I picked flowers everywhere that I walked

My garden, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is often a barometer for how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling good and whole, then the garden is in good shape.

Or maybe it’s the case that if I get the garden into shape, then I feel good and whole. Lately I’m not sleeping well. I’m waking up stressed about nameless, shapeless things and I’m troubled by a sense of not having me, my life, my house or garden in order. Both actually and metaphorically. I did intend to get out there and deal with the chaos today but we were hit by a strong, icy wind today that made even the shortest trips outside unpleasant.

So I settled for photographing the garden instead. Looking at the garden up close, through a lens, achieves two things. I get to capture the detail that isn’t necessarily obvious at first when I step outside and see my ramshackle garden and I acquaint myself with the things that are good and beautiful. The half hour or so I spend is a kind of meditation and it helps. A lot.

Enough words. Let me show you what I saw.

Our daffodils are dying. As they should. It’s what they do. They’re feeding the bulbs for next year.

dying daffs

The next round of yellow bulbs has shown up. The  yellow tulips.

yellow tulip

In a few months, we’ll have yellow sunflowers. There will always be yellow of some kind in the garden. It’s so cheerful and necessary.

I love my valerian. One day I want a whole bed full of this stuff. I stole this plant from between two slabs of stone a couple of years ago, and hoped it would survive being torn from the ground. It’s thriving. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.


In a month or so, this wall of the chicken coop will be groaning, I hope, under the weight of enormous sweet pea plants. I planted them way back in March and am longing for the pay off of the early investment.

sweet peas

The chickens love the peas that are left after the flowers drop off so there was more than just a desire for prettying up the run with a wall of colour in my sweet pea vision.

I think my continental parsley is really at its end, but wow the flowers look great when you get up close. I hadn’t realised.


We planted loads of tiny Seaside daisies in autumn and over winter, they’ve survived but they’ve done very little. Just now, they’re sprouting a few delicate flowers – their first. Full of promise.

seaside daisy

Finally, I was happy to see that my broad beans, which seemed so slow going, are finally flowering. I planted them late this year (cursed myself for that) and wondered if they’d even sprout. We may not get a bumper crop, but a crop we shall have of these much misunderstood treasures.

broad bean flowers

So my garden, actually and psychologically speaking, is perhaps in better order than I thought. Early spring is looking good but I’ll have to get a wriggle on if summer is to deliver the same results. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you my chickens gazing up at a wall of a magnificent sweet pea flowers before too long. That’s what I’m really hoping for now.



15 thoughts on “I picked flowers everywhere that I walked

  1. Well Helen, coming from someone that doesn’t own or long for a garden I do admire your flowers. That’s how I like my gardens always admired but never get my hands dirty …lol ;D
    Hope your sweet peas bloom beautifully !

  2. your garden beautiful, Bells. The valerian and parsley flowers are a treat, and sweet peas are always so rewarding despite the long lead time.

    Hope looking at things “through a different lens” has helped you feel a little more settled xx

  3. Thank you for the lovely spring peek. We’re sliding into autumn here, and I firmly set my mind straight on the hemisphere when I saw the daffodils, so I wouldn’t get all confused. Then you mentioned planting peas in March. That’s when we plant peas. Now I’m all confused again. I hope you feel better. Either Amy’s right & it’s the change of season, or the moon is in the sign of prickly, because I’ve been feeling the same way, and I have really no reason to. Lovely hens by the way, look at them posing.

  4. I’m having a bit of that uncomfortable feeling as well. I don’t know whether to blame it on the seasons changing or if something else is bothering me. I wandered around yesterday just not being able to settle into anything. I don’t like it.

    But seeing the promise in the garden is a good tonic for that feeling. I hope it helped. I was just thinking that I needed to get some fall flowers for some color. Our summer ones died out in all the excessive heat this year.

  5. I meant to say that the transitional periods always give me an itchy restless uncomfortable feeling but once you work out what to do you get to the other side and they’re a bit of plain sailing for a while.

  6. It is looking good. We’re at the other end of the season; I spent hours yesterday clearing out and digging up. The tomatoes and chillis are still going strong but the leaves are starting to turn. It is so nice to see your sunshine and flowers (and catch a glimpse of your chooks).

  7. Your garden is truly beautiful Bells! Gardens are never truly ‘in order”. My garden is also blooming with little surprises here and there that I had forgotten about planting! I also planted some sweet peas a while ago and they are getting quite tall. I just adore sweet peas in Summer. When I can’t sleep, I imagine what I’m going to plant next or what I’m going to knit next. Grab a cup a camomille too!:-)

  8. Sorry you haven’t been feeling right lately. I don’t enjoy that feeling (I describe it as not feeling right in my own skin, or feeling prickly). I hope it improves soon. Sometimes just the change in seasons is enough to get me feeling out of whack a bit.

  9. Your garden is looking lovely Bells. Those sweet peas should be a ripper when they flower. I’m a firm believer in the therapeutic aspects of dirt and sun – we all need a bit of spring right now. Bring on the blue-sky days. Cheers.

  10. It’s funny how much we really do need sleep to feel well. I tend to blow it off in order to get more done, sometimes, but find I actually do more when I’m well-rested, and I feel better, too. I hope you get a good night’s sleep tonight, and tomorrow is a better day for it!

  11. I have come to believe that women “of a certain age” are all beset with poor sleep and self-doubt, especially if they’ve led lives caring more for others than themselves. Trust me, you’ll come out the other end of this with renewed vigor and enthusiasm for what’s important to you.

    I will have to pass on the sweet pea idea to DS & DIL1; they’ve just gotten their first pair of hens and are fretting about the stark look of the run. Lovely flowers. Happy spring! Here the leaves are turning and the winds are chilly and damp. Ah, autumn.

  12. Your garden is certainly in better form than mine! I do so love sweet peas. I must remember to plant some next year. And I envy you your tulips!

    I hope your time outside helps give you a good nights sleep tonight.

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