Undeterred and Undaunted

It’s a blustery and bright day here at Bramley Towers. As I took my dog for a walk this morning wearing a floaty dress and Hunter wellies (bad choice – my neighbour got a flash of my tights’ gusset, probably put the poor soul off his breakfast), I stopped front of my favourite spot in the garden. I call it my woodland garden. A rather grand name for a shady bed populated with hellebores and ferns from late spring.

We are living in the house we built ourselves on the site of my husband’s family’s bungalow. If my in-laws were still with us, I’m sure they would be happy with what we’ve done, but it looks virtually unrecognisable these days our own house. The one part which remains fairly unchanged is the woodland garden.

We have a big garden. Huge. And neither of us are green-fingered. So I’ve had to focus on one small section at a time. Last year, I watched one single episode of Gardener’s World in which Monty Don planted – you’ve guessed it – a woodland garden. My plan was hatched.

In the last two years, it has had portaloos plonked on it, been invaded by fierce four feet stinging nettles and has a deep layer of hazelnut shells all over the surface. I didn’t even know we had a hazelnut tree until a squirrel threw a trio of husks at me! Lately, my lovingly-tended bed has been under 15cm of snow and was then turned into a riverbed when the snow melted and flooded the whole front garden.

But today, Mother Nature has won through yet again. The snowdrops have appeared with their understated jubilance and the first shoots of daffodils alongside them.

Snowdrops at Bramley Towers, Undaunted and Undeterred

Last week, I sent my first, my only book out alone into the wide world to introduce itself to some agents. One short day later, it returned rejected. Pristine, with its spine uncreased. It shook it’s head sadly and slid into an open drawer in my desk and shed a little tear.

But that was then. Today is a brand new day. My book, my impractical outfit and I take heart from the humble snowdrop and remain resolutely positive. And if I were to feel a little down I can always take a leaf out of the squirrel’s book…


By Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo. Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.

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