Saturday, April 23, 2011
England is just one big garden at this time of year - it's so good to be back in this green and pleasant land - and such a rich and lush , dazzling emerald green compared to Africa's khaki bushveld. My sister Julia's garden is a pocket handkerchief of colour - purple pansies, orange azaleas, pale yellow gorse and a beautiful tree laden with pink cherry blossom that flutters around like wedding confetti in the breeze.
Today we drove through narrow winding roads into the nearby countryside where bright yellow rapeseed crops clashed harshly with the rich green fields bordered by sprouting hedgerow. I oohed with delight as we turned each corner and Julia had to stop the car every five minutes while I jumped out with my camera. I just love the fact that the countryside is so accessible and that there is still so much of it teeming with wild flowers - my favourite being bluebells.
We came across a whole bank of them at the top of Shirley Brow - a sea of shimmering blue in the dappled shade. Again an emergency stop and I approached them on springy ground to take better photographs (they are on my other camera and I haven't packed my adapter to get them onto the computer but when I do I will share the photos). The earthy forest carpet was filled with that hyacinth perfume that just sceams blue - a sight to remember and the fragrance unforgettable.
I could hardly bear to leave that place but we were off to the Houghwood Golf Club for lunch with a view - over the verdant Lancashire plain to the Mersey estuary.It was our lucky day as a Spring wedding was taking place at Houghwood - ribonned vintage cars, top hats, tails, a beautiful bride resplendent in ivory satin, bridesmaids in soft lilac and an assortment of wedding finery and hats to admire.
Driving back through Billing, Crank and Crawford villages - Union Jacks and St Georges flags fluttered outside stone churches and quaint cottages to celebrate England's patron saint - reminding me that I am well and truly home!