Retired to the Greenhouse

Why do holidays speed past … so … darn … fast?  Is it a plot?  Evil magic?  A little time spent strolling about Bath, Stroud, Gloucester and Nailsworth and most of the week was gone.
Three days gallivanting through the Forest of Dean and along the Wye Valley and it had been gobbled up altogether.
Lovely walk, mind you.  What’s not to like about walking through a wood?  Especially at this time of the year when leaf mould and wet soil conjure up the warm rich aroma of a fruit cake.

The River Wye on the day after the rain.

OK, so we had one long, unremitting day of trudging besides the Wye, from Chepstow to Monmouth, in non-stop rain.  Sixteen miles of muttering, “*@***#** stupid idea” and “Where’s the bleedin’ Pub?”  Rain dripped from our noses and onto the map.  Water filled our supposedly waterproof boots and penetrated our supposedly waterproof coats.  Glorious views were restricted by hoods and instead we looked at the muddy path before our feet.  (I took no photos that day).

Jim leading the way

It would be churlish though to moan too much when, on the other two days, bright sunlight lit up the fiery magnificence of a late, warm autumn.

The Forest of Dean is enormous and we walked for hours (and hours and hours) through a stunning (if quiet) landscape dominated by oak and beech.

We had the paths mostly to ourselves – especially when we strayed off route and got lost.  This happened quite a lot.  (You may call me Pathfinder.  But I wouldn’t.   As patently, I’m not).

The Priory Tulip Tree - right

I’m back at work now and overwhelmed by how much there is to do.  The big, beautiful tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipfera) has turned it’s signature yellow and …

Mostly hornbeam leaves on the east lawn.

… pretty much all the lawns are smothered in leaf-fall.  There is simply too much to do.  Collecting of leaves and transporting out to the compost bins, mowing, cutting back of perennials and more planting.  So very much to do.

I’ve decided the answer is to ignore it; lock myself in the greenhouse with two pink, potted pelargoniums.  I’ll come out again in March.  Or April.

 (Sorry about the spacing on this post – blogger refuses to do as it’s told.  As usual).

23 thoughts on “Retired to the Greenhouse

  1. Such beautiful photos and gorgeous light through the trees. I bet the rubbish weather was worth it for all those views 🙂

    Seems like a perfectly sensible idea to lock yourself in the greenhouse 'til spring!


  2. Hi there,

    No definitely not the word paste route, that creates complete havoc. Word has its own formatting, which completely messes up html. When you write, have a look at the html version. There will often be many 'extras' that should not be there…. Hope that helps?


  3. Hi Petra, it is so annoying isn't it? However much I go into edit and delete line spaces and make it all look lovely, the finished post bears little relation to how I've laid out. Grrr. I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps type into Word and then paste into blogger? Anyway, glad it's not just me!!! Your solution just makes my head spin so I shan't go there!



  4. Hi Laura, it's a shame the tulip tree flowers are green and so difficult to see (especially in a large tree) – ought to be bright red. And sadly the wind will, in time, just blow all the leaves into the ponds. Humph!



  5. wait long enough and the wind should blow the leaves into suitable piles for collection. Tulip tree stunning now but until this year had never seen the blooms before. All mention of the Wye makes me green with envy though I'd never have managed the distance and can enjoy the scenery in comfort. Thanks


  6. Hi WW, we didn't mind the weather too much. It would though have been nice to catch a glimpse of Tintern of which I have memories from boyhood. Interesting you mention the boar – no we didn't see any but saw loads of evidence of them i.e. turf ploughed up. Looks like they must be quite a problem (or an added element to the ecosystem depending on your viewpoint)?

    Hi Stacy, glad you liked the photos. All of which were taken on the last day. Prior to that I'd abandoned any hope of getting any decent shots (I had a few OK-ish ones from day one). “I have a potted pelargonium and I know how to use it.” Hehehe.

    I have been so blessed, Janet on the last few long walks that this was a timely reminder not to take good weather for granted. Thankful it only rained for one day. I'm planning a long 9 or 10 day walk for early in the New Year and as a worst case scenario am imagining day after day after day of rain. Hmmm. Perhaps I will just stay in the greenhouse!

    Hi Elaine, leaf mould production is ramping up now. Come and help yourself! I'll do a post on it soon. Thanks re the greenhouse.

    Hi Andrea, welcome back. No blisters? At all? Blimey, that's impressive. Glad you had a good walk. I'll head over and read all about it!

    Janet, hmm you know how to make a lazy ol' gardener feel guilty. I'll just put down the pelargoniums then and go and do some work shall I? OK, then. Sorry.



  7. Ah, you had typical Forest of Dean weather then! Stunning photographs, they really capture the feeling of the woods. Hope you are happy with your pelargoniums, watching the garden fall into disrepair without you to tend it… The grass dying under its blanket of leaves… All that potential leaf mould going to waste…


  8. Beautiful images quite magical really,was almost expecting to see a little hobbit!Mmmm rain is good for lots of things but walking…..But any break from work in the countryside with friends and a pub(or 2) has to be good!!
    Had a fantastic time in Italy, great walking, company, great food and no blisters!!


  9. Oo lovely – woods are my fave – but back to reality – just think of the leaf mould you can make. I'd be grateful if you could send me a few sacksful in the post. Glad you had a good holiday – lovely greenhouse by the way.


  10. It all looks too idyllic…
    You know there's a saying that you can never have the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing… Billy Connelly I think. He must never have had leaking boots….
    If I had a greenhouse as full of goodies as yours I think I would stay there too.


  11. Oh, what lovely scenery–and photos. I can't get over the quality of the light, not to mention the greenery. Best not to remember the feeling of water squelching in your boots, mile after mile after mile… Excellent timing on your part, to be back in time to see the tulip tree looking so spectacular.

    Never mess with a man with potted pelargoniums and that particular look on his face, that's my motto.


  12. Sorry to hear the weather was so bad when you passed through my home patch but at least you got some good weather. The photos from the Forest of Dean are beautiful. Did you see any boar?


  13. Hi Sara, luckily I can pick up most of the leaves with the ride on mower though I still end up raking up quite a lot. At the Priory, I try and collect them before they blow into the ponds – I can see that having them disappear down the hill would be upsetting but hey, saves you loads of work!

    Hi Luton Boys, managed to make quite a dent in the backlog yesterday – so yeah, I'm getting there, despite 'Take it Easy' being my middle name.

    Hey Mr F, I've put in a great store of Earl Grey tea and (plain) chocolate hobnobs. Rest assured. Do pop in if you're passing. And I've written down 'prototypical.' Thanks.



  14. If you talk to the Pelargoniums, Dave, THEY'LL TALK BACK. You might like to curtain the glass walls and bring in a kettle and a couple of biscuits, though, just in case the weeks ahead get a little long and spooky.
    Great forest photos, Dave – nature makes the prototypical garden I reckon.


  15. Wow stunning shots, looks like you had some wonderful walks. And the damp one. And all those leaves waiting for you! Stunning sight – that's a lot of leafmould after just a little work with a rake to warm you up. 😉
    All our leaves blow straight off down the hill. I think I have leaf-fall-envy.


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