It was now spring of 1998, and just like clockwork, the fields of beautiful, yellow daffodils sprang up in the lawn of The Rose & Crown Pub across the street from us in Bridge Street Hamlet.
It’s so lovely in England to see spring flowers brightening gardens almost everywhere you look, bulbs that remained dormant for most of the year under flower beds and properly maintained lawns, suddenly appear to color the landscape!
We named our house, ‘Meadow View Cottage,’ because it overlooked our meadow and the stream running in the treeline, which flooded the lower meadow areas every spring – the bus stop to the right is where David caught the red, double decker bus that took him to school in Bury St. Edmunds.
Spring was beginning to wake up our plantings and flowerbeds around the house, as our front, south-facing courtyard acted like a Mediterranean micro-climate, capturing and storing the sun’s energy in the extensive brickwork.
You can see the green, water meadow extending behind our house along the treeline where the stream ran – the lush, green meadow was home to any number of rabbits as well as visiting ducks, moorhens and the occasional blue heron wading in the stream and neighboring ponds!
The roses and bulbs in our front flower border were just waking up, while the ivy behind them was already thriving in the warmth of the springtime sunshine – the bricks all captured and stored the sun’s energy for release throughout the day.
Our clematis vine was slower to begin its new growing season, but would soon have Meadow View Cottage covered in soft, pink flowers all along the roof line and up to the chimney!
My wife and I have always enjoyed working in the yard and gardening together – I tend to do the larger tasks like planting and landscaping, while she does the finer and more delicate work of deadheading the flowers and overall pruning.
These colorful and tender crocuses were nicely highlighted by the rich, dark planting soil of the flower beds – the prelude to a revolving mix of seasonal annuals that would brighten our front yard.
Meadow View Cottage was the most special and idyllic home our family has ever lived in, and although we were just renting it, we treated it as our own – as we’ve done with every rental property we’ve lived in while stationed overseas.
This is a view of our backyard and the water meadow beyond, with the cottage’s shadow casting a perfect square – the upper field in the distance would eventually green up as well, after mowing exposed the fresh, new growth to the sunshine.