Tag Archives: flowers

The Sketchbook Fun Continues

I think this latest page possibly illustrates the fact that, sometimes, I just don’t know when to stop 🙂


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Daily Paper Prompt #28 Garden Sketching

August has just flown by and we haven’t participated in any of Daisy Yellow’s Daily Paper Prompts – until now, that is. Prompt #28 is to go out into the garden and sketch what you see. And we did just that.

Here’s Waif and his muddy knees observing some flowers and stones:

waif sketching in the garden

And here are his sketches:

garden sketch waif 2garden sketch waif 1

Gman assesses the progress of his sketching:

gman assesses sketch

And here’s his finished sketchbook page:

garden sketch gman

For me, this assignment was somewhat bittersweet. I enjoyed sketching, and found curling and decaying leaves and flowers to be particularly gratifying to sketch…but it did all feel like rather a reminder that summer is, indeed, all but over :-(. Here’s my page:

garden sketch mama

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Books & Flowers Make Me Smile!

Today, while Waif was joining in with a football session at the local sports centre (that’s soccer to my American friends ;-)), Gman & I went for a wander round the local neighbourhood. Popping in to the Sally Army charity shop, I couldn’t believe my luck at finding this super selection of bargain books:

charity shop haul

Funnily enough, I had, last night, just read a review of “Seeking Silence in a Noisy World” and added it to my “to read” list on Goodreads (which, incidentally, never seems to get any shorter…I wonder why that is?!) so I was especially pleased to see this for the princely sum of £1.20!

On returning home, I was struck by the beauty of the echinacea flowers in our garden, and thought I would share a couple of photos, as it’s been a while since my last flowery post!

load of echinaceas

What has made you smile today?

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Faking It

This is kind of a continuation on the theme of fakeness…

I recently came across Bodhipaksa’s blog “bodhi tree swaying” and in particular his series on fake Buddha quotes.    With the preponderance of quotation sites online, it is easy enough to grab a “Buddha” quote to fit what you want to say…but are they genuine quotes of the Buddha?  One I have used in particular in the past is “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change“.   I love this quote; I find it inspiring and I believe that others do too.  But after reading a few of Bodhipaksa’s posts on fake Buddha quotes, I suspected that it might not be authentic.   It turns out I was right!  Bodhipaska writes:


It’s from page 112 of Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book,” in which Jack “distilled and adapted an ancient teaching for the needs of contemporary life.” This is a common pattern: if a book is called “The Teaching of Buddha” or “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” then people jump to the conclusion that any quote from it is the teaching of the Buddha or one of the Buddha’s instructions. It’s not the fault of the author, of course…


So the quote is fake.  I do vow to be more mindful in attributing quotes, and checking sources.  But in some ways, I think, does it matter?  If the phrase is one which is in line with the Buddha’s teachings, and is helpful to people treading the path, how important is it that the quote be “authentic”?  I would be interested to hear others’ thoughts on this.

I have also been skimming through The Life of Milarepa (I will read it properly soon ;-)) and came across this:

Showing others the path

When you don’t know the way

Harms yourself and others

This has become jumbled up in my self doubts of yesterday.  Though I don’t think I am trying to show others the path, but only to share thoughts that I have found helpful and others may do too.  I think if we took this Milarepa quote too literally, then there would be very few dharma teachers, and that could hardly be a good thing!  But it is certainly something to chew on.

But – hey – flowers are wonderful, in the eyes of Jack Kornfield and many others, so today I am going to share a few from my garden.  A miracle, every one of them. Enjoy 🙂


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Sometimes I like to be silly

This week I have had fun making some quite silly index card art.

First up some talking gnomes with memory problems:

icad # 20 v

Then, some battling in pastel shades:

icad # 21 v

And today, there is a ninja in the flower garden:

icad # 22 v

The boys have been far more sensible, of course :-). Here’s Gman’s pandas:

icad # 22 g

And Waif’s wolf poetry:

icad # 21 r

And today, my husband MM, also made this rather awesome card:

icad # 1 m

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Smiling with Flowers

I won’t lie. It hasn’t been the best week – what with a mixture of blocked drains, crappy weather, marital disharmony and maybe just a teensy bit of PMT-induced grumpiness. So, this morning, seeing the sun shining I thought I would pop out into the garden with the camera and see what was blooming. I am glad I did. Check out this beautiful nigella damasascena (more commonly known by the much more poetic name “Love-in-a-Mist”):


Then there is the rather striking red hot poker flower:


And this wild sweet pea, which put me in mind of Little Bo Peep:


The Earth truly does smile in flowers, and today I was able to smile with Her.

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Stopping to Smell the Roses

orange rosepink rose 2pink rose

I know, I know – the May Flower Challenge is over! But since doing the challenge, I’m really noticing flowers more and when I spotted these beautiful roses, I couldn’t resist whipping the camera out :-). They were in the town gardens near the public library. Waif and I were going to pick up some books, but were there a few minutes before opening time, so decided to walk around the gardens. As well as spotting the roses, we had a read of the plaques giving the history of the garden and the friars’ tower within it. I am ashamed to say that I had never read them before, despite this garden being less than a mile away from my house. Sometimes we are so busy looking elsewhere for new experiences and information that we can ignore what’s right here on our doorsteps. We just need to open our eyes…which brings me to my second index card for the ICAD2 challenge:

icad v #2

I’m calling it “the eyes have it”. Waddya think?

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Wildflowers don’t care where they grow

Last week, I was watching the Chelsea Flower Show coverage on the telly with my husband. They did a feature on plants that were good for wildlife. “Oooh!” I said, “We’ve got nearly all of these in our garden!” Aren’t we doing well, I thought. Then my husband pointed out that the reason there were so many wildflowers in our garden was because they like impoverished soil – or to paraphrase Dolly Parton:

“Wildflowers don’t care where they grow”

I quite like Dolly Parton actually. But don’t tell anyone 😉

Many of the plants we bought, back in the day when we used to spend money on such things, didn’t do very well in our garden. But – hey – if the flowers we have are good enough for the bees and the bugs and the ladybirds, then they are good enough for me! And growing native wildflowers has to be a good thing. Why fight with nature?

Fat Buddha/Hotei certainly seems to be enjoying the red valerian and forget-me-nots in our garden:

fat buddha enjoys the flowers

And why not?

Lori has some beautiful pink flowers on her blog today – check them out!

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Aquilegia Love

I am loving the aquilegias in our garden right now. We seem to have more than any year before and they are such a range of beautiful colours:

purple aquilegia
pink aquilegia
red aquilegia
aquilegas out the front

There are even enough to spare for indoors:

aquilegias in a jug

Gman chose this jug at a craft fair we went to this week. It’s made by a local potter and sculptor called Heather Graham and I think it’s really rather nice 🙂

What’s blooming in your garden right now? For more flowery lovin, check out the other May Flower Challenge posts.

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Say it with flowers

A criticism often levelled at those of us who blog about our experiences with home education is that we only ever portray the positives – it’s a shiny, happy version of the reality of home education. I think I may be guilty of that. Home education is still relatively rare in the UK, and many people don’t understand why we would make that choice for our children. Reactions can vary from puzzlement to downright hostility. So we may feel a pressure to emphasise the positives and downplay the negatives. Usually when I write about our home educating experiences, it is the good things – the moments of creativity, clarity, wonder. The happiness we share together as a family. But in the interests of balance, I should say that some days can be boring, frustrating, demoralising. Some days I think “AAAAAAAARRRGHHHHH! Why on earth am I doing this?!?!” I think it would be fair to say that Wednesday of this week was one such day. I took the boys to an art exhibition, thinking they would be inspired but they shuffled their feet and looked bored. I thought we would spend some relaxing time in the garden, watching birds or sketching flowers, but the boys preferred to fight with sticks and scream at the top their lungs. It was just “one of those days”, and I was glad to be off on a rare evening out with girlfriends. So I was especially humbled and touched to come home and find these pictures from the boys waiting for me:

Welcome Back Mum (Rafe)Welcome Back Mum (George)

Aren’t they lovely? And it helped me to remember that, even on the bad days, I am blessed and grateful to have two such wonderful, creative and thoughtful sons, and I am very lucky and honoured to be able to spend time with them, helping them to learn and grow. It’s not an easy ride, but it is definitely worthwhile for moments like this.

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