Tag Archives: Great gardens

Happiness – one week & five things that helped #3

The weather took a major turn for the worse this week (12-19 May 2017) – it’s hurled down for most of the week, the garden certainly needed it – everything was really parched. But, all the rain meant I didn’t get into the garden much, let alone anywhere else. I’ve also been feeling very tired, and arthritis pain is high.  However, I’m continuning to note down activities, people and things that make me happy or I’m grateful for.

As ever, major thanks to Suzy from www.fromthefringe.co.uk who hosts this weekly gratitude link up.  I think she’ll recognise the lighthouse, as she lives around the corner from me 🙂 Also to Emma from www.misspond.co.uk who inspired me to blog and also writes regular posts on Happiness.  Thank you ladies. One of the things, I love about blogging is meeting (usually virtual) new friends, finding a community and developing a network of people all around the world. I’ve been very grateful for them all these last couple of years.

Here are five things that helped bring me happiness this week:

1. Hen Do arrangements 

Officially, according to tradition (recent tradition, mind you), I shouldn’t be organising my own hen do – but I am.  It’s because I have friends from various parts of my life work, locals, friends from uni, women’s institute and friends I met for random reasons over the last 30 years. My two UK bridesmaids have a lot on in their lives at the moment. One lives in London and is doing a Masters. The other is local to me in Lancashire, but she has a very hectic family life, busy life and her own 25th wedding anniversary do to arrange.   I thought I’d get the ball rolling so I asked everyone what they might want to do… So I’ve done a survey – I want to give people a chance to get to know each other, potter around Manchester, and also have some fun.  No dressing up, no tackiness, no clubbing (I’m too nackered). I am quite sure an Afternoon Tea will be involved 🙂

2. A visit to Salford Angels Women’s Institute 

I’ve been a member of Cottonopolis WI (since it started in January 2015), we meet in Ancoats, just north of Manchester city centre, on the first Wednesday of the month (7.30pm). Do come along if you’re a local. There’s always cake 🙂

I’ve written a few times about WI means to me; the fun, camping, adventures and excellent meetings and speakers – it’s most definitely not jam and Jerusalem – it’s been a campaigning organisation since its inception in 1915, lobbying for equal pay, The WI were founding members of both the ‘fair trade’ and ‘Keep Britain Tidy’.

One of the great things about all the new WI’s around Great Manchester is we do lots of joint activities and people attend other WI meetings – so I know ladies all over the city.  So on Thursday I went off to see the Salford Angels and had a lovely evening, with plenty of cake.

3. A walk around our neighbourhood – Monton in Salford

My Chap and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood after we’d had our tea. It’s something we do often in the summer evenings. We have a good look at all the flowers and plants in front gardens, noticing plants for our garden.  It was lovely to chat about this and that, nothing complicated or heavy, just a good chat and a laugh or two.

We are lucky to live in Monton, in Salford. It’s very green place, the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of my street, Worsley Woods are a mile, or so away, and there’s a couple of golf courses (not that we play – but there are many footpaths).  There’s even a parkrun at the end of our street.

It has a lighthouse that’s 30 miles from the North Sea (it’s really a garden shed) – just another reason why Monton is a bit quirky.

Red and white lighthouse, with two canal barges by the Bridgewater Canal

19 May 2017 – the lighthouse by the Bridgewater Canal, at Monton, Salford -30 miles from the sea!

4. Lunch with my pal C

I had a great time catching up with my good pal, hearing all her news and discussing my news – it really lifted my spirits. She’s a good listener. I’ve known C for over 12 years, we shared an office at work. She’s an IT geek and I’m not 🙂 Our birthdays are a couple of days apart, we usually go out to celebrate our birthdays, involving cocktails. Annual trips to Manchester Christmas markets, days out to Dunham Massey. Shes part of the Cottonopolis WI posse too – and obviously, she and her husband will be at our wedding in September.

5. My Gardening magazines arrived

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I love our garden and gardening.  Ive been a bit lax about take part in In a Vase on Monday recently, but I’ve got my eye on some margarites for next week. Bloggers get involved from all around the world. Their beautiful flowers lift my mood when I’m feeling low. This link hosted by Cathy at:

This week my Gardeners’ World and Royal Horticultural Society Magazine arrived. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking through deciding what we might plant, or if money and space were available. The Gardeners’  World is very accessible for beginner gardeners like me, the RHS one helps with plant pests, plants that might suit our shady, north facing soggy back garden – and Latin plant names too.

We’ve been to RHS Tatton Park garden show most years (we are going again this year), but I only got around to joining RHS last year.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that the 5th RHS garden Bridgewater will be a mile or so from our house up the canal (hence it’s name). It’s great for Salford in so many ways, not least employment and training. Watch this space, as it develops – work has started, it opens in 2019 – the plants need time to grow 🙂

What have you been grateful for this week?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx

This weekly gratitude post covers:

  • Week 3 – Friday 12 May – Thursday 19 May 2017
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Lilac, pincushions, tulips and recycled glass – In a Vase on Monday

I managed to dodge the torrential rain to get my contribution to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ – late as usual but I’ve got a very good excuse.  I picked lilac from a dwarf tree my mum gave me last year, an anemone, the last  purple tulip, some Scabiosa (often called pincushion plants), and  the greenery is from a white potentilla which hasn’t started flowering yet.

recycled glass tealight, aemone, lilac, tulip,

In a vase on Monday – 18 May 2015

The vase is actually a tea light holder made from recycled glass with a little metal hook.   I bought it at the Eden project a couple of weeks ago – as you can imagine they use a lot of recycled materials and there are some really lovely things on their website shop.  I liked the colour combination of shades of purple/lilac and a bright green.

Do have a look to see what other people have picked over at Cathy’s blog – Rambling in the Garden

She’s got a rainbow of colours and ribbons this week – it really cheered me up – Thank you Cathy.

The lilac bush smells wonderful – it’s sitting next to my bistro table at the bottom of my garden – not that we’ve had much time to sit outside as it’s been very wet and windy.

lilac bush - views from a garden bench

dwarf lilac bush – May 2015

I haven’t been around much recently on the blog or in Manchester – we were in Cornwall ‘on holiday’ for a week which definitely wasn’t enough time.  I fellt like I’d just skimmed the surface of Cornwall. We are already planning our next visit, probably in September.

Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been horrendously busy. Big life issues have got in the way to say the least – a very old, close friend of mine died very suddenly at the end of April; pals from University and I organised his funeral last week. We are all in a state of shock.

image

So we had a lovely, but very weird holiday to Cornwall, we were staying in beautiful cottage Charlestown with a view of the sea from the windows. Charlestown is an 18th century port (with its own tall ship) on the edge of St Austell with a couple of restaurants, pubs and a lot of craft/art shops. Good walks along the cliffs locally too.   I’ll write in more detail about our holiday another time.

Life Guard Hut - St Ives

Life Guard Hut – St Ives – May 2015

We visited:

  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan
    I have wanted to go to Heligan for a very long time. The rhododendrons were  out near the house; they were stunning and over 60 foot high; there is just so much to see there all year round.
  • The Eden Project This was our 2nd time – we visited September 2014 – this time the aerial walkway in the tropical dome was open and the view was stunning.
  • Caerhays Castle
    it has the national collection of magnolias but we went to see the camellias, rhodenendron and azaleas – There are miles of forest walks and we saw four people all day.
  • St Ives – wonderful place the sea was turquoise and the sand was white – it was very, very windy the day we went though.  My Chap finally got to go inside the Tate Gallery – he was very happy.
  • Looe – the sea was out, so not a lot of fishing boat activity, but there were some great fishmongers.
  • Polperro – the archetypical 18/19th century Cornish fishing village but it seemed to be full of holiday cottages and v shabby.

And alot of walks along the sea and cliffs – throwing stones in the sea and listening to Ludovico Einaudi.
If you’re local – do to Caerhays and Heligan before the rhododendrons  and azaelas  go over. You won’t regret it.

There are many wonderful gardens in Cornwall – have a look at the Great Gardens of Cornwall

*****

It has been the hardest and weirdest few weeks of my life but I know I’ll get through this difficult time.

They say it’s better to bury your sadness … In a garden that waits for the Spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green.   Conor oberst – musician – www.conoroberst.com/

I’ll do this though my sadness is very deep – I know gardening will help me.   The Great Gardens of Cornwall helped to replenish my soul and my Chap, my friends, my garden, the hills and the sea will do the rest.  That and the RHS Chelsea flower show on TV.

*****

Have a wonderful week everyone – Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx