Still Here

I know it has been a long time since I have written.  Losing Amber was hard.  She was my sweet girl and very much a part of Brookwood Shire.  Seeing just two girls seems wrong.  Two is not a flock.  But there is no point getting more hens if we are going to Ireland.

IMG_5193For their part, Beatrix and Prudence are doing better than I thought they would.  Prudence has never liked Beatrix and I wondered how they would get on.  But they seem ok.  In fact they have managed to work together to escape a few times…partners in crime!

Shortly after we lost Amber, Fergus took a turn for the worse.  We thought we were going to lose him as well, but with some medication adjustments, he rallied.  He was the only one I know who enjoyed the SNOW we got in early April. 


He is still walking and swimming and enjoying himself.  He turns 14 at the end of the month….a feat for a large dog..especially one with cancer.  He seems stable at the moment…and happy.  

But the hot weather will be difficult for him.  His future is uncertain.  So all of a sudden, Ireland is feeling much more real and we wonder if this might be our last year at Brookwood Shire.  An unsettling thought.  For while we are excited about Ireland and looking forward to adventures there, Brookwood Shire has been our home for almost 30 years.  It will be hard to leave.

So as gardening season arrives, and I begin tidying the beds, I suddenly find myself wondering.  Gardening is all about the future.  What is our future?  

It changes the way I garden.  I didn’t start any seeds this year.  I will be planting fewer things…and not things to store over the winter.  I will not add any new beds (a first…I always add new beds!).  It will be different.  But I will garden…how could I not?  

IMG_5194The pumpkin patch will not have pumpkins this year.  I have divided it into four beds, with peas in the middle and chard and kale in the quarters.  And of course, flowers.  Why not make it beautiful? 🙂

IMG_5197I have planted some lettuce, but Peter (our resident bunny) has been sampling it.  He (or someone) has also sampled some of the chard and the  broccoli and a few strawberry plants.   Hopefully there will be enough for everyone.

I have been working my way around the gardens, tidying, adding compost, dividing and mulching.  Everything seems happy.  Despite the very strange weather we have in this new climate we have created, nature carries on.  It is quite amazing.


This is the time of year that the woodland gardens are at their best.  They fade as the summer gets hotter.   May and June is when they are spectacular.  I find myself wondering where we will be next June…and enjoying them all the more.

IMG_5210IMG_5209IMG_5203St. Francis watches over all.

It will be an interesting year..a transition year..and where we will be at the end of it….time will tell.

But for now, life continues at Brookwood Shire…


and all is well.  

🌷Happy Gardening!🌷



About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
This entry was posted in Gardens, Hens, Nature, Spring and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Still Here

  1. joanne says:

    I’m glad to see that all is well right now. Your woodland gardens are tranquil and full of color.

  2. Pam R says:

    Such beautiful woodland gardens!! Glad Fergus is doing well again.

  3. Michele says:

    Dearest Patti,
    I read your post with a melancholy settling over me. While I am happy that the Rowley clan will be going for your dream I am also forlorn to know that I am losing my friends. Life is uncertain for sure and it is the friendships that we make that sustain us through difficult times. I cannot imagine Brookwoodshire without the l “The Lady of the Manor.” I will forever miss all of you, but will wish you health and happiness in your adventures. ❤️ Michele

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