01 April 2012


Thinking about this blog this week and musing on a few other things too, I thought about wonder. While the blog reflects some of what's going on weekly in my garden and in what I can see of the world around and about, what I also want it to do from time to time (well alright, more frequently than that if possible) is remind myself and you, dear reader, about wonder; not the wonder that comes from travelling to new places or hearing a moving piece of music or reading a beautifully wrought poem (all of which I love of course), or marvelling at Hockney in the Royal Academy (glad you enjoyed it, DM) or Soutine in the Orangerie (do you remember CM?), but specifically the wonder that's there for all of us, even--or perhaps especially--on a day-to-day basis. Even in, yes, the small suburban garden that I mention in the profile.

And so... a cold night, a sunlit morning, dew in the garden, a waiting grass (Molinia). And there it is, a jewel suspended, sunlight gleaming, its own world inverted inside.

Wonder dew
(For those of you looking at this on a laptop or PC, it may be worth double-clicking to see the image better).

Of course it helps me to get it here for you that I can turn to my resident photographer and ask him to capture it - thanks for the lovely image BvG.

The lengthening days, the warmth, the move into April mean that each day brings changes, too many to record here; so different from the dark winter months when there's a search for light and delight. Now the gardens, parks, trees, the sky, the light each carry their own sense of wonder.

You'll know from last week that top of any wonder list at this time of the year is blossom. As some trees start to take a step back, others are waiting in the wings. The Malus (crab apple) trees on our road are now in full blossomy flight:

Malus blossoms, some pale, some blushing
In the park and field nearby, the oaks and birches are now joining the horse chestnut and are stretching out shining and new. 

Birch catkins start to emerge

Is there anything fresher than new spring growth?

More oak
Back at home the Japanese maples are stealing the show. In my small back garden I have three... probably too many, but one is very small, another was a gift (thanks J and A), and the other was simply too beautiful not to have in my garden, gracing it, really. 

Acer  palmatum dissectum

Acer palmatum atropurpureum

Acer palmatum chinostachys
If you had to pick just one maple, Acer palmatum chinostachys would be the one I'd recommend: through all the seasons it's a joy, from the exquisite new growth now, which is an indescribable colour (if you can describe it, add a comment at the end!), through the most beautiful deep red flowers and seeds, all the way to a glowing autumn scarlet. In case I haven't convinced you, I again commissioned B to give me a hand:

New growth on Acer palmatum chinostachys, thanks for the photo B

And lest this whole wonderwall has been too much for you, let's end on a slightly different note: the results of all that froggy fornication a few weeks back. Here's a really short video--32sec--taken (very shakily) on the phone one evening this week; only bother with headphones if you want the sounds of suburban living and a lapping schnauzer (she had to show up somewhere...). 

Tadpoles from Erica cinerea on Vimeo.

And finally, happy happy 20th DM. 


  1. Not fair all of that garden beauty whilst hail falls lightly against the pane here in New Haven, with low of 2c tonight.

    1. ah, but we've winter on the way back too: hail and frost this week.

  2. Froggy fornication? Pishaw. Forsooth amphibious inamorator mores the like. Wonder at H20 droplet is due. SOT

    1. glad you enjoyed the dew drop. i'll work on my shakespearean...

  3. Canonymous02 April, 2012

    That is an incredible shot of the dew and illustrates your point (and your post) beautifully:)

    1. thank you! as i mentioned, it's great to have a real photographer in the house.