A flash of winter light

I was trying to leave the house. I roved back and forth from room to room to recruit hat, gloves, rucksack, keys, coat, a large box of recycling to dispose of on my way up the street. Sometimes I have nightmares about not being able to leave the house, stuck in an endless gathering of things and keys and clothing. Anyway, on this day in my real, awake life, right at the point of triumph, just as I’d heaved the rucksack onto my back, the gloves onto my hands, the hat onto my head, the recycling into my arms, the keys in my hand, just as I thought that the wicked old universe had finally aligned its ambitions to mine, a sly slant of winter light flashed through the window and lit up an old metal jug that contained a spray of dried seedheads.


Down went the recycling, the gloves, the keys, the ambition to leave on time. Winter light never stays long, and it never comes back to the same place again.

My camera was nearby (occasionally it pays to be untidy). Already the light started to fade. I took my pictures, and then watched the light disappear. In no time at all it had gone.


I put down the camera. I retrieved keys, coat, gloves, recycling. I finally left the house.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I recommend visiting her page to see what she and many other garden bloggers across the globe have found to put in a vase today.


February blues (browns)

Despite the title of this post, I don’t mind February at all. It’s a short and snappy month, the days are getting longer, there are lots of interesting jobs to get on with in the garden (tidying up, admiring snowdrops and hellebores, pruning clematis and so forth) and we always manage to get away to the Highlands for a few days—one of the highlights of my year.

But when it comes to finding something for Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday, I am all out of ideas. Actually I have been out of ideas since the New Year. I don’t want a house full of dead sticks any more. I am bored to tears of dried flower heads. And though these pruned-off Hydrangea petiolaris are delicate and pretty in their subdued, monochrome way, I am longing for some colour to bring sweetness and light to our sitting room.


Whilst I am game for living in the moment and am certainly not wishing my life to be sped up like a video tape, fast-forwarding through the boring bits until we get to the part with the lovely, joyful, colourful spring blooms, my mind can’t help but drift away to images of hazy summer days filled with cornflowers and ammi. And I know many of you are feeling the same: when I posted a picture of a single bloom of last summer’s Ammi visagna on my Instagram yesterday morning, it almost broke the internet.

So here, in lieu of spring, are some origami tulips to brighten your Monday.


In other news, Edinburgh Garden Diary was selected as one of ‘Twelve Tremendous Gardening Blogs‘ by the kind people at Waltons. Do visit their page and take a look at some of the other wonderful blogs that they featured.