Saturday, 26 April 2014

Spring surprises

One joy of returning home after our holiday was the very greenness of England! Norway was still at that slow turning point of winter, the temperatures were warmer, but plants and trees were at the very early stages of rebirth.

Then bam! We arrive home and trees are in leaf, grass has grown tall, and blossoms are everywhere! The entire atmosphere seemed to have a spring-green aura, resplendent in those early acid-green hues of new leaf.

On return from a journey I often wander round the house a bit, reacquainting myself with home. Then I venture out to the garden, to see what’s been happening in my absence. I took my camera this time...

The apple tree that I planted only a few years ago, which suffered very tricky early years due to an onslaught of rain, has not only survived but is thriving, covered in dozens and dozens of pink buds. Is there any better image of spring than pink blossom?

Well, yes, or at least an equal partner – the tulip, my favourite flower, and these deep blackish-purple and pale pink bulbs keep coming back year after year.

They popped up in front of the lemon balm and the trailing rosemary. I am always torn whether to pick them to display indoors or leave them to stand dignified in their place. They are still outside at the moment, but it’s due to rain tomorrow...

The bleeding heart are in full bloom in a shadier part of the garden:

I am fascinated by bleeding heart plants. Their shape and colours enchant me. And they have spread rather prolifically this year!

I love watching ferns unfurl, the process is beautiful and ever so slightly creepy to me – the fronds look rather furry, and the stretching fronds resemble alien-like limbs...

But ferns are my favourite plant; I have a whole section of the garden devoted to a number of varieties, and this Japanese painted fern is a gem! The spent snowdrop is crowding this little beauty a bit, add that to my garden chores list...

And I added more jobs to the list as I toodled around with my camera that first day home:

The bronze fennel is filling out. I adore its feathery, frothy stems, it adds such an interesting texture and colour to the herb border – but hey! Is that mint sneaking in my photo in the background, amidst the early sprigs of lavender? Tsk tsk tsk...he should know better, I even planted him in a pot in the ground, but mint is the Houdini of the plant world! It escapes any container and roams freely about...

And the sweet cicely is being smothered, she’ll have to be moved soon, too, after flowering. There’s a corner of the herb border that already has some sweet cicely, but there’s always room for more.

I had another lovely spring surprise when I came home:

A wonderful parcel from Gilly of gilly makes – we took part in Jo’s spring brooch swap a while back, but with both of our full schedules, we waited a bit for our gift exchange. This parcel was a perfect pick-me-up as I settled into the post-holiday routine – not only did she make me a gorgeously cute owl brooch, but she has spoiled me rotten with all sorts of haberdashery goodies! So thoughtfully packaged...buttons, ribbons, even a zip and pretty spotty fabric...thank you so very much, lovely Gilly!

There are small pockets of time when it is not raining this weekend, I’m going to get out and start catching up with my garden. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Chrissie x


  1. Hi there, just catching up! Lovely to see the beautiful pictures from your holiday, looks and sounds as though you had a great time - and did some lovely crafting too! Glad that you are enjoying all of the spring blossoms and green, it is a great time isn't it! Hope that you are having a good weekend. xx

  2. Your plants are all blooming so nicely now. I really love those deep purple tulips, so pretty.

  3. Beautiful garden and beautiful time of year with such wonderful surprises each time you walk around. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. Truly stunning and thoughtful gifts.

  4. Your garden is looking lovely Chrissie, I love those almost black tulips, mine have all but disappeared, I need to make a note to plant some more in the autumn!
    I have to agree the brilliant green of new leaves is a joy!
    V xxx

  5. Anonymous8:29 pm BST

    You are lucky to have a visit to Norway. I love coming home from holiday; I'm such a homebird and enjoy getting back in my own bed and enjoying my surroundings. We also bought an apple tree a few years ago, but it still only has two branches and looks very forlorn. Lovely owl brooch. Enjoy the rest of the weekend x

  6. Welcome back Chrissie, what wonderful photographs, when you look at them you realise how wonderfully green and colourful our country just is. Fabulous gifts from the lovely Gilly, she is a little star. A lovely post Chrissie as always which is why I always love to visit you. Have a great Sunday, sending you huge hugs and loves

  7. How lovely is Gilly?
    Her owl brooch is superb and I love those lacy zips but have not used one yet!
    Your garden colours are beautiful, I can see you making a colour palette of those pink and greens...?
    bestest love
    Daisy x

  8. Hi Chrissie, I am always torn between bringing tulips inside or not. This year I have brought a few in because of the rain and they have lasted well and been such a joy. What a delightful package to receive on your return home :-) Tracey xx

  9. It's good to appreciate home and thoughtful gifts from lovely friends. I'm in love with your tulips!!

  10. I would so love to spend some time enjoying your lovely garden Chrissie - not to work in it, you understand - just to relax and breathe in all the beauty mother nature has on offer! The bleeding heart plant is an absolute wonder to me, and I haven't seen one in a long long time so thank you for that, and your astounding tulips, yes, dignified they stand but I hope you have rescued them before the rain comes down! And I want pink blossom all year round - just can't get enough of it! Thank you for sharing such delights!
    What a gorgeous parcel you received from Gilly - so very thoughtful with those extra touches!
    Your post has been an absolute delight for me to peruse this Sunday morning lovely Chrissie, thank you! Sending you much love and I hope you soon settle in to home and the familiar again soon! Joy xo

  11. What a lovely garden you have Chrissie! I so wish I had a apple tree!!!!
    Don't you just love wonderful little surprises that come in the mail....all so cute!!
    xx Shari

  12. Your garden is looking so lush and green! I too love pootling around after a holiday away..... it's so exciting and new again.
    Happy sunday
    love Jooles x x x
    P.S gorgeous treats!

  13. Such gorgeous photos of your beautiful garden. Lovely gift from Gilly, she is amazing.
    Hugs to you,

  14. glad you enjoyed your holliday.Fantastic pics.Love Gilly's presi,what a clever idea.

  15. Lovely pictures ! Spring is here...I hope he stay...
    Have a great week !

  16. Beautiful photo's Chrissie. And such a lovely parcel to have received through the post.
    Have a great week
    Kate x

  17. We've got lots of plants in common it would seem! Some dark tulips are growing in my front garden (I've just moved here so it's interesting to see what comes up!) I've also got a beautiful bleeding heart & my yard wall has little ferns which must have planted themselves.

    Love the little gifts you received and the zip would look perfect on a dress :-)

  18. Gorgeous garden pictures, and such a lovely parcel from Gilly! I like her little notes on each item too! Happy week :)
    Helen xox

  19. What a lovely parcel! I love Gilly's blog :-)
    Your garden looks so pretty!

    Sarah x

  20. Dear Chrissie,
    Always so very lovely to come back home....and to Spring Time...
    who seems to arrived in all her glory, whilst you were away...
    LOVE all the spring pictures, i only have a small court yard...But it to is bursting with colour, too...
    So very much a pleasure to take a walk through yours with you! Thank you..
    Ooh she's a lovely one is Gilly! Wonderful bits and bobs.
    With the cutest sentiments....
    With kindest thoughts..
    Maria x

  21. Your garden is looking beautiful Chrissie and I too have received a parcel from Gilly ... they are very special .. Bee xx

  22. Hi from South Africa ... Such beautiful garden photos Chrissie, England and the UK is so spectacular in Spring!
    Pat :) ~

  23. This time of the year is just beautful. What lovely pictures. I feel I can spend all day in the garden just enjoying the beauty! And what a nice surprise in the post. Just what you need when you have to go back to reality after a holiday! Anna x

  24. Everywhere does seem to have suddenly gone crazy with growth and greenery! Lovely photos of your lovely garden. x

  25. I love that feeling when I get back from a week away and I feast my eyes on the garden and say WOW! Your swap is super generous. I have been hosted to a lunch at Gliiy's on a blog meet and she is truly the most lovely lady with effortless kindness. Jo x

  26. Your garden is looking so pretty Chrissie. Lovely photos! Your Goodies from Gilly are perfectly adorable! xo

  27. All your photos are so lush and green. It's been a cracking spring this year - having a sunny Easter holiday helped a great deal - and I think the blossom has been stunning. x