Gardens – First thing in the morning, sitting in our garden with eyes closed and the sun shining on my face, I was reminded of the saying ‘turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you’.  It is so simple but such a great feeling and it gives us a chance to feel that our worries and challenges are momentarily being left behind – a feeling that all in our world is good.

P1030705                        P1030706

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck

Summer is fast passing us by – I do hope that you are all managing to grab and enjoy some of the lovely warm weather that has come our way.  I have been an incredibly lucky lady over the last few weeks with some great treats coming my way.

My husband and I enjoyed the Christmas gift given to us by our daughters of a concert at the Albert Hall in June with Kathryn Jenkins – fabulous day in London by meeting some friends prior to the concert and having a glass of champagne with them.  Watching the York Mystery Plays with school friends in York Minster – stunning setting but miniscule seating, certainly no room for my long legs!  The following week one of my lovely daughters treated me to a great day at Wimbledon with her for the ladies quarter finals and then just last week we went with some friends to the Tatton Flower Show.  Wandering around the Manchester Art Gallery with a dear friend last week looking at an amazing exhibition of Vogue Magazine – 100 years – and it was free – what a summer.

I started with the idea of gardens and would like to finish with one.  In the last few months some of my well established clients have asked me to return to give their home a ‘once over’.  During our chat, they mentioned that one or other of their close relatives had died and it had really devastated both them and their family.

One of the things that I suggested to help as part of the grieving process was to make a ‘Remembrance Garden’.  This would be done in a garden, in a pot on a balcony or even a window box.  The idea first came to me when my mum died one Spring and a close friend at that time brought me a beautiful azalea in full flower.  I later chose a spot in the garden to plant it so that I can see it from our bedroom window – to say good morning as I open the curtains and vice versa in the evening.   Naturally, the azalea always flowers at that time of year in memory of her.  I have now embellished the little area with a rose with her name, an apple tree and a piece of slate with some beautiful words written on it.  No-one else is aware that this is my mum’s special place.    garden-Apr 03 - Copy   Perhaps you could get the children involved in designing something on paper first, then choosing the spot together, before preparing the area ready for the planting.  Perhaps use the person’s favourite plant, a rock from their much loved holiday place etc.  Watch the area develop and remember all the happy times.  I find that it is a very cathartic process for everyone and great for keeping the memory of our dear one alive