Saturday, 6 March 2021

The Secrets In A Garden

It was quite a busy day at Dad's house yesterday getting so much done on one day, but we found time to sit and talk gardens and family history and planned for places we would all visit after lockdown. He has had the new David Austin rose catalogue delivered which has inspired me to get a new rose it all looked so beautiful. I love roses in the garden.

Following on from yesterdays post about the local area I have been thinking a lot about our garden. I found an old map online from the 1800s of our area and our little junction where the two tracks used to meet, which is now the junction of the two roads, is clearly marked as a little area of farm buildings for the farm that was once all over our area. We have dug up so many items in the back garden that are remnants from this past. Lots of horse shoes, which make me wonder if the horses were kept here. I love to think of the working Shire Horses in stables where our back garden is. We are always digging up large pieces of walls which must have been from the buildings themselves. They are a mixture of flint and bricks which are typical of a lot of the older buildings around the area going back hundreds of years. I always reuse what I find and make edges to flower beds with them. We even found some more pieces the other day when were re-laying paving slabs while building the duck run, which I am looking forward to putting around the garden. When next door had their extension build and a smart new garden wall, all the old flint they dug up went into the skip, I was heartbroken! I keep meaning to see if I can find a book about the history of walls, I love then so much!

One of the finds I have made in the garden is very precious to me. While digging I have found two old metal door mats. One is in good condition and is at the door of my greenhouse but the second one I found was cast iron and buried very deeply. I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered it as it was a beautiful metalwork, so intricate with a lovely design around the edges. I carefully dug around the edges, in my mind it was already painted black and standing by our front door. I felt like an archaeologist on my hands brushing away all the soil, it's so exciting to find something that no one else has seen for decades. Then as I lifted it out of the ground it crumbled into pieces, it was so rusty there was nothing really holding it together, it was ever so disappointing but then something else caught my eye shining in the soil underneath it. It was a silver chain and pendant which I carefully pulled out of the soil. So far down and under the old cast iron mat, it must have been there for a hundred years. 

I have cleaned it up and often wear it. I wonder all the time who it belonged to. Was it the young woman who was the first inhabitant of the house with her husband in 1908, or was it dropped earlier by someone walking through before the house was even built. They must have been so upset when they realised it had gone. How strange if they had known that all these years later it would be found and worn again. 


I've talked myself into going out into the garden again today to do a bit of work. It's brightish but cold so I think I'll wrap up warm and do a bit of digging. who knows what I may find! I hope everyone has a lovely Saturday what ever your plans.

20 comments:

  1. I have a brooch very similar to your pendant. It belonged to my beloved grandma, who died on Boxing Day 1973 when i was 14, my granddad gave it to me as a keepsake, I still have it. What a lucky find for you, pity about the doormat.

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    1. Jewellery is such a lovely keepsake. For some reason I always feel a bit guilty when I wear the pendant though!

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  2. All we ever find in our garden is bricks, but now I don't dig anymore, any more bricks can stay where they are. Another day inside here, it's sunny but nothing to do outside which would survive the cold weather .

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    1. We have never lived anywhere like it, we can't dig without finding something! My Dad swears they must have built our house on the local rubbish tip!

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  3. I love to imagine the stories that go with such finds. I regret that we have never found anything more exciting that a screwdriver which must have belonged to the builders back in the 1980s! My sister found a Belfast sink buried in her Victorian garden which she used as a planter. Arilx

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    1. My imagination runs riot I always have to build a whole story around everything! A Belfast sink, that was a lovely find.

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  4. That's beautiful. Whoever lost it must have been so upset.

    We used to find lots of broken china in the gardens of our childhood home but I have never found anything here. This house was built on what was previously open countryside.

    I love the David Austin roses!

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    1. Yes I almost feel guilty when I wear it! I have kept a lot of broken bits of china I have found and keep meaning to make it into some sort of mosaic to display in the garden.

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  5. Darling Jane,

    Well, the necklace is a most beautiful find. How lucky to have unearthed such treasure. No matter the weather, we feel you should be out there right now since it could be a treasure trove of gold bullion which may be uncovered next.:):)

    Like you, we should definitely be wondering where the necklace came from and who had the pleasure of wearing it before you. Whatever, it is amazing that after all these years it still looks very pretty and is entirely wearable. Some things really do not age at all.

    In our gardening days we planted many David Austin roses. As you say, there are some wonderful colours and those which resemble the old fashioned roses are so very pretty. We would just advise you to think about how they grow. Those roses which can grow into large shrubs can tend to have very weak stems and so do look at their best when in full bloom. The shorter stemmed varieties are stronger, cope better in poor weather and give pleasure year after year.

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    1. I always have to build a whole scenario in my mind about all of these sorts of things! We are planning paving over a large flower bed near the house and will have to dig right down to level it with the terrace. Who know what we may find! Good advice about the roses, I am in the process of deciding!

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  6. That is such a beautiful find and how wonderful to be able to dream about the previous wearer. How fun to find treasures in your own garden.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. It really is quite exciting all the things we find. I would love to see exactly what the land looked like and was used for before our house was built. We know it had some sort of small sheds or buildings. It definitely needs more investigation.

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  7. How exciting to find these things in your garden.

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    1. Yes it makes gardening such fun! I always try and use or display what ever we find.

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  8. How wonderful to find things that have been buried for such a long time! I've always thought I would enjoy being an archaeologist. The necklace is beautiful!

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    1. I think it has awakened an archaeologist in me too! My son dug up a bangle several years ago I really must get that out and wear it too.

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  9. The pendant is lovely, a treasure. It's a shame the cast iron mat disintegrated. I imagine it would have looked so nice in your garden.
    It's almost sunny here but also chilly. I may go outside with a warm jacket.

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    1. Yes the plain one we found is very useful but this one was lovely. I kept a small piece of it so maybe I may paint it up and try and display it in the garden in someway.

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  10. Such a beautiful necklace and what a lucky find. It's quite cold here but dry and we do have some sunshine so no complaints.

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    1. It was a really exciting find. We have also dug up a shoemakers iron last which we use as a doorstop on the shed. I love reusing anything we find.

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