Returning, tired from our travelling, to our home:

There is a quotation from the poet Vaius Valerius Catullus on the frieze of the Temple of Bacchus in the grounds of the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, south of Sorrento, in Italy which reads:

Quid solutis est beatius curis
cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,
desideratoque adquiescimus lecto?

Oh what is more blest than when the mind,
Cares dispelled, puts down its burden
And we return, tired from our travelling, to our home
To rest on the bed we have longed for?

It has struck me that Catullus didn’t seem to be particularly intrested in his garden for, rather than seeking one’s bed, the gardener will almost certainly walk the garden to check that all is well and to notice any changes in the time spent away from home. On our return from a few days visiting gardens and reconnecting with friends in Northern Ireland, our first actions were to water the potted plants around the house and the tomato plants in the glasshouse. A quick walk-around assured us that not only was all well in the garden but that plants had thrived in our absence. We have had a week of warm weather and the rate of growth and of flowering has been phenomenal. Plants only peeping into flower a few days ago, had come to full bloom in what seems record speed.

A bed of Benton irises, the creations of the artist Cedric Morris, had burst into full flower during our time away from home

Last evening was not the time for photography as the essentials of life had to be deal with – unpacking, bathing, eating and resting – but I took a walk around the garden with the camera this morning to capture those plants which looked well. It has been, by the way, an especially beautiful day here with clear blue skies and temperatures up to 21C. We were back to our gardening routing with the Head Gardener on a round of dead-heading and general tidying-up while I watered recently planted lettuce, scallions (spring onions!) and parsley before cutting the grass. I noted the Broad beans had set very well with quite a few pods ready for picking; the garlic is shoulder-high; potatoes (British Queens) are about 40-50cm high but the asparagus has finished for this year and is now entering its summer ferny-foliage period.

Tulipa sprengeri is my favourite tulip and has the good grace to grow fabulously in our garden where it self-seeds very generously.

Of course, this is paeonia season and the paeonias are looking fabulous at the moment. These are fleeting blooms but are of such beauty that one loves them while they are in flower and forgives their fleeting nature.

Paeonia ‘Cora Louise’ has opened its first flower with, thankfully, more to come!

On the other hand, Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’ is in full bloom and is to be enjoyed for its moment of glory for this passes very quickly. The colour of the flower changes as it ages, darker when new and fading with the passing days.

Here is a slideshow of other plants of interest in the garden at the moment:

And, it wasn’t all snapping photographs: I managed to cut the grass as well:


11 thoughts on “Returning, tired from our travelling, to our home:

  1. It is always a risk leaving the garden at this time of year but delighted to hear all is well and it is wonderful to come back to so much colour. The Benton Iris look fabulous. Your broad beans are monsters! Mine have flowered well but not set well but it maybe the drought and I have noticed a lack of bees, in general. The garden is a credit to you both – looks amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Broad Beans are “Aquadulce”, one we have used regularly over the years, sowing in autumn so they are early to crop. They are well over head-height at present and just ready for picking. The irises may need some division this year!


  2. This post brought back memories. Once many years ago during the height of gardening season my daughter decided to gift us with tickets to go see our grandchildren… for almost 3 weeks. While of course I was overjoyed …. I was also in a bit of a panic. I came home to kind of a mess. Three weeks is a long time to leave a cottage garden unattended. In our hot and humid summers things grow like crazy. And they did. Even the invasive weeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are in the season of fastest growth where the soil still has plenty of moisture and the temperatures have risen. We are busy every day in the garden.

      Liked by 1 person

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