27 November 2017

In praise of brunfelsia

I'm in favour of shrubs that simply go about their business with minimal attention from me, apart from the occasional watering if there hasn't been rain for a month or so. I'm even more fond of shrubs that live quietly in my garden for most of the year until the day they cover themselves with glorious blooms. That's why I love my brunfelsia.

You can see why this is also called 'yesterday, today and tomorrow'; the flowers bloom in a strong purple colour, then fade through lilac to white. Simply gorgeous.

My shrub is covered in flowers that contrast beautifully against the deep green foliage. Low maintenance and beautiful - what more can you want from a shrub?

(Note, all parts of brunfelsia are poisonous to dogs so take care if you have pets.)

13 November 2017

Of the seasons

I have many notebooks, tucked away in drawers and on shelves. They mostly contain my writing ideas and snippets of overheard conversations but occasionally I will jot down quotes from my reading.

I came across this quote I'd noted from Margaret Simons' book, Six square metres: reflections on a small garden this morning and immediately wanted to share it with you.

"Call it a cliche, or call it an archetype. The rounds of the seasons give us one of the reliable metaphors of human storytelling. We know the deal: hope comes in spring, ripeness in summer, sadness in autumn, and stoicism or death in winter. Yet these days, only gardeners and farmers are in touch with this pattern. The supermarket robs us of the rhythm of story."

It's easy to lose touch with the natural cycle of life when we live in densely built cities and most fruits and vegetables are available year-round in the shops. We get used to buying what we want, when we want it, regardless of how long the fruit has been in cold store or how far the vegetable has travelled around the world.

Working with nature's cycles rather than fighting them - that's a simple way to be grateful for all that our planet provides.