Gardens

I’m not much of a gardener but love visiting and being in gardens. My mother filled her small terraced garden with blooms

P1000118

and my sister has inherited Mum’s green fingers and has a lovely garden,

but I’m usually having too much fun to take photos which do it justice.

I’m lucky to have two beautiful open gardens right on the doorstep and another just a short drive away.

 

We can’t visit them at the moment but will be back before too long.

I’ve enjoyed the cool of beautiful gardens in hot places, like these in the Philippines

 

and the Jardin Botanico  and Parque del Drago in Tenerife.

 

And then there’s the formal  French splendour of Villandry in the Loire valley.

villandryfrog

“I be a bit worried ’bout what he’s planning”

Or this at the Casa de Mateus  in Portugal.

 

This French garden at Varengeville- sur Mer in Normandy was less formal.

As were these glorious borders at Dyffryn gardens in South Wales

 

But there then there are places that have it all…..

Dumfries House in Ayrshire, possibly my favourite garden ever*.  All my favourite flowers, delphiniums, cornflowers, poppies, lavender, it was absolutely gorgeous. The house is beautiful too, it’s a great day out.  But the joy of visiting gardens is that DogS can come too**. That’s why we chose Villandry as our Loire chateau.

Like many others we’ve been spending quite a lot of lockdown time in the garden. But it’s still very much a work in progress.  And of course at the mercy of bambi and the  bunnies.

Until tomorrow,

Marina xx

garden bouquet19

Bringing the garden indoors***

 

*to visit.

**all the gardens mentioned in the UK or mainland Europe were dog friendly at the time of visiting

***that’s from last year, the sweet peas are at least a month away from flowering

Having fun with my sister

I’ve been having fun with her all my life.

IMG_1070

that’s me with the ears (and bonnet)

It might have been less fun for her. After all I just appeared one day, a surprise when she got home from school. No careful preparation for new siblings back then. And I certainly didn’t bring her a gift. I was more likely to trash her toys. Not deliberately,  I was just a little *enthusiastic* Although she did once get her own back with a certain Sindy hairdressing incident.

We live hundreds of miles apart and both hate the telephone but manage to stay close.

Usually  we manage to meet up a few times a year. And pick up where we left off.

Whether  it’s Christmas

a birthday.

Or just to have fun.

Which often involves eating,

and drinking.

IMG_1973

Mmmm, I think this might have been mine

She’s a cat lover

and Mum to one.

Then there are  the men in her life.

 

She’a a scientist, crafter, gardener….

And who else could supply one of these?

IMG_4669

it starred in our panto this year

Doing my yoga this morning I found this on my mat

IMG_5027

It’s a few years old now and came with this

IMG_3350

I’m not sure how it got there, I haven’t used that bag since Christmas.

I hope it’s not too long before I use it again.

And can send one of these, to say we’re not far away.

IMG_2891

Until tomorrow

Marina xx

Scents

Thinking about the town that smelled of chocolate has made me remember other scents. Childhood day trips to my favourite beaches on the Gower, holding my breath as we drove past the stinks of Llandarcy. No point really.  I got a bumper dose of the stench once I gave up and breathed again.  Nearer to home, the sight of dead trees promised the stink of rotten eggs when we passed the smokeless fuel plant. And then there was the  burnt carrot whiff of Cardiff that I learned was beer brewing.   “It’s Brains you want” as they used to say.  Summer brought molten tar, always a threat my clothes.

P1000118

home was also scented with flowers

 

Childhood wasn’t all bad smells of course, there was delicious baking, cut grass, the  central heating – newly extended to our bedrooms, Dad’s big white hankies which smelled of leather and coins, the fresh crisp plastic of a new term’s pencil case.

And when we reached the seaside on those trips, it smelled of adventure.

And still does.

It was in the 1970s that I first discovered perfume. Aqua Manda in its chunky brown bottle, Charlie, L’Aimant. Then there was the huge (as it seemed to me then) bottle of Chanel No5, I bought on my first trip abroad.  A present for my big Sis. I fretted it contravened duty allowances (I was too young to have an allocation) so persuaded a teacher to put it in her luggage.

IMG_0953

not this one, this is still sealed.

Travel brought new and exciting scents. Kerosene and charred meat, jasmine, grilled fish and the sea, even cigar smoke which I hated at home.

 

And new and exciting perfume stores.  Sephora, Marionnaud, Guerlain, and most recently Perfumeria Bengas in San Sebastian. Even though at that last one I bought this

 

IMG_0991

rather than this.

I couldn’t blow most of my holiday money on a bottle of perfume, even if it did look and smell wonderful.

IMG_0946

And I have quite a collection anyway.

A scent can transport…

lighting one of these

IMG_0977

 

can take me back here

 

Clearing a house, I couldn’t throw these away, but more for the bottles  than their scents.

IMG_0962

Not because the scents were bad.  But apart from the “Ma Griffe” they didn’t remind me of the person they’d belonged to.  Maybe they’d been kept for the memories they held?

IMG_1009

Look inside and  you might find

IMG_1016

I  pick them up at the perfume counter.

Get them sprayed with a scent I’m not going to buy.

The  scent my Mum wore.

That one must be quite old.

IMG_1004

 

And with the scent gone it’s just a piece of card.

Until tomorrow

 

Marina xx