Saturday, 13 June 2015

Saturday this and that . . .

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Some days I know exactly what I am going to write about when I sit down at the computer in the morning  . . . I'm usually already thinking about it when I get out of bed!!   Others, like today  . . .  I have no idea what is going to pop out.   I am just as surprised at what comes out of my head and heart as you are!

Don't you like the marigolds at the top of this post?   They are planted in a tub in our back garden.  I love marigolds and every year I beg Todd to plant marigolds . . . .  and every year he says no  . . .  because they only end up being a feast for the slugs.   This year he caved in, and I have a whole planter full of them!   They're so very cheerful!!!   I know that marigolds don't smell nice  . . .  but they cheer the heart like nothing else!

They are also known as calendula which is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass".  Did you know that in Greek mythology, Marigold was the name of the daughter of King Midas?  A king who was given the power to turn everything into gold with just his touch.  He turned his daughter into gold . . .

Because of this, Midas despised his accursed power, and sought help from the God of Wine, Dionysus. With his help, Midas was able to turn everything he made into gold normal even his daughter.

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Of course I was really excited this week to get my camera back and to have it working so well!  I took a few snaps to test it out and along with the poppies I showed you the other day, this was another one.    We have clematis and honeysuckle planted on the fence in our back garden which separates the grassed area from the paving stones in the patio.   This clematis blooms almost all summer!  It's just really beginning now, but you can see the promise of many, many blooms.  I do not know the variety, only that it is beautiful . . .  you can just see a tiny bud from the honeysuckle down in the right hand corner, bright pink.   So here . . .  we have majestic purple and bright pink.

What makes purple majestic??  I don't know!  I only know that Kings and Queens have worn it for centuries, even back to Biblical times . . .  in fact Lydia (from the Bible) was a seller of purple.  So she was in a pretty good business because all of her customers would have been very wealthy as only the very wealthy were allowed to wear purple, or could afford it.

I love purple.  And red.   And blue . . .  and Pink.   Heck I just love colour!

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We have had an absolutely brilliantly sunny week this week.  It's only been really warm for a few of those days, but all in all . . . you can't beat the sunshine for lifting the mood!  Yesterday we got into the shed and pulled half of it out and I got rid of a lot of old tat . . . baking pans that were rusted or too beat up to use.   Pots and pans that I never use and are just taking up space.   Plastic bits that no longer have lids or bottoms . . .  etc.  I think you need to do that every now and again.    We still have the other half of it to do  . . .  and today is dull and will probably turn to rain, but at least half of it is done.

I knocked a bottle of cider vinegar over and it broke.   I cut my finger on it, but only a little  . . .  but boy oh boy!  Oh Vey!  It sure brought the spiders out.   Big daddy long legs came zipping out from under the freezer, etc.  Apparently they don't like cider vinegar!  Who knew.

And here's me who doesn't like spiders at all . . .  I do confess, I squealed a little bit and almost gave Todd a heart attack!

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We have this antirrhinum or snap dragon that comes up every year and in an abundance of colours . . .  there is yellow in there too, but you are only seeing the pink.   It's glorious and big . . .  and a bit of a surprise to see every year.  I wonder if we might be able to transplant it someplace else, or perhaps we should just let it bloom where it is . . .  moving it might kill it and it does please us every year even where it is, as out of place as it seems.

Derived from the Greek words “anti,” meaning like, and “rhin,” meaning nose, antirrhinum, the snapdragon’s botanical name, is a fitting description of this snout-shaped flower. It’s said that the common name for this colorful flower comes from the snap it makes when the sides of the “dragon’s mouth” are gently squeezed.  It is believed that snapdragons were originally wildflowers in Spain and Italy. Legend has it that concealing a snapdragon makes a person appear fascinating and cordial, and in the language of flowers, snapdragons are said to represent both deception (perhaps tied to the notion of concealment) and graciousness.

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I don't know when roses are more beautiful  . . .  when only in the bud, or when completely unfurled.   I cannot make up my mind.   We have roses in every colour under the sun, but this pink one caught my eye the other day.   Roses are such beautiful flowers and their scent  . . .  it's just heavenly.  In a garden that is.  I am not overly fond of rose scented perfumes.  I know not why. Only that I am not.

Different coloured roses mean different things in flower language.  Symbolizing gentility, femininity, elegance and refinement, the pink rose also carries additional meanings depending on its hue. A deep pink conveys gratitude and appreciation, while pale shades connote grace and gentleness, admiration and happiness.

I am not sure what meaning this one conveys . . .  but perhaps somewhere in between, it's conveying a gratitude for you in a graceful and gentle way?  Who can tell?

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Of course a part of our garden is given over to wild flowers.   The bees and butterflies love that part.   The meadow buttercups are in bloom and you can just about see a bee beneath the edge of one of the blooms above . . . second one down and to the left.

'Oura' is the Greek word for tail and 'urus' is derived from that. ... The latin name for meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) gives us a clue about it's nature.  It is one of the prettiest of flowers, but also one of the deadliest. If your cows begin to munch on buttercups . . .  be very afraid.

The plant produces protoanemonin, which is at its highest concentration at the flowering stage. It is quite unstable and drying of the plant leads to its polymerisation into a crystalline non-toxic anemonin. Protoanemonin is formed from the glycoside ranunculin when the plant is crushed.

But it is also said to give a brighter yellow colour to butter. On May Day, the Irish used to rub buttercups onto cows udders, a tradition to supposedly encourage milk production.  If a buttercup held beneath your chin casts a reflection against the flesh, you are said to be fond of butter. Victorians believed it stood for ingratitude and childishness. Some folklore believes yellow to be an evil colour and, hence, gives the plant an evil side.

All in all a very mixed bag, but pretty to the eye and bees love it.

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Can you stand yet another Chubster?   Rainy Days come to us all.  I always wanted a raincoat like this one when I was a child.   Didn't you?    I had a clear plastic one and one of those horrible rain bonnets, that folded up into nothing.

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Our strawberry patch is filled with lots of blooms.   I can't wait for them to all ripen so we can enjoy them.  Is there anything on earth as delicious as strawberry shortcake prepared with strawberries . . .  freshly picked  . . . with the warmth of the sun still fresh on their pebbled skin?  I think not!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . .

To keep the heart unwrinkled,
to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent . . . 
that is to triumph over old age.
~Thomas B Aldrich

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Bitty Blueberry Fudge Bettys.    (Or what to do when you have far too much bread on your hands!)

Have a wonderful Saturday, even if it does rain . . .  we need the rain along with the sunshine.   Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!


  1. Gosh I feel I have read a great deal about plants in teh garden this mroning,,,does your knowledge never end !! We used to love the snapdragons when children as we ran after each other opening the flower heads as if to bite each other !! Been a very wet night I think...well teh roads etc are very wet, I didn't hear it ! looks as if it is comming on again any minue now...Supposed to be going up t Chippenham as usual on Saturday morning...don't really feel like it, but uppose I will go, Then I will be in for teh rest of the day.. I am very tired this morning, can't seem to waken myself up !! So I will go now and send hugs winging their way to Chester xxxxx

  2. Good morning Marie,

    I have enjoyed our morning tirip through the gorgeous flowers in your world. Yesterday I made dad by mum some flowers. We ended up with a gerbra that was coloured almost orange, they are such a beautiful deep yellow. Almost an American cheddar. The centres are a lime green. Dad used to stop at the flower farm and buy her flowers almost every week. Sadly it is now a game that only happens if we happen to be out together and at Aldi. I can not afford more than $5 for the flowers. I loed learning more about the names and I never knew that Midas' daughter was supposedly called Marigold.

    The chibby little ones make my heart sing. Thank you for shariing them with me.

    I needed a smile because my caring role for mum has meant I have missed two social outings and I need some distraction. I am hoping to take Will to the beach overnight on Monday as he has Tuesday and Monday as days off. He is so tired. I want somewhere with a spar so he can rest his tired body. Chef's hours are brutal.

    God bless your day my love.

  3. It was raining last night when we went to bed Sybil, but not very heavily. It looks as if we may get some sunshine today. We shall see! I hope you do go out as I am sure you will enjoy it! When I make myself go out, I am always glad that I did! Love and hugs! xoxo

    How lovely that your dad was able to get your mum some pretty flowers. I hope you are able to take Will to the beach. I know all about the long and brutal hours of a chef, and all on your feet. I am sure he deserves the rest! God bless your evening! xoxo

  4. I love the flower pictures and all the info about them too. We have snapdragons that come up here year after year and have transplanted them too. They seem pretty hardy. It is a beautiful time of year with so many things blooming. Hope you have a super Saturday !

  5. Thanks Pam! I think at the end of the growing season we will split them up. I want to split up the poppies also! Have a fabulous Saturday yourself! xoxo

  6. Marie adorable!

    And so glad the cam is working so well..
    Your gardens are so lovely.I returned from a few days away to an infestation of rose chafers..Decimated my soon to be peonies in the front and irises..attacking the shastas..they are disgusting:( And I have thousands:(

  7. Love your garden.....all your flowers are beautiful. Glad you have your camera back so you can share your garden with us.
    Keep the Chubsters coming....they are so cute and I'm sure they bring a smile to all bloggers out there, just as they do me.

  8. Oh my word Monique! I had to look that up as I had not heard of them. How disappointing! I hope there is something that you can do. :-( I am just so annoyed for you! They say they lay their larvae in rotting wood? Do you have a wood stove? Perhaps there were some in your wood from last winter? I am almost crying for you. You have such a beautiful garden and this must be almost soul destroying. :-( I am praying you can do something.

    Thanks Marsha. I am glad you enjoy the chubsters! Our garden is very wild, which suits us. Well, it suits the gardener anyways, Todd. I am an armchair gardener. I would love for it to be more manicured, but I don't do the work so I can't dictate! haha xoxo


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