A Hellebore Bore

March 20, 2012

I know pictures of other people’s hellebores are rather boring but they are so tough, reliable and beautiful I can’t resist sharing them. How grateful one is for such large flowers when everything else flowery in  Northamptonshire  is exquisite but tiny at the moment.

Harvington’s Red


 Harvington’s Speckled White to the left and below, Ellen’s Double Picotee

A rather blurred photograph that is self-explanatory. Well, Annegret, a little helleborean challenge. I LOVE your poems. Thank you.



This is the most beautiful cheese made by Elizabeth Fraser-Davies who lives at Cwmglyn Farm, 36 Morgans Road, R.D. 2 EKETAHUNA. 4994, New Zealand. She  has three cows whose milk is turned entirely by hand, her hand,  into these objects of gastronomic wonder. It is approx 20cm high by 20cm diameter. I say approx because actually we’ve already eaten it and it was absolutely delicious, creamy, buttery, crumbly, full of flavour, yum, yum, and I can only say if you’re lucky enough to live in New Zealand do get one.  Elizabeth (Biddy) so kindly sent it all the way to England because she likes my books and I only hope she likes them half as much as I  like her cheese.


I Like Lichens

March 5, 2012

Well, specially now that I’ve looked them up and reassured myself that they won’t harm to my espaliered apples. Instead they just look, to my eyes anyway, beautiful in three colours.

Lichens are a monitor of air pollution and useful for dyeing things (this I shall not try …my dyeing days, as my jam-making days, are sadly over). Also they are a valuable food resource in Siberia where they are extracted, partiallydigested, from the stomach of freshly killed reindeer and caribou and eaten with relish (of mood rather than from a jar). Hm, I think my lichen-eating days are over, too.

I am also  fond of mosses. I  particularly like the little puff of moss on the lips of the Bacchante in the Flower Garden.

In a whimsical mood I imagine some tender-hearted young man in a slightly drunken state pressing his lips to this little puff and finding himself embroiled in a whirl of magical realism along the lines of F. Anstey’s ‘The Tinted Venus’ …a short story, which amuses me no end. I do recommend it