~A Bookish Child~

I don't remember learning to read, but as Mum walked me to preschool I would read the names on the side of the big lorries that passed us on the main road. The lorries I liked best carried huge trees.
I was three years old; the trees were much older. I was curious about the  tree trunks, and studied them as the lorries labored to climb the hill. The tree trunks seemed to be made up of hundreds of rings.
At school, Miss Hampton my teacher explained that each ring represented a year of the trees growth. I was sad that the trees had been cut down after growing for so long. She explained that we needed the wood for so many things..furniture, houses, etc. It didn't make me feel any better.

When I left the school at the age of seven,
Miss Hampton gave me a book.
It was a volume of an encyclopedia, R-S.
She chose that one as they were my initials. That summer I read it from cover to cover, and learned about Red Indians. Not a politically correct term these days, but the encyclopedias had been published in the 1930's.
I didn't know then that one day I would live in the land of the Red Indians, now known as First Nations, but I did know that I loved books and would never be without a book to read.

Fast forward 55 years, it is Summer and I am choosing books to take to the cottage. I often read mystery novels or true crime, but lately have opted for gentler material. So it was that I saw a book whose cover attracted me.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. (click here for more info)
Having been fooled by covers before, I turned it over to read the back and immediately thought of my friend Robyn in Australia. Robyn whose ancestors were from Cornwall, and I knew I had my first 'cottage' book.

The week was incredibly hot and humid, with no breeze to speak of, almost worse than a rainy week.... I like a good rain storm. 
We planned our outings for early morning or evening when it was cooler, and mid-day we sat inside in air conditioned comfort and each did our own thing.
Curled up on a bed by the window, book in hand, I was immediately lost in Nell O'Connor's world. If you haven't already read this book I recommend it for a good Summer read. Kate Morton is an amazing storyteller, and I plan to go to Chapters today and see if I can find more of her books.
Curl up in your garden, with the sound of humming insects and birds in the background, and lose yourself to a time gone by.

My photos are of a day-lily nursery near where we stayed.
It looks like a Forgotten Garden doesn't it?


  1. Sounds heavenly Sheila! It's raining here at present and we have a hosepipe ban because we are short of water. Good old England! (I'm expecting them to tell us 'it's the wrong kind of rain') :o)

  2. You now have me wanting to read "The Forgotten Garden" Sheila! I will ask my daughter if they have any Kate Morton books at the library, where she works! She keeps me in books, most of the time!
    Enjoyed your lovely post and photos!...Wanda

  3. I, too, was a bookish child. In first grade I got a certificate for reading more books than anyone else in my class....and for that matter, more than any other student my teacher had ever had in her class! To say I love books is putting it mildly. The Forgotten Garden is on my reading list and I think I'll move it to the top now.

    Gorgeous photos, as always.

  4. I think this book is on my wish list with Amazon. Now I must go check. It sounds like a good one.

  5. Sheila, I received your email, but am so, so tired, just haven't even had a chance to check it out.. but after reading your post here I am surely going to buy the book. It will be a little reading for me when summer comes to Villa Maria.. thanks tons for thinking of me xoxo
    [we move on Friday!! eek !!]

  6. I have always loved reading and was so disappointed when I went to kindergarten the first day and we didn't start reading.
    I love your photo's of the nursery and it does look forgotten but beautiful just the same. Your flower meadow tune goes with it perfectly. I felt as if I was walking through it and hearing it. Imagination will take you anywhere!


    I have written the title of your book and look for it next time I am in the book store.


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