wallflowers and garden walls

From Tom’s Midnight Garden – the vast country-house grounds held trapped in the memory of a tiny city backyard – to The Secret Garden, which Mary Lennox discovers with the help of the robin, to The Selfish Giant‘s garden where Spring will not visit while the children are kept out, there’s something magical about walled gardens.
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earth day

When I posted about the Queen’s birthday a few hours ago, I had forgotten that today was Earth Day.

Having now remembered, I think perhaps this poem and pictures would have been more appropriate, so this weekend we’ll have an additional post.

(Only the top image was taken in Spain, and I’m not really sure that it was actually La Mancha, but that’s probably not that important.)
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celebratory

According to the news, the Queen celebrated her 91st birthday yesterday by going to Newbury races.

As far as I can ascertain, there was no special monarch’s trophy awarded or race run to mark either the Queen’s birthday or her presence at the event; even so, it’s as good a reason as any for starting this post with a photo of a magnificent golden kingcup.
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a lack of chocolate

Yesterday’s post looked at a few of the different aspects of Easter and prompted a comment about the goddess Eostre, who may or may not have been an invention of the eight century monk, the Venerable Bede.

This reminded me once more that the ‘new life’ of Easter is not just about the Christian resurrection, but is also linked with fertility.

From there, my mind jumped to the etymological link with oestrus and oestrogen.
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the first cuckoo

Well, not actually a cuckoo as such, but a cuckoo flower.

March went out like a lamb and it’s been gloriously warm recently – so much so that I am afraid we have already had our summer – so I had begun to wonder what had happened to the April I know and love who provides us with such constantly changing weather that we are never short of a topic of conversation.
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educational

I’ve said before that when we used to go on family holidays my parents always found room in the suitcases for a few books.

Specifically, there was always the Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds and the Collins Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers, and I must have spent hours identifying and listing the new species we found. (Perhaps it wasn’t just me who had this task – it may have been a more familial activity, or perhaps we even had a competition to see which sibling found the most – but my memory is only of my own lists.)
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symmetry and disorder

The sun shone when I walked to the market this morning and again when I walked to the supermarket this afternoon, which gave me the opportunity to take photographs of spring flowers, swelling leaf buds, and even a small tortoiseshell butterfly.

The traditional yellow daffodils with proper trumpets – the ones I think of as King Alfreds – are mostly past their best, but there are all sorts of other varieties in bloom still, including some utterly gorgeous pheasant’s-eye narcissus. The tiny black bugs in the eye of this one make its colours even more like the butterfly in the top photo.
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