Long term readers might remember Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 was a multitalented artist, but if you are new, this will probably be news.
This is the Green Man, taken today in 2007, which Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 sculpted out of clay for our second house, the one in Barnsley. It is a hollow plant pot holder with an entry on the top which you can’t see from this angle. We coated him in yogurt before putting him outside so that the moss would grow over his face.The idea was that he would age through time and become greener and greener with the moss and his ivy hair would add to the effect.
I don’t know what he looks like now but I’m sure he’s doing well.
One of my most favourite flowers is the pansy. They’re so vivid in colour and they really brighten up a garden. Our garden in Leamington Spa was big but lacked any colour apart from green. So, while Mrs Gnomepants was away from the house, I nipped out to Homebase and bought a shed load of pansies and other flowering plants and popped them in plant pots, hanging baskets and in beds. Eventually they bloomed and made the beautiful colour display you can see in the collage above
Bluebells are always pretty but their beauty and vividness are never truely captured by cameras. With the COVID-19 thing, we thought we’d miss this years bluebells but we managed to see some in a wooded area on our recent government approved exercise hour.
Today’s picture took me awhile to work out where it was taken. It seems it was taken at Berrington Hall near Leominster in Herefordshire near to where Zoe and I stayed when she went to a talk by Phil Rickman. As was this picture —
I love growing rhubarb me. I’m not overly keen on eating it, though I will, but I love growing it.
My grandfather had a fine crop of rhubarb behind his greenhouse. My dad would often relate how he would have to go out with a bucket after the milkman’s horse so he could collect the manure for the rhubarb. He prefered custard though.
Today’s picture shows a crop grown from a head provided by old friend Carole. It has fired the rhubarb growing urge once more and, once I have a job, an income and allowed to go out, I intend to get a new head of rhubarb for our tiny garden.
Imagine nobody had a garden. Then one day somebody says “Hey look! I’ve got a garden!” people would come looking at the garden and go “Wow! This is cool, I would like a garden too”. Then gradually people started making gardens. Eventually, the majority of people had a garden. The impressiveness of the first garden would wane and you’d go “You’ve got a garden? So what!?”
Well the internet is like that. When new innovations come out people go “oooh that’s good” and try to imitate the innovation until such a point as the idea becomes common place. Think blogs. When blogs started out few people had the means or inclination to do a blog. It was innovative. But over time EVERYONE got a blog. The blogosphere became flooded with blogs and now it seems the world and his wife has a blog.
The same with websites. Twitter accounts. Podcasts. So on and so forth.
Eventually the lone voice becomes buried under the cacophony of noise and unless you become innovative and remain fresh you no longer stand out from the crowd, you can build it, but they won’t come if they have their own.
This is just something I have been thinking about lately.
Spring flowers are blossoming everywhere lately. The Camilia at the front of Gnomepants Manor is a shock of pink and looks very pretty. Furthermore, the well tended gardens at the front of the town hall in Barnsley are awash with fragrance and colour. As the daffodils of March die back, the tulips of April thrust skywards bold and proud and here and there blue flowers mix with yellows and light reds. It’s such a lovely sight to see.
Such sights remind me of childhood haunts. One being the hidden garden in Reynolds Park, Liverpool. The garden is a walled enclosure which traps the variety of strong fragrances and the warmth of the Equinoxal sun. Paths lined with memorial benches twist and turn between the flower beds. The benches remind the living of those who have passed before and how much they too loved the area.
Indeed, the gardens in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, though a shadow of their former self, also pay tribute to those who seek sanctity and serenity in such locations. If you know where to look, there are walled gardens and forgotten Victorian hot houses brimming with fragrance and colour.
It should also be noted that at this time of year the colour green is a lot more vivid than at other times. The new leaves of the privet and yew hedges are striking and the twists and turns of climbing rose bushes ready themselves for their May blossoms.
Do you have a secret garden near you? Do you visit gardens such as these? If not why not? Simply saying “I don’t go to such places because there aren’t any near me” is just a cop out. Get out this weekend. Go see natures show. Rest a while in the sun, breathe in the scents and think momentarily, how people love these places.
Last night I dreamt I got the wrong bus home. I ended up going to Huddersfield over the mountains. Of course it had snowed and the road ended up being closed. Thankfully someone on the bus had a mobile phone ringtone that sounded like my alarm clock so my journey was cut short.