“Around the World in 81 Gardens”

This week began with the pleasure of re-watching Monty Don’s “Around the World in 80 Gardens” which I treated myself to on DVD.

And the 81st?? Brodick Castle Gardens in my own backyard where I took a lovely trip with my visitors – daughter Jill & granddaughters Blythe and Fern from Galway and son Simon who lives and works in Peru.

Beeches at Brodick Castle.jpg1

Beeches Beginning to Turn at Brodick Castle – October 30

I loved Monty Don’s series because it brings together some of the things I am most passionate about, apart from gardening. From the ancient and modern art and architecture of gardens in Mexico to the magical house designed by the Chilean architect Juan Grimm which perches on the rocks above the sea on the Pacific Coast outside of Santiago and the perspective of more formal gardens in Europe, it was a feast for most of the senses, and I could smell the hot sand and the salty sea, and feel the prairie winds rustle my hair as they did the grasses.

Equally impressive were the gardens which were for food and sustenance, like the ones attached by floats to houses on the Amazon and the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco,  in the midst of Mexico city. In Havana, co-operative gardens are an important feature of life in Cuba, providing organic food for the local neighbourhoods, run by residents for residents.

There was a strong spiritual dimension to the series, reminding us that gardens and the land contribute to well-being physical and emotional and health, providing a sense of peace in the planning and maintenance of the earth and surrounding space.

If you haven’t seen any of this series it is well worth getting a hold of the DVDs and doing what I did, curl up and watched them while waiting for my family to arrive.

Background music for today….The rattle of LEGO as the Hallowe’en House came into being, the gentle sound of two generations playing cards (no quarter given), wind and rain battering the car as we sang our repertoire of rounds while waiting for Simon to get off the bus in Whiting Bay”Why doesn’t my gooooooose????”,* (Sing as well as thy goose, when I paid for my goose, twice as much as thine).

Oh and of course, the Aberdeen match on the laptop. Blend that all together and all you can do is end up laughing hilariously and feel blessed that we can all be together now and then and get it out of our system until the next visit.”October Visit1 October Visit2 October Visit5

This was my Facebook description of our visit yesterday. Now the girls are back home in Galway, somewhat disgruntled about having missed Hallowe’en guising, but soothed by messages from their friends that they had got soaked in the Hallowe’en weather. I miss them, but I know that they are back on their own path again and we will visit again soon. It was so lovely to see my daughter as well and to appreciate what a good mother she is.

Simon leaves on Saturday morning and I am very glad that Alison will be in to help me in the flat, to take my mind off his departure and clearing space for me to work on the final, final draft of my Hand Weaving book which is on its way from the publishers now. It won’t make up for my absent weans, but I will see them again soon and hopefully by the next visit the book will be a reality.

Tomorrow is our in-house Communion. That will be a welcome source of strength and remind me that I will think about the next visit and not grieve for the end of this one…


To read about my textile and artistic work see:

The Arran Knitting Company

Rainbow Textiles

blogs I love:

Scottish Island Mum

One Soul Many Hearts

Miracle Design

Angela Elliott-Walker

Nordic House

Simple Abundance

Illustrated Journaling

Useful Website:


About lynngrayross

A mother and grandmother with over 40 years of experience in textile arts. Author of "Handweaving: the Basics" published by Bloomsbury UK. Available to purchase from www.bloomsbury.com

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