Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Glory of the Garden by Rudyard Kipling

Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool and potting-sheds which are the heart of all,
The cold frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrow and the planks.

And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and turn the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:- ‘Oh, how beautiful, and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner knives.

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfullness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees.
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

And now to some current views around my garden (I am still not happy with the way 'blogger in draft' place my photographs. They seem to do the opposite to what I want - takes forever.)I may have to change back.

Have not been able to spend too much time working in the garden recently as we are having a heat wave. With the forecast for 88 degrees last weekend (and that is always in the shade) it was into the 90's outside. On the plus side we have been eating all our meals outside which is nice as we are a bit confined at present.

The birds love their daily bath

The above group of rose pictures were taken at night

You might like to click here and view my post on Rudyard Kipling's own garden.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Surprise Visits

The week before Alan was admitted to hospital I met up with an old friend from the States who was visiting over here. The chosen venue for an evening of dining and chatting was Ma*ryg*reen Manor about 5 miles away. This hotel and restaurant has lots of history and a lovely atmosphere so I knew it would make an interesting post.
The Manor is a fine example of early sixteenth century architecture and was initially the home of Henry Roper, gentleman servant to Catherine of Aragon. In 1535 Robert Wright son of a local nobleman, took up residence and named this lovely house his Manor of Mary Green after his young bride.

A pleasant half hour was spent here while the chef was preparing our meal. Note the stairway on the right.This leads to private dining.

Beautiful oak panelling and ceiling
The restaurant is situated in the old baronial hall

Our choice of desert was certainly worth a picture. Various forms of chocolate, sauce, cake oozing with chocolate, salted caramel ice-cream with a decorative spoon made of sugar. These days chefs need to be artists too or maybe someone else decorates the plates for them.

The back of the house curtesy of the brochure.
I did not take a photo myself not wanting to invade the privacy of those taking refreshment outside

That same week we had a visit from some old friends from Holland. We had not seen them in almost 30 years when they had stayed with us with their then young family.

Having had Chuck from Ohio visit recently, who again had spent many visits with us in the early 70's it was interesting to hear people's stories and experiences over the passage of time.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Walk Around my Mid-June Garden

Time for a walk around the garden but before doing so I want to sincerely thank all my blogging buddies who have left comments or E-mailed assuring us of their prayer support during this difficult time. Prayers are going out from around the world along with hundreds praying over here. I was also surprised to know that many who E-mailed are facing health problems in their own families too.As they pray for us and we pray for them, what a network of prayer is going out around the world. Alan is comfortable at home waiting more tests, cameras and scans but frustrated to not have the energy he is used to. So again, thank you and off we go around the garden.

Not forgetting a couple of very different sunsets this week.