The year is drawing to a close and I’m suffering! I’m not asking for sympathy, I have a virus, and I’ll soon be right as rain. However, it has meant that I can’t do the walk that I wanted. Undaunted I realised that I don’t need to go as far as I planned.
I decided to take stock! To take stock of my immediate environment, and to share a secret with you. I make no apologies for the fact that some of these things might have been shown before, but each of the photographs were taken freshly this morning, and they are all within 100 steps
Our little herb garden is close to the back door. It’s the best place, of course, not far to run when the rains fall as heavily as they have recently. This is a variegated sage. The texture is rough, easily visible in the picture. The blotches of colour subtle. Of course it isn’t grown for either, it’s smell is pungent and the savoury taste goes well with meat etc. It also is a useful plant for dyeing. There are techniques that create imprints of the leaves, and they can be placed in patterns that will reveal themselves after a day or so. (Did you guess that I couldn’t stay away from my craft for long?)
Close by is a patch of bare earth, or rather, there was a patch of bare earth. The recent winds have deposited some dried leaves. It’s been too wet to remove them, but just look what has appeared also. A tiny violet is already peeping through. The day started with sun, and it shone brilliantly while I photographed, now it is as dark as night and raining again. This little plant just shows that we must never give up or be despondent – there is always something good around the corner.
I make no apologies for showing this plant again and again Beautiful bronze leaves all summer and delightful pink flowers that just go on and on during the darkest of winter months. Already there is the promise of leaves, although the part of the picture that showed them is too out of focus to show you today.
From another view you can see how delicate the tree is from the distance. Next year I might do my 100 steps inside the greenhouse, part of which you can see above. That would be interesting – lots of colour and textures at the height of summer. The shed in the background is very tidy! I’m not allowed in there…… ;)
The old and the new. Sorry it isn’t in focus. The old seedheads of the michaelmas daisies mingle with the leaves and new soon to be open shoots of the rhododendron. In May and June it will give us glorious red florets, a joy to behold.
Now for the secret. Does this look a mess? It is the quietest corner of the garden, and we leave it untouched. Underneath the laurel is a secret walkway. It’s used by foxes and badgers during the night on their way to who knows where. We have seen them, often in fact, but they are best left undisturbed.
More promises and things to encourage us to face a new year. The Californian Poppies are one of my favourite flowers. They are so brash and vibrant. They shout out ‘Look at ME!’ It is from one of last year’s exploded seeds, and has chosen to set up ‘house’ alongside a little polyanthus which is looking a little moth-eaten at the moment. I’m sure it will ‘buck up’ in the spring.
Close by are more remnants of last year. These seedheads of a yellow clematis are so very delicate. I don’t like to see them cleared away until the last possible moment. They are lodged into the base of a Japanese anenome which is refusing to ‘lie down’ as you can see.
And we end with one of the choisyas. The long fingered leaves intertwining and weaving a magic. Those deep purple buds will open to white, starlike flowers with a glorious evening scent. It won’t be long, just a few short months.
I hope you have enjoyed my 100 steps today. I could have shown you much more, but that will wait for another day. Thanks for coming with me, and if you would like to take part and show us 100 steps in your area you can find out more here. Make the most of the next few hours. 2013 is almost here. None of us wipe the slate clean and start with a clean sheet, if you need to settle anything now is the time to do it. That is more important than making resolutions. I won’t be making any of those, but I do have other things to do…….