I grew lupin My Castle from seed last year. Perennials from seed are such good value. I have about twenty good plants for a couple of pounds. These are for my daughter's garden and I think I will grow some white ones for mine. They were very easy, and came from Chiltern Seeds
.. a sunny day makes to how I feel! Are you like this? Suddenly I am smiling broadly and am full of energy and try to fit two weeks gardening chores into two days (am aching of course). I do sometimes wish I lived in kinder climate...
The flowers in my last post, which Weebly still will not allow me to illustrate, are lilac and this delightful white buttercup ranunculus aconitifolius. I love this plant and plan to have a lot more of it.
3am and all's well.
Today is cloudy again, but the paths are mown and the hedge is cut and the garden and I are ready for summer!
..planned, curated. I enjoy the dynamic in the garden between the serendipity of the parts I allow to grow wild, and the parts I very consciously design. To my eye the success of it very much depends on the clear contrast between the parts. To that end I have been trying to cut the hedges, clipped plants and mow paths through the longer grass but the weather is against me! Wet and windy so I can't use the electric mower and new cordless hadge timmer.
I have photos to illustrate this point, but have been trying for two days to post them without success - like the weather Weebly is against me!
Will keep trying...
All the aquilegia in my garden are volunteers. They just appear, do their pretty thing, and disappear again. They never smother other plants or get in the way or make any demands. Totally trouble free and with their fairy-like charm are lovely in a little vase on the bedside table or the bathroom windowledge.
The Anchor Line is still there. Best affogato. Glasgow has some beautiful buildings.
I can't believe I have never noticed this one before. I forget to look up!
I went looking for a straw hat and came back with a cushion cover. I really like H&M homeware - lots of natural recycled fabrics and very moodest prices. (This was £3.99)
Filed under Simply Fun :-)
Beauty sustains me. Even in the worst of times there is beauty all around - a comforting gestrue, a sympathetic glance, a snile.
I remember being struck by writings and poetry from the first wrld war about people in truly hellish situtions stopping, even at great danger to themselves, to notice something beautiful. Violets In Plug Street Wood by Roland in Vera Brittain's Testamennt of Youth comes to mind.
Here is my first post under Simply Beautiful
And I wonder how this beautiful project is going?
I do hope you wil have time to browse Simply Beautiful. I have had a lovely morning looking through these happy memories.
That is the question. (I know. That's corny.)
I've not had a televsiion for over 30 years, but I now watch some TV on my laptop, and during lckdowns I probably made up for lost time!
It came about more or less by chance. We moved house and found ourselves without a TV set and found we didn't really miss it. Instead we spent evenings reading, listening to music, walking, coking (my husband loved to cook), talking to each other, gardening, going to concerts. We had lots more time and I realised that I often felt that watching television was like living at second hand. I wanted to be living my very own life not watching other people live theris! It was that simole.
Next - Simply Beautiful..
Simplifying my life was and is perhaps as much about what I don't have and do as much as what I do choose to have and do in my life.
I'm not claiming anykind of high ground here, this is just what works for me. I don't have a microwave, a dishwasher, a tumble dryer, a coffee machine, a television, exercise equipment, or many gadgets, which it seems to me often just take up space and time to maintin them adds up too. And they can be very noisy. I dom't have a car either, but that is not from choice, it's because my eye condition (AMD) means I can no longer drive. I do miss my car!
The only thing I want to be all-singing-all-dancing in my house is me.
There are also things I don't do. Twitter, facebook, Instagram - they all take up time I would rather spend on other things. I watch and listen to very little news. (I sometimes wonder who decreed that we should get so caught up in all the worst things that are happening all around our world on a daily, or even hourly basis?)
We are all different! What works for you?
It's ineresting to see that Miss Minimalist is still going strong - 300,000 books sold! And The Minimalists are also looking back over 12 years. What innovative career paths they have had. Blogs, YouTube, podcasts, Patreon, live events and tours. They have given so much of their work free - but it's fascinating that we still love books so much.
Several days of constant rain, and I so want to be gardening. But I brought some of the outside in and am enjoying the summer rug which brightens the whole room.
Wild cherry blosson is over now, but the crab apple is abundant in Coronation Wood and on the shore path.
I am very grateful not to have lost my sense of taste or smell to Covid as scents this year are wonderful. Some fill the air like the leaves of the balsam poplar which could be smelled over much of the village for weeks. Now it is the delicious heady smell of azalea lutea which fills the air. I have some in the sitting room and you can snell it as you come in the back door. Some though require that you get closer - peppery wisteria (mine has few flowers), vanilla scented clematis and astringent lily of the valley. Most flowers have some scent though it may be faint. I was surprised to find that a bought bunch of parrot tulips can scent a room.
I read about paperwhite narcissu being wonderfully scneted but when I finally grew some found the perfume so overpowering I coudn't have them in the house!
Is my life simpler since starting the blog? Oh yes! I was already on that journey to a simpler life - I became self employed and moved to the country, I felt less stressed and loved making my own decisions. I became aware of people having to give up work they loved because they had reached a certain arbitrary age, whether they wanted to or not and determined that I would be the one to make that important decision!
Have you made, or are you thinking about making big changes to simplify your life? It's not always easy, but I have no regrets about these two life changes.
A word about categories here on the blog. Live Simply and Simply Live are my default categories. There is a lot of overlap. Simply Bin It and Simply Get Rid should really be one of course, and there are more inconsisitencies than there should be. There's probably a lot of repetition too, for which I apologise. I have thought, now and then, of correcting some of these faults, but life is short, and there is wisteria to enjoy...
We read to know we are not alone. (so says the chracter of C S Lewis in Shadowlands.) I write to know I am not alone.
The blog is often where I think things through (see this early post where I think through what I mean by simple). It's a little focal point in my day. It keeps me alert to things that amuse me, delight me, inspire me, entertain me, educate me..
In the early days Karen frm Cornflower Books commented Thanks for being a bright spot in my day. That was it. I was committed. The very idea that I could be a bright spot in someone's day made me smile from ear to ear and filled me with delight. Thank you Karen.
It's all about sharing, and throough the unfathomable complexities of the web (the irony is not lost on me!) like minded people have found Live Simply Simply Live and enrich it, and me, with their comments so that I know I am not alone.
..of the best kind.
I love self sown seedlings, or volunteers as a friend calls them. On the gravel floor of the greenhouse I keep some welsh poppies both orange and yellow, pink campion (not too many) and my favourite geranium robertianum Celtic White which I grew from a packet of seed decades ago and which have sprinkled themselves all around the garden, giving it a relaxed (some would say untidy) look!
Writing about living simply in what feels like an increasingly complex world has kept me happilly occupied for more than twelve years now! Who knew I had so much to say? I didn't. (I know I have said this before but it truly still astonishes me.)
The category Simply Grow dominates, but some categories are very neglected, so I thought I would revisit them one by one to refresh both myself and the blog a litttle.
Depending what device you are using the categories are listed on the side bar, or you may need to scroll down a lot to find them..
I love this blog and the people who meet here. It's very much my happy place.
..manage a garden on your own.
You may remember, on Gardener's World, Carol Bruce's amazing three acre garden which she gardens without any help. She said that with the right tools and methods it was not difficult. See this post.
I wrote to her asking if she was perhaps planning to write a book to help the rest of us!
I got a friendly reply saying that one of the best ways to get a bok out, she had heard, was to get more television exposure, so I wrote to BBC Gardener;s World asking to see more of Carol and her garden. I need this book!
If you do too perhaps you would also like to tell BBC in a quick email to this address? firstname.lastname@example.org
PS At the risk of sounding like someone from the Tourist Office, see here more of Argyll's Secret Coast!
I loved Carry Farm. And I adore the image on this page of their website. They somehow manage to be both homely and sophisticated at the same time. No hype. Low key. Small scale.
Caravans and eco lodges, hens arund your feet, donkeys and rare breeds, a sailing school, quality craft work, real coffee. The woods around full of primroses and bluebells.
A young Dad and his two small children passed us here - they were putting up a tent for the night on this bit of machair.
Come with me on a day trip around Argyll's Secret Coast. First stop is the viewpoint over the Kyles of Bute.
Then a stop at in Tighnabruaich Gallery. Paintings, ceramics, jewellery in a frequently chaning exhibition. Bright, friendly and a great place to find a special present. I've shown work there over many years and several different owners. Ros, the currrent owner was given one of my paintings by her parents for her 21st birthday. We both lived in Yoek at the time but didn't know each other then.
See the online shop for a good range of originalceramics.
Lunch at the stylish restaurant at Portavadie Marina was delicious Freshest fish !
Are you getting out and about again? And having friends to stay? It is wonderful.
In tomorrow's post we we'll call in at Carry Farm.
..has resulted in a great rush of green! Plants have doubled in size almost overnight.
A couple of beech branches, picked just before the leaves unfurl, will decorate the dining table for a week or more.
And it may be quiet on the blog for a few days while I help my visitors eat thrugh this lot. Have a lovely weekend, out in green nature if you can!
Life is a song worth singing.
from a song sung by Johmmy Mathis
From a friend who was going through a terrible time -
There are still things to be happy about.
Rachel Blackmore on winning the Grand National when asked what it was like to be the first female jockey to win replied
I don't feel male, I don't feel female, I hardly feel human!
The super efficient Carol Bruce on gardening -
Never act on impulse - instead, plan on impulse, and then act on the plan.