07:: Good Things Gathered

Good morning, friends, how are you? It’s Friday, so you know what that means– another Good Things Gathered post awaits!

This one is coming to you a bit late, as I am writing it Friday morning as the sun comes up. Springtime has awoken here where I live, and with it all the bloomy trees that require allergy medicine and it’s knocked me for a loop a bit! But I wanted to share with you a few Good Things today, and I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Down to Earth by Monty Don is a book I’ve got very much at hand right now, as it’s full of great gardening wisdom and inspiration. In the introduction of his book Monty shares “Every garden is a work in progress and is complete as our lives are today. It changes. Always. It can always get better. It often gets worse. Be part of the change. Be flexible.” Many of of us know Monty Don from the UK television show “Gardener’s World.” If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s soothing and inspiring and takes you through the gardening year– from what chores need to be done in the garden to visits to wonderful gardens around the UK. If you’re in the US, you can stream it via BritBox, and new episodes are added on Fridays.

2. Helen Allingham’s England is a book that recently came to me in the mail as I’d ordered it used off of Thriftbooks. I am really pleased with it, as it not only showcases her artwork, but is also a pretty thorough biography of the artist who did so much of her work in the late Victorian period. Helen Allingham was an English watercolor artist whose life story is somewhat like an English version of a Louisa May Alcott novel. She was born in 1848, the first of 7 children of a country doctor and a mother who came from a very artistic family. After her father’s death in her early teens, Helen is taken under the wing of an artist aunt and sent to school to learn to make art, mostly so that she can earn money to take care of her widowed mother and younger siblings. With her talent and work ethic, Helen– then Helen Paterson- finds herself creating a modestly successful career as a painter and also an illustrator for the popular magazines of the era. Later she meets her husband, the Irish poet William Allingham, who is very supportive of her career. With him, she takes an interest in preserving the vanishing English countryside, and creates a massive amount of artwork showing the beauty of English cottage life. Her cottage paintings were massively popular in her lifetime and continue to be. They have become something of a historical record now, as her work depicts English cottages that have completely vanished, or show existing cottages before they were modernized. If you enjoy English art or cottage art, I highly suggest the book. Her life story is also very interesting.

3. I’ve also been making entries in my Garden Journal, which I have as a booklet and as a PDF download in my etsy shop. The journal begins with spring, so now is the time to start a fresh one! My goal with the journal is that after a year of taking notes, I’ll be able to have a pretty detailed picture of how my garden grew to refer back to in the future. Like Monty Don says in his book, a garden is an ever changing things, and is different from one year to the next. It’s always nice to have something to look back on when wondering when something bloomed, something was planted, what worked and what didn’t.

4. I’m also drinking a lot of tea (still! And forever?) these days and enjoying early spring blossoms planted inside or bought in bouquets. The hyacinths have bloomed out and and are now falling over under their own weight on the dining room table. Soon I’ll plant them outside and let them die back further on their own so they will bloom again next year. I’m also loving simpler daffodil bouquets that I’m finding at the grocery store these days. I had never realized that they had such a fresh, lovely scent.

Well, these are the good things I have gathered for you today! I hope you enjoy them! And I hope you are well. The next post will come when we’ve crossed the threshold into April, can you believe it? Onward we go, thoroughly into spring.

Take Joy!~ H

And for a treat– here’s a promo for Garden’s World to watch and see if it’s something you might enjoy! This video is from a couple of years ago, and is pre-Covid, but the show has managed to grow and adapt and go on, even while the country is under lockdown– which is impressive! Here’s the clip- enjoy!

5 thoughts on “07:: Good Things Gathered

  1. Monty Don is new to me but who doesn’t just love a British gardener talking about his passion along with some of his garden experts? I am going to look up his show and see more. My garden journal you created is packed full each month. It is amazing what is going on all the time once you put it down on paper, and it is fun to go back over the past months and read what was happening. Plus adding lots of weather notes has been a neat addition. Did you know that the upcoming March full moon is called the Pink Moon? It celebrates the pink Phlox that are in bloom. Here in Florida, Phlox grow wild along the rural roads. They can be a beautiful sea of pinks, purples and a few whites for about a month. I never knew this tidbit of information but now my journal has all the names of the moons for the months that they exist. The April moon will be called the Worm moon because many species of birds, like Robins, are happy to be able to find them in the warming and greening grassy areas.

    We have been drowning here in Florida in thick Pine, Oak, and Grass pollens for the last 6 weeks! This year has been especially heavy and hopefully, we are now a few weeks away from it being over. Everything has a thick yellow cover of Pine every day no matter what!

    Your Hyacinth are beautiful and I have enjoyed my purple and pink ones too. The Tulips are rapidly losing their grandeur but they were beautiful for about a week, I found a pot of little baby purple Hyacinth at the grocery store again today, so I have hopes it will be around in bloom for Easter weekend.

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    1. It is so fun to watch everything wake up and green up, isnt it? The yard changes here every day! I just planted the hyacinth in this arrangement out in the yard yesterday evening, so it can bloom again next spring. Nothing better than a table arrangement that keeps on giving! I do love the old fashioned names of the moon, don’t you? The full moon was gorgeous last night!

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  2. I was just making notes in my journal this morning and noticed that I mixed up the name of the spring moons that I posted yesterday. March is the Worm moon and full moon is tonight, March 28th. April is the Pink Moon for the blooming Phlox. Learning all these new moon names has not sunk in properly yet. My apologies!!

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    1. No worries! The different moons usually have different names each month, depending on the tradition you’re using to name them. The worm moon does seem fitting for these days, I’ve got robins out foraging in the yard right no! 😀

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