Sunday, 12 June 2011

Magical Morville

I spent a few magical hours at the Dower House Gardens, Morville yesterday to celebrate the launch of a lovely new book 'Shropshire Butterflies' This beautifully illustrated book takes you through a whole year of the various breeds of butterflies in Shropshire. From cover to cover it feels like it's bursting with nature as each page reveals a glorious poem or piece of prose from writers spanning the country.

There was one contributor I was very keen to meet as it was only recently that I learned of my distant cousin Ruth Stacey. Ruth writes poetry and has a lovely poem called Hedge Brown inside this book.

It's amazing, as it was purely through 'Facebook' that we met and I discovered her love for writing poetry. I follow her fascinating blog called mermaids drown which is well worth a look at. See

It was so exciting to meet her. On paper our family tree shows us as 3rd cousins twice removed but now on meeting her, feel that we are certainly not so distant afterall. It was great to talk about our ancestors and learn that the same things inspire her to write as they do me.

From the left my Mother, centre Ruth and me.

The gardens are magical too and I can see why the writer and artist Katherine Swift who came to live at the Dower house in 1988 was so inspired to write the Morville Hours and her most recent book, the Morville Year. Katherine also has a contribution in 'Shropshire Butterflies'

The wonderful thing is that some of the proceeds from this book will go to the conservation of Butterflies. If you want to buy a copy and help our wonderful wildlife as well as enjoying this gorgeous book see to order a copy.

Above the Dower house gardens

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Second hand memories

I bought this lovely book yesterday from a second hand bookshop. It immediately appealed to me before I even opened the cover. I flicked through quickly and decided to buy it straight away.

It wasn't until I reached home that I opened it properly to find an old newspaper cutting and some scribbled notes on some very old computer paper. It was so touching to think that someone had left those clippings in there for over 15 years and I started thinking who was this person, they obviously like to work in the garden but like to scribble and jot things down too. I found it quite touching that I had someone's ideas and memories inside that book.

I shall leave them there and may add my own scribble to them over the years. My garden often inspires me to get creative. In fact I have just created a medieval herb garden and a mini Jurassic park! So, I may just add a few notes on that to my new creative gardening book.

That is the wonderful thing about writing, no matter how small or insignificant our jottings may appear at the time, it's so magical to think that they may end up somewhere quite unexpected in years to come to bring a smile to someone's face.