11 October 2007

What a great few days !!

I've only been away for a few days, but when I got back home the air felt cooler and smelled of Autumn. This is the first time I've taken a plane in a long time and I did it because I really needed to go and get back quickly. I feel very naughty flying, but I'm so glad I went because I really needed to see my friends and recharge my batteries a bit before winter comes.

The first night in the UK, I stayed with some old friends Jack and Anne. Jack picked me up from the airport and we got home in just enough time for Anne to show me round their lovely gardens and visit the bulb shop they opened this year, part of it is shown in this photograph.

We spent ages wandering around the garden and talking about plants and planting. I'm in awe of Anne's memory for Latin names. I remember the names I learned a long time ago, but I have the feeling that there's not a lot of room left for the new ones I've tried to remember ever since I've been learning French. How Anne can remember thousands of species and varieties of the bulbs she's got is a complete mystery to me.

Being able to wander around a garden owned by someone who will sell you the plants that you can see growing is great, but it's even nicer when the owner's a friend and she'll let you take all the ripe seeds you can find paper bags for!

I've watched their business grow with great interest. Jack and Anne were neighbours in Theydon Bois in a lovely house called Rose Cottage. Like me and many other people in the village, they opened their gardens each year to the public under the National Gardens Scheme, selling plants to raise funds for Cancer charities. They became well known for having unusual and interesting plants to sell and attracted a lot of visitors. Now, 11 years later, "Rose Cottage Plants" boasts an amazing collection of unusual perennials and possibly the best collection of bulbs you've ever seen - all available for sale in their on-line bulb shop. They have a website Rose Cottage Plants. with a superb informative Plant list - and this web page is only the "A"s!

Next day, I caught a train to Northampton where I was picked up by an internet pal and the day after, after a bit of gardening and a lot of cake baking, we made our way into the wilds of Wales where, at the wedding of one of our group the biggest treat of all lay in store - meeting up again with all the women I've been in contact over the past few years on the 'net - a bunch of women who have become a lifeline for me. We spent Saturday morning having fun decorating the couple's huge barn with plants and flowers, taking delivery and preparing all the fantastic local food to feed everyone.

The wedding was beautiful, in a tiny little church overlooking the Welsh valleys. The bride wore a glorious red dress with a magestic train and the groom wore the kilt.

Even the Welsh rain stopped just at the right moment when we left the church to make our way back to the reception which was a grand affair, with afternoon tea and hundreds of home made cakes and later in the evening, a huge barbeque of Highland cattle burgers and steaks, followed by fireworks.

The atmosphere was lovely and it was great to share such a happy day surrounded by so many wonderful women. Still, all good things must come to an end and late the next morning, after cleaning up the barn and finishing off our swopping session (which is always an exciting part of our get-togethers) we headed back to the Midlands to meet up with another friend who couldn't make it to the wedding but wanted to see us and get some things from the swops and we shared yet more cake. The following day I caught the plane back to Bergerac - exhausted but full of energy and inspiration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the crane desire to get away from the chemtrails.

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