Bottled Summer

I’ve recently become fixated on the idea of water; in particular of under-water scenes, of pools and ponds, of drifting with fishes among reeds. I think it started six months ago when I began swimming regularly in the huge Commonwealth pool. There are no reeds or fishes in the swimming pool (although wouldn’t that make it a lot more interesting?) but I like the endless blue, the way noise ceases the moment you put your head under, the silent wafting legs of the other swimmers, the distant corners and the tiles moving slowly past.

In my endless replanning of the garden I have realised there needs to be a pool of some kind. As a child, it was my rule that no valid garden would lack water. It didn’t matter if it was a large formal rectangle with lillies, or a tumbling stream, or the infamous Chatsworth ‘Squirty Tree’, or even a damned bird bath. As soon as we entered a garden I was on the look out for (what my mother shudders to call) the ‘water feature’. All hell to plants; any garden that failed to provide water was not a garden worth visiting.

I’m not sure what form the water will take here in our front garden. Perhaps an old zinc bath filled with judiciously chosen aquatic plants (some submerged for oxygenation, some for floating flowers). It will be kept filled by the generous Scottish sky, and no doubt I shall spend a lot of time fishing leaves out of it.

Meanwhile, I have satisfied my hankering for underwater scenes by bottling summer in a Kilner jar for Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday. No, it’s not strictly a vase, but when has that ever bothered Cathy, who is always of a generous spirit in these matters? I’ve got away with worse than this before…



36 thoughts on “Bottled Summer

  1. A fun twist on the vase meme, Joanna. I agree that a garden needs a water element. I used to have a large pool with lilies, etc. but after 20 years, it became too much to clean twice a year and the pump once a week. Now I have a demure 15 gal. feed tub as a liner with a submersible pump that gives the splash I love without the work. I realized that sound was the only thing I really wanted in the first place. πŸ˜‰

  2. Well that’s quite beautiful! I’m currently going rounds with a few raccoons who’ve decided my stock tank pond is there own private swimming pool/snack bar/party palace. I am determined to win this fight.

  3. What an interesting idea. And I agree with you about a water feature. I need to have one, but can’t quite decide on the form it should take. Something for the birds to splash in and also incorporate some sound element, but nothing too big or high maintenance. Maybe one of those corten steel lily bowls.

    1. Low maintenance is probably my highest priority. I was thinking of adding a tiny fountain but may leave that as a project much further in the future, much as I adore the sound of water in a garden. The steel bowls are beautiful, aren’t they.

  4. Your bottled summer is wonderful! Another blogger sent me a link to frozen flowers, which I’ve been meaning to try – maybe I’ll do that during our next heatwave. I agree with you – and your childhood self – about the need for a touch of water in the garden too.

    1. About three days, which was about two days longer than I was expecting. Then it started to look somewhat ‘interesting’, and by the time I had time to do anything about it (a good week later) it was like something in an museum of pickled Victorian specimens. I washed the jar on a very hot cycle.

  5. Still life? Flower Pickle? Vase? Flowers? They say a good painting keeps the viewer thinking. Your IAVOM hits the high note this week. Love water…….

  6. Yes, we are all thoroughly intrigued with your flowers in a jar on Monday, Joanna. I am with you on the swimming too, and especially how light and shapes are bent under water and how sound is carried …

    1. I couldn’t have put it better. The bending light, and distorted shapes … such a source of fascination. I also keep thinking of Harry Potter on the many occasions he found himself being dragged under water through the reeds by mysterious malign underwater creatures. JKR seems to have a similar fascination for the deeps….

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