might be possible. Then in March NAH had his heart attack and Lockdown happened and amongst all the angst and sleepless nights walking kept me going. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other helped calm my whirling mind. I deliberately parked my car in Bristol fa