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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Come Walk With Me

Can you see the pink blossom at the front, lying on the ground? I took this same picture only a week ago with the tree in full bloom. How quickly nature pushes forward, this season is full of growth and renewal, it's hard to keep pace. The garden comes in to it's own at this time of year.


Our house is a bit of a monster really, not so pretty on the outside. She began life as a modest two bedroom dwelling, but bit by bit she slowly expanded, additions were stuck on here and there, and she finally grew into this unsymmetrical, kind of rambling creature which now lies before us. Her eighties pebble dash coat doesn't grant her much favour, a gift from the previous owner. His father before him owned the place, he grew up here as a boy, and when the place became to big for his father to manage, he took it over from him to raise his own family here. Seems a disagreement with the tax man persuaded him to sell up and move on to a smaller place, which is how we happened to come along and live here.
Guess the climber could use a little cutting back before it swallows up the conservatory. There is always a whole list of gardening chores begging for attention. It's hard to keep up. Being used to London life, we had never known such space before. Our last garden could have comfortably fitted twice over in to what is currently now our garage. It's coming up for almost six years since we took the place over, and much as I hate to admit it, the garden has come to sorely reflect it. The once pristine lawns, neatly clipped hedges and well tended flower beds have fallen a little to ruin. It's a big plot to maintain, by the time we get around to the lawns and hedges, the greenhouse and vegetable


plots are screaming for attention. The organic produce keeps us self sufficient in season, and the mature fruit trees yield enough cherries, peaches, apples, plumbs and pears to also keep a good few of our neighbours going too. This is our little peach tree getting ready to ripen. It lives in the greenhouse with the cherry tree, and a host of vegetables still yet too tender to brave the outdoors. We are lucky to have inherited such a well landscaped spot, but much as I love the garden, it's not the best feature to this place by far. If you turn at the bottom of our garden and open the gate there, there is a secret path that opens on to a very special hidden place. It's our very own little glen which leads through on down to the river.
The bluebells are out just now, just ahead of the montbretia. Those green shoots above will soon burst out into a bright fiery orange carpet of colour, it's really quite a sight to see.

We have a lot of wildlife down by the river, ducks, herons, even a family of pheasants. Trout and salmon swim in abundance, the water is clear enough to watch them as they gather by the shade of the riverbank - the previous owner was a keen fisherman, and put in boulders to act as an upstream dam for the fish to spawn. It's very shallow on one side and very deep on the other. This is my thinking spot, the place where I come when I need to be somewhere quiet. Nowadays, the only things fished for down here is for that of a clear head or the odd fresh idea.


When the weather is too inclement for the beach, this is where I take Jake for his run. Come the summer, the children will swim here, hitching a tow to the river bank on Jakes back, they will sunbath in the glen and gorge themselves from the strawberry patch. It truly is a million miles away from the city life that we used to live. I can't say as how I miss it very much.

73 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Your garden looks lovely! How lucky are you having your own little glen?

david mcmahon said...

Okay, leave the garden to me. I have a mate who is a builder, another mate who is a landscaper, another mate who is a dog whisperer - and the Authorbloglets can fraternise with the Shrinklets.

Deal?

Three days, and the Casa Shrinky will be sorted .....

Mushy said...

What a wonderful place Carol! Thanks for giving us the 50 cent tour. I could feel right at home there...now at Lin's it would take some getting used to all the brown! Yours is a bit more like my own.

I love the "green house"...you can/could grow your own weed there!

Hilary said...

Wow what a beautiful place. It looks peaceful and relaxing.. and the house charming.

And I think I'd like to negotiate with David...

quilly said...

What a gorgeous place to live -- beauty in abundance!

CHEWY said...

Shrinky,
Take me to the river, for a clear head, a fresh idea and a little fishing.

Shrinky said...

akeamalu,

I never take it for granted, I lived a long time without any garden. Yes, I am lucky (smile).

Shrinky said...

David, that is far too good an offer to pass up on - the tickets are in the post (grin).

Shrinky said...

Haha! Mushy, I have a tale I dare not post regards that.

Of course, that was way back in my single days.. (Trying to give an innocent shrug)

Shrinky said...

hilary,

Perhaps you all can come - wouldn't THAT be some bbq party? Ahhhh, such a lovely thought..

Shrinky said...

quilly,

Thank you, there are many more prettier places, but I do feel blessed to call this one ours.

Shrinky said...

It would be a pleasure Chewy, just don't forget to pack your bathing suit..

Robert said...

beautiful spot shrinky....It looks great and very English...

CrazyCath said...

What a beautiful, magical place. I would love it but I can see what hard work it would be to maintain it.

A great place for thinking, destressing, strolling and playing. Thanks for sharing it. I love it.

Alex L said...

Wow... thats positively palacial. Its all very green to.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

" Our house is a bit of a monster really, not so pretty on the outside."
"CAUTION: Exceptionally heavy sarcasm and unabashed envy is present in copious amounts in this comment."
Yes, I can see where, as Mansions go, this one would look rather dumpy. I bet it only has, what: 3-4 thousand rooms?

And is that the often, much maligned (wrongly I should think!) Canine that is the villain in so many of your stores, in the far right of the second picture? He is denied his own front page spread, and you dare show this dump to extremes? I should think the poor mate is in dire need of a Barrister!

(I'm learning to speak Shrinkyese all by myself! Uh...that is what you call lawyers, right?)

My wife has just put me up for adoption...says any ole dump will do..... The Canine and I can share a space, if not scraps.... I'm (mostly) paper trained... I never jump up on couches (I just flop down). Give a mate (with roughly the brains of the Canine my wife says) a helping hand? I can out beg that Dawg any day of the week, and twice on Sundays! Got this computer that way!

:)

When you write, I feel like throwing this keyboard away and begging for an etch a sketch!

Shrinky said...

Hiya Robert,

Don't let the locals hear you call this place "English"! It has it's own parliment and currency separate from Britain - despite only having a population of c. 70,000..

Shrinky said...

Hi Cath,

Now you know why I keep moaning about all the shitty loo's I have to clean!!

Shrinky said...

Hey Alex, it's green because it only stops raining a couple of days a year..

Shrinky said...

Aw Dan, you can come and bunk up here any day of the week (don't forget to bring your gardening gloves)! x

SJ said...

I've seen so many plants together only on vacations. Do you have any foxes around for me to pose for photos with?

mrsnesbitt said...

Your own private paradise, a glimpse of the peace and quiet your glen gives out...
would think it will be quite a welcome return after the two weeks approaching!

Easybreathingfella said...

Hi Shrinky,

Long time no contact, see my blog it will shed some light on the reason, although I have e-mail you recently.

When Chewy comes over for a dip in the river, can I come and dip my toes in the water.

I'ts took me about six hours over the last two days to catch up with your posts. I trust the book is doing as well as your blogs.

Luv

Keith.

Sandi McBride said...

How lovely...I mean I just think it's beautiful

The Lehners in France said...

Shrinky, it looks beautiful! We don't have lots of trees here and I miss the bluebell woods we had in England. The river looks wonderful, the sound of running water is great for thought and reflection. Lucky You. Debs x

Suldog said...

I don't know. I think it's a lovely house, not a monster at all. And the grounds are truly gorgeous. Nice pics.

Shrinky said...

Hi sj,

Believe it or not we don't have foxes on our island, we don't have any squirrel or deer either!

Shrinky said...

Hi Denise,

Yes it's not long now, is it? Smile.

Shrinky said...

Hi Keith,

I must pop over to catch up with you, hope all is well.

Shrinky said...

hey there sandi, it's good to see you again!

Shrinky said...

Hi there Debs,

Are you kidding me? You are in one of the prettiest spots around AND you have stables.. I feel quite green with envy (grin).

But yes, the sound of running water and birdsong doesn't show through in a photograph, does it? (So astute of you to "hear" it.)

pat houseworth said...

Heck you guys are greener than we in Ohio...it's been a cool spring, and I hate it!

Shrinky said...

Aw, Cheers suldog,

I'm not complaining (much), 'cept I wish this place came with a cleaning lady..

Oh wait a minute, it did - me (hmph)!

pat houseworth said...

That be greener than Ohio...we've had a miserable wet cool Spring, and I'm not a happy camper...but the lawn is growing, so we still get to mow(not a favorite).

Shrinky said...

Ah Pat, it rains for months over here, there's a price to pay for everything. Let's hope the Summer is kind, huh?

Scott from Oregon said...

I can see the rain in the green of everything.

Very beautiful, Bendy!

Shrinky said...

Yeah Scott,

We rarely have any droughts over here..

San said...

Shrinky, you have your own piece of paradise there. Your gardens are exquisite and I find that big, rambling house ever so homey.

What I adore, however, is your thinking spot. A place for calm reflection. It's a lovely image I have in my mind--you sitting there, a little smile playing at the corners of your mouth--you've just gotten an idea for the next brilliant blog post!

Shrinky said...

hi there san,

I think I need to pay a visit there today - time to stimulate those old grey brain cells (smile)..

Ellee Seymour said...

How beautiful it looks, I am quite envious. I've just written about my garden too, but it pales into insignificance compared to yours.

Cuckoo said...

Oh your house and the garden, both are so enticing !;)

So lush green and calm... the heaven !

Cuckoo

Dilly said...

WOW!
Dilly LUV Shwinky garden!
Dilly want come liv wiv Shwinky!
Hav holiday in Shwinky garden!

Come see Dilly blog soon!
Hav blossum on Dilly garden too, uther week. Be all pink! MWEAH!

Get hedgehogs?

¬"

david mcmahon said...

Do the Shrinklets do the gardening? Or is that your preserve, fair damsel?

Shrinky said...

hi cuckoo,

I've finally remembered to amend your link on my blogroll!

Shrinky said...

Yes Dilly,

We do have hedgehogs in our garden, too!

Shrinky said...

Hi David,

Only two of our four have their own little plots to tend - Sam and Abby. They grow mainly vegetables, but grow some flowers there too. They are always so proud when I cook the produce they have chosen, tended and harvested.

Shrinky said...

Hello Ellee,

You are far too modest, I've just been in and had a peek at yours and it puts mine to shame. Wish I had the green fingers you obviously have.

david mcmahon said...

So we'll come round this weekend and sort out the garden, okay?

I only drink water, not beer!!

Catmoves said...

Shrinky, your home and grounds are simply stunning. I know you have to have serious rain for the lushness, but it looks sparkling and just dry enough to me. I'd certainly like to try out that fishing area. (If I had a lady available who could clean the catch.)

lime said...

oh now that was a wonderful meandering tour. how blessed you are to have such a lovely and peaceful setting. i'm afraid i'm not much help in the garden but that thinking spot of yours is just perfect.

thanks so much for stopping by my place and saying hi.

Jay said...

Wow, that's a beautiful garden! I am so jealous of your little glen down to the river! It all looks just sooo peaceful! And the house is gorgeous, no matter how it grew!

Merisi said...

Love your description,
and David's comment too! :-)

david mcmahon said...

You've gone all quiet-like ....

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Nose hugs!

Mary said...

I really enjoyed that walk through your garden! What an absolutely magical spot. Very lucky I would say. I know what you mean about keeping up with all the garden chores. It can get out of hand very quickly. Any chance of a part time gardener?

Maalie said...

Greetings from lapland Shrinky!

I'm straight off to Austria now :-)

Shrinky said...

Hi David,

Yes I've been a little off the radar as of late, I'm spring cleaning in preparation for our visitors arriving on Friday morning.. sigh.

Shrinky said...

Um, catmoves, cleaning out catch is what the fishmongers are for (wink).

Shrinky said...

Hi lime,

I'm glad to have discovered your site, I look forward to visiting with you more..

Shrinky said...

Hello jay,

I'm very pleased to make your acquaintence, having visited, I love your sense of humour (grin).

Shrinky said...

hi there merisi,

I must come over to catch up with you - it's been far too long!

Shrinky said...

Awww BT, you've gone and made my toes curl now!! x

Shrinky said...

Ha! Mary, I asked hubby the same question.. he gave the job to me. Shrug.

Shrinky said...

maalie my friend,

I truly cannot keep track of you - what a globe-trotter you are. I look forward to catching up with all your adventures upon your return.

BIG Omi said...

Hey Shrink,
You got an awesome of a garden. Your home is indeed very nicely located. Superb Pics.. feeling fresh mind.. wow
Take care.
Omi

CrazyCath said...

Yo! Shrinky!
You out there somewhere? Got lost in that little garden of yours?

Just checking in. It's gone awful quiet here! Hope you're ok.

Shrinky said...

Hey omi, welcome aboard my friend, nice to see you in here!

Shrinky said...

Yeah cath, I know, I've been a lazy toe-rag as of late - I must pull my finger out with a fresh post - watch this space..

CHEWY said...

Shrinky,
I learned something new from Rubye.

TIME TIME TIME

That means time for a new post. (nudge)

Catmoves said...

OK, Shrink, you got me with this one: "...a lazy toe-rag...."
Google gave some examples, but no derivation nor meanings that I saw. (No, I did not check all 700+ of the entries.) Wikipedia only had one entry and it didn't apply.
So it's up to you.
Waiting breathlessly (purple by now) for where the phrase came from and what it means.
(You really, probably, don't want to know what went through my mind when I first saw the phrase in your delicate prose.)
Oh, BTW, I've always used the house cleaners to scale the fish.

bubbles said...

what a lovely window to your world.
your house 'n grounds are lovely on the eyes... i've just arrived in seattle... to one of the gardens i have re-hab'd over several years (paid work, at least!)and understand the time it takes to keep it looking ... (insert adjective).
lucky for me it isn't work...
(imaginary cartwheel, double backflip, etc.).

CJ said...

What a beautiful place you have there! So peaceful.

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