Posts tagged ‘Mothering Sunday’

March 21, 2014

Book: The Ivington Diaries

Books about learning to garden can be a bit repetitive. After all, there’s only a handful of ways to sow seeds. Books on gardens, however, are wonderful. This example from Monty Don, has captured my attention and really made me want to learn more and visit more gardens to understand planting on a larger scale. It’s written as a year’s worth of diary entries, but with the years ranging over roughly a decade, so for example January 1st 1999 is followed by January 4th, 2004 and it’s utterly captivating.  Monty writes so engagingly he makes you want to walk around the acres of garden (sections have names;  spring garden, jewel garden, white garden) and take a peek into the potting sheds. He writes of practical matters, mulch being a favourite, and of the joy and artistry of creating a beautiful garden, not to mention the work that goes into creating such a garden from scratch and his words are accompanied by lush photography so you get a good overview of the different parts of the garden through the year.

The book format (even down to the paper and font choices), reminds me very much of Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diary which is an absolute favourite book of mine, so if you liked that, imagine a similar book set in a garden, and you’ve gone some way towards capturing the feel of this book.

The garden in question is at his home, Ivington, where he and his family moved following the collapse of the family business and the death of his mother. The house they bought and the creation of the garden seems to have brought their lives back together and in his own words ‘rebuilt’ him.  He writes with such love, attention and humour and, because the book is written as short diary entries, it’s really easy to dip into and read whenever you’ve got a free minute. I really recommend it, and think it would be a wonderful gift for Mothering Sunday…

The Ivington Diaries

March 15, 2012

On Mothering Sunday

On Mothering Sunday, I would like the following:

  • To say thank you to my lovely, amazing mother, mother-in-law and grandmother for all their love, support and all round brilliance. I am proud and very fortunate to be related to such wonderful women.
  • To have a lie in bed for a little while longer than usual, instead of being rudely awoken at the crack of dawn by my little son jumping on me carrying all his toy cars, most of which get dropped on my head as he clambers into my bed for a morning snuggle.
  • A cup of tea in that same bed, with a slightly-later-than-usual morning cuddle with both of my lovely, beautiful and bright children.
  • A card, preferably home-made, slightly wonky, liberally applied with glitter and with my daughter’s very own writing inside.
  • Pancakes. With lemon and sugar. They’re not only for Shrove Tuesday, you know.
  • A bit of time for reading my book, ‘I Capture The Castle’ which I’m re-reading in preparation for being a book giver on World Book Night.
  • Possibly even a bath using my  Lush Madame Butterfly reusable bubble bar on a stick. I bought this myself, because for me, there is no gift better than a little bit of peace and a few pancakes. I’ll admit, I’ve used it already. Because I am impatient and because it has the same beautiful rose, geranium and lemon fragrance as my favourite Rose Jam Bubbleroon from Lush.
  • A day of peace. When they’re playing nicely together, there is nothing in the whole world that makes me happier than just watching my kids play. So, if they really want to get me the best gift, it will be a day of peace. No squabbling, bickering or fighting of any kind. All day long. I might as well ask for a miracle, but there is no harm in trying.
  • While I’m on the subject of things I might as well ask for, if there is anyone who would really like to buy me this, I would love it. Not just on Mothering Sunday, I’d be happy to receive it any day you like. It’s a bicycle necklace from Alex Monroe. Not only is it utterly lovely, but the whole collection is named ‘Daisy Bell’, the first song I sang to my daughter when I was finally allowed to hold her, days after her very early arrival.