Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Flemish diagonal bond

 There is a building in Oxford, where I live, not a striking building, in any sense and nothing ever happens in connection with it. 

However the brickwork is a perfect example of Flemish diagonal bond and the pattern surrounding the roof is beautiful in an understated way.

Unlike, builders, we growers do not leave monuments to gaze at however when we grow flowers people will stop and wonder.....This makes it all worthwhile.  

Sunday, 17 September 2017

God on the Allotment

It is because we are so busy, that we never see God among the plants in the garden.

Who needs a preacher in monks robes when you have an allotment.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What is Autumn

Autumn: the endless at arising and passing away of everything.

What does it mean.

It means do not hold on to anything.


Get up make your bed and get on with your life.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

What is Autumn?

Autumn is, to my mind, a lovely time; for it has tenderness and melancholy..

All around lie the first small signs of change-the evening chill, the yellowing leaves, rodents looking around for their winter homes.

There is also a hesitation in the air, a sort of vulnerability. A sort of soft smile plays across the face of the moon...the peace and stillness of an early Autumn evening...with the deep acceptance of the coming winter.

It is good to site on the allotment and let the chile wind touch my cheek and not be afraid of what is to come.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The first leaf of Autumn

I sit with my back against an apple tree
Beside me the whispering slow moving Thames
Below me a carpet of gold

Into my palm a yellow leaf...the first of Autumn

Sunday, 3 September 2017

My Shed

My shed is a home away from home. On my allotment I have two of them.

One is for my tools and gear and the other is where I like to sit.

The space between home and the world between the inside and the outside.

Where I watch the day turn into night, where i listen to the flies in summer and see the seasons pass.

A place where I belong.

You do not have to sit in a shed to feel this.

If your eyes are open then you belong wherever you are even if you go beyond the gate all the way away.

Do not complicate a thing.

Give and take from this world moment by moment by moment.

Then you are never separate from you true home.

Remember the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mid summer

It does not matter which month the calendar displays, or what the weather forecast predicts, nature alone decodes when winter has ended and summer has begun.
I have noticed that the weather in the spring is much more extreme: it is a time when the weather can be wintry for three days, summery for two, then return to colder, windier, weather then we had during the winter itself.

It has certainly been like that this year; however summer has made itself know now and is ready to start.

As growers such unpredictability means that it is crucial that we have a measured approach to the changing seasons. We must notice details and not wait for the papers to proclaim ‘Phew what a scorcher’ or to experience motorway traffic queues to know that it is summer.

When you have picked the last purple sprouting broccoli and next years seedlings are eager to be planted out, when the radishes and rocket are abundant and when the flowers appear on the strawberries, it is safe to say that summer is,at the very least, imminent.

The sun shines and it will not be long before we have a hosepipe ban, which will mean that real summer, in all it’s precipitous glory, arrives.
At the moment we are having a few balmy nights.Wrestle out the chair from the back of the shed and enjoy the evening.

It is 33 degrees here in Oxford and has been for the last three days