Saturday, 24 August 2013

Tillypronie garden opening

The Tillypronie garden is opening tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 25th August, from 2 until 5pm), so I'm hoping that the weather forecast is accurate, and that the skies will be clear. The garden is looking lovely: the heather is out, and scented like honey; the herbaceous borders are blooming and the water garden flourishing; while nestled beside the house, lavenders and jasmines are still flowering. Along the lane, wild raspberries are growing, and cornflowers wave between the harebells. Much baking is already underway for the teas (scones, flapjacks, and a great many cakes), and I have been gathering sweet-peas, which are heavenly this year.
Somebody said to me the other day that gardening is the closest thing to play for grownups, and though I'm sure many professional horticulturalists would disagree (any full-time job is hard work), I find it a beguiling mix of being soothing and absorbing. There's something about dead-heading roses or weeding the rockery that clears my mind of the infernal, internal chatter of workaday worries or stress. You can never finish a garden, which is one of the things I love about gardening -- and nature is a good antidote to the idea of control, or completion, or deadlines (in the words of Margaret Atwood, 'gardening is not a rational act'). In the four years that I've been coming to Tillypronie, the garden has taught me that it is futile to plant anything that rabbits and deers find delicious, and that the weather will always outfox us. Instead, I've learned to appreciate the joys of self-sewing plants (foxgloves, forget-me-nots, bluebells), and to bless the rugged rosa rugosa, that survives the hungriest rabbits and the deepest snows.
Anyway, it was a great pleasure to meet so many people at the last garden opening, at the beginning of June -- including the visitors who had been evacuees to the school at Tillypronie during the Second World War -- and I'm looking forward to talking to other visitors soon.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

E. Nesbit's birthday

Glad to see that google has celebrated E. Nesbit's birthday today with a railway children inspired drawing on the home page -- but sorry that a google elf got her age wrong. She would not have been 89 today, having been born in 1858... Anyway, here's my own tribute to the great writer.