Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How does your garden grow ?

It's been a busy couple of weeks here. Spring has arrived & with it, the dreaded *spring back* that we all suffer from when we rather foolishly drag put the spades & forks & get going in the garden.

I've been weeding, digging, sowing, sweeping & tidying up in general & I'm pleased to say my garden is beginning to look rather nice :o) There are buds on the fruit trees, buds on the flowers & the forsythia is a big splash of sunshine yellow that hits you as soon as you open the kitchen door :o)

The grass is beginning to grow & it's had 2 cuts already. The weeds, however, seem to double overnight & I'm sure they have a *grow-as-big-&-strong-in-a-short-space-of-time* gene that no other plant has :o) Still, as my Mum says - *a weed is just a wildflower in a place where you don't want it* Or words to that effect :o)

I love this time of year when the mind & body are equal to the enthusiasm. Give it a couple of months, when the weeds are bigger & taller, the grass needs cutting every week & the blackfly, snails, slugs  & cabbage whites are attacking the veggies & it'll be a different matter altogether !! :o)

But, in the meantime - welcome to my spring garden.

Some of the veggies & flowers sprouting in the greenhouse.

Looking down towards the house from the end of the garden. The pots all need sorting out, which is why they're up on the decking. The spring bulbs are all coming out & when you walk past the hyacinths, they smell glorious.

The pear tree blossom looks about to burst open.

One of the Japanese Quinces - such a beautiful colour, although it's actually a deeper pinky red than this photo shows.

The other Japanese Quince, this time a beautiful salmon pink colour. Every year I say to myself that I should use the fruit to make quince jam but I never have. Maybe this year . . . :o)
Kit's Korner, my little memorial garden. The daffodils look lovely swaying in the wind.

The back of the rockery. Yesterday, I sprinkled 1000s of seeds over it, so I should get a good display this summer. I'm not sure exactly what flowers they are, the boxes were mixed seeds - wildflowers, scented flowers, cottage garden flowers, flowers that attract bees & butterflies etc. I chucked them all in a large container, mixed them up & sprinkled :o)  Fingers crossed the birds don't find them & eat them :o)

This flower bed really needs a good sort out. I put the log roll border in today & although I weeded some of it, it's going to need a bit more TLC before it looks nicer

The forsythia behind the garage, seen from the kitchen door. It looks so lovely when the sun shines through it.

So. How does YOUR garden grow ? :o)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

And then there were none . . .

Farewell Richborough Power Station Towers

Love them or loathe them, it was the end of an era this morning when the skyline of Thanet changed forever. 

Richborough Towers have always been there in my lifetime. They were a welcome sight coming back from a long journey because you knew you were almost home.They were a navigational aid & after decommisioning, they were home to wildlife.

The chimneys as we knew them, viewed from the clifftop at Courtstairs. 

 In less than a minute they were down.

 It was an amazing sight, although I must admit to feeling a bit sad, too.

 I'm not keen on change, I feel safer when things carry on as they are.

 But - change happens & whether or not this will be a good thing for the local area remains to be seen.

 The cliff tops & the roads leading to them were crowded. I have never seen so many people gathering in one spot before. It seems like the whole of Thanet turned out, not just the people of Ramsgate & Sandwich.

I wonder what it'll look like once the dust clears ?

It's going to be strange driving past & not seeing the towers, it's going to seem strange looking across the cliff top & not seeing them every day, but we have to look to the future & try to make the best of it, no matter how we feel about what's gone before.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Artistic Likes & Dislikes

I realise that art means different things to different people so the views expressed here are entirely my own & no one else's :o) I don't expect anyone to necessarily agree with them, but here they are, anyway :o)

Yesterday, we decided to pay a visit to the Turner Centre in Margate. It's something we've spoken about since it was opened & as we had to go to Margate we thought it would be an ideal time.

Well. What a disappointment.

The building is, IMO, disgustingly modern & looks totally out of place where it is. Great idea to build it on or near the spot where Turner stayed, I get that, but . . . shudder.  It is UGLY.

Great that they have disabled parking, BUT - who on earth decided that the ONLY way for a wheelchair to get to the slope is at the traffic lights ?  If  there's another way to get onto the path, it's well hidden. The only way we could find was to walk on the road, go past the Occupy Thanet campers, past the steps to the gallery, past the slope for a few feet & then turn onto the path at the traffic lights & turn back towards the building. LUCKILY, there were only a couple of cars going by when we arrived & once I'd got the wheelchair out, they'd gone, but even so - it's ridiculous & dangerous to expect disabled people to have to walk or be pushed among traffic before they can get access.  It wasn't far from car park to lights,  but that's not the point, accidents happen in a split second.

Anyway.  Once we got in, my expectations plummeted. The first thing you see when you enter is a huge white room with a long reception type desk on the opposite wall, a small gift area to the right & on the far left, on loan from the Tate Gallery, Rodin's *The Kiss*, which was pretty spectacular. This was the only area of the building that photos were allowed.

Three full scale versions were made in Rodin's lifetime & this is the second one, commissioned by Edward Peery in 1900, for his private collection in Lewes, East Sussex. Shame it was so foggy, the view from the window across the sea would have looked nicer if the sun was shining :o)

The back view with the reception desk on the left & the gift area at the far end.

To get up to the main exhibitions, we had to go in the lift. It was HUGE.  Bigger than my bathroom & it takes a hundred people. Yes, that's right - 100 PEOPLE !!! Yikes !! There's no way on earth I would get in a lift with more than half a dozen people, never mind 100 !!!

When we got up a floor, there was a small seating area with a couple of display cabinets with nothing of any interest in. Again, just my opinion, I'm sure others will think differently.

We  then went through the doors into the Turner exhibition.  There were quite a lot of people in this particular area - some, like us, looked & moved on, others really did seem to be savouring every moment, stepping back, turning their heads this way & that,  pointing things out to their companions, humming & hawing, holding their chins in their hands etc. I did NOT feel comortable in there at all & I have to say, as lovely as a couple of the paintings were, there were some that just looked like blobs on canvas. Maybe it was something to do with their age, maybe it was the light, but I'm sad to say I was disappointed with most of them.

We left that room & a lovely lady who worked there, opened the doors to let us through easier. We went into the next room & that was all about modern art, the subject being walking. The whole thing left us cold & we couldn't get out of there fast enough. I didn't understand it, nothing caught my interest & I have to say, considering the size of the building, the amount of things on show were, to my mind, woefully inadequate.

Now, if ever they decide to have an exhibition of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood or Jack Vettriano, I'll be the first one through the door :o)