These are surreal and difficult times for so many people. And like many others my garden has been a sanctuary. Gardens have always played an important part in my life from when I was tiny. For me they symbolise many things especially freedom, hope and healing and gardening itself can teach us valuable lessons in acceptance.
One of the flowers I love the most is the paeony.
Over the years my gardens have been a museum of memories - plants or cuttings generously given by friends and family. Many of those people have gone now but their spirits live on and the plants they entrusted to my care are a continual source of comfort.
My grandparents, as I have written here before, were a big influence in my life. Their love for me was unconditional, their home a place of calm, a nurturing space, a sanctuary during some troubled times.
Here they are in their own garden on their wedding day, 1st August 1931.
A part of their garden was walled on two sides, well almost three really as the house stood on the East side. Against the wall which faced West were paeonies, big and blowsy from being blissfully happy with their situation, the red brick wall intensifying the heat and protecting them from wind at the same time.
And today perhaps I love paeonies even more for the gift of the happy memories they inspire. The paeonies in my cottage garden today are direct descendants of those in my grandparents' garden. When I look at them I feel immensely grateful for what I was given. They remind me of the ebb and flow of life. They restore me, relax me, remind me how lucky I am to have had such love and we all need more of that especially at the moment.
I hope that you have a green space in which to find some peace and tranquillity, a space to restore and invigorate you. Thank-you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope to return to it more regularly going forwards! Stay safe.