at home in the garden

Thanks to Covid-19’s enforced isolation I have finally fulfilled something that has been on my to-do list for years! Once I even bought one of those fancy garden journals but it ended up as a scrap notebook – but now it’s all in hand – and what better and easier place than another blog!!

A garden in a pot

I may only have a potted garden at the moment but I’ve gathered a good many plants over the years and so I’ve put together an inventory of my collection along with pages of plant details, images, growing tips and notes.
The only ‘posting’ I need do for this blog is a monthly update

And since I’m also adding a gallery of plant portraits, it’s a good opportunity to improve my photography skills here. So I put on the Lumix 30mm macro lens and out in the garden I went.

The best time of day is of course morning and evening or overcast skies for those bright colours which pop too much for the camera – an alternative is to switch into monochrome where colour does not distract from form as in the ‘art nouveau’ design of nasturtiums.

Leaves make sensational subjects especially those plants grown more or as much, for foliage than flower, like herbs, euphorbias and hostas.

After the rains is a good time to get out the camera.

Not forgetting all those little details of spider webs and dandelion seeds

Seeking out the beauty of youth is natural enough (this is Thrift/Sea Pink) but I do not overlook the full-blown bloom either. It is also a subject that suits monochrome [click on the slider]

Choosing different angles as well as getting in close to subjects like these plantain lilies is important but so too is the negative space that surrounds and frames – -ultimately its question of personal taste

Please feel free to visit my new blog A Garden in a Pot and if you can ID either of these 2 plants I’d be most grateful.

from a packet of seeds – a woodland/ shade lover?
a succulent that blooms for a short time in May

Useful links:
Plant Photography tips for your garden

It’s in the mix

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Gerald Manley Hopkins ~ Pied Beauty
Sunday Sayings: A pick from the poets, writers or scriptures 

Beloved Daughter

(i)
I watched you criss-cross, curiously, cautiously
our graves, dark spaces between footsteps
the quick and the dead on a churchyard’s
chessboard. What drew you to shadows
on such a summery day in May? After all
we all belong to last century and long before.
Your hand sometimes brushed the stones,
feeling moss, a broken edge, old ivy trails gone brown.
Under the rookery you found two full-fledged lives
still as the millpond. Checked if they were warm
and then across you came, to the boundary wall
to stop by me:

Ada Stenton
The Dearly Beloved Daughter Of
John & Sarah Ann Beet
who died December 11th 1896
aged 28 years
Also John Beet who passed away
June 3rd 1909 aged 79 years
and Sarah Ann Beet, wife of the above
who passed away March 10th 1915
aged 79 years

(ii)
It was your name; those dual sounds
so clear and bold that could be rolled
into poetry. And the headstone’s floral scroll
too drew my imaginings, till you appeared
like a photograph, slowly, surely,
out of the dark room.

Restive all of 28 years, did you find rest in peace
pressed beneath parents, interred before them
the firstborn Adam never conceived? They made
you as ornament instead, after the Hebrew
adorned with dark brown hair, hung loose
hiding the birthmark that marked you out,
a wanderer like Cain, sketchpad and verse
to hand. Woolgathering a wayward way
on the arms of artists and a Sergeant Stenton
kept childless then widowed by the Duke.
I wonder if you died poorer, paradoxically
perhaps of a Yorkshire woolsorter’s disorder?
Or of a broken heart, of shame?
Certainly a prodigal brought back to abide
eternally, as dearly beloved daughter.

Notes:
– Ada from the Hebrew Adah. עָדָה, meaning adornment or ornament. The first female name in Genesis after Eve. Adam is first man.
– The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment – South Yorkshire.
– Woolgathering – To engage in fanciful daydreaming
– Woolsorter’s disease is anthrax from contact with the raw hides of infected animals including alpaca, camel and sheep.

For my Poetics prompt, we are reconstituting a deceased person, one that is unknown to us, neither family nor famous. By way of poetic resurrection, we bring them Back to Life