Archive | flowers

A rose amidst the gloom

It is mid November and the last flowers of summer have mostly faded away. This particular rose is defying the bleakness of the season to provide a last pink flower. It is a rather curious and unexpected specimen on this rose plant devoid of any leaves.

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The flower has survived an early frost and stands proud amongst the fallen leaves and bare stems.

According to the rhythm to the seasons it shouldn’t really be there, but it is a late gift from nature, who likes to throw a few surprises every now and then.

It is a special wolf moon tonight – the closest the moon has passed to the earth for 60 years, but it is cloudy so we can’t see it here in Oxford.

 

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The joy of compost

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This past year I’ve been doing a bit more gardening. In particular I’m quite proud of my compost heaps. I used to just put things in a pile and it would take years to rot down (too dry). But, I bought three compost bins and have sought to keep it the right moisture and mix of materials. Producing good compost is almost as satisfying as growing a good plant, and any kitchen leftovers get put on the heap – every scrap helps – as they say in the manual of organic gardening. Continue Reading →

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Photos of Waterperry Garden

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Some photos from Waterperry Gardens, just outside Oxford, where I visited earlier this summer. It was a grey day, but the wonder of modern technology helped get some decent photos.

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The ‘Quiet’ Garden.

There was a sign asking people to be quiet in this garden, so I sat in a corner and meditated after a fashion. It was spitting with rain, and I didn’t get much beyond seeing the shrub in the corner and thinking how it could do with its top half trimming. Not the deepest meditation, but still nice idea to have a quiet garden.

The funny thing is that my five minutes of quiet was interrupted – by a family coming in and talking very loudly about how this was a quiet garden and you couldn’t use your mobile phone.

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Singing to yourself

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I cycle into town through this local Oxford park. It is far from the tourist trail, and is a nice place for locals – popular with dog walkers and people taking a short cut into town.

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I was full of the joys of a slightly dull, misty September morning and, as I was cycling slowly through the park, an old man with dog said out loud:

“Shut up”

At first, I thought he was talking to his dog, but then realised his dog wasn’t saying anything, he was talking to me.

I was singing to myself and obviously had strayed into being audible. I hadn’t realised it, which is just slightly disconcerting; I hope it’s not the first signs of madness. He must have very good hearing.

I am trying to learn a few songs of Sri Chinmoy at the moment, and they seem to pop into my head whilst cycling into town.

As irritating habits go, singing aloud is not the worst, but I did admit the old man had a point – I probably would have found it a bit annoying if he was singing to himself.

But, I couldn’t help observe that it’s not very British to actually articulate minor irritations like this. We usually put with worse than someone muttering a half-hearted bit of singing in a public park. Continue Reading →

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Cyclamen flowers

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Cyclamen is a perennial flower, which is native to parts of Europe, such as Turkey. In September, the small flowers suddenly appear (before the leaves). It is a time of the year, when many other plants are finishing flowering, so their arrival at the beginning of autumn is very welcome. Continue Reading →

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The flower that refuses to die

Last November and December I went through an orchid spending spree. It was the combination of the grey, miserable British winter and the ability to buy beautiful plants for excellent value. Orchids are a particularly robust plant, which excel on calculated neglect.

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The only trick to growing orchids is not to over-water them; don’t leave them standing in water. Apart from that, you can water every 5-14 days; so even if you go away for two weeks, they will barely look out of sorts.
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