What is this life…

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

“Leisure” – W H Davies

I have, as I have said recently, been seeing more butterflies in the garden this year. It’s not due to good weather or better plants, just that I’m finding more time to stand and look at our garden. For the last couple of years I’ve hardly seen it.

I was reading a copy of Garden News from last month as I waited for Julia to leave work this afternoon. The head gardener from Helmsley Walled Gardens makes a good point towards the back of the magazine – make time to sit in your garden, consider improvements and enjoy it. She also suggests not over-gardening, but letting nature do the work for you. That’s my kind of gardening. I like her approach.

There’s a useful bumblebee ID chart on the garden website, though it’s slightly confusing that a buff-tailed bumblebee  has a white tail, as does the white-tailed bumblebee, and the garden bumblebee and heath bumblebee.

I have to ask about the wisdom of calling something white-tailed when it’s a common featureI also feel slightly cheated that the early bumblebee has a red tail, an ID feature it shares with the red-tailed bumblebee.

Anyway, enough of that, I’m going to sit and stare, at ebay, as W H Davies, may have said if he had lived longer.

Though I’ve just noticed Cockneys vs Zombies is on. It’s not the finest work Richard Briers and Honor Blackman ever did, but it’s not a bad film, and it’s streets ahead of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If only Jane Austen knew, she’d be emerging from her grave…



25 thoughts on “What is this life…

  1. beatingthebounds

    One of my favourite poems that. I read his ‘Autobiography of a Supertramp’ too and enjoyed it. The way he sold his poems, by sending them to prominent people and asking for payment in return eventually earned him the patronage of George Bernard-Shaw.

      1. beatingthebounds

        I like the idea of Edward Thomas and some of his poetry, but found his biography of Richard Jefferies virtually unreadable.

      2. quercuscommunity

        I’ve never tried the biography. I like some of the poems. A lot of his books seem to have been written under pressure and thrown together just for the money. He was not a happy man.

      3. quercuscommunity

        It was for Thomas. Gibson, who was another of the Dymock poets, made a very sad comment about his own career in later life – about being a poet whose work had died before him. At least the work of Thomas survived him.

      4. beatingthebounds

        Wow, that is sad. I almost feel like seeking him out, as if that could compensate.

  2. Clare Pooley

    I found so many dragonflies, damselflies and other insects in my garden during the summer of 2014 because I had the mornings to myself and could spend a couple of hours each day just wandering about and looking! It was wonderful!

  3. Laurie Graves

    Easy to get caught up in busyness and not take the time to “stand and stare.” Excellent advice, beautifully put.

  4. Lavinia Ross

    I like time to stand and stare myself, although these days, I am more likely to do that while I am trying to remember exactly what it was I was going to do next. A beautiful poem, and I have bookmarked it. 🙂

  5. Sue (Mac's Girl)

    The title of the post caught my eye immediately. One of my mother’s favorite poems. I’m all in favor of letting the garden take care of itself but I find it does need a helping hand once in a while.


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