Auricula Gallery from the Northern Section’s Cheadle Show 2019

Flowers with yellow eye, white ring, black feathering and green edge

Green edged Primula auricula

After writing my last post it occurred to me that I might have the chance to realise my long-held ambition and go to an auricula show. It was a timely thought: the N.A.P.S.’s Northern Section’s auricula show was held at Kingsway School in Cheadle on Saturday. Visitors were ‘warmly welcomed’ from 2 o’clock onwards, so I headed on down. Bargain hunters may like to note there was no admission fee and a whole table of cakes were being offered at the knockdown price of £1 per slice.

In the hall, people were peering at rows of circus plants with button shaped flowers in bright, bold colours decorated with rings, stripes, powder, and fancy edges.

Neat cluster of grey edged auricula flowers

Edged show auricula ‘Sea Peep’

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Fern Frozen Against A Mossy Moor

Frost-covered fern lying on moss

An old, unflattering rhyme I’ve never liked calls my home town’s moors bleak and barren. Perhaps if you don’t like moorland or have never taken the time to walk on it, you might think so. I suppose some people might care little for what walkers can find on a winter day up there by venturing a few steps off the path.

If you follow my blog you can expect to see brighter, bolder pictures of plant combinations taken in gardens or at flower shows, where skilled, creative hands have put together their best for public consumption.

I’m not sure you’ll see any plant combination I could look at with much more pleasure than this.

In the textures of the frozen vegetation, I seem to see fabric: the fern becomes lace; the moss, wool or velvet. The colours are alluring too: sage, mint and chocolate, the latter frosted to mink. Nothing is jazzy, all is harmonious. I’d love something to wear in a design inspired by this.

It may appear haphazard – there are a few wayward stems, but the fern and strands of grass have surrendered to the frost gracefully and a natural order is appearing – of sorts. Towards the top left, a thaw has started.  Continue reading

Looking Out From The Limestone Paving Above Malham Cove

Fields, trees and a footpath leading to a village viewed from a cliff

View from the limestone pavement over Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales

I enjoy walking, especially through a garden or in the countryside, but words (as so often) matter: you’ll find me less keen to set out if the journey might best be described as a climb or hike. So it took my sister (for whom hills are little more than hiccups) several seasons to get my sweetheart and me to accompany her to this point, where we could look out over the edge of a broad expanse of limestone pavement above Malham Cove in Yorkshire. Thanks little sis – it was fun and you know I’d never have done it without you!

You might recognise the pavement from scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows if you’re a fan. I was fascinated by the pavement itself: its deep cracks and the odd bits of ferns and wild flowers that somehow have a foothold on life within it.  Continue reading

Morris Dancers at the Saddleworth Rushcart

Morris Dancers

My sweetheart and I love going to the annual Saddleworth Rushcart to watch the morris dancers. It’s very British: a happy day, where old traditions are celebrated – colourful, good-humoured fun, with just enough of an element of ‘why would they do this?’ to keep the crowd wondering.

Did I mention they drag a massive cart of rushes up a lengthy hill before the dancing starts?

I always enjoy watching the faces of the dancers – some seem to be feeling pure happiness; others are concentrating hard, or lost in the flow. It surely can’t be easy wearing those heavy floral hats! Continue reading

Grasmere: an uplifting walk round the poet’s lake

Grasmere lake view

During our visit to Grasmere yesterday, clouds lay low over rolling hills, but the greyness just added atmosphere to the water, hills, woods, dry stone walls, ferns and wildflowers along our way.

Grasmere woodland view

We’d stopped off here to walk around the lake: my idea of exercise! Our route took us past houses, lakeside businesses, farmland and woods before swinging down to the path around the shore.  Continue reading

Artichokes and allotments

This weekend we were lured to a Yellow Book charity open day in a thriving community garden, Mossfield Allotments in Urmston, by promises of fruit, veggies and flowers, gardeners we could chat to, a brass band & all the cake we could eat for 50p per slice. Now, that’s a North West day out! You might call it entrapment for people of our ilk.

Artichoke crop

I loved this artichoke plant I saw in one of the allotment gardens, but I’ve had to crop it quite tightly as my iPhone’s narrow depth of field makes the background very distracting. The blue and turquoise supports at the top make a frame of sorts, though I’d magically whisk them away if I had the editing skills.  Continue reading