Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter at Tillypronie...








And the sun shone for most of the time, aside from an afternoon of soft rain. On Sunday morning there was an Easter egg hunt in the rockery; then chocolate cake for tea after a walk across the moor, and a box of Pierre Herme macaroons, in all the shades of spring. So heartening to see a cherished garden blooming, even after the deep frosts of another hard winter, and has sedum ever looked more chic, alongside the scarlet ruffles of rhododendron? There is still a little snow clinging to the northern peaks of Morven, but green shoots are emerging on the heather-clad hills, and swifts have returned to the skies.
Now back home in north London, where something wicked has been nibbling at my lilies, but the honeysuckle is flourishing, and the roses are beginning to bud.

8 comments:

kairu said...

It sounds like a lovely Easter! I love macarons of all colors, and rhododendrons too - great bushes of magenta ones bloomed in front of the house where I grew up, although of course they always remind me of Manderley...

I spent Easter Sunday at the movies, first the film adaptation of Water for Elephants, with Robert Pattinson gazing longingly at Reese Witherspoon in a succession of spangled circus tights or slinky 1930's gowns...then it was Certified Copy, starring the Tuscan countryside and Juliette Binoche's bosoms. Still, I liked the first film and loved the second one; the latter is about identity and love and the differing needs that men and women have of each other...

A dear friend has passed away after a long illness, so the tightly knit community of people that she brought together is in mourning. I wrote to her often over the past several months, and now understand for the first time the great solace in knowing I had left nothing unsaid. This is the one thing I have learned in the past few years: take every opportunity you can to tell people what they have meant to you.

harriet said...

Lovely pictures -- and the macaroons look delicious. I wonder how the coloured eggs were achieved?

savidgereads said...

Beautiful pictures. I am currently playing catch up with your blog so have lots and lots of reading to do.

I also wondered how I might contact you about something Daphne related. If you would like to you can email me savidgereads@gmail.com. Bit cheeky I know but would be brilliant.

Hope the next bank holiday is as lovely for everyone as this one was.

Lilacs In May said...

How pretty are those marbled eggs. Lily beetle may be your culprit, they are easy to spot - rather beautiful red colour with black legs.

enid said...

what gorgeous photos. What are those cactus looking plants in the second photo ? What did you think of the Sybil Bedford and what is your Spring reading list ?

Stephen Pope said...

Enid : 'What are those cactus looking plants in the second photo?'

Those intriguing exotic succulents in Justine's Tillypronie sequence are Sempervivums, 'houseleeks'. They are the hardiest succulent available to us temperate gardeners and are available in many different cultivars. Although their natural habitat would have been hot and arid southern and central Europe, they've become are a common sight here on ancient dry walls and old tiled roofs. More recently, in our trendier urban areas, Sempervivums are the most commonly used planting material on so-called 'green roofs', as their no-maintenance, drought-tolerant carpeting habit is ideal for the task of both insulating and slowing rainwater run-off on large flat surfaces. Green roofers can even buy nursery-grown Sempervivum matting in continuous by-the-metre rolls - it's just like laying outdoor carpet on an industrial scale!

Justine Picardie said...

thanks for botanical information -- and I think it is the dreaded lily beetle that has been gobbling.
Kairu, you're so right when you wrote that there is a solace in knowing that nothing has been left unsaid before someone dear to you dies. It was my sister's birthday yesterday, and the most beautiful Mayday. I found myself crying, unexpectedly, because she would have loved the blue sky and spring blossom, and she was far too young to die... but I also knew that she would want me to celebrate life, rather than dwell in the long shadow of death.

kairu said...

Thank you, Justine.

When my friend was diagnosed with cancer six months ago, I started writing to her all the time, to entertain her during hospital visits or when she was resting at home. I thought about that interview you'd done with Natascha McElhone the year after her husband's death, which has stayed with me ever since I read it. She'd said something about how nothing had been left unsaid, and every letter I'd written I'd think about that. Later letters were signed with a phrase I'd found in an old children's book by Gregory Maguire, which he'd dedicated to his nieces and nephews:

"With love like a tidal wave."