Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gardening and gratitude

Life News:

It must be spring. The fountain is back in the shrubbery and we have done huge amounts of gardening. A trip to Wisley for the Spring Fair yesterday furnished us with dwarf tulips, a red carnation, heuchera (Milan, as we already have Paris - I'm determined to grow my heuchera city names collection as they're the ones with the best flowers), three types of mint and a whole plantation of herbs. We've planted all these now in various places, with the mint plants going in one special pot, and the herbs going in another. Oh, and I also bought another shrub with pink flowers for the shrubbery.

Meanwhile the blossom on the apple tree at the front is looking utterly glorious and the bees love it too. If you stand underneath the tree in the afternoon, it's like being in a bee hive, it's so loud.

Today, K and I have, variously, taken out or radically pruned a couple of shrubs at the back which weren't doing any good to anyone, built a fence, and weeded, watered and mulched the shrubbery - the dark mulch is great, as it really brings out the variety of greens and the pink flowers beautifully. Will definitely be getting more of that one. I've also potted up some osteospermum plug plants to add to our collection in the summerhouse. We're also thinking of getting some red, white and blue phlox for the front especially for Jubilee Year, just to show willing, as you do! Oh, and I've cleared the weed tip near the fence at the front and we're hoping to put a euphorbia in as it's very shady there.

So, gardening city this weekend - well, it's certainly been the weather for it! There is other news, however, for the non-gardeners amongst us. I had a lovely time at Elstead Writers yesterday (hello, all!) and really can't wait for the next one. Such an amazing group. This weekend the clocks went forward so I'm missing my hour, that's for sure. However, I'm not the only one - the organist at church this morning didn't turn up until the second hymn, and though I think we bravely battled our way through the first one unaccompanied, it was definitely better when he arrived, phew. Plus K and I have bravely signed up to the electoral roll, which is usually the sign for imminent spiritual disaster to come on my part, but I'm hoping not, as I do like the church ...

On Friday, K was so utterly keen for cake that he actually cut out two perfect greaseproof paper circles and left them on top of the cake mix before he went to work. Ha! So no pressure then - but I think I muddled through and the lemon drizzle cake is going down a treat, I believe. I'm storing it in my new super-large cake storage tin, and am well on the way to becoming Elstead's Domestic Goddess, ho ho ...

And, inspired by the Lent course last week, I've placed two gratitude bowls on the hall shelf. There are lots of lovely white glass beads in one of them and every time I think of something nice that's happened, I put a bead in the emptier bowl. It's great fun and this weekend it's been filling up nicely, hurrah. That said, I did manage to spill the coffee over the living room floor, and wondered if I should return a bead to the original bowl, but I do understand it's not in the spirit of the thing, alas - and besides the floor downstairs is wood, so anything spilt is easy enough to wipe up, thank goodness.

Book News:

Don't forget there's still 30% discount on many of my Untreed Read books till the end of March, so if you fancy a literary, biblical or sci-fi story, now's your chance. I was also really pleased with a lovely review at Goodreads of The Heart's Greater Silence. Many thanks, KZ, for that. And I've been lucky enough to be one of the ten experts giving their opinion about publishing at the Book Marketing Buzz Blog.  Interesting times ahead, that's for sure.

And don't forget you can still win a FREE e-copy of fantasy novel The Gifting if you sign up for my newsletter. Go on - you know you want to ...

This week's meditation poem is:

Meditation 633
There is no requirement
laid upon us

to battle with the shadowed
mesh of the days to come

when each moment,
brightly lived and breathed,

possesses every treasure
to the utmost sum.

The Sunday haiku is:

Sunshine slows my day.
It soaks through my fragile skin,
soothes my cares away.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandria Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

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