Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2019

A vase on Monday - little sweeties

It's been a pretty bleak weekend, for a number of reasons, so I have found the pretty colours of a few primrose plants in the garden particularly cheering.  There are a couple of frilly scented geranium leaves, left over from last summer, in my little old Devon violet vase as well.  I thought the painted strip of collage worked quite well with last week's vase, so here it features again!

A vase on Monday

We are well into the new year now and there are stirrings in the garden.  There are also hangers on from last summer's flowerpots!  I don't care where the colour comes from, as long as it shows and brightens up some rather grey days of early January! For my vase this Monday, I found a feathery new fennel frond, some marigolds in my raised bed, a few snowdrops, a brave, bright pink geranium, and every garden's stalwart,  Erysimum linifolium 'Bowles' Mauve'! If you have time look back to a Monday vase in December , and then see below!  In the warmth of the kitchen, the horse chestnut sticky buds have come out now, and the bright green spikes of red currant have morphed into delicate white blossoms!

Sunday afternoon walk

There was a glimmer of weak sunshine at midday today, so Mr Gaucho dropped the dogs and me off at one of the car parks along Longniddry Bents and we walked home along a sandy path which hugs the coastline.  It was very peaceful with the gentle lapping of waves on the beaches and rocks, and a series of greetings to other walkers and their dogs. During the winter months the coastline of this part of East Lothian takes on a soft orange hue.  The berries of the sea buckthorn cling tightly to their branches.  As the winter wears on and, I imagine, the extreme sharpness of the berry is tempered by the frosts, the birds start to feed on them.  I saw all sorts of birds today, most noticeably a handsome male bullfinch, whose peachy pink breast looked gorgeous in amongst the soft orange berries.  Unfortunately he moved too quickly for me to take a photograph!

Early bird

My favourite bird is the blackbird.  I particularly love their song.  Surprisingly, there are blackbirds in Melbourne!  They were introduced to the city in the 1850s and where almost every other bird in that part of the world has a call rather than a song, when a blackbird starts to sing in the suburbs of Melbourne, its clear and beautiful notes really ring out, and stand out! Today Mrs Blackbird, after poking about in the flowerbed, flew up on to on our garden wall, to enjoy the clear morning light, her feathers all puffed up to keep her warm during a bitterly cold start to the day.

Beloved Bo

I received the saddest of news this evening.  A very beloved dog and sidekick of Tilly's for six years, black Labrador Bo, died on Monday.  She had been suffering from undetected cancer of the liver for a year.    Bo had not been in the care of my daughter for the last three years so I cannot vouch for her life over this period, but what I do know, beyond a shadow of doubt, is that she was the most lovable and devoted of creatures, always happy during the time that I knew her, with a constantly wagging tail.  She and Tilly would race up and down the garden after tennis balls that I hit for them.  Bo was like grease lightening!  And she was mum to a litter of five beautiful puppies.   After a gap of about two years, I saw her very briefly early last year.  She hadn't forgotten me and attempted to climb on to my lap as I sat in the driving seat of our car.  She then tried to run after the car as we drove off down the drive, very sadly leaving her behind.  That broke my heart.


At five o'clock this evening, on the east coast of Scotland, there was light in the sky!!  The days are lengthening and I am glad!

A vase on a mid-January Monday

There was absolutely no hope of finding anything particularly decorative in the garden, to put in a vase this Monday, so I am offering a few treasures I picked on a walk yesterday afternoon.  The handsome green-black berries of ivy, violet catkins of alder, yellow ochre lichen encrusted twigs of hawthorn and elderberry, and three richly patterned ivy leaves.  A bit of a bonanza!

A first 2019 vase on Monday

Joy of joys, my witch hazel is out.  I love its rich golden shred petals, its particular sweet fragrance, and the promise it always brings at the start of every new year.  For me, it is the perfect vase for the first Monday of 2019. I've decided to add another little vase to my post today!  I was clearing and cutting back last year's plants in the garden yesterday afternoon and there were a few brave little blooms left on the French lavender.  I thought they deserved a bit of limelight before their day is done.

Riding the waves

A glorious sunny day today on the east coast of Scotland.  And the surf was up, so my baby granddaughters' papa set off to do what he enjoys most - catching a wave or two - even though it was only -2 degrees C for us spectators on the beach!  He was toasty in his new wetsuit!

A new year, a new day

A beautiful dawn on the first day of a new year. Away with all the red and green of Christmas, and let's welcome the freshness and energy of yellow on a lovely sunny 1st January morning!