Six on Saturday -Making Light

Midwinter. I love saying the word. It’s like a sigh. Midwinter. Dark and gloom until 21st of December – and then the days get lighter. Hurray! Meanwhile, to bring some cheer, there’s fairy lights.

It’s mild today, 9C but windy, so I wrap up warm and head off down the lane to forage for foliage. Sound seems to carry further in winter. I can hear our neighbouring farmer calling his cows. They are as tame as pets, and well tended. The calves line up along the hedge to watch me.

I find willow stems; soft grey catkins breaking through already. There’s plenty of twigs with dried oak leaves. On one side the hedges have been trimmed. But across the lane, the hedges are high. Dog roses wind around the trees and mingle with wild clematis. I have a basket to carry the findings home. There’s fluffy seed heads from Clematis vitalba, and rosehips as red as sealing wax.

Scott’s pine and trailing ivy will be useful evergreen. Above my head, a robin sings, quite unconcerned by my intrusion. It’s good to see a young hare in the field. He crouches down in the long grass when he spots me, but I can still see his ears.

Back through the field gate. A pheasant has taken up residence in our paddock this winter. He’s a joy to see, strutting around and flying into the cherry trees to roost at night. I hope he survives the winter – and evades the hunters. We can hear the guns from our garden. Glad to provide a sanctuary to any creature needing safety.

I’ve decorated the five bar gate with a circle of dried clematis stems. Not a perfect circle. Not a perfect gate. We’ve had it since we moved here. It’s covered in moss and creaking loudly, but I can’t bear to replace it. I get attached to old familiar things. Dried hydrangea heads make a focal point, and there’s always rosemary for scent.

Back to the potting shed to make my arrangements.

I’ve saved some Chinese’s lanterns, physalis, from the garden. It’s hanging from the rafters to dry, along with hydrangea heads. To add a bit of glitz (unusual for me, I know) I give the hydrangea heads some silver spray. It highlights the delicate flowers of hydrangea Annabel. So beautiful in summer, and winter too. It’s a favourite of mine. The fairy lights are mouldable wire florists lights from Wilkos. You can use rechargeable batteries.

I turn around and there’s a robin and two wrens in the potting shed roof. I shall have to leave the door open for them. They can stay, as long as they don’t eat all of my rosehips.

Luckily there’s a kettle in the potting shed. Time for tea, and a piece of Mum’s fruit cake. I hope you’ve enjoyed this ramble around my garden and down the lane. I’m joining with with for his SixOnSaturday. Feel free to look around at my other posts while you are here. Catch up with you next Saturday.

44 thoughts on “Six on Saturday -Making Light

  1. Karen, belatedly getting through the last batch of SoS posts, been a busy week! I was pleased to see your reference to h. Annabel. I have a small one from a cutting (of course) which I hope will grow on nicely next year. I need to move it actually, it is too close to a similarly small eleagnus. A job for the weekend perhaps.

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  2. Karen is true the lights of Fairies bring joy and magic to the winter days. Cute ! The calves lined up along the hedge to see you. What lovely and sweet neighbors you have! You have collected a lot of lovely things in your basket: elder stems, soft and gray catkins, twigs with dried oak leaves, red rose hips …. A Robin singing and without fear of seeing you: charming. A young hare: wonderful. A Faisan who lives in the wildest part of your garden: it is a great joy to have him as a guest. And I also wish that no hunter ever killed him. The decoration of the door of five bars I love: it is divine and rustic. With the Hydrangeas and the Rosemary, and that circle of dry clematis stems so beautiful. The arrangement is wonderful. The shed is beautiful. Annabel Hortensia flowers with silver spray are beautiful, I love them: and the arrangement of leaves, branches and everything else with fairy lights is very special, magnificent, full of beauty of nature, I love it, I like it a lot .. I would like to accompany you in having a tea in the shed and to talk about arrangements with things collected from the garden. Thank you for leaving the door of the shed open so that the robins can keep cold. Karen the walk through your garden and along the way have been fantastic: thank you very much. Thank you for the magnificent photos that have made my day. I hope your Mother is better, give her memories of me and a lot of love and health. For your family a lot of love and health. Karen rests, love and health. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita. I feel as if you are walking alongside me. I’m busy replenishing the rosehips! The blackbirds can’t resist them and think I’ve made the wreaths specially for them. Have a wonderful week Margarita. My mother is much improved today. Another lucky escape from pneumonia. I’m very relieved. Loving greetings and best wishes from karen xx 😊


    • Thank you Cathy. There’s literally no funds available as we are worried about c h fees. Still, we will have a wonderful Christmas with everything home made. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a bit of foliage and a pretty ribbon.

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    • Thank you Pauline. I’m up at dawn at the moment. The cows are surprised to see me in the sunrise. It’s wonderful to see the steam rising from them. It’s so mild. Enjoy your Sunday


  3. Lovely to walk with you out in the country and share beautiful soft colours and gentle sunlight. It’s become hot here and we are needing rain. Your arrangements are sweetly rustic and I completely understand why you keep the old gate. I would too.

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    • Thank you Jane. My understanding husband just keeps adding bits of wood to the gate and repairing it, and sighing. I can’t bear to part with it. My children used to climb it when they were little and look out at the view. I think we throw away too much when it gets old. Instead of repairing it. I hope you get rain soon.


  4. Its such a good thing to appreciate the now…and what we already have like your gate…..lovely arrangements. Although we don’t live just next to the open country, we too had a male pheasant in the garden today…he came to peep at me in the conservatory. A little moment to cherish.

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    • We both appreciate the same things. I love working in the greenhouse and spying the pheasant strutting about in the paddock. I’ve thrown some food out for him today. He’s such a beauty. Hope he survives the winter. Thanks for reading.


    • Thank you. Good idea. When you first make the circle, it looks more like a square. As you add more lengths you can pull it into shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Enjoy 😊


  5. Gorgeous light arrangements, Karen. ( also those of your greenhouse that you posted a few days ago on Twitter )
    I can also hear shots from hunters in my backyard. Living in the country doesn’t only have advantages, but it’s better than car horns.

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