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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Easter day

I read in the papers recently that Easter has now become almost as great a non-religious celebration as Christmas, with gifts and cards, crackers, candles and floral wreaths.

Personally, I won’t be celebrating in any way, except inasmuch as today being Easter Sunday has influenced the choice of photos for this blog post.
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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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busy

As I am too busy to write more than a few words, I thought I’d just post a photograph and this seemed the “busiest” picture I’d taken in a while.

Then I stopped to wonder what the plant was and it occurred to me that if every one of those flowers turns into a fruit of some sort, it must be one of the shrubs that is covered in tiny berries through the autumn and winter. I don’t know many shrub names, but it seems likely it’s a variety of cotoneaster.

My pronunciation of that is something akin to KO-tun-ee-aster, but having written it down, I’ve remembered my mother’s humorous referrals to the cotton-Easter plant. Which makes it almost topical.

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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