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Lemon Drizzle. Snow is just what's required on the winter border and sitting on the flowering witch hazel we now have icing sugar on our lemon peel. Why does so much in the garden remind me of cake?  #lemondrizzle #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #fb

Lemon Drizzle. Snow is just what's required on the winter border and sitting on the flowering witch hazel we now have icing sugar on our lemon peel. Why does so much in the garden remind me of cake? #lemondrizzle #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #fb

We all know about leaving the seedheads for the birds over the colder months. But you might want to resist tidying away to quickly for other reasons.  They remind you exactly where plants are. Chop then down early and you may well find yourself trying to plant bulbs in the middle of your hidden perennial.  They create a canopy which protects the soil from the worst of the heavy rain making the ground beneath workable when bare ground is too soggy. Strange but true.  They give you a instant…

We all know about leaving the seedheads for the birds over the colder months. But you might want to resist tidying away to quickly for other reasons. They remind you exactly where plants are. Chop then down early and you may well find yourself trying to plant bulbs in the middle of your hidden perennial. They create a canopy which protects the soil from the worst of the heavy rain making the ground beneath workable when bare ground is too soggy. Strange but true. They give you a instant…

Snowdrop anyone? We're not tired of them yet I hope? . I've had a fantastic Monday on one of the Study Days at @greatdixterofficial (finally got to meet the legendary Perry the man behind the social media accounts and key member of the Dixter family!) and spent hours soaking up fantastic garden wisdom from Fergus and his wonderful team. It's such an inspiring and welcoming place obviously a beautiful house and garden but with a real heart for education too. . Probably pics to follow…

Snowdrop anyone? We're not tired of them yet I hope? . I've had a fantastic Monday on one of the Study Days at @greatdixterofficial (finally got to meet the legendary Perry the man behind the social media accounts and key member of the Dixter family!) and spent hours soaking up fantastic garden wisdom from Fergus and his wonderful team. It's such an inspiring and welcoming place obviously a beautiful house and garden but with a real heart for education too. . Probably pics to follow…

Winter sunshine out in the pasture mossy shade under the trees. Hovering on the margins of a hazel coppice I could probably read too much into the notion that my favourite place to be is on the border between the depths of the woodland shade on one side and the brightness of the open fields on the other. Afraid to fully commit? Or just a creature of the  liminal zones happy to teeter on the threshold. I think I must have read too much Garth Nix (that's your fault…

Winter sunshine out in the pasture mossy shade under the trees. Hovering on the margins of a hazel coppice I could probably read too much into the notion that my favourite place to be is on the border between the depths of the woodland shade on one side and the brightness of the open fields on the other. Afraid to fully commit? Or just a creature of the liminal zones happy to teeter on the threshold. I think I must have read too much Garth Nix (that's your fault…

Yellow might not be my absolute favourite colour in the garden but I don't think I'd be without it. It's just so cheerful. And it's the colour of sunshine so you know. Yellow haters get over yourselves and come join in the fun! Some cheery crocuses making the most of a sunny day  they really are the perfect goblet shape aren't they?  #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #penepl7

Yellow might not be my absolute favourite colour in the garden but I don't think I'd be without it. It's just so cheerful. And it's the colour of sunshine so you know. Yellow haters get over yourselves and come join in the fun! Some cheery crocuses making the most of a sunny day they really are the perfect goblet shape aren't they? #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #penepl7

No it's not a close up of this morning's almond biscotti. This gorgeously silvered thing is the bark of the pussy willow Salix caprea. I could stand and gaze at the sunlight's play across its deeply fissured skin for hours...such depth of texture and movement. It's also the source of salicylic acid the active ingredient in aspirin (and wart removal cream for that matter!)  willow bark tea is a remedy known down the centuries. And in a few weeks time these trees will be loud with the sound of…

No it's not a close up of this morning's almond biscotti. This gorgeously silvered thing is the bark of the pussy willow Salix caprea. I could stand and gaze at the sunlight's play across its deeply fissured skin for hours...such depth of texture and movement. It's also the source of salicylic acid the active ingredient in aspirin (and wart removal cream for that matter!) willow bark tea is a remedy known down the centuries. And in a few weeks time these trees will be loud with the sound of…

Snowdrops and crocuses (croci?) doing #thatwinterspringthing rather well don't you think?  Though in all truth yesterday started off all spring like warm and sunny and got progressively more wintery. Think it was a temporary hiccup though rather than an indication of a general reversal of seasonal direction. Flipping hope so anyway. #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #fb #penepl7

Snowdrops and crocuses (croci?) doing #thatwinterspringthing rather well don't you think? Though in all truth yesterday started off all spring like warm and sunny and got progressively more wintery. Think it was a temporary hiccup though rather than an indication of a general reversal of seasonal direction. Flipping hope so anyway. #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter #fb #penepl7

#regram from @miranda_jan. "Horticulture can be brutal tough and physically demanding but we are also sculptors carvers and surgeons in our field.". I saw this capture of Miranda's botanical dissecting kit in her feed a few weeks ago and one I had to ask her to kick off a new series on the blog about gardeners and their tools. Miranda works with tropical plants at Kew Gardens and this collection has been with her since her student days on the prestigious Kew Diploma. So dead impressive but…

#regram from @miranda_jan. "Horticulture can be brutal tough and physically demanding but we are also sculptors carvers and surgeons in our field.". I saw this capture of Miranda's botanical dissecting kit in her feed a few weeks ago and one I had to ask her to kick off a new series on the blog about gardeners and their tools. Miranda works with tropical plants at Kew Gardens and this collection has been with her since her student days on the prestigious Kew Diploma. So dead impressive but…

Another cold start. Winter's definitely decided to make its mark before it leaves but though I might be cold I'm not really complaining if it's going to create sights like this. Tiny icicles on the young growth of sweet amber (Hypericum androsaemum) a relative of St Johns Wort. I'm not sure if this plant has the same anti depressant qualities as its cousin but I do know that as a plant it's rather better behaved than many of its relatives which tend to seed about all over the shop. Though it…

Another cold start. Winter's definitely decided to make its mark before it leaves but though I might be cold I'm not really complaining if it's going to create sights like this. Tiny icicles on the young growth of sweet amber (Hypericum androsaemum) a relative of St Johns Wort. I'm not sure if this plant has the same anti depressant qualities as its cousin but I do know that as a plant it's rather better behaved than many of its relatives which tend to seed about all over the shop. Though it…

A dreary old day out making me even more glad for our indoor jungle. The houseplants and us are still getting the measure of each other. They don't quite want to go where we'd like them to go so we're trying to be good listeners and observers. As well as misters and leaf-sweeper-uppers. The aspidistra and the palms are staunchly no-nonsense though it's the ferns that are being more troublesome than expected. We'll get there hopefully without too much collateral damage.  #todaysgoodthing…

A dreary old day out making me even more glad for our indoor jungle. The houseplants and us are still getting the measure of each other. They don't quite want to go where we'd like them to go so we're trying to be good listeners and observers. As well as misters and leaf-sweeper-uppers. The aspidistra and the palms are staunchly no-nonsense though it's the ferns that are being more troublesome than expected. We'll get there hopefully without too much collateral damage. #todaysgoodthing…

I've a feeling these are the last of the rose hips not that there's been a massive run on them the birds seem fairly fat and content this winter. Plenty of evergreen colour to cheer us through to spring though. Nearly there folks. #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

I've a feeling these are the last of the rose hips not that there's been a massive run on them the birds seem fairly fat and content this winter. Plenty of evergreen colour to cheer us through to spring though. Nearly there folks. #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

Frost on the verbena in the morning sun. It's time I cut these back now as they make access into the beds for mulching and weeding (other way round) a bit tricky and I would have done it this week if I hadn't had to repair rabbit damage. I'm sure the cute little things (bloody little sods  I vacillate between the two) have started carrying wire cutters. Anyway. A sunny winter scene from earlier in the week on a sunny Sunday. Cold though do wrap up! #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight…

Frost on the verbena in the morning sun. It's time I cut these back now as they make access into the beds for mulching and weeding (other way round) a bit tricky and I would have done it this week if I hadn't had to repair rabbit damage. I'm sure the cute little things (bloody little sods I vacillate between the two) have started carrying wire cutters. Anyway. A sunny winter scene from earlier in the week on a sunny Sunday. Cold though do wrap up! #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight…

Standing and staring into the heart of this fat rose hip felt something like falling down a rabbit hole  Blake's To see a World in a Grain of Sand (Blake had a really dodgy caps lock key). Oddly that's one of the reasons I limit my time with a macro lens because I find small things and blurred out surroundings so fascinating I often forget to stand back and take in the big vista. Maybe I should just surrender to it. What do you think? #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight #peninpractice…

Standing and staring into the heart of this fat rose hip felt something like falling down a rabbit hole Blake's To see a World in a Grain of Sand (Blake had a really dodgy caps lock key). Oddly that's one of the reasons I limit my time with a macro lens because I find small things and blurred out surroundings so fascinating I often forget to stand back and take in the big vista. Maybe I should just surrender to it. What do you think? #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight #peninpractice…

I never tire of the seedheads of Phlomis russeliana  edged with frost they're even more magical in their tiered geometric perfection. The leaves below are bulking up nicely on these soon time to cut back these dead stems to make way for fresh yellow flowers. Maybe just one week more #thatwinterspringthing  #fb #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

I never tire of the seedheads of Phlomis russeliana edged with frost they're even more magical in their tiered geometric perfection. The leaves below are bulking up nicely on these soon time to cut back these dead stems to make way for fresh yellow flowers. Maybe just one week more #thatwinterspringthing #fb #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

In the winter border again. This is Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' (sorry no common name. Not even a comedy rude one more's the pity) against the orange glow of the wonderful coloured dogwood stems of Cornus 'Midwinter Fire' . The viburnum flowers now before the leaves are out  marvellously eccentric. It also possesses a scent which is wonderful in the garden but begins to smell a bit like cat pee if you cut it for a vase indoors. Just so you know. #thatwinterspringthing  #mystoryoflight…

In the winter border again. This is Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' (sorry no common name. Not even a comedy rude one more's the pity) against the orange glow of the wonderful coloured dogwood stems of Cornus 'Midwinter Fire' . The viburnum flowers now before the leaves are out marvellously eccentric. It also possesses a scent which is wonderful in the garden but begins to smell a bit like cat pee if you cut it for a vase indoors. Just so you know. #thatwinterspringthing #mystoryoflight…

I had the under Gardener with me for company this morning. I keep telling Bill he needs a hair cut. He just gives me a look that says look who's talking. But there really is a #borderterrier under there honest! #borderterriersofinstagram #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

I had the under Gardener with me for company this morning. I keep telling Bill he needs a hair cut. He just gives me a look that says look who's talking. But there really is a #borderterrier under there honest! #borderterriersofinstagram #mystoryoflight #peninpractice #olympusuk #tostandandstare #winter

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