2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work


Cherry blossom time


IMG_2697The light today has been just wonderful, and although I’ve had a long day at my laptop I had to keep sneaking out into the garden to catch as much of the spring rush as possible. You can almost see the cherry opening – no wonder they have celebrations of this in Japan.


IMG_2698And for the first time this year it was just warm enough to head into the garden after work to sit and enjoy the sunshine – admittedly with a scarf on as the wind is still chilly, but that didn’t matter.

IMG_2701I don’t want to miss a second of this spectacular colour.



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Bitten again by the gardening bug

IMG_1255It’s been wonderful weather today, and both last night and most of today I’ve been having a lovely time tidying up the garden. This must actually be the first gardening I’ve done for two or three years, which has been a rather odd interlude as I’ve gardened since I was small and worked in commercial horticulture for several years in the nineties. For some reason or other I’d lost enthusiasm, and my partner had taken up the mantle instead.

However, since starting this blog a few weeks ago it’s made me look at our garden with fresh eyes, as I’ve watched things grow and change as the days and weeks have progressed. So when the sun came out yesterday, I wanted to go and tackle the weeds in one of our beds – and as soon as I got the trowel in the ground, I remembered what I liked about gardening. It’s the combination of being engrossed in what you’re doing, but not needing to have all your mind on the job. You look closely at the plants to see where the couch grass stem ends and the hellebore seedling begins, and carefully tease them apart. You start with a jumble of branches on a climbing rose, and gradually prune out the dead and overlapping stems until a clearer, healthier structure emerges. You remove last year’s dead growth and allow light and air into the new foliage. And all the time you’re doing this, the air is full of bird song, butterflies and bees pass by, and the cat comes and slumps in the shade you’re casting because she’s too warm.

By 6pm, my arms were nicely glowing, my limbs ached and I could see what I’d achieved during the day. Not just some tidy flower beds – but also a calm and relaxed mind. I’ve tried meditation a few times in recent years, but I don’t think I ever got to quite that same relaxed state that I’m in when I garden. I think the gardening bug has just bitten me again…

And it’s also the most perfect time of the year for cherry blossom. This was it in bud on Tuesday…


And this was it today, just 5 days later…


Seriously stunning!


So much beauty was too much for Tilly, she had to go and sleep it off!