Thursday, January 29, 2015

A sunrise, a few sins and sculptures.

Happy New Year my lovely readers. Here's to new beginnings. Wishing you all many beautiful sunrises and the time to enjoy them.

This post goes out  with a special thanks to my blogger friends Pauline, Ananda and April whose comments on my last post made me think deeply about why I blog and why I should continue blogging despite so much pain and horror around us. Your posts my dear friends kept me enshrined in the beautiful world of writing and sharing- so -Thank You.

I started this year in America- visiting my sister and her lovely family. It’s always good to bring in the New Year with love and warmth and family and food and good wine.

Here at last is the post that I was working on when Peshawar shook my world. The shaking helped me to shed my doubts just like the tiny dust particles that fly off a dusty chair when you give it a big WHACK! Yes, some of the dust will settle back, but for now the chair looks cleaner and ready to be sat on. Just like I feel in this January of 2015. I am ready to let the dust that has been shaken off me turn into diamonds in the sunlight of hope. 

A hopeful me looks forward to a beautiful New Year.

So, I pick up from where I left off – at the Hampton Flower Show (London- summer 2014)

Can I tempt you with a peep show?  
Before you start panicking and furiously hitting the Esc button on your keyboard, let me explain: 
I am talking about the Conceptual Gardens at the show which were themed around the seven deadly sins.

The sins that were represented were...

I happened to start my sinful tour with lust.

I don't know why but I have bought a bunch of Anthuriums recently. 
Let's discard the psychological analysis and enjoy the sinful blooms for now. 
I love the dark plums and reds being naughty with the lush leaves of Ficus benjamina.

Next stop :WRATH- BLOW HOT
This was a dramatic garden. I was spellbound by the rage and fury- so much turmoil!
Don't the aloe blooms look like they're bristling with anger?

And just like that it all cooled off.
This garden is exactly how I behave when it's that time of the month and my poor family are left speechless and helpless.

ENVY was my favourite garden because of its simplicity. 
A green see through wall was enough to distort the reality and make one feel that the grass is greener ...

in who we are and what we do- without forcing our standards on others or expecting others to live by our rules. 
Yet, the hardest lesson to learn.

GLUTTONY was very popular with the crowds. 

enough said.

SLOTH- my favourite sin:)
Probably the anthem of the Procrastinating Peoples' Party!
Although, gardening is the one thing I don't put off till later. 
Dishes and cupboard sorting, on the other hand....

Moving on - to the land of sculptures...

The sculptures you've seen so far are all David Watkinson's. 
The ones that follow are an eclectic mix of whatever caught my eye as I moved with my camera- trying to avoid the crowds.

Food Fantasies

The 'cool' collection

The whimsical wonders

Isn't this the most precious planting idea? I will try it out and share it with you if it works. 
Ivy is easy to find in Doha, but the roses- let's see...

Attitude and kinda rabbit.

This is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. 
Maybe one day I will actually have the time to sit and enjoy my garden 
instead of toiling in the soil ALL the time. 
Here's to 'possibities'

It's almost time to wind up this post. So here's wishing you all a 
'do what makes you happy' New Year,

Listen to your favourite tunes.
Plant your favourite seeds.

Ogle at your favourite things and sigh with wonder.

Relish your favourite foods and taste your favourite flavours.

And if life puts lemons in your way, 
put them in a jar and let them be.
They look better with the blue skies on the window sill- contained.
my dears is a wonderful thing.
Step back from the bitter lemons- 
untangle your emotional strings and stand back. 
Take a deep breath. 
Close your eyes.
Now, very them.
A fresh new start.
Start planning a vodka party to use those lemons and have a blast!

Or if the skies aren't blue- just paint one for you; 
like this gardener did...

I'll leave you with some wise words from Natalie Goldberg
from her book Writing down the bones- 
thank you Pauline for the recommendation:)

Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go..

Friday, December 19, 2014

Humanity's Sin

I was working on my latest post when the tragic news of what happened in Peshawar came through. 

The post was about conceptual gardens based on mortal sins
and I had been mulling over these sins
to figure out my feelings 
when Peshawar happened.

Everything I was working on seemed futile
because Peshawar happened.

That was a Sin
A sin so sinful
I can't comprehend it.

HOW can humanity become so vile?
WHAT can we do so that this never happens again?

I know I will go back to my garden
to my posts about my travels
and photos of pretty flowers
will once again
occupy my camera's lens and

Until the next 
happens and 
then I will
feel raw again.

But can we break this cycle?
Can we stop committing such sins?
How can murdering innocent children
solve anything?

I can't work on the post at the moment.
I will go back to it when I feel less raw.

For now though
a prayer is in my heart for 
the ones who died
and for the ones who live on
wishing this had never happened.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Purple and green and all the colours in between at Hampton Court Flower Show 2014 (part 1)

I have put this post together to celebrate: my in-laws' fiftieth wedding anniversary and the start of the gardening season in Doha. 
For all my readers who live in places where the gardens are snoozing under wintery blankets, this post might help you with getting some planting ideas for 2015. 

On a sunny Sunday in July (the 13th to be precise) this year, I boarded a bus from Kingston upon Thames, London, to tick a box in my 'things to see' list. I was too excited to plant myself on a seat in the almost empty bus. 

All those years when I was living in London, visiting a flower show was always moved down the list of priorities on account of how I behave when I'm in a place where I can see and buy plants, seeds or anything 'garden related'. You see, I go a bit mad...lose track of time and family, and with two young ones we couldn't risk it. 

So here I was, solo (the teenagers were still in bed) - bright eyed and bushy tailed - on my way to the Hampton Court Palace Flower show of 2014.

Even 'FANTABULOUS' falls short of describing just how much I enjoyed my day. 

Are you ready for the treat? The pictures are in the order I took them; i.e. not planned or thought out-just whatever caught my fancy. Get comfy. Grab a cuppa and here we go...

Smell the grass and enjoy the music while you wait in the queue to be let in.

Can you spot the visitor in this click?

Simple and stunning.

A juicy gathering of the succulents.

 And a close up fly shot.

Drum roll for dinner...I hope to use this idea soon.

After all that colour...a bit of serenity.

And just like that, it started tipping. Luckily, I was near a tent and inside this tent there was a CIRCUS!

If technology would allow it, I would've loved for you to press the 'sniff' button now. These sweet peas smelled heavenly.

I think this selfie is rather clever...if I may say so myself.

The unsung heroes of any show...back stage support team.

How a simple blue ring transforms this setting... I love it.

An English garden- this one ticked all the boxes for me. All my childhood images of an English garden come from books by Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter -
Miss Henny Penny would strut here quite happily, I think.

There were a bunch of gazebos and conservatories on display, so I took a peek.

All I need is a good book to live happily ever after here:

The behind the scenes stories are always more interesting. 

BEHOLD! Here lie  Pots of Gold...

Mrs. Scarecrow makes a style statement. 

Contrasts galore... light and dark.

Red and blue.

Tall and short.

Purple and Green...

and all the colours in between...

The day ended as it had begun...with music. 

What a day it had been...if I had an ounce of energy left after almost eight hours of walking and looking, I would have stayed on. I dragged my tired body and elated soul back to the bus stop.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed putting it all together. I had plans to create a sleek post and only choose a few pictures. However, as I worked through my clicks, I realised that nature doesn't need seeks abundance and so I picked a few more.

There's more to come soon, only trouble is- I have to pry myself away from my backyard to sit and create posts. So how soon will the next soon be- I can't say.

Enjoy your weekend and the exciting time leading up to Christmas:)