Dreaming of Summer in the Middle of Winter …

 

As I sit down to write this post the wind is howling around the house, hail is hitting the windows with force, the sky in gunmetal grey, and we are due to go to a funeral in an hours time.  Not the best of days.  So I thought I would look back on sunnier times when the garden is at  its best.  I captioned these photos ‘A Warm Thursday in July’  and they give a fair indication of what the garden looks like at any given time during the summer.

front garden flower border

How would I describe the Rosebank garden? 

Nothing too fancy, a country garden  - full of flowers, shrubs and home-grown veg - somewhere that is not too organised  - some might say, a bit of a jumble.  It has a table and chairs on the patio for when I fancy eating or reading out of doors – a pond for the fish and one for wildlife -  and a bench at the top of the garden for catching the last rays of the afternoon sun - sitting and taking in the colour and fragrance of my surroundings with a view of the open countryside beyond.  It isn't a sophisticated garden – it has just evolved -   but looks as though it should be there.

front garden flower border

It is a medium sized space and fairly manageable.  Every year the garden looks a little bit different as plantings change and shrubs and perennials grow and mature. It isn’t a showcase  for plants, I am not what you would call a ‘plants woman’ - I just want somewhere full of colour that I can potter round in a relaxed manner surrounded by beauty, a feast for the senses -  maybe wander up to the veg garden and pick a lettuce and some tomatoes for lunch or gather a posy of flowers for the house.

I need the garden to be somewhere that doesn't involve too much work, where I don't  have to worry about the weeds, or plants not being in the right place - it needs to be a respite from the pressures of the outside world - a retreat - and a solace for the soul.  

I get so much pleasure from the garden.  This one is the culmination of all the ideas that I have picked up from books, magazines, other gardeners and bloggers ideas and is still a work-in-progress.  Each year I sow different flower and veg seeds according to my whim and fancy, so the garden will never stay the same.  But the backbone is in place, and after that, I can play around all I want.

phlox

Some years it looks better than others, some years I am happier with it than others but  - however it turns out, everything that is growing is there because I put it there - my little piece of Eden - full of flowers, fruit and vegetables.  No matter that it isn’t to everyone’s taste – I care not – not one jot – all I care about is the pleasure it brings me.

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My garden may not be as neat and tidy as some, nor as unkempt as others – it may not be full of  the unusual - just  ordinary everyday plants  - but it suits me just fine. It ‘s where I spend hours of my time for three seasons of the year – sowing, planting, harvesting, pruning, weeding.  I can think of nowhere else I would rather be nor anything I would rather be doing than working in the garden that I have built from a derelict overgrown site. 

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Looking out of the rain spattered window today (Wednesday) you wouldn’t believe it was the same space as in the above pictures – I can’t quite believe it myself – but soon the garden will start to come to life again – the weather will begin to warm up as winter turns into spring – and I, for one, will be a very happy bunny.

summer container garden

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a vase full of sunshine

‘Til next time – enjoy a little summer dreaming with me.

p.s. Woke up this morning and found this had happened – pictures taken at 7.30 a.m. hence the strange light – yes, it snowed overnight – maybe, at last, I’ll be able to wear the snow boots I bought a couple of years ago and never had a chance to wear – till now – doesn’t it look magical!

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Back to the summer dreaming!

Comments

  1. It looks beautiful, I am a huge fan of the country cottage garden, much more so than formal spaces and it is what I aspire to having. Lovely post.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Out here in the country I want the garden to blend in with the surroundings and certainly don't think a formal garden would achieve that - I like to grow a bit of everything, I think it makes a garden more varied and enjoyable to work in.

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  2. Hello Elaine,

    Your hot summer borders do look beautiful. So full of energy and surely guaranteed to brighten even the dullest of days. And, we can imagine the scents as you have so many perfumed flowers in your garden which must be heavenly in the evening after a warm day.

    But, your snowy images are also magical. The bright, blue light has an iciness which has a beauty all of its own.

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    1. I do try and keep the hot colours together but then my plans go awry and I end up just planting wherever there is space - which does mean some unusual colour combinations.

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  3. Your garden is my kind of space, Lovely

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    1. Thanks Sue. I start off every gardening season with definite ideas as to how I want the garden to look but in the end it just becomes the usual mish-mash of planting which I rather like.

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  4. A lovely reminder of what is to come! We have snow here too! Suzy x

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    1. When I look out at the snow covered garden it is hard to believe that before too long it will be full of colour again.

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  5. So much colour Elaine and that is not as easy to achieve as it looks. No snow here, just wind rain and cold. Soon be Spring. And in the meantime there is the borrowed warmth from Rosebank!

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    1. Most of my planting is annual - so colour is easier to achieve - I also find that a lot of perennials just disappear so there is always plenty of space to fill.

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  6. Snow here too! Your garden sounds perfect to me, lovely photos of past summers looking forward to this year's summer:)

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    1. It's funny because this morning I went to the next village and they have no snow at all - we are quite high up here so we get the brunt of it - although it is fast disappearing and we have rain/sleet now.

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  7. You garden is lovely Elaine …. very much my kind of garden. Cottage gardens are my favourite, and, as much as ' jumble ' isn't the right word, I LOVE a jumble !!!!! Spring is only round the corner.
    Hope today goes as well as it can for you. XXXX

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    1. Thank you Jackie - it was always my intention to have a proper cottage garden but found that planting cabbages in amongst the flowers wasn't very successful - we have far too much lawn for my liking but husband does like the mowing etc. so it will have to stay - for now!

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  8. What a lovely mostly summery post to cheer us up on a wintry day. Flighty xx

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    1. It cheered me up just going through all the summer photographs - although I don't mind wintry days as long as the sun is out - today is rather nasty and miserable - but hey you can't have it all your own way.

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  9. It was so nice to see your garden. I strive here for an English cottage garden, but I am really just a dreamer. While such a garden is possible on the Great Plains of America, ie the prairie where it is hot and dry most of the time, it takes so much work and struggle, Along with you, I am dreaming of the garden in summer, but snow is on its way here, too. Happy winter, right. Loved seeing the landscape out of your window, too.

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    1. I do look forward to getting stuck in to the gardening again - fingers crossed for a good summer.

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  10. Looking at summer at Rosebank has lifted my spirits no end, I just love your garden and everything in it. I like a garden to have a natural feel and don't really like to see total order, nature is simply not like that.
    I hope the funeral went well. The snow is magical, it's so transforming, I do love it, especially if I don't have to go out. We have had hideous winds too, they sound all the more dramatic at night. Everywhere there are signs of growth now, the bulbs are coming up and leaf buds are forming on many plants and shrubs.....spring will be here before we know it!xxx

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    1. The funeral was for a fellow villager and most of the village turned out - it was very cold standing around in the churchyard but we all retired to the pub for a lovely feast and send off to a lovely old man. I managed to hold back the tears until the end when the closing music was Edith Piaf which did for me. His family recited his favourite poems during the service - it was very touching.

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  11. We have not received any snow Elaine, there appears to be a divide between up country and down country this winter. However, I too look forward to warmer climes and colour springing up from the earth again. I know that it is slowly on its way I can see the signs.

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    1. Yes, the snow seems to have been very selective we had a fair amount but it is already disappearing - in my mind winter isn't winter without a bit of snow.

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  12. Oh, you got even more snow last night than we had. Nice, but I prefer your lovely summer garden pictures, these colours cheer us up, I definitely need this. I'm glad your garden is also not too tidy, I like a bit of chaos.

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    1. I think the garden needs a bit of cold and snow to slow things down a bit especially after such a mild winter so far. But I do prefer summer I have to admit and I loved picking out the pictures to show and remind me of the pleasures to come.

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  13. Such contrasts to enjoy! Every season has its delights - and that summer looked especially delightful.

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    1. If we didn't have the cold winters then I suspect we wouldn't look forward to summer so much - I love that the seasons are so different - variety is the spice of life after all.

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  14. Elaine, you may say that you are not a "plants woman" but I beg to differ. Your garden looks full of happy and healthy plants which takes some considerable knowledge, skill and tender loving care to achieve. Thanks for a burst of sunshine and warmth on what is a most wintry day. By the way did you feel the earthquake earlier this week?

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    1. Thank you Anna - that makes me feel a whole lot better - it is a waste of time to compare my garden to others that I see - each garden is unique to that person's gardening style isn't it - and as long as it gives me pleasure that's all that counts. And no we didn't feel the earthquake earlier this week - was it a good one?

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  16. How lovely to see summer in our photos. Isn't it amazing how snow makes the light in photos a bluey colour, I noticed it here too.

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    1. Later in the day when I took more photos it wasn't as pronounced but I rather like the blue look.

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  17. It's not just your summer garden, but your enthusiasm for it, that raises my spirits. I even feel that I may tackle a small packet of seeds this spring.

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    1. I do find the garden an inspiration and writing about it makes me realise that I am a gardener down to my very bones. Have fun with your small packet of seeds.

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  18. It looks so magical Elaine!!! The snow is beautiful as is your garden!!! I love the color and and flow of your garden beds....they always bring me great joy seeing them! Thank you for the garden inspiration today. I needed it!! So sorry for your loss.....I hope that you get out in that snow with your boots this weekend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Thanks Nicole - oh yes, I wore my snow boots and my feet were kept very toasty, although I did bear a resemblance to Father Christmas (they are red) but as long as I don't wear a red coat as well I should be ok.

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  19. It's a good thing we can dream! I love a cottage garden. Mine at altitude is a jumble of color and texture - so much doesn't grow here, but each new growing season, I find some things that thrive. Enjoy your snow!

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    1. Of course our snowfall is pitiful against what you have but at least we have had some this year. There are always some plants that thrive whatever the conditions it is just a case of finding the right ones isn't it.

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  20. Elaine I am a winter person and I am not ready for summer yet LOL. I want more snow :)

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    1. Spring, I think, is my favourite season but I have quite enjoyed this winter so far, which is unusual for me - I haven't wanted to go into hibernation like I usually do.

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  21. I love your summer garden Elaine. The thing I enjoy most about gardens is that they are all so different....perhaps a reflection of the gardener. I wonder what yours says about you ??
    I am ready for Spring. I am getting tired of the cold wet rain, that we seem to have had for most of this Winter.
    I really do need the garden to start to dry out properly so that I can get outside, and do some work.

    We had a dusting of snow this morning.....it only stayed a while. Pretty but fleeting.

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    1. Hi Cheryl
      I agree everyone deals with their outdoor space differently - mine probably says that lazy, disorganised and unimaginative - 😊 we haven't had as much rain as you - more cold and windy. I'm a fair weather gardener these days - so am definitely looking forward to the warmer weather of spring when I can get cracking once more

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  22. A perfect time to remember the colors and beauties of summer! And what lovely summers you've had, Elaine. Even though we don't get the cold and wet winters you do, I'm still amazed at the abundance of spring.

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  23. I am really looking forward to spring to see the display of bulbs that were planted so long ago now. I hope they live up to expectations

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  24. Great shots, Elaine. Makes me feel warmer just looking. In the photo just past the one with the phlox, what is the yellow flower on the right of the photo that looks like Hypericum. It's the 7th photo from the bottom. Anyway, I remember the days before digital when I used to have to print all my photos (at a drugstore!) We're supposed to get a snow storm tonight.

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    1. Hi Jean - thanks for visiting. Yes that flower is a Hypericum - it is lovely but has really outgrown its space and needs a good chop but somehow I haven't the heart. I agree all the photos we take now would have cost a fortune in the old days - thank goodness for digital cameras. Hope the snow storm wasn't too bad.

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  25. Dear Elaine, your garden is beautiful! And I think the highest aim in gardening (as in life) must be: that first oneself loves it (of course one is pleased if others like it too).
    When we moved and I left my garden behind (where I had spent 19 years) it was a real, real ache in my heart. Now - years later - it is a beautiful keepsake - and as I have written a huge manucript about it (some translations are found on the early posts of my gardeninginhighheels-blog, and a very fine German publisher is thinking about it) I come to terms with it.
    I love the mixture of plants you have. And as you say: backbone, structure - and then one can do as one pleases (well, one can even without that, but it is easier :-)
    Fascinating in gardening is to 'know' where something will come up in spring - and then, each time, be astonished and overwhelmed by beauty again.

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    1. Thank you Britta - I would hate to not have a garden but expect I would survive, at least I have thousands of photos of it should I ever be required to leave it behind.

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  26. Hello Elaine,
    I love your garden. I like the way different flowers flow and grow next to each other. It truly looks magical. You have such a variety of plants , so lovely.
    You work very hard in it.
    Love this post. Taking us back to summer. I cant wait for spring and some warmer days.
    My garden, is looking a little forlorn at the moment.
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos of your special garden.
    The last two photos with the snow - looks like a picture post card.
    Happy Sunday
    Val xx

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    1. Thank you for your very kind comments Val they are always appreciated.

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  27. I've had summer on my mind too, trying to plan the flower beds and thinking of moving things around. You have some fab looking flowers in your photos.

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    1. It's that time of year isn't it when we start looking forward and planning and wishing for warmer days.

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  28. Your garden is beautiful, whether in the summer with all the wonderful flowers, or in that snowy beauty and wonderment. I hope that the funeral went as well as it could do. Hugs to you. xx

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    1. Thank you Amy - and yes, it was a good funeral as funerals go.

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  29. Beautifully written. There are so few spaces for flowers on my property, I must put them in random spots. A jumble it will be and I will love it.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say so. Looking forward to seeing your 'jumble'.

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  30. Oh Elaine - I so enjoyed your summer garden in the middle of winter. Everything looks so beautiful and your words as well as your photos are wonderful. Thanks for getting me to dream as well. Have a lovely week. Hugs

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    1. Hi Debbie
      Thank you for your sweet words - I only hope I can get the garden to look as good this year! Enjoy the rest of the week my friend.

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  31. Hi Elaine, It was wonderful to be reminded of summer again. Your garden looks so lovely in it's summer clothing. Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah - I hope I can get the same effect this year.

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