Monthly Archives: November 2012

Moses’ Supposition ♥

For you dear Mother; a posy of Moses’ sweet toeses!

“Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
But Moses supposes erroneously,
For nobody’s toeses are posies of roses,
As Moses supposes his toeses to be.”

The miniature rose which I planted for you so many years ago is so healthy and abundant this year. Here is the rose cascade in the early evening light.

Hide and Seek at Benmore Gardens

Designers of public gardens are so wonderful, and witty.

This morning we were out in unfamiliar territory and happened upon the hidden gem of Benmore Gardens. From the car park the gardens appeared like this: But beyond the swings, there was a whole other world.Of course, I slid down the slide (not really…but I wanted to).  In truth, I walked sedately to the glint of blue in the  bed of rocks and found a small iris.Returning up the slight slope, I took this picture which is the opposing view to my first photo at the park entrance : Now, who would guess, from a distance, that in those grasses are a see-saw, a slide and a fairy ring with two child-sized chairs made from old tree trunks. So, we found all the hidden play equipment but where were the children? Probably, most sensibly, hiding indoors from the midday sun. Fairies must have been well hidden too.

Another angle on my garth.

The cat and I traded places today.  She came indoors and looked at us from another angle; an elevated one, please note.

In between rain showers, I went outdoors to look at the garth ( the cat’s normal sitting place) from different angles.

What did I learn from this ‘different – looking’? Nothing much: my grass needs more care; I am not flexible enough to get a cat’s eye view of the garth.

Garth …….. my friend, Travelling Kiwi, introduced me to the wonderful world of garths. The meaning most associated with garth is a grass quadrangle surrounded by cloisters. The archaic meaning is a yard, garden or paddock. My garth is archaic rather than cloistered. 😀

Old Faithfuls

I made peanut brownie biscuits this afternoon. I hadn’t made them since before the year dot. I was apprehensive. However, I used a tried and true recipe from my faithful old friend, the 1967 edition of the Edmonds Cookery Book, and no biscuit could have turned out finer.

My Edmonds Cookery Book has been with me to almost every corner of the world. It looks well travelled ……. and  even  well chewed, which seems appropriate for a cookery book.

No need to chew paper today; here’s a few biscuits from the batch.

Something else I did today that I haven’t done since before the year dot; I licked the mixing bowl clean – not literally, I used a spoon and licked that clean.  Delicious fun.

Wildlife and Waterford Reserve

Today is Show Day. We decided that the A&P Show would be too exciting for us, what with Prince Charles and Camilla being there, and all, so we went to another show  –  a wildlife one at Waterford Reserve. It was very tranquil, except for being dive bombed by two nesting swallows and being told off very vigorously by a pukeko.

Here is a tranquil view of Waterford Reserve.

And here is one of the wildlife, plus wild weeds

More wildlife; ducks, that is!

This pair turned their backs on me. At first, I thought they were resting with their young but, on closer inspection, the strange shapes near them appeared to be dry flax flowers. Were they substitutes for lost babies? They were being protective of them.It’s nice to see all the daisies and dandelions and general weedage. It means that no one has been reckless with weed killer.  Here is a pretty orange flowered weed

Then it was home in the little “motoka kiwikiwi” where we found, awaiting us, the wildest wildlife of all, aka Jack :D.

The sweet, wily wise doorkeeper

Yesterday, I went out the back door to the clothesline and found the cat stretched out on the warm path, like so. I had to step round her to reach my washing. Then, as if to protest  the shadow I cast on her leisurely nap, she moved ever so slightly, in her own good time, to a spot closer to the door.  Here she is, being keeper of the door, instead of lazy laundry attendant.  Now I had to step over her, not round her.

Lying so sweetly as she was, made me think of tamara’s post on persimmons. Tamara explains that persimmons become sweeter and better with age.  I think, my ( I say ‘my’ guardedly) cat is ageing like a persimmon ( purrsimmon 🙂 ) …… don’t panic, I am not intending to eat her!  She gets sweeter, wiser, and possibly wilier, each day. Here she is, my favourite doorkeeper (as long as I don’t fall over her or step on her ) .

With  special thanks to tamara for her lovely post on persimmons :

“Garden, may I be your house?”

When I am out and about, I often pass by this poignant tableau; a section where all that remains, post earthquakes, is a garden.  I usually see lots of sections completely reduced to rubble, so this garden, minus house, intrigues me.  It makes me wonder; what would our city environment be like if we always put the garden before the house?  Mostly, we build a house and then add the garden.  Or, so it seems to me.  If we created the garden first, we could then ask, ” Garden, what kind of house would you like?” The answers might surprise us. The garden might reply, “No more tilt slab concrete please; tread lightly on my soul .”  Maybe?  And, if we listen carefully to the answers, we might ultimately achieve a city in a garden rather than our current, albeit beautiful, gardens in a city.

In the meantime, warm thanks to the good people who, despite the devastating loss of their home, keep their garden alive and, thereby, beautify what would otherwise be yet another desolate plot. If they rebuild, I hope their new home will be a blessing to their garden.

Question?  How does our city compare with Singapore which has almost half of its area in green space and has had a dedicated “city in a park” policy since the 1960s? Has anyone done the calculations?

Incubating Radishes

Who needs a glass house when you have a cat?

This morning I planted radish seeds in my raised garden bed. The cat sat on the lawn and watched quietly.

Later in the morning, I looked out the window and saw her sleeping, thusly,  on the garden bed, on the patch where I had planted some of the seeds. Ah, a happy cat doing a sterling job incubating the radishes. By the way, in case you are wondering about the egg carton in the box –  no, I don’t plant eggs. I use the cartons for seed trays.

Last week the cat was incubating my freshly planted potatoes. I am sure I will have a bumper harvest of both radishes and potatoes this year thanks to the benign glass house effect of cat.

Garden in my Pocket

Most likely, the saying “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket” is well known to many. But I heard it for the first time this morning and fell in love with it immediately. The Garden in my Pocket at the moment is a magazine rather than a book. I am reading Oxford Today, (Michaelmas Term 2012) – Volume 25 No 1. The front cover features an elegant portrait of the remarkable Aung San Suu Kyi.  The caption reads, “Resilient in the Face of Adversity”. I like that; resilient in the face of adversity. And always with a flower or two in her hair.  That, perhaps, more than anything, during all her years of struggle, impressed her resilience and strength upon me. Imagine, being in the worst of circumstances and still remembering to put a flower in your hair and look serene. ♥

Other little seedlings now planted in my pocket garden thanks to  the magazine:

I discovered Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female barrister, (Somerville 1895) and one of many  famous Indian Oxonians;

And I learned about  Zuleika Dobson

and that the Oxford University Press provided the type for the text of the first Bhutanese passports. Apparently the OUP had a beautiful and elegant handset Tibetan type that was perfect  for the job. The magazine article describes it like “aubretia tumbling over a Cotswald wall”.  A type like tumbling aubretia; glorious description and what a beautiful type to have in a passport.

Small question? Does aubretia (or more correctly ’Aubrieta’) grow in Bhutan?  Possibly?

Another question; have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a real garden in your pocket? Try putting a sprig of rosemary, or lavender, or a rose, or all three in your pocket. For the sake of the washer-person in your life, don’t include any mud, caterpillars, slugs or aphids.