On reflection: can there be too much of it?


Writers are past masters of diversionary tactics. This particular writer spends a considerable amount of avoiding the work in progress. She is not sure why. But staring out of the window is definitely a popular pastime. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to stare at a sky like this, the sun going down behind Wenlock Edge.

Then I discovered something really neat as I was trying to snap it. My office has a cabin bed in the corner under the roof light. So I clambered on the bed, and opened the window to the horizontal to give myself a makeshift ‘tripod’. I then set the Lumix to sunset mode and rested it on the back of the window. And this is what happened.

Who’d’ve thought avoiding writing could be this much fun. But there’s a lesson here too. Sometimes we overthink the pieces we are working on. Sometimes we need to loosen up and play. And ask questions. Definitely ask questions. E.g. What would happen if I let my characters think for themselves, and stopped trying to control them? What if I let them go play? What might they not come with? Something magical, diverting, extraordinary? Do I have the nerve to let them go?

copyright 2016 Tish Farrell

The Bees’ Knees In Vibrancy


This is one my favourite photos. If you look hard you can even see the bees’ wings vibrating. And yes, for those who come here often, I know I’ve posted it a few times before. But isn’t it joyous – hot red, buzzing bees, sunshine.

And how about bees in the sneeze weeds (aka Heleniums)


Or the bee on this sunflower that was growing last summer in a pot by the shed:


All of which is to say we need to keep thinking about bees. We cannot do without them. They pollinate many of the plants that provide us with essential foods.  In the northern hemisphere new seeds are coming into the shops, so we can all think about sowing some bee-friendly flowers. You don’t need a garden. A pot of oregano will please them, and make you happy too when you’re making spaghetti sauce.


And then sedums will provide a valuable late summer nectar boost for honey bees. There are many varieties of this plant – large and small. They don’t need much attention and will grow in containers too:


If you want to find out which plants are bee friendly, there are many bee sites on the web. But for local first-hand information ask your local beekeepers society. There will be one. Meanwhile the Royal Horticultural Society provides some useful guidance if you want to give your life and bee-life lots more buzz.


Happy Wednesday Wherever You Are


Winter Garden From My Window


It’s the final week of Jude’s Winter Gardens challenge over at The Earth Laughs In Flowers. This, then, is the view of my garden captured on Saturday afternoon. It’s as much as I’m prepared to show you at the moment, so dreary is it after weeks  of rain. Also there was a definite lack of gardener-input in the autumn. Things just kept on growing and it was hard to know when to chop them back.

So they didn’t get chopped, and the place now has the look of a garden version of Miss Haversham’s attic. But you may just spot (in the bottom right hand pane) a small clump of tete a tete daffodils. Even they  aren’t planted, but are sitting on top of the soil. They were tipped out of a pot bought last spring, at which point I had every intention of re-planting them. Oh well. Neglect hasn’t stopped them thriving. They started flowering at the end of December.

I have to confess that I’m a fair-weather gardener, at least where dampness is concerned. And it really is too cosy indoors. Also unlike the garden, the house is now clean and tidy, which was the real reason I took the first two photos – to document that tidiness is possible. And I’m sharing the proof with the world in an attempt to stem backsliding tendencies.


But housework and fair-weather gardening aside, I am getting twinges of planters’ itch. My first delivery of vegetable seeds arrived earlier last week – all those crisp packets of pent-up potential, and now it is February. Hurray! Time to sow the peas and leeks in the allotment polytunnel, and start off the aubergines and sweet peppers at home.

And talking of sweet things, my first sowing of sweet peas on the kitchen window sill is already sprouting. So apologies to Jude for not quite sticking to the winter garden plot. I’m  finishing  this post with thoughts of summer, and deliciously scented blooms to come. And I know she won’t mind because she knows very well that it’s forward-dreaming that keeps gardeners going through the long winter season.


copyright 2016 Tish Farrell