Thursday, 19 March 2009

Thursday Thanks

To everyone who sent congratulations and best wishes for Salt River - big thanks! I had an email this morning to let me know Author Liz has given the first copy to her Age P's, and a celebratory dinner was enjoyed to mark the occasion. Let's hope it's the first of many - books, that is, not dinners. Though they will probably need to be repeated at regular intervals, if Liz is to have enough strength to continue pounding keyboards...

We have had more than a week of gloriously sunny days here in Havant. I wish I could share some of its golden glow with those of you still suffering from winter's chillier colours. It does seem to be one of the perks of living on the South Coast, this one-upmanship with weather. All the time I was still trotting to the station between 6.30-7.00 am, on my daily trek to work, Spring mornings like these made me feel I was personally being given gifts for my eyes to unwrap.

The longer a sunny spell continued, the greater the array of flowers and shrubs waiting to say 'Good morning!' as I passed the various front gardens. One house had an enormous camellia close to the front garden wall; its peachy-pink flowers would stop me in my tracks, so I could allow my eyes to feast on their compact whorls of colour. Invariably, an unexpected night of rain managed to reduce them to peach coloured pulp on the grey pavement, long before they should have died, as though Winter was trying to prove he still had the upper hand.

A few gardens along, and a small Magnolia planted near a group of bushy evergreens, held out a few of its slender branches at shoulder height, offering easy viewing of its elegant, creamy cups backed with shades of plum. Under the shrubs, the first snowdrops and crocuses nestled beneath the low branches, thankful for their protection.

On the opposite side of the road, one garden was planted entirely with rose bushes. The man, or lady, of the house kept the beds weeded, the bushes pruned, and woe betide any leaf that dared to show a sign of the dreaded Black Spot. I've known mild winters, when these bushes still had an odd rose or two in December, but the exciting time was the beginning of the year, when you could watch the leaf buds grow on the woody stems, knowing the pinky-green leaves were gathering forces inside.

The house next door to these regimented roses, had a completely different approach. A couple of Silver Birch trees drooped their pleated, heart shaped leaves over a mass of narcissus and daffodil bulbs, with primroses and bluebells self seeded higgledy piggledy, ready to create a mini woodland dell in the proper season.

You can probably tell, I used to allow an extra long time for getting to the station, as I knew I'd have many stops along the way...The nice thing about the early hour, was that I could dawdle and ogle flora and fauna as long as I liked, without passers by wondering what I was up to, standing stock still in the middle of the pavement!

One of the most beautiful sights was afforded by the half dozen or so ornamental flowering cherry trees that flanked two sides of the old people's flats on the corner. Looking up through their pink
blossoms to a clear blue sky, has to be a picture as close to Heaven as one may get on Earth. No surprise, then, when you read today's offering:-

Spring Panoply

Bunched on slim stalks,
tight furled buds dangle
puckered rosy lips
offering a kiss of welcome.

Canopies blush beauty;
fallen petals a pink tidemark
outlining ebb and flow
of capricious night winds.

Matching ruffle-edged flounce,
adrift alongside wall or path,
softens harsh perimeters
with flower-strewn edging.

Spring's light brushstrokes
overlay winter's canvas,
producing a composition
of pristine clarity.


  1. Wait - what book ? neice's book? -- I am rushing through - let me know about it ... !!!! Oh, or I should just go do my things and then come back and read about it myself!!!

  2. You have an artist's eye when you can so clearly recall and describe those sights.

    But it must be an awful place to live, because didn't Macbeth say, "Havant, and quit my sight?"

  3. Oh, Jinksy, sounds perfect for my visit! Is next week at your house still good? (hehe) :)

  4. I truly can't wait for the flowers to bloom around here, a ways off still. Very gloomy today, overcast and dark.

  5. I like that, the painting over of the canvas. For me it's our lilacs. Good god, when the lilacs bloom it is heaven on earth!

  6. I so enjoyed that glorious spring walk along your street - you described it all so beautifully that I could quite imagine that I was there with you.

    I'm slowly learning all about English flowers - they are so gentle and soft looking compared the the vivid colours and hard edged shapes of African plants. I have some very pretty little azure blue flowers with a scoop of white in the centre that grow in groups on the lawn. I wonder what they are, they look like teeny tiny irises. Probably come from bulbs were planted before we got here?

  7. Whoops, typo 'that were' - and I meant to say how much I love your poem, particularly the last verse, which describes the English palette so perfectly.

  8. I have a weeping cherry in the middle of my front lawn, Jinksy - your lovely poem reminds me that I have that to look forward to - it is well in bud.

  9. Hmmm, yes, BBC Breakfast is keeping me up to date on the warm and sunny weather in your part of Great Britain. It must be lovely over there *sigh*

    Finally the sun found us too this week. But it is far from warm yet with a meagre 10 degr. Celsius.
    Still, it's great to be working in the garden now. I'm dreaming of a well-maintained garden with healthy roses and not a plant overgrowing another one. Alas, with a rather large garden and me, myself and I as the only gardners, that will probably stay a dream. Never mind....
    But not as much time to blog or keep up with other blogs the coming months I fear. I'll do my best though ;-)

    Hugs xx

  10. Jinksy,
    I can't wait to get out and play in the dirt. Lovely descriptions.

  11. Most have been heavenly walks to the station. I love spring time, the most of any of our four seasons.

  12. Always beautiful, jinks - I always worry about stopping to look at gardens, for fear they'll think I am 'casing the joint'. Maybe I just look suspicious? x

  13. I love to look a flower gardens. I think a yard looks barren without them. We have some lovely ones around here. My husband is the one with the green thumb but I do help him. *s*

  14. First time in your blog!

    and I loved it!

  15. Lovely to read about your flowers all bursting into bloom. Its amazing what a good drop of rain can do to camellias isn't it! Ours are just coming into bud ready to flower in late winter.

  16. Must admit that I wish part of my journey to work included a bit of a walk. However, the Filton end ain't conducive to it, and it would mean parking my car a few miles from home at the other end.

  17. You are so right, natures gifts lifts the heart, don't they? My garden seems to have sprung to life over the past few weeks, it's such a delight to find a fresh surprise each day (hubby is the gardener, I simply reap the rewards). That's a beautiful poem, very fitting for the season.


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