Friday, May 15, 2009

Cherub Garden

This is the view out of my kitchen window. Our house plot is less than 540 meters square so I try to make the most of every little bit of gardening space I can. When we first moved into Bumble Bee Cottage our furniture was stuck on a dock in England but fortunately the people we purchased the house from had left it partly furnished and were more than happy to let us have their old furniture as it saved them having to get rid of it. Included in the things left behind were some gardening tools. After enduring eight weeks in a two bedroom flat being to frightened and stressed to drive far for fear of becoming lost in the lanes I was so excited to get outside and do some gardening. So I began on our first weekend in the house, two days after we moved in. This raised garden bed is fairly small and there were a lot of plants in there which were not to my 'plan'. If you ask Mr Bee he will tell you I always have a 'plan' of some type on the hop. So chop, chop, chop and out all the plants came except the espalier conference pear tree and three roses, all pink. This became my pink, white and pale blue bed.

The lady we bought the house from came over the following week to collect some mail and literally stopped dead in the middle of the kitchen floor when she caught a glimpse of the view from the kitchen window. All her hard work was now destroyed with only four plants still standing. I could tell she was a gardener as the garden was well cared for but it was different from what I wanted. I think she was in a little shock at the fact they had only sold us the house six days before and that I had caused such destruction in such a short period of time.

I hope she would forgive me if she saw it now, preparing to burst into flower.

My children bought me this cherub for Christmas four years ago. He was scrubbed with bleach and wrapped in cardboard, making the long journey from Brisbane to Guernsey in one piece; thank goodness.

Mr Bee dubbed this plant the Triffid as it came up by itself last year. I was convinced it was some type of perennial so I let it grow. A large flower head poked up and Mr Bee said if there were strange lights in the sky one night he was going to take to it with an axe before it ate us. It is some kind of pink poppy (I think) and it has self seeded throughout the cherub garden. There are about ten of them this year; perhaps it is part of their evil plot for world domination but hey they suit the colour scheme, are very pretty and, best of all, are completely free!

The people we bought Bumble Bee Cottage from built this house in 1987 hence the wall plaque.

I bought this little cast iron bird bath three Christmases ago in Evandale in Tasmania, Australia. The bird bath together with three other pieces of cast iron work were jammed into my luggage for the trip back to Brisbane. My bag had to have one of those 'warning ridiculously heavy bag - what has she got in here the kitchen sink!' labels on it. I didn't think a bird would actually use it, I just liked it for its decorative look. Imagine my surprise that within a few days of my placing it in the garden not only were birds drinking from it but bathing as well. They get right down low in the bath with their chests and ruffle their feathers, then standing upright to spray water every which way with a good old flap about.

My two metal birds come from the Fremantle Markets in Perth in Western Australia. Mr Bee has alot of family there so we try to visit fairly regularly. They were shiny when I bought them but the artist promised that they would rust up to a lovely finish. He was true to his word.

These too were jammed into my luggage. When I bought them Mr Bee did raise an eyebrow and enquire how, pray tell, was I going to get those home as they are rather long. I told him not to worry and just leave it to me that I would take them on as hand luggage if need be. This was in the days prior to psycho security measures of course, otherwise they probably would have claimed that they were a deadly object and confiscated them. It is probably lucky that I do not have that many clothes as I always seem to come home from holidays with something difficult to transport.

Finally my delphiniums have unfurled their flowers. I have been eagerly anticipating this for a few weeks. They are truly gorgeous. In Brisbane I always dreamed of growing traditional cottage garden plants and finally I can. Last year when I planted these their flowers were only half this size. Growing perennials is certainly a different prospect to plants that I have previously grown.

I just love them. It sounds silly I suppose but sitting outside with the kids racing around while I am watering my garden always makes me feel happy inside, that everything is right in the world.

I planted this rose last year so this is its first flower. I wish I had photographed it before the petals were bruised by the rain but nonetheless it is lovely. I am looking forward to enough blooms to have a bunch on the kitchen bench.


  1. My Delphiniums are still really tiny, but we are quite a way up north. Your garden is looking lovely.

  2. I love a garden with many colors and smells. Look like your small garden is giving you abundant pleasure. When we vacation I bring all my clean old clothing that I would normally give to good will and toss them out at the end of the day after wearing them. I figure I am wearing clean clothing and it is not like I need to make a fashion statement. By the end of the trip my suitcase is empty and I can bring home the kitchen sink if I wanted to. I also bring bubble wrap & tape with me because I always buy a few tea pots that need extra TLC in my suitcase. Your little birds are adorable and so is the darling angel who is keeping watch. Glad you were able to bring them with you before the airport security mega rules went into effect.