Friends In My Garden: Banished Rhus, A Pair of Doves

Today I intended to write about our cruise around Lake Windermere. Unfortunately I’m using a different computer and the photos won’t show up as I want them to. Instead I will share more of my poems from my book, ‘Friends In My Garden’ and hope that you like them .

I wrote these poems for friends and family, depicting each one as something found in a garden. ‘Banished Rhus’, as the name implies, was one person who I thought was my friend but, while staying at her home for a few days I realised that she was actually not a friend at all. If you have been badly hurt by someone who you believed to be your friend, I’m sure you will relate to this poem. You might even want to pass it on to her or him, although I never did.  Banishing her from my garden of friends seemed the best tactic.

The second poem was written for a couple who visited Australia each year from their home in England. Sadly, he has since passed away, but for all of you who are in happy relationships, or who have benefited from a loving marriage or partnership in your life, I hope you enjoy this. You might even want to share it with your loved one.

As always, I’d love to read your comments which you can write in the ‘comment’ box at the bottom of the page.

Banished Rhus

I had a rhus tree

with leaves that were brilliant



admired from a distance.

I stepped too close

she attackedationships

spewing poison from her leaves

and dripping fiery sap.


was my reaction.

Even now the pain recurs

the rash appears

on tissue scar

when I recall

the venom of her wrath.

She’s gone of course

rooted out

and if ever I see her again

I’ll take care

to keep my distance

from false vindictive rhus.


A Pair Of Doves

Two white doves

return every year.

I love to hear their cooing

a gentle sound that soothes the soul.

While he’s out during the day

she tidies and titivates the nest

chats with other birds

gathers garden goodies for tea

then fluffs out her feathers to look her best

when he returns.

They share a meal

and snuggle down for the night.

Ripples of kindness float across the darkness

encompassing me.







Lakes District: Ambleside

Haven Cottage, Ambleside

It’s so long since I posted anything and too long since I promised to write about our visit to the beautiful Lakes District in the UK in 2016. Well, here we are. It was about 5 pm by the time we arrived and the parking area was full, but our hosts were charming, very helpful and immediately made us feel welcome. He carried our cases up to the third floor, then parked the car for us while she did a great job of darkening the windows for me, (I cannot sleep with light) climbing up on a chair and pinning a length of dark material over the curtains. Nothing was too much trouble.

I wish I had photos of our accommodation, right across the top floor, with a separate sitting room and ensuite, plus a big bath in the bedroom. Romantic for a couple, but useful for two sisters for hanging out our washing, and Susanne did luxuriate in it one evening, after a hectic day of driving. I’m sure you can find Haven Cottage Ambleside for yourself on Google – we thoroughly recommend them.

Slate roofs and stone walls; the view from our bedroom window.

I have a photo taken from the bedroom window, which looks down on the houses behind Haven Cottage and the hills which surround the town are visible in the distance. beyond them is Lake Windermere.




On that first evening, we partly unpacked to find clean clothes, then ventured into town, walking beside the river that flows under and around some of the original buildings. Italian was the best choice for dinner, but they had no empty tables so we took a stroll, after asking them to save us a table in about an hour.

Ambleside is my favourite town in the area, quite small, right on Lake Windermere and close to Wordsworth Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s place and most of the places on my list to show Susanne. The route in and out of the town is one-way, narrow and steep. Crossing the road can be hazardous, but it was holiday time and very few people were in a hurry.

This wall of flowers was just one of the many picturesque sites in Ambleside.

Although most of the buildings are made of grey stone, they don’t look dreary, even in wet and cloudy weather, (we had that later) which I found surprising. It must be because the locals pretty the place up, like this wall of flowers which we passed each time we went into town. There are lots of eating places, so of course, they too, are colourful and inviting.




The Italian place quickly became our favourite; we ate there three times, all delicious.





After the very cold weather we experienced in York, our expectation was for more of the same, but for three days we found Ambleside so warm that our one set of summer clothes just wasn’t adequate. Knowing that the temperature should be colder as one travels north, we left most of the light things with my son. No problems; the local charity shop solved the need for a cotton shirt to keep the sun off. It’s now one of my favourites back in Perth.

We were fortunate to strike three clear days, as the trip around the lake was our next adventure.