End of Month View – December 2016

I have to admit that my lackadaisical approach to the blog and to a lesser degree the garden meant that I had forgotten about this month’s End of Month View post until Steve over at Glebe House Garden reminded me. Looking at his beautiful garden and great post put me to shame so here I am trying to do better!

To be honest I have struggled with the meme for most of the year, missing August and July completely.  I think it is because I started off the year with the intention of focussing on the front garden and I wrote a post about how awful it was.  I had intended to tweak and amend the front garden during the year and use the meme to help me improve things.  However, the January blog post led to me deciding to just bite the bullet and dig up the front lawn.  My son asked me today why I didn’t use the development of the Front Garden during 2016 as the theme for the meme and I had to confess that it was because I have a bad habit of not finishing things at the moment and I didn’t want to set myself up.  Anyway, behind the scenes the front garden has been transformed and I love it so maybe 2017 I will share it with you.

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Having decided not to continue with Plan A for the meme I had to quickly find an alternative area to focus on.  I remember feeling that I had covered most of the garden, it’s not very large, over previous years and I should focus on a part I didn’t show much.  The result was selecting Hugh’s Border to showcase – Hugh is the name of the willow owl that presides over the border.  The trouble is that the reason I don’t show this border much is because it continues to not be right and I’m not sure why or even how to address it.  The end of the border in which Hugh resides has been consistently in the shade for years whilst the other end has some degree of sunshine.  The shady end is planted with ferns and shade lovers but there is something lacking; as for the other end well to be frank I have perfected the art of looking over it from the bench to the rest of the garden which shows you how difficult I find it.

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However, now that my neighbours have removed the trees and to be frank scrubby hedge my garden is flooded with light.  At first I found the loss of the boundary plants challenging as I felt quite exposed but after a week or so it became more normal and I could see the huge benefits of the garden being opened up to the sun!  I am hoping that in 2017 I can really embrace this, particularly in relation to Hugh’s Border and finally get my head round coming up with a, for wont of a better word, theme for the border.  Something that will pull it together, give all round interest with some seasonal highlights.  The bench end has a pinky/red colour theme waiting to be unleashed building on the Prunus kojo-no-mai, Sorbus vilmorinii and Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’ flowers and fruit and I am thinking of adding a couple more Amnethela lessionia along the grass path side to mirror the other side and give a sense of movement or journey as you look down the path. In the meantime I think Hugh needs to come in for a bit of a tidy up.

Any one is welcome to join in with the End of Month View meme and you can use it how you wish – there are no rules.  Some people focus on one area, others give a tour of their garden – whatever works for you.  All I ask in return is that you link to my EMOV post in your post (provided I have done one of course!) and leave a comment on my post so others can find you.

 

 

Path

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“But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations” – Welsh poet Gwyn Thomas

Having to some degree drifted through life for the last 10  years or so in the same job, the same house and with little variation in my daily life or past-times 2016 has presented me with a number of new paths to traverse; some more tortuous than others.

The photographs on this post represent what I consider the most beneficial new path I have travelled this year.  As I have posted before my eldest set me a challenge to walk to the top of all the peaks of the Malvern Hills.  I have to admit to not having completed the challenge, there is one peak not ticked off, but the challenge has had unexpected benefits.  It has given me an appreciation of the joys of walking on the hills, well to be honest just walking in the countryside.  I particularly like walking first thing in the morning or early evening when it is quieter and the wildlife is more active. I am so lucky to live where I do that I can walk on the nearby common in the evenings during the summer – a fantastic way to de-stress after work.

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Work has been, and continues to be, a more uncertain path.  My job has changed significantly over the last year. There have been new challenges, some I feel I have risen to well and others not so much, my new role continues to be developed and it will probably be some months before it is all sorted and confirmed.  In the meantime I go through periods of extreme anxiety and self-doubt and have had to try to learn to manage these as best as I can.

This anxiety has impacted on other aspects of my life, and if I am honest I think I am still struggling with grief from losing my father just over two years ago.  In terms of my preferred past time of gardening it feels as though the path has been blocked for some time and I have tried various alternative routes around or over the blockage but none of them have been successful. Just as when you try to avoid a traffic jam by going on a long circuitous route only to find yourself behind the same car, I have realised that patience is what is needed.

However, one of my diversions has resulted a lovely new destination.  In need of an escape from my unfulfilling pastime activities I joined my local Embroiders Guild.  I have been welcomed by a lovely group of ladies and my enjoyment for sewing, particularly embroidery, has been truly reignited. Whilst the creativity of sewing is rewarding it is also the rhythm of embroidery, it is a wonderful calming experience.

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With 2017 just around the corner I now feel like I am moving forward more positively, more self-aware and with a new determination to do and achieve what I want to.

This post was written in response to the weekly wordpress photo challenge with the theme of ‘path’ – it wasn’t the post I intended but sometimes it is better to go along the unexpected path.

 

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