Fairy Tale Depravity
On daring to be foolish, once again

Among the flowers


As Tilly perches among the flowers on a lazy summer afternoon, I'm reminded of what this spot looked like when we first moved into Bumblehill: a sad patch of land at the back of the yard by the border of the woods. First we built the two-room cabin that is used as Howard's office now....

Cabin construction

...and then Howard put on his gardening cap and got to work on the land itself...

Cabin construction 2

...transforming a muddy, weedy, unloved bit of ground ...

Cabin construction 3

...into a garden rich in color and scent...

The cabin in midsummer 2011

...full of birds and bees and butterflies...


...and one little black dog. Who believes, of course, that he did it all just for her.

Tilly in the flowers 2


It never fails, but that, at precisely the moment a need a beautiful, uplifting vision, you drop into my dashboard with just what the doctor ordered!

And, before I shut down and tuck in, i want to share this gorgeous post with you http://www.booktryst.com/2011/08/warwick-gobles-fairy-book-in-binding-to.html

beautiful dog, beautiful garden. don't forget to cut back the leggy Buddleja plant very hard, when it stops flowering. you'll have a thicker tree in no time, with heaps more flowers next season. sorry, couldn't help myself!! i have lots of them in my garden, and had hundreds of various butterflies this past summer for weeks. ox

I had no idea that backyard was so bare before Howard put his hands to it! This was so beautiful to see. Thank you!

I love the before and after photos. Amazing how love can change the land!

it surprises me that she's little, she has a big presence, a beautiful face.

I think planting a garden shows the land that it is loved in the language it knows best...

Sometimes in photos (like the top one here) she looks a lot bigger than she actually is -- I think because she has a big labrador head and chest on short spaniel legs. (She's a "springador" -- her mother was a springer spaniel and her father was a lab.)

We tend to think of her as "little" because she's little compared to full-blood labs...but really she's a medium-sized dog. (But you're right, she has a big presence!)

Here's a picture of her out on the moor with my step-daughter where you can get a better sense of her height: http://windling.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54fcf738588340134859e5502970c-pi

It was taken a while back, but Tilly has only filled out a little since then, not gotten taller. (Which we're glad about, as our house is really too small for a big dog. So she's perfect!)

Good advice. Thanks!

Culminating cultivating! ;)

A beautiful, multi-dimensional, love story.

Thank you, Terri and Tilly, for your prayers the other day. As of today I am the new, proud, adoptive mother of China, the very-mixed breed rescue dog. She has never had a permanent home and will take time to settle in, but she's very gentle and my three daughters are basking in the glow of new found love.

All the best.

Tilly's like a princess in her kingdom! She loves being there, it's obvious. Bravo for Howard - he has "light" hands, as we say here. This means that the plants grow, bloom and live in his hands.:)

What are those intense blue flowers called? So magical!

Congratulations to all of you!

It's a "hardy geranium," which is perennial and does very well here.

Thank you for that. I'm a big fan of Goble's work. I'll add it to Friday's recommended links.

An amazing transformation... I love the "before and after" photos; they demonstrate the amount of love and labour which is usually left unnoticed.

The dog is so cute with those flowers surrounding him.

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