The Cottage Smallholder

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Flowers from the garden: April 2008

April flowers 2008.“Please ring me when the apple blossom opens.”
Years ago, this was my mother’s plea. She always came to stay at the cottage in the spring to paint the apple blossom. She’s a talented water colour artist. In the autumn Mum cooked vast batches of apple puree and filled the freezer with small boxes, so we could enjoy apples throughout the winter months. It seemed a perfect circle.

Things have changed since then. It was a weekend cottage for me and my mum stayed during the working week. A perfect dovetail for peple who need peace and quiet and time to drift. Ofen we brezed in and out without even seeing each other. I’d know that she’d visited from the posy of flowers on the table.

We had many more apple trees back then. Several have been lost in bad storms and John set light to a couple – they were too near his bonfires. A favourite tree that used to be my mum’s parasol, when relaxing with the paper on hot afternoons, succumbed to honey fungus.

We have two ancient trees left. One is a living safety net that is now supporting a sturdy length of poplar – whipped off one of Anne Mary’s trees in a recent storm. That old cooking apple tree is damaged but fighting on valiantly.

I examined it today. Lying horizontally, the flowers were on my level and I was able to observe them from a different perspective. The chubby buds are as pretty and promising as the soft gentle flowers. When I smelt the sweet, dreamy scent, I just had to pick some to take inside.

The bluebells are always wonderful in the garden. A magical bulb. Our variety has dainty flowers and has spread into the wild areas. Mainly blue, but we have a few pink and white cousins. They lurk in the darkest corners and always delight me when I find them. They must have been here for generations.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kay

    Thanks for the tag!

    Hi Gillie

    We had rosebuds in January here! The apple blossom is just coming into its own and we still have a few daffs. All a bit topsy turvy this year.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    What a shame about the lilac. Our bees are going great guns on the plum and aplle blossom now.

    Hi Pat

    Planting an apple tree is such a good thing to do! Our bluebells smell so sweet – no wonder your cats love them.

  2. First year for my apple tree here. So have some time yet before we get our first apples. The flowers look gorgeous!!! Our bluebells are the fav sunbathing spot for the cats to lie on. Our forgetmenots are doing really great this year. Lovely bouquet Fiona.

  3. Kate(uk)

    My crab apples and my cooker have just got the bit between their teeth this last 48 hours- suddenly in full bloom rather than patchy bloom, despite the wild sudden storms, and smelling divine, full of bees.My lilac, that looked so promising and was absolutely covered in buds, caught the last hard frost the other week and the majority of the buds have just been crisped by it, very disappointing!

  4. gillie

    I am beginning to think I am living inside the arctic circle but just haven’t noticed yet. Our blossom is still in bud; last time I chatted to the magnolia bush it was only considering the emergence of bud, our speicies tulips are still in full flower and we still have plenty of daffodils. I know I shouldn’t wish my life or my garden away, but I am longing to see some blossom … there is plenty in Durham, but none in the outer echelons of Brancepeth 🙁

  5. I just tagged you, because I want to add a special (yummy) flavour to this damn meme that’s going around – I do hope the nearest book to you is a cookbook!

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