Monday, 31 May 2010

May: hymn of light, colour and leaf


May, in England, is extravagantly beautiful.

The garden is at its most demanding, but also its most rewarding.  A lesson in this?
Weeding, watering, feeding, and tweaking could take up every hour of the day, but on a sunny day those jobs are a pleasure.

May makes a person want to wax lyrical. 
Adam Nicolson, the heir to Sissinghurst -- one of the most famous gardens in the world -- wrote this:

This is a damp, lush country.  The late winters are grey and depressing. The spring is often a disappointment. But then in May, the condition of our life in these islands becomes heavenly.  "When I die," Monty Don wrote in The Ivington Diaries, published last year, "I shall go to May.  It will be green, actually the colour green in all its thousand shining faces.  Every moment will be like the arc of a diver breaking the waters of a green lake, a shifting, growing hymn of light, colour and leaf."

And yes, the world is so green . . . but full of other colours, too.
Lilac, wisteria, peony, allium, bluebell:  these are the May palette.

And horses kiss in a green, green field full of buttercups and white-blossomed May trees.


31 comments:

fairyhedgehog said...

That's absolutely glorious! I love the collage of May pictures. (I love all of it, in fact.)

slommler said...

Oh so wonderful!! I too could stay in May forever! Your photos are amazing!
Hugs
SueAnn

David Cranmer said...

Gorgeous collage.

I had the opportunity to plant some flowers in my mom's garden this weekend. I think I could become a green thumb. Maybe.

ewix said...

What a good idea to go to May when you die.
Sign me up immediately!
You photo collage was superb.
Made me immediately want to make one. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
much love

Elizabeth said...

ps
you should make a poster of your collage!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

The horse picture is beautiful!

Best
Tracy :)

PS Love the collage too

CashmereLibrarian said...

Oh, Bee, this is lovely lovely lovely. The words and the photos.

Beth said...

“Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there…”

~ Robert Browning

After seeing your beautiful pictures, I will take the liberty of changing Browning’s words to, “Now that May is there…”

Amanda said...

O wow! Those are gorgeous photos! The horses one reminds me of those unicorn tapestries. So beautiful!

PG said...

There is absolutely nothing like it, May, my favourite month! Your collage sums it up very nicely.

Sara said...

What a truly glorious collage. I spent quite a while studying it, after enlarging it. Love that bench under the gigantic tree, and the wisteria, and the horses in the field...well, really ALL of it! Thank you for sharing the beauties of England in May.

Sarah Laurence said...

Happy Memorial Day, Bee! The collage was fun and the kissing horses are sweet. May is my favorite month in England. I miss the bluebells. Thanks for sharing yours.

Now that the winter coats are in the wash, I'm taking a book out onto the deck. I'm ignoring the house full of teenagers and the watering can wait until this evening.

Jennifer Richardson said...

So, so glad to stumble upon your delicious blog....like stepping into a bubbling creek until I'm refreshed and grinning again.
I'll surely visit again and again..........Jennifer

Marcheline said...

Die and go to May! What a great thought.

Although I would always, always go to October.

elizabethm said...

I adore May and will be another happy to go there when I die. The valley where I live is a sea of shifting trees and grass green now, all the way up to the top of the ridge. There will be purple heather on the hills in a little while but for May, green is the colour of the world.

kristina said...

What gorgeous photos. And you're so right about May. While I often find the English summers disappointing, May is nearly always glorious!

K x

Ann said...

Wonderful feeling and vision of spring. thanks

skirmishofwit said...

What beautiful photos! And such a lovely and apt quote, too. Thank you for sharing!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ah, don't you mostly wax lyrical, Bee? Seems to me that your posts are always poetic.

Love the way that English livestock scatters itself so artfully across the hills. I always notice that when I'm in the U.K. Horses, cows, sheep - they arrange themselves in patterns. How do they do it??

willow said...

The shot with the horses is ethereal! I know what you mean about the possibility of weeding 24 hours a day. The manor could use a full time gardener.

Kristen In London said...

Avery would die at the photo of those horses! Where on earth WERE they?

Relyn said...

Now that's my kind of hymn. So lovely. Just now I am typing as I watch out the window. A robin is hop, hop, hopping around pecking diligently for worms. Oh - happy robin - he just got one. Another type of hymn.

Bee said...

Kristen - those horses are actually just across the road from us! I took the picture peeking through the hedgerow. We live on an old farm road -- lots of houses now, but still some farmland and horses dotted here and there.

Relyn - I was walking this morning and VERY aware of all of the birds singing. I think the sunshine brings them out.

Marcheline said...

Bee -

I have a treasure hunt on, and don't want you to miss it. Come see!

- M

Dick said...

May is my favourite month. Everything is in the process of arrival after winter. Even now in June there's a sense of things in their place and time passing. I'm with Monty Don!

Dick said...

And, yes, beautiful pictures, Bee!

Anna said...

Bee its green here too, lucky us it spread to June, lol. The photo of the kissing horses is surreal. Anna :)

The Dotterel said...

Poetry... pure and simple!

Merisi said...

Gloria, we are in May!
Yes, looking at your images and with other memories of May in mind, I can only join the chorus, heaven is in May!

Christina said...

the horses! oh my, that is a beautiful photo.
xo

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

What a beautiful thought...that one could die and choose the month he would like to live in forever. May would be perfect. I like the month of February - although I wouldn't want to be stuck in it for eternity. It's said that more suicides occur in that month than any other. It never depresses me. I've read 'Wuthering Heights' every Feb. since I was a teen. A hopeless romantic.
Greetings from u know where,
Catherine (Sweltering already!)