Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Memories to Share

Mom with my niece, Debbie
This year, I wanted to share this with you in the hopes you recall some of your own memories of family at Christmastime and share them, too . . .

As I sat wrapping presents tonight, I was thinking about my mom and the way she wrapped presents for us when we were little.
I was trying to add just a bit of her style to my gifts tonight, but I know I am not even close to meeting her exceptional standards.

If the item was clothing and if it was wrapped in a box from the store, she would line the box with tissue paper first, and then the gift was placed inside. She folded over the tissue paper, surrounding the gift and then sealed the tissue paper closed with little festive holiday seals - yes seals, not stickers. They were the type you would have to lick to get them wet so they would adhere to the paper.

Then she would wrap up the box, surround it with curling ribbon, and then tie a bow from the curling ribbon. She would make tons of curls with the ribbon and the package would be almost finished.
Usually, she would also add a small gift to the top of the wrapped box, too. It might be a candy cane, or some other trinket to add more fun the the gift.

And if the gift were a 'soft' item like socks, she would do all the same steps for it, too, only adding the curls and ribbon to each end of the tube, making it look like a Christmas Cracker.
She filled our stockings with walnuts, treats, coloring books, small gifts, and of course, the traditional orange in the toe of the stocking. After all of the commotion of opening gifts under the tree, we knew we could count on our stockings to extend the thrill of the morning.

It is important to remember she worked in the 1950s when most moms were home all day with family. She worked at night, so she could be home with us during the day, and she must have been pretty tired. And with six children to shop for and each with a small pile of presents to wrap, she had her hands full, to be sure. But she wasn't a slacker when it came to wrapping - oh no!
She baked, too. Not just two types of cookies like I do, but whole plates of gorgeous cookies in all sorts of shapes and flavors.

I don't know how she did it with all the rest she had to do. I wish I could say I am keeping up with her legacy, but I don't hold a candle to the way she could multi-task - way before the term was invented. I hope though, that by sharing this, her legacy of love and care and attention to detail will live on. Long after what was in those gifts has been forgotten, I still remember the way she wrapped them with so much love for each one of us.
The light-up Santa was on our tree when I was a child. The angel on the moon was also on our tree - purchased in Toronto when I was a teenager, this one is a replica of the one I gave my mom and also bought for myself. My daughter has my original.

I am wishing you all the same love and care this year for Christmas. I hope your memories are vast and that you are making more for your own family, to share for generations to come.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

It's a boy - Again!

Baby Michael was born yesterday!!!
We are so happy and so excited to welcome him to our family on both sides of the pond.
Mommy and baby are doing well and daddy is as pleased as can be.

Congratulations to my lovely daughter and her husband. Wishing them all the best with their precious little gift.

I will be in touch with you all again soon!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

It's A Boy!

Tasty treats all in a baby boy's honour


Lots of lovely pressies!

Elizabeth and a baby play mat with Maureen looking on
Hello patient and faithful readers!
I can't believe it has been months since I have written and the only excuse I have to offer is that life has bends and twist and I have been on a twisting path finding it difficult sometimes to find home.
Where do I begin?
Summer - where did it go? So many things to discuss and so little space.
Planning a visit to the US and preparing for it took a lot of time. Applying for jobs and interviewing took more time. Then the day was here to head to America for a very special event!

My eldest daughter, Elizabeth, is expecting her first baby, our first grandchild! (Although, Jim and I have grandchildren already on his side of the family, this will be our first American grandchild)
Elizabeth is expecting a baby boy in late December or early January. Michael already has more clothing than I have not to mention a fully decorated room and toys and so much more, too.
They are quickly running out of space in their Brooklyn flat. It is all very exciting!

Elizabeth sent me a plane ticket so that I could join her, friends and family in Wilson, New York (just outside of Buffalo on Lake Ontario) at the home of a dear friend, Maureen, for a baby shower in her honour.
You know you are in Buffalo when you see things like this
Needmoore Farm was the setting and it was spectacular!
Maureen was the perfect hostess, planning and preparing everything, and also providing shelter for me during my stay with her.
She is so talented! She hand-made many bits and pieces of infant couture and also made a gorgeous baby quilt for Michael to coordinate with his little bedroom. Where would we be without her? Thank you, Maureen!
A beautiful basket filled with gifts of love from Maureen
Members of family and friends were all there with gorgeous gifts that included the necessities as well as some fabulous vintage-styled toys and some modern day ones, too.
Thank you to all who joined us on a gorgeous September day in an outstanding location. It was truly perfect seeing all of you again and having you share such a special day with us. Thank you for sharing and your generous gifts, too.

Following the shower we traveled back home to Brooklyn, driving a totally crammed car, filled with baby gifts! Elizabeth has it all worked out - she has driven the route so many times. It takes about 5 - 6 hours to travel by car from Lake Erie to Brooklyn across New York state. Probably about an hour of the journey is just getting through the New York City area.
But Elizabeth has driven the route so many times, she is expert! She knew just where the last stop on the Thruway is where you can load up on Tim Horton's coffee! She also knows how to fill all the cup holders so with many, many cups so that once home, you can still enjoy the coffee for a few days! Excellent!

While in the US we went to some sales in the NYC area to look for vintage things to bring back to the UK. I found some lovely items to treasure and sell. Watch this space for more about them!
And I also got to meet my new 'granddaughter' in the form of a Jack Russell mix.
Ya gotta love this dog!
Avery in the Prairie Dog pose
Upon my return to the UK, I had a happy discovery! I have been hired for a job that begins on November 1st. I am so happy to return to work after such a long sabbatical! Wish me luck!

The wait for news won't be this long again, I promise!
I will be visiting your blogs again, soon! I've missed reading all your entries.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Remembering Mom

Baby Helen, about age 2
I am thinking about my mother today. She lived through such a lot in her lifetime; her life was dominated by change, adversity, and hard work. And through it all she remained a loving, caring wonderful mother and human being.

She was born in 7 December 1918 when World War I was nearing its end and lived a long life, experiencing ever-so-much. Her mother had been raised during the Victorian era and she raised her two daughters and one son with the same strict standards. It was a loving home but one ruled with high standards, schedules, and old time manners.

Helen Mae Truxes Dyte age 18
Mom's youth was spent witnessing the events of the Roaring Twenties and I like to think her fashion sense came from those glamorous days. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out.

Helen May and Kathryn Truxes
She was 11 when the onset of the Great Depression began in 1929, and she was 21 when it ended, spending her formative years watching her parents struggle to make ends meet and worrying about her future and that of her younger sister, Kathryn.
In that same year, 1939, the United States entered World War II, so her twenties were spent in yet another era of austerity and change.
Mom was only 19 years old when she had her first child, my eldest sister, Elizabeth.

Baby Elizabeth and Mom
She went on to have seven more children and lost two of them. Her infant daughter, Helen, died of a birth defect, spina bifida. Baby Helen was in the hospital for six months following her birth. Mom walked to the hospital every day carrying bottles of her breast milk to feed her baby hoping one day to return home with the child. Baby Helen only lived for six months.
Her son, Todd, died sadly at about age 18 months, of appendicitis.
If she would discuss these two lost children with you, no matter how many years had passed, nor her age, she would cry still; the pain was that intense and her wound still raw after so many, many years. She never forgot, nor wanted to forget, those two children whom she loved so dearly.

Elizabeth and Mom
Baby Priscilla, Baby Susan, and Mom
Pearl Harbor was attacked on 7 December 1941 - mom's birthday - and she was only just turning 23 years old with her little four-year-old daughter to worry about. What was the future to hold for her and her siblings soon to follow?

I can't imagine living through such decades of change without it negatively affecting your personality, yet, my mother was a loving, kind, warm person. She lived for her family and loved her children more than anything else in this world.
She loved gardening and had a 'green thumb'. She had a natural way with making things grow and add beauty to her world.Not a wonderful cook, but her baking skill were top notch. She could bake a mean pumpkin pie, which we called, 'lead' pies because they were so heavy. But they tasted more like heaven!
That's the family in 1956! Mom was holding me, and Elizabeth was holding my infant brother, Tim. Priscilla, Sue, and Deborah are in the front row. Even dad got in the picture via his shadow!

When we were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when most moms were, what we call today, 'stay-at-home moms' my mother worked in a hospital. She would care for us during the day, sleep a few hours in the evening once my dad returned home from work, and then head out for an all night late shift at the hospital. She worked to make our lives better and help to make ends meet. I can't imagine how she managed it.

Did I mention she had only a hand-operated wringer washer and no automatic dryer?
She would carry laundry down from the second floor to the basement, wash it and put it through the wringer to squeeze out the excess water. Then she would climb up to the attic with the clothes and hang them on lines up there. In the summer, she had a clothesline in the garden, but winters were all about that four flight climb to do the washing for a family of eight.
It was when using this machine that she had an accident and put her hands through the wringer, crushing her bones and requiring surgery.

Despite hands damaged and arthritic from the accident, she still somehow managed to knit, crochet and sew. When we were very young, she sewed clothing for us. I can remember her making nightgowns for the girls and that the luxurious cotton flannel from which they were made, was warm and wonderful on cold winter nights. They were so full you could wrap your body up in them like a blanket. Store-bought nighties were never any good after having those glorious homemade ones.

Mom loved country rides and it was on one such occasion that I learned of her love of animals, too. I mean, let's face it, I knew she loved cats, and dogs, and birds, but on this day she pulled off to the side of the road to rescue a turtle who was meandering across it. She was so concerned about helping the turtle, she drove her car into a ditch.
Thinking nothing about that, and only about the turtle, she quickly got out of the car and stepped up to the turtle, gingerly lifting it up and then placing it on the grass by the road's edge.
Her car had to be rescued by AAA. Forever after, she would be reminded that she needed to 'watch the turtle' if she got too close to the edge of a road.

Dad and Mom back in the early days
Mom became a widow at age 47. With five children still living at home, and the youngest only 9 years old, she had a lot to learn. My dad had managed everything in their marriage, during his lifetime - all household expenses and bill paying - everything. Mom hadn't even learned to drive until she was in her forties.
My mom didn't know how to write a personal check and I know she never learned how to balance her checkbook. But it was all on her now and her world was falling apart. It was a difficult time for all of us. But she somehow managed, and we all lived through it, grew-up and moved on with our own lives, and our own families.
And that is how it is supposed to be, isn't it?

My beautiful mom
If mom was still here with us today, she would be 92 years old. And my dad would be 100!
She passed away on 4 August 1998, 12 years ago today.
It was from my mother that I learned about family and love and about what the important things are in life. She was and will always be my inspiration and my 'hero'.
I am so proud that she was my mom and that I am her daughter.
I miss her each and every day.

You may have lots of friends, a loving family and children of your own, but you will always have only one mom. Cherish her always, and tell her you love her. And just for me, today, give her a big hug, too.


Saturday, 24 July 2010

David Austin Roses - So Perfectly English!

My neighbour encouraged me to get out of the house a couple of weeks ago. I have been, more-or-less, a shut-in for the last three months, and so it was decided we would travel to Shropshire to have a visit with some fabulous company - English roses.
A friend of hers offered to drive and the three of us began a journey to tease all of our senses.
I was expecting to visit a nursery that specialised in roses. You know what I mean: the typical lanes of shrubs, with row after row of plants, all set out for you to select and buy the best one of the lot. My, was I mistaken!At David Austin Roses you drive in on a lane that lies between fields of roses all in bloom, and it is a heady, breathtaking, experience. Once your car is parked, you are directed by signs on which way to enter through the sales gift shop, but then - oh my!

You wander out from the shop and into a dreamland of roses. Roses, roses, everywhere.
They are in pots or growing up the side of a wall. They greet you under canopies of wooden lattice that are so covered with their vines, it is actually dark beneath them.

Some formal, and some less formal, gardens of shrubs, ramblers, and climbers of many varieties.

Queen of Sweden

We sat for a bit to rest beneath a beautiful portico overlooking a gazing pool, perfectly centered to look ahead into the depths of the rose-covered pergolas.

It was a day of feasts for the senses- seeing, smelling, touching, listening, and even tasting as when took a wee lunch break on the patio, just outside the tearoom, on the premises.
We watched as people walked around discovering new 'friends' and old favourites.The heady scents of so many different roses all mingled together and hung in the afternoon air, making our outing ever-so fragrant, too.

We saw children accompanied by grandparents and watched as they tentatively touched the heads of the roses, all the time worrying about the possibility of being pricked by a thorn. All the while, their youthful voices were chattering away, asking one million questions of their companions.Tiny sparrows kept us company while scurrying about collecting crumbs from the pavement and swooping up to their nests under the eaves of the buildings.

It was a gorgeous sumer day, a bit overcast, and very breezy. The rain held off until we were headed home so our day was just perfect in all ways!After our garden walks, I had decided to return home with A Shropsire Lad, a hardy climber, with a fabulous scent.
I guess other people had the same idea; it was all sold out!

A Shropshire Lad

So I decided to purchase my second choice, The Generous Gardener, but it was not to be!
Suddenly I was, (not surprisingly), taken with, Penny Lane.
As a child of the sixties, naturally, I had to have it! Who wouldn't want a rose bush with the same name as the famous song from the fab four?

Penny Lane

Penny has been planted in a special spot in my 'instant garden' that, you may recall, I wrote about earlier in the year. With a bit of luck she will climb over and around a corner of the wall and bring a bit of beauty to a drab space.
She is holding her own right now, and you are sure to be reading more about my little Penny in upcoming posts.

If you are in the area, plan a visit to David Austin Roses - you will not go away empty-handed or disappointed!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Meet Ellie!

A huge "THANK YOU" to Ellie Thouret who discovered my Etsy shop, SweetScarlett, and has asked me to accept an invitation from her to write about, and promote, my work featured in my little shop!

Ellie is an author/artist associated with an on-line journal publication called, Try Handmade ( I love their slogan - "people not factories"
She has just published her article, "Product Showcase: Go England!" featuring some wonderful handmade artists, and their products, all made in the UK.
Have a look here:

This is just one example of products she has featured in her article. This adorable little striped guy was made by Emma from Squiggly Monkeys. He is so fresh and cheeky, isn't he?

Ellie has a little bit to share with us, about herself, in her Etsy profile:
I am an independent knit and crochet designer based in the UK's North West.
My accessories are inspired by anything and everything and I put a stylish flair into all of
my garments.
I instantly fell in love with yarncrafts and my mission is overturn the common
perception that knitting and crochet is old-fashioned and unfashionable!

Her Esty shop, Ellie Thouret Textile Designs, can be found here:
Why not take a moment and look to see what she has in the shop and why knitting is so "now" and not old fashioned at all!

Ellie Thouret has been kind enough to also include my work in her current treasury on Etsy.
Entitled, "Handmade in England" it showcases some the items featured in her article for Try Handmade. It can be found in Treasury East on Etsy at this link:

Thank you Ellie - I appreciate the promotion and want everyone to know it, and YOU, too!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Looking For An English Autumnal Fair

Hello sweet readers,

I would like to participate in an in-person fair this autumn.
I know many of you attend them, and some of you participate in them, but I haven't a clue as to how you find them to do either.

I would like to begin to make some things using vintage fabric and new fabric and vintage linens I have been hoarding for just this purpose. But once made, I would like an outlet in which to sell them. I am considering creating lovely tote bags, pillow covers, aprons, baby and children's clothing, as well as my little Lucky Penny Books to sell in a stall.
Fairs that have both a vintage feel to them as well as the opportunity to sell both vintage and new objects would be the perfect venue for my items.

I prefer West Midlands locations and dates near to the Christmas season. But depending on distance, I would also be willing to drive for a bit. I love the Cotswolds area as well as any pretty village locations.

Who can help me find a good venue in a nice location with a quality fair???
Thank you!!!


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Happy 5th Anniversary, Darling Jim

Nothing brings me more pleasure than to think back almost six years ago now, to our long distance courtship and love affair. And nothing has changed in these past five years of wedded bliss, except the distance.I believe in fate. And it was fate that brought me to Jim. And I am so happy it did.
He is a kind and loving man, father, and husband.
Everyone who knows him loves him. Especially me.
Wishing all of my lovely readers, the sort of love and happiness Jim and I have together.
And wishing my Jim many more years of happiness and togetherness with me.I adore you, James Wareham.

We were married right here in the living room of our home in Williamsville, New York

Our friends and family decorated the house and made home-made deserts and refreshments.

Our home-made wedding cake, my bouquet, and some other wedding finery

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Calling all Women - Uterine Cancer - This May Save Your Life

Hello friends!
I know I have been silent for over a month and that is not like me at all.
But there are good reasons for the lack of blogging.
I have been wondering whether to share this with you or not, as it is very personal.
But I have chosen to write about it in hopes that it may help some of you and bring you to an awareness of a condition some of you may be experiencing now, or in the future.

I am recovering from a total hysterectomy. My surgery was done on April 26th at the Women's Hospital in Birmingham. I am still healing but that is only half of it.
Last week, I received a letter, confirming that there was cancer in my removed uterus.
I had dodged a bullet, but one I never saw coming. This is the story.

It has been a journey that began all the way back in August 2009.
Let me go back there and begin at the beginning . . .

Last August, I began bleeding. Thought nothing of it.
Being like a lot post-menopausal women, I didn't know too much about what my body was up to. I had had an easy time of menopause - my cycle simply stopped. No more periods. No odd symptoms, no hot flashes. Nothing.
So this weird bleeding seemed to me like a one-off. Nothing to worry about.
In fact, almost as if to prove my point, it disappeared as quickly as it began and I truly thought nothing more about it.

Then, in late November, it happened again. Only this time it stayed for a couple of days.
Again, I really didn't consider it any sort of warning sign or anything like that. We women are tough and used to our bodies having unusual discharges. All women go through menopause differently and there are no set rules. Who knows why our bodies do what they do, right?

But then, the following week, in early December, it happened again. And stopped again.
And then the next week, it came back again, and stopped again. Now I began to worry.
It wasn't as if this were a recurrence of a monthly cycle, it was weekly and so the warning bells went off.

But the holidays were fast approaching and I was busy and waited to call my GP.
In the meantime, the bleeding stopped again and I felt a little better about it all.
In early January it started up again, but this time, it did not stop.
Once a week, for a day or so, the bleeding came back again.
I began inquiring among neighbours and friends to see if they could recommend a good OB/GYN person for me to go and see. Each time I was met with blank stares.
And even when I asked a nurse in reception at a local doctor's office I received the same look. You see, it is a term that is unfamiliar here. Most people refer to gynecologists as 'guy-nee' and I was speaking with a funny accent using odd terminology.

When I was able to get my question across, I was alarmed to discover that most women did not have a personal gynecologist. They were seen by the nurse in their doctor's offices for pap smears and only went to see the guy-nee when they were having babies.
And today, most of them are now seeing midwives for this rather than OB/GYN doctors. So it might be years before they actually see a medical doctor who specializes in women's bodies. Scary.

In fact, most women I spoke with glanced away with a shy look when the subject was broached. None of them had regular visits to a gynecologist who knew them and their medical history.
In fact, unlike most HMOs in the US where a woman has an assigned doctor as her Primary and an OB/GYN for her gynecologist, here in the UK, a woman has a GP (Primary) who must refer her to a gynecologist if she wants to go and see one. This makes it all the more difficult, and embarrassing, for women - especially shy women - to broach the subject with their GP. And if you do not have a good relationship with your assigned GP, well, you might be inclined to put off making the appointment, as did I.

Now, I am not a fan of our GP. We are looking to make a change to another one, but in the meantime, I knew I was going to have to deal with the doctor we had.
I really did not want to have to go in and discuss this with him, and this contributed to my reluctance to make an appointment with him. Add to that that my darling husband was working out of town in a difficult situation, and I just didn't want to go.
But these all were excuses and I had no other choice.
I made the appointment in late January and went in to see him in early February. He referred me to a clinic at the women's hospital for a simple diagnostic test.

I was infuriated with him because of this. I wanted to see a practicing, gynecologist, and he was sending me for a scan! This is just another way women are manipulated within the system, and must defer to one doctor in order to even try to be seen by a specialist.

I went in to the clinic on my assigned day and waited my turn. I was called in by a technician who explained what procedures she would be doing that day. The first was a belly scan. Depending on its results, determined whether or not she would do an internal exam and take some measurements of my womb. In the end, both tests were done.

Let me pause here to say, that of everyone in the hospital that day, this technician was the only person who was insensitive, heartless and cold. In the documents I received prior to the examinations that day, it was said that I could ask the technician for results of the examinations, and that she would be able to reveal them in a limited way.
I asked her what she had seen and what it meant. Her reply was this, " The lining of your womb is about 4 times the thickness it should be."
When I asked what that meant, she said, 'If I told you that, it would scare you to death.'
Then she instructed me to go to the gynecological clinic to be seen by someone else.

Naturally, her remarks made me believe I was a dead woman walking. And little did I know how close to the truth, that indeed, was.
I waited for hours to be seen in the very busy clinic, all the while struggling to remain calm but fearing the worst. Finally, I was seen by a very loving, caring woman who did another internal exam with a camera to try to discover more about my condition.
She could not get her tools to work properly so she sent me to a different area of the clinic where they could try to get some tests done with proper specialty equipment.

I was then sent to another specialist, in both room and person, for another attempt with the camera. But my body was having none of it.
So an appointment was made for me to return later that week, when the doctor who specialised in these procedures would give it a try.
In the meantime, I was informed about what to expect given different outcomes of the examinations.

I was told it was more than likely fibroid tumors and that it would be a simple removal of them and that would be that. When I returned to the clinic to see the doctor again, he was so sure it was going to be uterine fibroids, he actually asked me to take part in a study.
But the results of his biopsy and examinations took a different path.
Interestingly enough, my pap smear test came back negative. But the biopsy of the pollups revealed there were 'pre-cancerous' cells in the womb.

I was invited to return to the hospital to see a doctor specialising in oncology and it was her recommendation that I have a complete removal of my uterus, ovaries, and cervix - and possibly lymph nodes, too.
What had been discovered in my womb was pre-cancerous cells and it was best to take no chances.
Surgery was scheduled for April 26th and I had the procedure late Monday and was home by Thursday evening of the same week.

I know, I know, this has been a long and wordy post after so much silence on my part.
But I wanted to tell the story because I believe it is a common one.
As women, we take for granted that our bodies do weird things, have odd discharges, bleed sometimes when it is not expected, and so on.
From the moment we enter puberty, it is a long struggle with what changes we will have to put up with next!

Just look at the way different women experience the joy of pregnancy!
Some fly through it without a care, others are wrought with problems.
We are often told that what we are experiencing at any given time is 'common' and not unusual.
So naturally, when you are a fifties-something woman who has been experiencing menstrual cycles for decades, you too would probably not think it odd to be bleeding, yet again.

So my message to you all is this - it is not normal to bleed after menopause.
I can't even think about what my outcome might have been had I waited any longer.
And I am ashamed that I waited as long as I did.

If you have gone through menopause, and have experienced bleeding, no matter how minor, do not wait a single day.
Bleeding after menopause is is sure sign that something is not right.
Go to your doctor right away, no matter how odd you feel about it or how shy you are.
Get tested and live a long and healthy life.

NB: 23 May 2010 - UPDATE:
Letters arrived yesterday in the post from the surgeon. Microscope tests of the removed tissue revealed it was, in fact, cancer.
It was all contained within the womb and nothing had the chance to spread.
Thank God.
Be ever so careful and watch for signs that will provide you with a positive outcome, too.

To learn more, go to WebMD, and to MedicineNet for signs and symptoms.

Happy to be home and writing again!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Instant Garden

The overgrown area behind our utility room was driving me crazy.
Old blackberry vines poked out of the soil everywhere and while long abandoned and cut rose bushes kept them company among the assorted other weeds.Weather permitted a day of pulling weeds and pruning back vines and some digging in the still soft and winter-wet soil.

Once the tiny area had been cleared, I transplanted a hydrangea bush that had been struggling to survive in the meager soil left in its original pot.
Next I added some already flowering daffodil plants I purchased at Ellenden Farm Market.
Some forget-me-not flowers had sprouted between the pavers on the patio, so they, too, were uprooted and added to the flower bed.

With all of the digging, I had uprooted some grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) and so some of them were returned to the patch, too.The purple primrose flowers that were crunched in together were then relocated and some yellow ones added, too. In fact, the only 'new' plants I added were the daffodils and the yellow primrose - all the rest I already had in the garden.

But the piece de resistance, as far as I was concerned, was the discovery and addition of wee wild violets. In fact these tiny plants were the inspiration for the instnat garden in the first place.
I have missed these tiny harbingers of spring since my move here to the UK.
Originally, I found them growing wild in my front garden's lawn when I purchased my previous home in the US. I carefully removed them, over the years, and transplanted them along the edges of trees and basement windows.You will not believe how big they grow when placed in the proper conditions!
The spread out and multiply to become proper hedgerows of large, bright green leaves and sprightly purple flowers each year.

I discovered three very tiny plants trying to find a bit of sunlight under some shrubs along the perimeter of the garden. My plan to use them as a border and add to them whenever I could find more, was set.

Then to my wonderment and surprise, I found more of them right next to the area I was digging up - and nowhere near where the originals were found!

See the little violets growing in among all of the grasses and weeds and flowers?

So they were dug up and added, too.
You will see some more photos of them as they begin to grow and become the border I know they can develop into!

In the meantime, the instant garden in a huge success with a small spot waiting for a visit to the rose garden center for a climbing fragrant gorgeous rose bush!

Happy gardening!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


It's all about spring and the tidings it brings in the form of yellow!

Forsythia bushes are filled with sunshine as they wave in the wind like flags bearing signs of better weather to come.

Daffodils burst upon the scene where only a week ago there was mud and damp grass and grayness all abound.
Now we see bursts of yellow-colour trumpets heralding the arrival of spring.

Sweet Primrose flowers, yellow among them but coming in all colours of the rainbow, too, co-mingle with the daffodils to add a festive variety with which to play off of the bright and cheery flowers.
We are blessed to enjoy such gorgeous sights in early spring each year.

And this year is even more profound as we leave the dreariest and coldest of winters well behind and embrace the warm soft breezes that bring memories of summers past and soon to behold.
Welcome Spring!



I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:

I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

- William Wordsworth