Friday Fun: Who wants to read on the balcony?

Many of you have complained that reading outdoors has its downsides: creepy crawlies, hayfever, too much glare from the sun, the heat… So how about these balconies for a tolerable compromise? I should add that it’s a shame that not very many British homes have usable balconies, possibly because the weather is not that conducive to sitting outside to read and write… or else developers are trying to cut down on costs.

Not all balconies are strong enough to take large container plants, but when they do, the results are gorgeous. From shakemyblog.fr
Great to socialise, although I would demand plenty of quiet time for just me and my cat to read here, from Home Art Mania.
Some balconies are really an extra room, especially with such a dreamy view. From Home Art Mania.
Tropical look is what I adore, and this Brazilian designer is truly fantastic: IvaniKuboPaisagismo.br
It doesn’t have to be huge, as this inside/outside space in Paris demonstrates, from Gardenweb.com.
Even if there is no room to actually sit on the balcony, this charming flower arrangement is worth it. From Design Cafe.

Friday Fun: Japanese Gardens

As autumn draws near, can there be anything more beautiful than Japanese maples bringing colour and balance to the calm contemplative harmony of a Japanese garden?

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in LA, from gardenswelikela.com

Gate to beautiful mysteries, from Pinterest.

The glory of autumnal colours, from Peter Toshiro on Flickr.

Simple, easy-gardening style from You Tube. The cat approves of the lack of lawn-mowers.

Garden in Kyoto from William Corey Gallery.

There is even a Japanese Garden Design School, and this is from their website.

There is nothing more beautiful than the sight and smell of rice paddies after the wet season; this one reminds me of them, from Shiro Nakane City Limits.

Friday Fun: Roof Gardens

As the climate grows hotter and drier in summer, soon all of our gardens may face the same challenges as these roof gardens. But aren’t they dreamy, especially in the summer heat?

For the spatially challenged: you don’t need acres to create a cosy paradise. From Shoot Gardening.

Zen atmosphere to compliment your penthouse suite, from Homedit.com

RHS Gardening site is proud to present this roof garden in Jellicoe.

A more ambitious project designed by London Roof Garden company, although not in London, methinks.

Social housing does not preclude roof gardens, as this example from Ivry sur Seine shows.

But let’s face it, in London it is more commonly the domain of the rich and privileged, as this Roof Gardens Bar featured in Time Out proves.

Roof top gardens in the Rockefeller Centre, from Inhabitat.

 

Friday Fun: Garden Follies

Thank you to Guy Savage for suggesting that we take a look at the luxurious garden follies of the 18th and 19th centuries. I may have widened the remit somewhat to include architectural follies from around the world, but the UK seems to have the highest number. What that says about the Brits, I don’t know…

The modest treehouse folly made of wood, from mycookingmagazine.com
The modest treehouse folly made of wood, from mycookingmagazine.com

Sir Izaak Walton's garden folly, where he wrote about angling (his hobby shed, in other words). From The Telegraph.
Izaak Walton’s garden folly, where he wrote about angling (his hobby shed, in other words). From The Telegraph.

The medieval reproduction, from Youtube.
The medieval reproduction in Northamptonshire, from Youtube.

Temple of Apollo in the gardens at Stourhead, from The Daily Mail.
Temple of Apollo in the gardens at Stourhead, from The Daily Mail.

A tuscan temple in Yorkshire, from Pinterest.
A tuscan temple in Yorkshire, from Pinterest.

That pinnacle of all follies, Broadway Tower in Worcestershire. From Wikimedia.com
That pinnacle of all follies, Broadway Tower in Worcestershire. From Wikimedia.com

Swallow's Nest in Yalta, from lonely-bloggers-page.blogspot.com
The most breathtaking setting: Swallow’s Nest in Yalta, overlooking the Black Sea, from lonely-bloggers-page.blogspot.com

Chanteloup tower, near Amboise, France. From Pinterest.
Chanteloup tower, near Amboise, France. From Pinterest.

Conolly's Folly in County Kildare, Ireland, apparently built to provide employment during the Irish famine of 1740-41. From Twistedsifter.com
Conolly’s Folly in County Kildare, Ireland, apparently built to provide employment during the Irish famine of 1740-41. From Twistedsifter.com

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, (Kinkakuji) is also a sort of folly, in Kyoto, Japan. From Japanesequest.com
It could be argued that the Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) is also a type of folly, in Kyoto, Japan. From Japanesequest.com

 

 

Echo Poetry

A really fun prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today: to write ‘echo poetry’. An Echo Verse is a poem where the last word or syllable in a line is repeated or echoed underneath to form a rhyming liner. My attempt below is just a quick sprint, inspired by conversations between my parents (and of course the first line of a poem by T.E. Brown). But there are some far more wonderful examples linked up to the site, both funny and thoughtful,  so I strongly urge you to check them out.

A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Hot?
Even in a heat wave, there’s bliss to be found.
Around?
Ferns, palm-shade, pool to cool us down…
You frown?
Flowers burst forth in coloured refrain.
Again?
Oh, you’re such a philistine and bore!
Once more.

Open Link Night: Autumnal Poetry

P1020461My garden teems with cucumbers, roses’ droop, heavily scented figs.

My floppy bag sufficient to fit all the harvest:

in it I also gather eggshells discarded by chicks.

I lay your boots and spade neatly to rest inside the shed.

Played the gardener enough for today – this week – this month.

So easy to forget in today’s sun-stillness:

those moments I flare in nervous thrall –

when is the shift to sandstorm season?

It’s there in the echo of last cuckoo-call.

 

Musing about the change of seasons with a little help from Sappho tonight. Please join us over at dVerse Poets Pub, where we are celebrating that wonderful free-forming, room-for-all event that is Open Link Night.