Tag Archives: Pennant Stone

If You Go Down To The Woods Today…

Reaching To The Sky,Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Most days walks with Real Live Rocking Dog take me along semi-wild woodland paths which closely hug the River Frome. I love witnessing the change of the seasons and the ever-changing flora and fauna.

Yesterday was mild and I was aware of the wonderful sound of birdsong. Spring really does feel as if it is on its way. There were huge splendiferous rugs of Snowdrops and budding Daffodils, Primroses, Violets and Celandines. In a month or two these wild blooms will be succeeded by carpets of bluebells and wild garlic. Later still there will be drifts of wild Foxgloves, Cow Parsley and Himalayan Balsam

On yesterdays’ walk I loved the towering bare branched trees reaching into the still grey winter skies. Such wonderfully dramatic silhouettes. Soon these giants will be cloaked with verdant lush greenery and provide nesting places for a variety of woodland bird species.

Dry stone walls were covered with impossibly green velvety moss and there were cascades of ferns tumbling down the Pennant stone “cliffs”. Everything really seems to be sparking into life, I just wish the mud would finally subside!

 

Rocking Dog Huddle tonight 7-9 at the kennel. Look forward to seeing you.

Whose Home?,Rocking Dog

Whose Home?

Abandoned Pipe,Rocking Dog

Abandoned Pipe

Mossy Wall,Rocking Dog

Mossy Wall

Cheery Celandines,Rocking Dog

Cheery Celandines

Snowdrop Rug,Rocking Dog

Snowdrop Rug

Wild Violets,Rocking Dog

Wild Violets

Primrose,Rocking Dog

Primrose

More Trees,Rocking Dog

More Trees

Tired Real Live Rocking Dog,Rocking Dog

Tired Real Live Rocking Dog

Sun Kissed But Dusty Kitchen Shelves

Sun Kissed Kitchenalia, Rocking Dog

Sun Kissed Kitchenalia

Cold outside but sun kissed inside!

This afternoon I managed to return into the garden to continue with dismantling the stone flower bed. Today saw a further six wheelbarrow loads of Pennant stone for my mountainous stone pile and more frustratingly a sizeable mound of previous owner, Mr Dursley’s rubble (sure the pile can be seen from the moon!)

It was easy to get rid of the lurid Greek mural in the bathroom together with the hideous mink brown suite and coordinating firework carpet. It was easy to chop up Mr D’s orange box bookshelves and even fairly straightforward to strip fireplaces of paint effects and crinoline ladies! Even felling fifteen or so life sapping conifers was a doddle compared to this rubble…..AGGGGGGHHHH! However somewhat thankfully the rubble contained no ancient prosthetic limbs or medical appliances. Many years ago a friend was greeted with a variety of rather macabre rubble when she cleared the overgrown garden of her Welsh cottage.

Grabbing my breath and a drink indoors I loved the warmth and beams of the winter sunshine. My kitchen shelves looked very spring-like with their eclectic collection of heirloom china kissed by the sun. I always find it amazing that we can live with furniture and things, often forgetting the beauty of some of the possessions we own. The blue and white Spode china sprigged with rosebuds belonged to my grandmother Emily. I have loved it for as long I can remember and continue to love it. There’s a little antique earthenware jug that was a housewarming present for our first home in Cardiff over thirty years ago, there’s a jug that was the family custard jug when I was little, and many charity shop finds.

The little glass “jars” are medical cupping glasses. These are of questionable age but in the past were used to treat conditions such as Pulmonary Tuberculosis. They are still used extensively in Chinese medicine. My set of glass cups are more likely to have Belgian chocolates under them rather than being applied to skin for some painful affliction.

The shelves themselves have not escaped Mr Dursley’s eccentric approach to DIY. To get the levels sorted he has used a dessertspoon for propping a shelf, its handle exposed for posterity!

So while I was readying myself to return to the unenviable task of Mr D’s rubble I admired my sunny shelves and tried not to focus on the cobwebs!

Spode and Charity shop Finds, Rocking Dog

Spode and Charity shop Finds

For Belgian Choc's, Rocking Dog

For Belgian Choc’s

Spot The Cobwebs, Rocking Dog

Spot The Cobwebs

I Am A Winter Person, Never Happier…..

Frosted Geranium, Rocking Dog

Frosted Geranium

“I am a winter person, never happier than on a clear frosty morning” Nigel Slater. I do indeed love the winter, the cold, the frost, but yesterday I felt sad. There was only one thing to get me out of my doldrums was to get my wellies on and move THAT wall! 6 hours and about twenty five wheel-barrows later, the wall is now a resplendent mountain of Pennant stone. So whilst Andyman has been skiing down his mountain i’ve literally been moving mine! I am now hoping that unlike four years ago the skier will come back in one piece. Selfishly, there are about ten trailer loads of rubble to take to the recycling centre.

I do believe that the past inhabitant Mr Dursley built the raised stone flower bed as a cunning method of secreting breeze blocks, concrete, bricks and other rubbly fodder. Having watched a programme about the stupendous Staffordshire Hoard only the night before, I was ever hopeful I may just find something wonderful whilst in the process of demolition. Alas my yield amounted to two pretty pieces of china, a jaw bone complete with teeth (a large dogs perhaps) and a little plaque (Past Times I rather think) with the words “Love is Enough”. Those words got me thinking a lot. Love is not enough, what about food, water, warmth, shelter, etc… etc… So that little saying kept my brain active for a little while and took my mind off the fact that my back was becoming increasingly crippled with the weight of some of those blooming boulders. It was only with the last barrow load that I remembered that one Christmas not so very long ago that I was recuperating from an emergency hernia op’……oops!

Another day should see me finish de-rubbling the ground in readiness for building the raised railway sleeper vegetable beds.
I have visions of some espalier fruit trees, soft fruits, and something that will look vaguely lovely to look at. I am no gardener but I do enjoy the thinking time. Andyman says he likes running for that purpose, but trust me the only thing i’m thinking about if i’m running is “I’m going to die!”

The rhubarb is on it’s way up, although I fear some of it got rather crushed with my bad wheelbarrow driving. We have about seven plants and we love it for use in both sweet and savoury dishes. We were really inspired to grow a sizeable crop after having been to Le Manoir for our 25th wedding anniversary lunch. The gardens there are truly wonderful and add to the whole fork to plate dining experience. Another good restaurant garden in the south west is The Walled Garden, Wrington.

So yes I felt a lot better after my 6 hours of stone moving. Gardening is definitely good for the soul but I wish I could say the same for my poor old back!

Rhubarb On The Rise, Rocking Dog

Rhubarb On The Rise

The Walled Garden, Rocking Dog

The Walled Garden

Fork To Plate, Rocking Dog

Fork To Plate