Friday, 4th of August
It was a relatively quiet, drizzly day today. Everyone was in pretty good spirits including BL (boss lady) who did let us get away with some minor faffing about here and there. It’s nice to be able to squeak some shenanigans in from time to time, isn’t it? Breaks up the monotony of the day.
We had a guest visiting us outside. His name was Harvey, and he’s a border terrier. I think he in no small part contributed to the goofiness of the day. That’s because the owners of my garden centre also have a border terrier who’s name is Rowsey (I like to call him Lousy Rowsey), who also happens to spend some time chilling by the tills on a lead. When BL walked in and saw instead Not-Rowsey chilling by the till, she thought she was seeing things.
Anywho. Turns out Not-Rowsey was being pup-sat by the owners. It was quickly revealed that he was a whiny baby though, and spent his hours with all of us alternating between being adorable/whining incessantly/destroying things. Shoowee.
I managed to catch him and The Boys in the act of loafing. It is hard to resist a cute pup, even if he is a whiny pup.
Saturday, 5th of August
A nice, full day–even better, the sun was peeping out occasionally from behind the clouds. To start, I set off at 10 AM with one of my lady bike groups. It was a short ride–perhaps 15 miles, tops, which suited me just fine as I planned to drag H out of the house with me in the afternoon. We did have two punctures which set us back a bit on our time, but the overall ride was just peachy, and as I made my way home I couldn’t help but marvel at just how much I liked all those girls. They’re just a solid bunch! One of them, a fellow American, was even 3 months pregnant and cycled like a boss. How adorable!
Our first puncture happened just before the canal aqueduct, which, requiring dismounting to walk over the narrow path, allowed me ample time to snap a few photos. Before my battery went dead, anyway, as I very much failed to bring some spares. I noticed first off that there was loads of something in the mint family growing alongside the water’s edge. It was lovely and smelly and I sort of wanted to take some home–or at least figure out what the heck it was!
Whatever it was seemed to be doing quite well in its chosen spot along the canal! It made for a nice photo as the sun peeped out.
At one point we decided we’d had enough of waiting for the puncture repair and set off backtracking to see what the issue was, and only made it this far before catching up with them as they’d just finished. I snapped a quick photo, mainly due to the presence of the kayakers up the way.
After our ride (which I didn’t take any other photos of as I failed to bring spare batteries) H and I headed out of town for a cheeky trip to a place my coworker had told me about. She’d shown me some photos that intrigued me of a garden called Little Sparta in the midst of the rolling hills of the Borders. I was already in good spirits as we drove our way out there, because it’s truly lovely countryside to drive through.
Although… H likes to argue with me over some weird stuff sometimes. I marveled over the purple carpet of heather you could see blooming on the hills. He said, “Clarissa, those hills are brown.”
Like… should I have some solid concerns about his eyeballs. Yes/no?
What followed was us exploring a decidedly quirky, surprisingly lovely garden. As we headed in we saw a sign proclaiming “Reception” was nearby, but as we peered around just past the entrance gates we saw no sign of anything except some buildings and what looked like someone’s private home. With nothing really to guide us, and basically no knowledge of what we were even meant to be looking at and why, we set out.
I managed to do a quick google search that revealed some answers upon our departure. Turns out Little Sparta is a private garden that was owned by an artist/poet till 2006, at which point he passed away. It now belongs to a Trust set up in the garden’s name, and is free for all to visit. The poetry and artistic nature of the owner was very apparent as we strolled through the grounds.
I totally dug it. I really liked the tiny grove of birches below, with a stone proclaiming that it was the “In Sweet Harmony and Agreement with Itself Grove”
Honestly it was a real treat to visit. Would highly recommend to anyone faffing about in the Borders.
Sunday, 6th of August
Yet another quiet, showery day. Highlights: planting crocosmia; seeing my colleague’s dog; and hearing that my colleague Ben got swooped by a buzzard on his run. Yes I found it hilarious, but also recognize that getting swooped on with anything with talons also is quite scary! (Clarification: this is a UK buzzard!)
Dog. Check out that gorgeous beast. However, because of my coworker’s broad accent, I don’t know if dug’s name is Soya, Sawyer, or Soldier. Hmmm!