SquareUp: Sempervivum in a Cage of Rocks

Sempervivum in a cage of rocks

Just a quickie today: I’m bidding farewell to another fine month of squares, with a caged up succulent. I never look at this picture without wondering if the sempervivum is rooted or balanced there.

Thanks as always for being a wonderful host, Becky!

Dry Stone Wall At Christmas

Red Christmas baubles hung on a dry stone wall

Wishing a very merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and a happy day to everyone else.

It’s clear and frosty here, as if nature has silvered every surface in celebration. Other parts of the UK woke up to find the outdoors gift-wrapped in an artistic smattering of snow.

This year is different. It is hard to feel unmixed joy, but perhaps all joy has a poignant character we usually don’t notice. Continue reading “Dry Stone Wall At Christmas”

Stone In The Northern English Landscape

Bronte bridge
Brontë bridge as it is now

Today’s post is a celebration of stone. I’ve grown up seeing it used for buildings, country walls, and paths and miss it when I spend time in places where it is not so readily available. Stone is ancient and helpful: it softens, steadies, anchors.

My first stone bridge has pedigree. It’s one that the Brontë family used to cross the river across from the waterfall on the path that leads over the moor from Haworth to Top Withens. Actually the original bridge was swept away in a flood and this is a replacement, made to a similar design.  Continue reading “Stone In The Northern English Landscape”

Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

Eight stone owls with etched details and yellow eyes

If the idea of gardening merely prompts memories of garden chores such as leaf-blowing, mowing, edging, dead-heading, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to engage in large scale owl-shifting.

Hearing Sherra Owen (whose garden these owls inhabit) on MPB radio reminded me that I had not yet shared my picture of her stone owl log. It is unfair of me not to say once again what a wonderful woodland garden she has, but she’s such a lovely person, I feel sure she won’t mind. Even her wooden fence thrills me, to say nothing of her trilliums, hellebores and other woodland ephemerals.

Apparently one of the things about encouraging owls to roost on fallen timber is that the wood decays and the owls fall… or rather they would, if the lady in question did not move them to a freshly fallen log. Continue reading “Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden”