Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The poppy opens her scarlet purse of dreams. 
                             ~ Iris Scharmel

It wouldn't be truthful to say I don't miss our old garden at this time of year. It provided minor drama as it came back to life day by day, culminating in a glorious burst of bloom, peaking in April and May. Along with enjoying the tried and true standards of an English garden, it was fun to experiment with new plants to see if they liked our growing conditions. Many of them ended up in the back corner of the garden which I referred to as "the infirmary". Maintenance required kneeling and bending as well as sweat and stamina and there were several years there where we just let it go and I called it God's garden. He did a pretty good job, but Mother Nature soon reclaims a wilderness and there's more to gardening than going out every morning with a cup of tea to walk around, watching the plants grow. That's one of the reasons we moved to the Manor. We'd outgrown the ability to maintain the garden.

And here the grounds are carefully planned so there's always something in bloom.  Before the flower beds get too shabby, as they tended to do at home, new plantings are put in. 

Every exterior view at the Manor includes an abundance of beautiful blossoms. 

We're still in independent living, knock on wood, but in some of the Assisted Living units, they have little individual patios. See the bright green spot behind the white chair? That belongs to Ms. Mary and last summer she had more tomatoes than we could count growing from that hanging bag.

The gardeners have recently replanted the beds and the primroses are blooming and here and there a poppy nods its head atop a delicate stem.

Soon, this is what we'll see:

We've noticed, especially since being here, that certain individuals seem always to have a complaint and the last thing I want is to fall into that category, but if I can be allowed a tiny whine........I do miss sweet peas.
The poppies hung Dew-dabbed on their stalks. 
                                                                                            ~ John Keats


  1. I like this post very much, Jane. Thanks for being so positive!

  2. I remember your fabulous garden, and I can see why you miss it. The Manor is beautiful, but it doesn't have your cool lavenders and blues, does it? And yes--sweet peas would be beautiful. Maybe the gardeners just need a nudge in that direction. I love the poppies--we planted some very similar in color one year, but they've never returned voluntarily. I was so hoping they would.

  3. Someday, when we own a house again, I hope to discover my Gardener Within. This post is so very inspiring! My imagined plan is a garden in raised beds with twisty, cobbled walkways so that I can manage the tending for years to come. Your beautiful photos convince me a garden retreat is something worth desiring. I love the idea of always planting a burst of colorful surprises! Thank you for the inspiration! I miss your former garden, too!

    Says Lisa who doesn't have a Profile!

  4. Yes....I only saw the garden and yard twice, but these photos show me why again that you stayed in that home with all the fabulous finds within. They extended outside as well!

  5. How beautiful the grounds are kept in the Manor, you will always have flowers to enjoy.
    I do however understand how sad it must have been to leave your beautiful home and garden but times change and we have to move with them.
    my husband has his allotment --he is 80 now --which he loves and manages really well, but here at home we have just a yard with a few tubs
    Best wishes.

  6. Lovely pictures. Do they also grow vegetables and fruits?

  7. You had a magnificent garden! I miss your sweet peas, too. Is it possible to grow some in a pot?

  8. Thank you for the stroll into the garden that was, and the one you see nowadays. Your thoughts about the changes are wise.

    I hope you have a few bouquets of sweet peas this year, from a farmers' market maybe.

    from jeannie

  9. GREAT !!!!!!!! A Non Y Mouse