In a Vase on Monday: Autumn Loveliness

With it being Michaelmas today, I really ought to have used some of my Michaelmas daisies for my Monday vase.


But they have featured in two vases recently, so time for something different: Euonymus europaeus, otherwise known as Spindle trees (and as “Bishop’s hats” in German!). They seem to have sprouted up everywhere in our little piece of woodland this year, and the berries are currently at their best.


While looking for some nice Euonymus branches, I also noticed that some of the lovely creeping vine people often plant here (Parthenocissus) has found its way into the wild and has started growing up one of the bushes. (Is it called Virginia Creeper in the UK?) As I snipped a bit off I saw the seedheads of some tangled Old man’s beard – Clematis vitalba – too. I don’t cherish this plant if it invades my garden – which it frequently does – but I do love those fluffy seedheads!


All this colour and loveliness went to my head, and I created a Haiku for today too!

Bishop hats hanging

on spindles, spinning silken

old man’s beard; autumn.


This arrangement will not come indoors, but will brighten our patio now that there is more and more shade during the day.


 The cyclamen was a bargain from my local supermarket and I was tempted by its deep red colour. I am pretty good at killing off cyclamens – my record being within 48 hours – so I wonder how long this one will last on the patio!


We had another misty morning, but by midday the sun broke through and warmed me as I started emptying summer containers and washing pots. And every time I returned to the patio my vase made me smile…


Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme “In a Vase on Monday“. The challenge to find materials from the garden for a vase each week has made me look at the flowers and plants around me with new eyes!

Hope you have some sunshine this week too!

Midsummer Haiku

June is a month for daydreaming.


As I was cutting up strawberries for jam the other day, I took a trip down memory lane and thought about everything June is to me. Here are a few things that came to mind…

June is


Tickling my nose,

getting behind photoframes,

simply everywhere!


Wimbledon! Walking home from the school bus on hot afternoons, the street would be quiet. Curtains were drawn against the sun, waving in the breeze – no sound except  the “pop”, “pop” of tennis ball against racket, heard from all the neighbours’ living room TVs. I would hurry as my thoughts turned to the glass of cold Ribena I would enjoy when I got in, and the match I would watch until tea time…

What’s for tea tonight?

Maybe there’ll be strawberries?

With a dash of cream.

Wild Strawberries

Strawberries! Early mornings, cycling to the strawberry fields before the sun gets too hot, daydreaming about lunch: a big bowl of strawberries with cream or yoghurt, or perhaps some creme fraiche? Picking them in the quiet is like meditating, and – totally lost in thought – the smell, sweet and sticky on my fingers, lingers.

Red, shiny plumpness

Waiting for me. The warm juice

trickles down my chin.


Exam time! Being a teacher means I never left this behind after leaving school… June is always too hot for exams – sweaty hands, rolled up sleeves, long train rides for external exams with the air-conditioning barely cooling the carriages. And then the relief after it’s all over. Like the relief a thunderstorm brings after a heatwave…

The nervous laughter

rings out in the corridor.

Fears, tears, butterflies.



Glowworms! If they make an appearance, which doesn’t happen every year, the woodland path in our garden looks simply magical as they dance and hover silently in the darkness for just a few nights, and then vanish again until next year?

Little white beacon,

send your signal to be found.

A fleeting wonder.


What is June for you?


Winter Meets Spring (and a Haiku)

A blue wintry sky

Soft white clouds go scudding by

The tall fir tree sings


We love this tree, although it is getting very tall… (The crows love sitting at the top in the early morning and serenade me at breakfast!) You can see the hazel catkins below it, already fully out despite the snow. I have even seen some pollen flying. Winter meets spring…

Alternative Planting? (And a Haiku)

Requires plenty of damp grey weather, loves rain or snow, is frost hardy, tolerates shade, does not need pruning, nor feeding…


Soon after moving here we removed the ugly evergreens threatening to take over the rockery. This tree stump is one of the last to decompose – it’s taken seven years! Perhaps I will finally be able to dig it out this spring…

Soft brown and lush green

Thriving on decaying wood

In the winter sun