Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Garden City Mummy ~ Post 2 ~ Love is....

A comfortable pair of sandals....

Continuing the theme of once weekly updates on being a Garden City Mummy....

You, Dear Reader, will remember that my feet were in shreds after running to pick up my son from childcare in a new pair of supposedly comfortable sandals...

Well - the scabs formed after said event are still visible to the naked eye, and with this in mind, I set myself the task of finding a pair of sandals, which, whilst being feminine, vaguely in line with the season's fashion tropes, and affordable, were less likely, when under stress, to inflict torturous damage to my feet - (oh and could straddle - oh-er missus - key usage occasions of client meeting, and day out with small child, and go with trousers, dress or skirt)

Now, this brief already rules out a number of brands and styles - Birkenstocks - - hmmm...... affordable, yes, fashionable - well, more timeless than fashionable I would say, but feminine, I'm not sure, nor do I think they would work chez client. Although I actually really like them, and have been after a pair for a while...

Same with any kind of flip-flop (an old favourite of mine) which again, can be feminine, comfortable, go with trousers and skirts. But again, these tend to be detrimental to the deference needed at a business meeting AND importantly, can fall off the feet when running.


A major, or shall we say, seminal moment in my childhood was the day when my mother finally bowed to my demands and allowed me to defect from Clark's shoes (patent leather, maroon, size 13 and a half width F) and buy the sought after pair of Doc Marten style shoes with an acid man logo plastered onto the side

- from Barratt's no less. I must have been around 11, and this was the same year the Care Bear themed birthday cake was re-modelled into, yes, you guessed it, a kind of off yellow glacé icing rendition of the same smiley face acieeeeed man.

How those acid man shoes hurt me - I still remember it now, but of course I could say nothing to dear mama, for fear of being hauled back to Clark's - I seem to remember they fell to bits pretty soon as well. I should also add that the acid man cake (made and iced of my own fair hand) tasted revolting - too dry and all that yellow food colouring just didn't do it for me.

Anyway, where is this meandering recherche du temps passé leading...

Well, for the first time since said defection, aged 11, I headed back to Clark's, safe in the knowledge that there, of all places, I would find a pair of comfortable shoes - sandals? I couldn't be sure...but it was a starting point.

So with my son in tow, we entered the store.

Now, not only did I notice that their line of kid's shoes has definitely become much more 'on trend' shall we say, but hallelujah - I found at least two pairs of sandals that more or less answered the criteria of the brief.

To cut an already long story short, I am now the proud owner of a very nice pair of sandals, which on their first proper outing this morning, have cushioned my feet at all touchpoints of leather and skin rather than sandpapering them, look elegant, make my feet look nice, and go very well with my black trousers. Oh yes, and when I say leather, I MEAN leather. They are actually made out of leather.

I am now off to my client meeting in them, but the real test, of course, will be the childcare run this evening....

more on which later...

but here's to the re-forging of my relationship with Clark's....
Shoes Designed For Living...........a strapline that really means what it says....a rare thing.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The plague house

Warning, he or she who comes near our house (or garden) is likely to catch the lurgy.

Due in part, I am sure, to the weekend's awful weather, my husband, son and I are all suffering from various manifestations of a nasty cold.

Oh well, the time off work has given me some time to re-design my blog a little, and do some concepting (I thought I said I was OFF work...) about how this blog's postings can work a little harder in terms of creativity, interest, and appeal...

Watch this space!

cough cough sneeze

Monday, 28 May 2007

The bank holiday weekend

Well it's been a while since I last posted.
We've had a busy weekend, but as is the case at the moment, I am afraid, very little of interest to post regarding the garden, other than the destruction wreaked upon it due to the high winds and beating rain.

Luckily, most of our plants weathered the storm, and actually, look pretty healthy. Must be all the rain they've endured.

What else to report from this weekend?
  • On saturday we went to a wedding in Osterley: we had a wonderful day, despite the weather not being great - a really moving ceremony, in beautiful surroundings. Plenty of champers, strawberries, canapés, and, a Waitrose picnic - yum!
  • On sunday we did very little, other than go to John Lewis café, to congregate with other long suffering parents (rain = children inside all day, bored, fed up, too much energy) - much to our delight, there was a live jazz band playing, and I wept tears of pride as my little son bopped up and down to King of the Swingers, and Moondance in his high chair! His older brother, my stepson, was so proud of him, he had to go and tell the band all about his baby brother's antics - another very cute moment.
And from today...? Well actually very little, again, other than a brief tour of duty in the garden, in the pouring rain, and cold, and lots of playing in the living room with aforementioned baby son - accompanied by cups of coffee, quadruple chocolate cookies and a soundtrack which featured amongst other artistes, the Klaxons, The Aliens and Simian Mobile Disco: all of which were enjoyed by our seemingly musically sensitive son - who equally REJECTED the jungle book rip off songs which I chose for him. Silly mummy. Live jazz and nu rave on the playlist next time.

Oh, and I found The Book of Plants (Besler) for 15 quid in our local bookshop. So all good. Although, as my husband points out, I haven't EVEN looked at it yet. Too busy blogging.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

My new obsession

Somehow, I'm not sure how, I discovered the world of antique botanical prints yesterday, whilst at work.

Thinking back, I am not sure what it was that triggered this, but all of a sudden I found myself searching fervently for suppliers of said prints.

All of a sudden I really want a few to go on the newly decorated walls of our house. Except they don't come cheap. Well not the pretty ones anyway. Since I am already somewhat in the red this month, I don't imagine my husband will be impressed that the money I will be potentially borrowing from him to 'tide me over' materialises into rather ephemeral purchases. Although, he is a frequent recipient of ebay ephemera himself.

One way of getting round this, I think, might be to order a book, a modern day book, which has a large number of these prints reproduced within it. Scalpel out the stuff I like, (douse it in tea, let my son loose on it and then hang it over the gas hob to give it that olde worlde look) and then frame it.

But then this opens up a whole new pandora's box of decision making - which book to go for, and does it have the prints I like etc. and of course the books I like so far happen to be pretty pricey anyway. Take a look at this and this

And then of course, there's the issue of overkill. I think that one or two, maximum three prints of this genre, neatly framed in a few different parts of the house will add some real charm and interest, however, I'll be shelling out for a book of potentially hundreds of them, so what happens to the rest? They can't all go on the walls, as that would not work with the 'creative idea' of our house (not that there is one really...), nor would it leave any room for my husband's delightful 'fantasy' style print of the Rolling Stones. So, they'll end up as coffee table reading, with a few pages showing signs of being hacked at rather clumsily with a pair of child's nail scissors.

And to top it off, my online search of antique print dealers has segued into maps as well. I'm now after some antique maps of places I've visited in the past.....husband and I will be fighting for wall space before we know it. Our own little turf war.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Garden City Mummy ~ Post 1

Motherhood is full of painChinese foot binding shoes
Edward Scissorhands

This is an observation I had today on my way to collect my son from childcare.

How did I arrive at this observation you may ask. Childbirth? Yes, that hurt. Cracked nipples? certainly in the early days...but no, this observation was born (pardon the pun) of a rather more mundane episode, with no blood, gore, or stitches.

Well, as sometimes happens, a combination of events (usually involving the piccadilly line) led to my being in a big rush to get to my boy on time, and it just so happened that I was wearing new shoes. New summer shoes. Which can only mean one thing. Pain. Of course if I were to walk at a normal speed, then the pain would be minimal. It would be nothing more than the familiar pain of breaking in new shoes. However, when one is a mum, one does not want to be late for one's little darling, and so, of course, I had to run. Running in new, tight, kitten heels, with swollen end of the day feet hurts. A lot. Ergo, motherhood is painful.

When I sunk like an ageing trawler into the bath this evening, I have to say that the stinging pain caused by the numerous blisters and scrapes adorning both feet, was only a few notches below the stinging I felt upon bathing immediately after childbirth where I came face to face with edward scissor hands the midwife. They (my feet) still hurt now. Oh well, I think it'll be back to the knackered old trainers tomorrow.

Running a tight garden ship

Well I am pleased to say that thanks in large part to my husband's efforts, our garden can now be compared to the aforementioned 'tight ship'.

The lawn was mowed, the edges trimmed, weeding undertaken, and seedlings planted.

As if by design it rained today, in order to give the garden a nice soaking after the relative dryness of the weekend.

I am now watching the Chelsea Flower show on TV. I would love to get down there on my day off with my son in tow, but, alas, like too many things these days, babies and small kids are not invited.

A red sailing ship off the east coast of the
Ile aux cerfs, Mauritius, Jan 2003

Now don't get me wrong - I don't fall into the camp of parents that think their kids should have guestlist to a whole range of otherwise 'adult' occasions. I for one, would never force my son's presence on a couple who, say, decided they wanted their wedding to be an adult only affair, and as an ex business traveller, I can understand a little the frustration an exhausted business person feels when a mum with a babe in arms plonks herself next to his flatbed in business on the JFK -LHR red eye...I digress, but you get the,back to Chelsea.. short of potential accessibility issues with a buggy, I cannot for the life of me understand why I couldn't go there with my son. I mean it's outdoors, it doesn't rely on quiet, or long periods of standing still listening to people speak or buggy is brown, so it would camouflage in nicely, and my son is a lovely cute little child, who tends to provoke adoration in even the sourest of adults. Hmmmm. I think it's all a bit snobby. I suppose they think a buggy pushed by a mum carrying a bit of post preg weight might 'lower the tone' somewhat. Oh well. We'll be giving it a miss then.

Saturday, 19 May 2007


Today's entry is rather more pictorial than text based...well it's intended to be, but as it turns out, there's a little vignette I want to share with you first.

So we've had the anti social dog owner, now what about the accusing parent of out of control toddler.
I've noticed this with increasing annoyance since becoming a parent myself.

Let me explain.

I'm talking about parents whose kids are now at an age where they're toddling around without reigns or any other means of containment. Off said toddler goes, zig zagging across a crowded thoroughfare of a town centre near you, and ooohh watch out, they're coming right at your buggy, so you deftly move your buggy out of their path, only to be greeted with a mix of accusing and barely concealed middle class annoyance emanating from parent of said toddler. For it always is those middle class parents who occupy this role.

We experienced this today. It annoyed the shit out of me. An admittedly harmless, cute toddler almost ran into my son in his buggy - my husband steered quickly out of his way, only to be glared at, deploringly by the toddler's be-chinoed, be-deckshoed father.

I mean, if you're so worried about little Tarka or Misty bumping into a rogue (read non bugaboo) buggy on their race to the Early Learning Centre, then use some reigns, put them back in the bugaboo, or better still hold their hand....but don't glare at my family. Gggrrrrhh.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos
An inhabitant of an oft neglected part of the garden - beetroot. Hmmm can imagine this in a nice beetroot and feta salad.

The glorious Maigold climbing rose - it smells as good as it looks, and to the right, one example of what I call our 'borrowed' flowers - these are the stragglers from our neighbour's garden, which poke through into our side of the garden. Lucky us. There's about 100 more where this one came from - all of different colours.

And lastly, my 'wild' corner, with Papaver Orientale, Hydrangea Annabelle,Verbena, and another 'borrowed' clematis. Watering can, gardener's own. Wheelie bin, property of the council.

Friday, 18 May 2007

A dog's tale

The town where we live is known as a garden city. This means, amongst other things, that public spaces (of which there are many) are carefully maintained, and really quite beautifully landscaped. Even in the town centre you don't go far without coming across a bed of irises, roses or ornamental grass, planted in such a way as to provide real aesthetic pleasure.

The care that is taken of the town's public spaces, I think, has a knock on effect on the way its inhabitants themselves take care of them....there is very little littering, and you don't see much graffitti, and this will sound snobby, but it's not meant to be: overall, people really seem to care about their houses, and their gardens too. It's infectious.

Well so is the poo that I saw a dog doing in one of the aforementioned lovingly maintained beds of roses and late flowering tulips. Yes. It's true. I was walking to work very early the other morning and I usually pass a couple who walk a large dog. Well on this particular morning I saw the canine and its owner on a side street, and to my horror, I could swear that the owner was almost persuading, nay, cajoling the dog to do none other than squat on the flower bed - not the pavement - and issue forth a revolting winalot flavoured stool.....Oh, she'll pick it up and bin it, I thought, as I watched aghast (because I kid you not, this is what I see most of the octogenarian dog owners do in the town: bending down on their synthetic knees, scraping it up into a plastic bag. Bless em.)

But no. This thirty something woman, just let the dog finish its business, and walked on.

Does anyone else find this a really anti social piece of behaviour? Should I have said something? I felt like it, but didn't, as am still in that London mentality of cause offence get stabbed. But I wish I had. How disgusting. And to do it specifically in the flower bed. Hmmmm. Not sure how owner and dog got through the garden city vetting process!

Thursday, 17 May 2007

aphids, the crocus catalogue and other excitement

Phew...what a week....
It's been a busy one, and finally I can relax.
Funnily enough, evening relaxation in this house in the evenings tends to mean my husband and I each occupying a sofa, laptop on knees, surfing the net, and writing our respective blog entries.
Of course we do talk to each other, but then aren't the solidest, most concrete relationships those where you can 'be' together in a room, and not feel forced make smalltalk or discuss whose turn it is to put the rubbish out tomorrow.

I guess this evening past time is the equivalent of letter writing in the drawing room in the Edwardian, or even Victorian age! Yes, I like that comparison. Makes me feel like less of a social misfit already.

Anyway, onto the subject in hand.
Well, whilst we have practically developed SADS because the weather has been so dull, the garden has seemingly exalted at the oceans of rain thrown at it over the last ten days.
We were out there tonight, it smelt wonderful, a mix of rain water and plants, and looks greener, lusher, more healthy than ever.

My Maigold climbing rose has opened its first flower: the scent is as exquisite as I'd hoped, and my tangle of Verbena, Hydrangea and Papaver Orientale look bursting with life and muddle together very artfully.

However, we noticed, unfortunately, that our other rose, the St. Swithuns is coated with Aphids. Hmmm, this leaves us with a dilemma....we try our best to keep our garden organic, in terms of not using chemical pest control. So do we go against this, and get some pesticide? Or, do we look for, and obtain, an organic means of controlling this pest. I'm not sure what to do. But I have started to get very protective of my plants and will be especially gutted if this rose carks it, as it has a special symbolic meaning for me.

Somewhat assuaging this frustrating dilemma is the arrival of the small, comprehensive, and above all, tempting catalogue. Hmmm, I've got plant envy again and feel the need to indulge in some new stuff....

My eye is on: Tricyrtus hirta, Culver's root, pincushion flower, some pelargoniums and a pineapple lily...I could go on, but wont bore you....

We're planning a garden focused weekend, weather permitting, so for all of my faithful readership, I'll post some photos of the garden city garden in its full green, glory.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Blog Etiquette

Completely off topic this one, but I've been prolifically exploring the blogosphere recently, and sometimes what I find, particularly in comment boxes, disturbs me.

People put their lives, innermost feelings, grief, love, worries, fears, photos of their kids, in a public forum. They write about decisions they've made, things they're not happy about, life changing events.... and all of a sudden some sour, embittered person with an agenda hijacks their comment box with a stream of vitriol, and often, encourages other likeminded vitriolmongers to visit, do the same, and post the link on their blog. Soon, a personal crisis or tragedy becomes public property, a piece of meat to be pawed over, a debating subject. And as such, those commenting seem to forget the human, real, feelings behind the original posting. They talk to the original poster in a way they never would if they were face to face in public.

This upsets me.

Some would argue that bloggers relinquish the right to expect politesse and mediated comments by putting their personal wares out for the world, but why can't we exercise the same manners, compassion, self editing in the blogosphere that we do in the real world? What is it about blogging, apart from the possibility to comment anonymously, which makes this happen?

I'm not going to refer you to any of the most troubling examples of this - as that would be doing the particular vitriol mongers a favour - but suffice to say this blog, for the sake of my mental welfare, and the privacy of my child and husband, will skirt around sensitive or controversial issues. A shame, in a way, as I love a good discussion, but only one where normal social etiquette and human values of compassion, tolerance and empathy are the driving forces.

Good. I've wanted to get that one out of my system for a few days.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

AWD continued

Again, I apologise to my regular readers ;-) for limited output....
It's been a busy weekend. More decorating. Visits from old friends, a trip to John Lewis' café with my little boy for afternoon tea! Gardening, you will see, is prominent only through its absence from this list.

Yes, it's still raining torrentially, and so, I've kind of left things to it, although it does need tidying.

It's amazing what a few day's rain does to growing things...I could swear that everything is at least an inch taller than it was last week. Things are more fulsome, more dense as well. Glad as I am that everything is growing so well in the rain, I would love to get out there and do a bit of work. I'm a bit of a wimp you see, and don't fancy getting soaked, so rain does stop play for me.

I should also mention that the living room is now a vast improvement from the four walled migraine it was last week. A soft blue on the walls (that I am still not quite sure my husband likes), top quality John Lewis curtains no less, and the removal, thank the gods, of the hideous olde worlde fake brass chandelier type thing. Replaced by a very tasteful JL light fitting which if I describe it will sound like it's knocking shop fare, but in reality is anything but. Take a look...

You will see that I am somewhat partial to John Lewis for my interior fittings (amongst other things) - this is what happens when you live within five minutes of one - oh I need a lightbulb, oh better pay £5 for a special John Lewis one, oh and we need a toothbrush holder - oh that'll be £20 then's so convenient, and so NICE you end up buying everything there.

Or at least one did until today, when a cursory visit to internet banking gave me a bit of a jolt!

Anyway, enough meandering for now - I need to go and hunt down a rhododendron. I have rhododendron envy. Our nextdoor neighbour has the most amazing variety in their back garden....

Friday, 11 May 2007

AWOL or rather AWD

Apologies for the absence of posts over the last few days - this has been due in part to the endless rain (rain the garden needs, but nevertheless makes outdoor living impossible!)....but also due to my other 'home improvement' project - decorating.

So, I have been Absent While Decorating.

When we moved to our house, we inherited amongst other things, some slightly spurious decorating. If I say off blue fleur de lys wallpaper with a second rate william morris style border, crossed with off blue on turquoise sponging, you'll be able to envisage our living room.

Now since our living room overlooks the garden, and once the garden is in full swing, I want to smugly sit and admire it, the quarters from which I admire need to be pleasant.

To be honest, that's probably too polite a way of putting it, and I am trying too hard to segue neatly into a garden related motivation.

Basically the room is a HORROR. It's a feng shui nightmare, a Laurence Llewellyn Bowen gone wrong, an interior design crime. It had to be changed as husband and I decided we could suffer its visual assault no longer.

So all week I've been painting over said fleur de lys (yes, we needed a quick fix - we didn't have time to strip all the offending paper off) with a calming blue colour. It's the first time I've decorated a room, and my goodness, it's exhausting, and requires meticulous attention to detail, patience, and perseverance that to be honest not even my darling garden extracts from me.

My son has just woken so I will post the second half of this story later...

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


I know it's not the done thing to pass off an embellishment of the previous day's post as a new post, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Here are some piccies of the plants I told you about yesterday:

The African Marigold

The small green shoots next to the bigger leaves are new bits of the Hart's Tongue fern I was worried wasn't growing!

The exquisite first bud of my Maigold climbing rose - can't wait to see it in full bloom

I could spend the rest of this post telling you about my latest garden endeavor, but then this ended in a hissy fit - so probably best to try again, and tell a more successful tale later. Suffice to say I am not brilliant with a hammer and garden wire, but somehow want to train my Jasmine and one of my Clematis to grow up a fence.

Ooooh - off to try out my new buggy now - going to pick my little prince up from childcare!

Monday, 7 May 2007

The rains, and my scent concept

As had been promised, the rain finally arrived today.
My Husband swears things have grown almost before our eyes thanks to the steady pouring of water this morning. Of course, I am chuffed the plants have had a good load of water chucked at them, but the rain these days also appeals to my inherent laziness - Oh good, I thought, I wont have to cart 6 watering cans full back and forth from the kitchen to the garden. We have no outdoor tap you see.

So how is the garden looking?

The African marigolds look spectacular; standing tall like bright yellow lolly pops around the front and back gardens, and finally it seems as if my hart's tongue fern is getting to grips with life in our garden, and has decided to make something of itself.
So, more importantly, how is the garden smelling?

For the first time yesterday the wind carried the fragrance of my wallflower and jasmine to where I was sitting playing with my son. That pleased me.

I have always wanted the garden to be a multisensory experience - and had chosen, and placed plants and flowers with that in mind. The garden is a visual feature, of course, but I really enjoy the possibility of scent being carried to the sitting area on our patio, and even beyond.

In fact my 'scent concept' is this: re-create the scent of the garden of my childhood. So far, I recall lupins, wallflowers, roses, hyacinths, snap dragons, sweet peas....some of which we now have in the garden. And of course there are new additions - stuff which wasn't in vogue in the early 80's - Jasmine, and that kind of thing!

The pièce de la resistance scent wise for me, will be a frangipani - when I can find one.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not one of these orientalists that plans to fill the garden with banana trees, and a ton of palms - let's face it, we're in the home counties! But if I were to choose one 'tropical' flower to have at home, it would have to be the heady, complex frangipani. We're still trying to find a reputable place to get one from the UK - and even then, there is no guarantee we'll be able to bring it to flower....and then of course there are SO MANY to choose from do I want a Singapore White or a Tricolore? Each brings with it its own scent nuance as well...

So, the kinds of questions I'd ask, if I had any regular, returning visitors - which so far, I don't think I do.....(weeps silently)

- any good suggestions for frangipani to grow in the UK, and trusted suppliers?
- How difficult is it to get an outside tap in a back garden if the kitchen and bathroom are all at the front?

any answers, anyone? (oh no, I feel like a kid who knows father christmas doesn't exist, still writing a letter to him asking for presents...hopefully, in time this wont be the case!)

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Illness stops play

I've been feeling rotten for the past few days (another head cold, imported from my son's childcare I shouldn't wonder) gardening has been put on the back burner.

However, with the slightly cooler weather, things seemed to have managed ok with two days of neglect!

My climbing rose looks as if it's on the cusp of blooming - there's plenty of tiny buds on it, and the fragrant mix seeds I sowed a few weeks back have started to burst through the soil.

Other than that, nothing much to report, other than how struck I was at the beauty of the horse chestnut flower.

Living in a city which relishes trees (unlike our former city who seem to be cutting them down) we are lucky to have entire avenues lined with these noble arbors.

Usually I only see their candy floss like flowers from a distance, but my stepson found one on the ground and gave it to me as a gift. Seeing it from close up I noticed how dainty, and attractive they were, with the subtle difference in colour between each flower, and their almost 'tropical' shape and markings.

In fact I found the 'tropicalness' of the flowers quite interesting given the H.C is a typical find in Britain. Although I've now discovered that the tree originates from southern Europe, so that would explain that!

I kept one to photograph in order to post it here, but of course motherhood and step motherhood meant I had other more pressing chores to perform. Then I forgot, and it has now wilted. So you'll have to suffice with a borrowed photo.

And now the garden has been lovingly watered, husband has 'hoovered' the lawn as our nextdoor neighbour's son calls it, and it all looks fecund, green and cared for once more!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

gardening in the age of instant gratification

Is it just me, or does anyone else find that just sometimes, just for a tiny moment, you wish that things would grow, flower, show their full potential a bit quicker?

......waits for flaming from the orthodoxy of gardening.........

Ok, well what I mean, or what I am pondering this morning, as I sip my huge vat of coffee, is how, in an age of instant gratification, do we cope with those past times, those activities, those phenomena of life which errrr, take a bit longer, or make you wait, and yet, there is nothing much that modern technology can do to speed up the process.

More than ever, if we want something, we get it - and we demand that we wait as little as possible for it.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a polemic about a human condition I see as repugnant and alien to my own. When pregnant with my darling boy there were moments when I daydreamed the possibility of fast forwarding things a bit (in a way which did no damage to either of us of course, and on another post I'll explain why my desire was acute at times). And I, like other mums, am delighted when the little one shows signs of mastering a skill ahead of his age. Also, I'd love it if someone told me I could lose all my pregnancy weight in two weeks, and as for that pushchair I've ordered, well it would have been great to get it today...... But then I am getting sidetracked. Or am I.

In fact, I see many parallels between a growing child and a growing garden. A child wont do anything before it's ready - you can't force them to eat solid food when they're not ready for it, nor can you train them to walk before time. And the same with the plants in my garden. As exciting as it would be to see them all in their full glory, this cannot be achieved by any means known to me so far. Some will flower by the end of the summer. Some wont do anything till next year.

But then, I wonder, if the marching of technology continues, will this be the case forever? Will we, some time in the future, be able to expediate the growing of children, the time spent in utero, the germination, blooming of plants and flowers.

Wow, a heavyweight piece of pondering for the morning. What got me thinking about this? Reading Gardener's World magazine last night, nearly every single plant or flower I saw that I liked were the kinds of things I would need to sow this year, and see nothing much of until next year. I found myself ignoring their possibility simply because I would have to wait to see them at their best. And this is where the parallel between garden and child is lost. One does not sit waiting for a child to come into 'bloom' or become an adult, ignoring all that they do in between time, or seeing it as the means to an end.

Rather we relish every day of their existence, seeing newness and beauty in all that they do, and in a way, cherishing their innocence, newness, their fragility. Perhaps it's time I applied the same motif to my plants, and rather than waiting for the glorious flower of the agapanthus, delight in the green of its leaves, the progress of its growth.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Feeding babies and gardens

I had to work late last night, and in my absence my husband had to put our son to bed, and prepare numerous bottles. I still breastfeed my son when I'm around, so it's always a bit of an upheaval for both dad and son when I'm not there.
Whilst we're on the subject of feeding, although our son did of course get his feeds, albeit the second rate ersatz to mummy's milk, the garden didn't get its daily watering, nor were our new raspberry shrubs planted.

This evening I was home on time, and once the little man was in bed (am now talking about my son, not my husband!!) my first thoughts were of the garden.

I love getting out in the warm evening sun, once the boy is safe in bed. I feel the day washing out from every pore, and take in the smells of the jasmine, and the musky, smoky almost yeasty smell of our tree bark mulch - not an unpleasant combination actually!

I planted the raspberry plants in a rather rudimentary fashion - pretty much dug a hole and stuck them in, so who knows what'll happen with them. I watered everything else.
Nothing new to report really - everything is ticking over at the moment, although I do worry about the heat drying everything out. Am really enjoying the scent of our perennial wallflower - apricot twist!

Current gardening concerns I mull over during my commute:
1)How to make watering easier, but not become really environmentally irresponsable?
2)Is it ok, etiquette wise , to borrow the neighbour's hose (they've said we can but we're so english about it all we daren't actually use it in case of 'bothering' them!)

Anyway, that's all for now!