2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work

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Perfect garden afternoon

IMG_2648The warm weather this weekend seems to have resulted in lots of wildlife getting out and about. I saw three different types of butterfly this afternoon: the Peacock above and the Tortoiseshell below. I also had a Comma land on the table, but couldn’t get to my camera without frightening it off! I’m sure these must all be ones that have been hibernating through the winter.

IMG_2646The birds are also thoroughly enjoying the warmer weather – the bowl we have for Tilly to drink from in the garden makes a perfect sized bath for two or three sparrows, or a solitary starling or blackbird – this one today was having a really good splash!

IMG_2645So, so nice to sit in the garden with my flip flops on (with my feet hideously whitened after many months of thick socks!), read (currently revisiting Enchanted April, which I wrote about last year, and is one of the best books about finding joy by following your heart), journal, bask in the sun and listen to the bird song. Not warm enough to be out of long sleeves yet, but pretty good all the same.

IMG_2650I always want to grab hold of spring this time of year and make it stay longer – things seem to flower and change so quickly, and after a long winter you feel like you want the magnolia and quince blossom to last just as long as the cold weather did.






Wednesday in white

IMG_2624The whites in the garden have been dazzling today, although when you start to look more closely it’s clear that quite often there’s a tint of another colour in there too – this Chaenomeles or Japanese Quince is a variety called ‘Apple Blossom’ and you can see why when you look at some of the other flowers:


IMG_2623The exact balance of pink to white on each flower is different, giving a lovely overall effect. The magnolia is similar, with a faint blush at its base:

IMG_2619Totally different effect with the daffodils though – this is definitely a creamy yellow:

IMG_2628There are two icy whites in the garden though – the Osmanthus delavayi (I don’t know its common name, sorry!) which is just smothered in pure white honey scented flowers that some early bees were enjoying:


IMG_2637And the honesty seed pods that have lasted right the way through the winter.

IMG_2629Loving this spring light and freshness!



Blue Monday

Not a blue mood – just a realisation of how much blue there was in the garden today! Hyacinths,


IMG_2601The white splash in the middle of their petals seems to fade as they get older.

IMG_2614Forget me nots



IMG_2607Grape hyacinths

IMG_2611And over it all – the bluest of skies.

002Hope your Monday was filled with only the good blues 🙂


Reflections on the past year – and spring flowers


Wow, I’ve been so busy with work that I actually missed my blogiversary on the 19th – can’t believe I’ve been doing this a whole year! Thanks to everyone who’s liked my posts over that time, as well as the hardy souls who follow my blog 🙂


What’s changed since I started the blog?

  1. I’ve learned that I can make a success of running my own business – just coming up to the anniversary of going full time on that, and all is well
  2. I’ve also learned that knowing when to take breaks and rest your mind is absolutely vital to being able to continue to do that
  3. I can actually work our digital camera for the first time in ten years
  4. I’ve got a lot more into gardening and nature as a result of paying more attention to what’s happening in the world around me
  5. IMG_2594I’ve become more relaxed about posting – I blog when I feel like it rather than trying to impose a schedule. As an awful lot of my life is deadline focussed, it’s quite nice to have something creative that isn’t.
  6. I’m following about 100 more blogs than last year at this time – it’s a real highlight of my day catching up with what everyone’s writing about
  7. I’ve posted comments on other people’s blogs for the first time – I’d never done it before this year, but it’s really nice connecting with people half a world away
  8. My knowledge of geography of the USA has got a lot better – I like to see where other bloggers live and as so many of them are ‘across the pond’ I’m finally starting to get a grip on some of the states


Its also fun to look back on last year and realise that spring has hit a lot earlier than last year at this time – although the sunshine through my patio door today is deceptive, we’ve just come back from a walk and the north wind is absolutely bitter. We could just see snow on the hills in the Lake District in the distance, so even though we’re past the equinox there’s a whole lot of warming still to happen. But the colour and light in the garden today tells me it won’t be long…


I’m looking forward to another year of blogging and seeing what it teaches me – not to mention what I’ll learn from everyone else 🙂



Monday magic

IMG_2566It really does feel magical at the moment as everything starts bursting into flower – and we have a whole week of fine weather forecast for what must surely be the first time this year. Had a lovely afternoon yesterday gardening in a t-shirt, but it wasn’t warm enough for that today.

IMG_2576Still great to be outside though. Also wanted to share my coffee cup this morning with you – couldn’t believe how the coffee grounds had formed a perfect ‘I love…sign’! And it’s true, I really do love coffee.



A break in the Lakes

IMG_2546We had an overnight stay in the beautiful Lake District to celebrate my birthday, and were lucky enough to get two dry days on the run.



We ate some fantastic food (can highly recommend Troutbeck Tearoom for superb soup, quiche, cakes and coffee with wonderful views – the picture above of Windermere is just along the road from them) and also had a lovely walk up to Alcock Tarn near Grasmere yesterday.

IMG_2553This was on our path and is apparently the smallest packhorse bridge anywhere in the Lakes. Really beautiful walk, you could see for miles from the top, and there was still plenty of snow around on the high hills, though it felt like spring in the woods and valleys.


IMG_2561Great to be out in the fresh air and feeling the sun break through the early morning mist – we were away for less than 36 hours, but it felt like much longer. Perfect midweek break.