Island of Lost Gardens

Earthly Comforts

If you would like to submit a poem, inspirational musing, or even a photograph you have written or taken to the Poetry Directory to be displayed in Earthly Comforts, l would love to hear from you.

Don’t Be Shy 🙂

Please email me at Rory Matier –, with Poetic Art for Earthly Comforts in the title.


Horticulture Lost – Pixabay

Island of Lost Gardens

And yet there l sat, lost in thought and pregnant pause,
The significance of moments in time from afore,
Ghostly shadows of remembrance haunt me like squalls,
That threaten drying pastures begging for more,

Looking out amongst the voiceless and silent ruins,
Tumbledown remnants of a once lively secret paradise,
Now just wild with the imaginative essence of all lost gardens,
And filled with yesterday’s gentle whisperings and lies,

Like watching spilt canvasses or unbottling chained memories,
Forgotten traces of the dust of discarded…

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Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Nuggets of Gold

Spent the day with my sister and great nieces and nephews. A fun time. We took them to a small petting farm, where they saw little goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks. They also had SAND to play in and kids love sand! But the best thing is having my little three year old niece say, “I love you Aunt Carolyn.” What is it about little ones that make you melt.  What made you smile today? 











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WIP Wednesday…

I am delighted to have reached the mid-way point of my WIP, The Mystery of Folly’s End, considering what kind of year we are all having. Despite everything, I have found so much comfort lost in the storyline.

The tension has gone up several notches as the characters struggle to get their bearings. I know where they are heading, but it is a constant strain for some of them. I find it fascinating to watch how they try to figure it all out, especially the ones who think they can get away with murder. (no spoilers here!)

Everything else falls by the wayside, as these chapters are the most important, in my humble opinion.

The tone of the story rests on a good middle, leading to a satisfying ending, at least for me!

Thinking about how different things come to fruition, made me think of our new apple tree. It’s one of those dual-fruiting ones with two kinds of apples. You will be pleased to hear that it did flower this Spring and for the first time, these flowers did not fall off. Looks like we will have fruit, but which ones?

Autumn promises to produce all manner of goodies, a new book and new apples!

…you are that which you seek.



“If it is bread that you seek, you will have bread.
If it is the soul you seek, you will find the soul.
If you understand this secret, you know you are that which you seek.”

― Rumi





Text and image source: Rumi Reed

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Healing Magic… #Poetry

Image by André Santana AndreMS from Pixabay

Healing Magic

I trust in the man who stills the dark waters of my mind
Steering my falling body past the rocky outcrop
Placing me gently on the warm rock
A seat to sit, to think. 
Look back at the spot where I stood on the edge 
Thinking dark thoughts, tilting my body forward
Waiting for the cold dark water to take me
Wash my sins downstream
I lie with the warm rock against my back
Soft breeze lifting the leaves above my head
Making their own kind of music to dance to
How did I get from that side of the gorge to this?
Watching, listening to the sound only water can make
To soothe my soul
White foam blanket of forgiveness over dark water
A hidden place I can return to, 
wondering whose hand had saved me
Placing me beside the image of a wise owl 
In this hidden place of gentle healing magic 
I am home...


Hawthorn Research… #Bonsai

This article focuses on the subject of encouraging Hawthorn bonsai to flower, however, the basic principles can be applied to flowering bonsai of all species.

Maturity and Reproduction

All trees are genetically predisposed to be dominant over surrounding trees and plants in an effort to reproduce. The most successful specimen (of any one species) are those that are able to outgrow their neighbours in an effort to gather as much light, water and soil-space as possible.

Once they have grown to their fullest extent (as high and as wide as they are able, given their local environment and circumstances, (whether that be 100 metres or just 1 metre tall) they then begin to try and reproduce themselves by flowering and spreading their seed.

These two different phases, of gaining maximum height and then of seed-production, are known as immature and mature growth.
In the immature phase of growth, a tree will put out predominantly (or exclusively) vegetative growth in order that they can ‘outcompete’ its neighbours by growing as tall and wide as possible, commonly known in most tree species as apical dominance. This is a pre-disposition and it does not matter whether the tree in question is growing wild or in a bonsai pot.
Conversely, during the mature phase of growth, the tree reduces the amount of energy put into growing new vegetative shoots and begins to try and reproduce by flowering.
This mature or flowering stage of growth is triggered when the tree can no longer spread upwards or sideways and continues the process of dominance by trying to reproduce itself.

These same events occur with a bonsai; a bonsai will continue to grow vegetatively in an effort to grow taller and wider until such time that it is unable to grow any bigger and begins to enter a mature, flowering phase. Ergo, in order to encourage a bonsai to flower, first it must be encouraged into maturity.

Encouraging a Hawthorn to flower

Trees need to reach a certain age before they will ever begin to flower. The age varies according to the exact species; some species will flower after just a couple of years, while others, such as Hawthorn need to reach 15-20 years of age before they will begin to flower.

Feeding regimes high in phosphorous can help encourage more flowers on a tree that already produces flowers each year, (do not feed high nitrogen as it will encourage vegetative growth), but will not make a tree enter maturity and start flowering.

The procedure is first to gently slow the vegetative growth by allowing a Hawthorn bonsai to become on the rootbound side, if repotting and root pruning is absolutely necessary (for the health of the tree), only root prune lightly. Newly available space around the rootball encourages new root growth and therefore new vegetative top growth. A confined rootball dissuades the tree from trying or being able, to spread itself and remain immature.

Do not prune the tree hard, reduce the trunk or remove heavy primary branches. Doing so will result in vigorous vegetative growth, very much at the expense of flowering. New collected yamadori (wild trees) that may have flowered well for many years in the wild, will frequently stop flowering for many years after being chopped or pruned hard, until they re-enter a mature-growth phase. When a previously mature tree is in a vegetative/immature stage of growth, existing flowering spurs will simply open a rosette of leaves in the Spring but will neither flower or extend. Occasionally they will produce a vegetative extending shoot but this cannot be relied upon when trying to develop the branch structure of a bonsai. Bonsai that are still having their branch structures developed or are poorly ramified, should be ‘completed’ before encouraging flowering.

(On bonsai species that flower easily, the reverse is true, remove flower-buds to encourage more vegetative growth on trees in development)

Once the vegetative growth of a well-ramified and pot-bound Hawthorn bonsai slows down, pruning to contain the size of the tree naturally becomes more gentle. The tree begins to produce a new type of shoot that contains flowering ‘spurs’. This is mature growth and is subtly different than immature, vegetative growth.

Two new shoots on a Hawthorn bonsai during the Summer. On the left a mature flowering spur, on the right, a vegetative shoot carrying just leaves.

Flowering shoots on a Hawthorn will have a thorn at its tip, as shown in the image above. These shoots should not be pruned, if possible, otherwise they may become vegetative. Flowering shoots that are left unpruned will produce flowering spurs from which flowers will emerge sometime in the future. Unfortunately with Hawthorn bonsai, encouraging flowers can take a few years to achieve. The thorn itself should not be removed for the same reason.

Importantly, vegetative shoots (without a thorn at their tip) should be pruned by pinching out their tip as they extend to stop them becoming too long rather than allowing them to extend fully and then pruning them back (which encourages further vegetative growth).

A flowering spur on a Hawthorn beginning to open in Spring and revealing a cluster of flower buds…….

4-6 weeks later, the flower buds are about to open……..

The Hawthorn bonsai finally in flower

Some of the research was initially a bit confusing, as bonsai are usually trimmed all year to maintain the shape of the tree, and one source recommended only pruning flowering bonsai in the winter. The article I have posted today, at least explains it a little better.

It has been suggested that the best course of action for all flowering bonsai, is to find out whether they bloom on new growth or old, as this can differ, depending on the species. That way you can at least try to keep them in shape.

So far so good, now I need to research crab apples…

a girl & the sea

Lost In Amberland

all my life it’s been
just me and the sea..
my heart and my mind
reside with the waves
i could lie there on
the cool night sands
for eternity with no
interruption or need
to come back to life
every minute away is
agony and torture on
my soul because half
of my heart is stuck
somewhere in the sea

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Power… in waiting…

Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay

I couldn’t resist this image this morning… the powerful majesty of that incredible sky, and the brooding patience of the waiting boats…

In a way, this image reflects the state of my mind at the moment. Hopefully, I can sort it out to start the week with a clean and possibly happy slate…

Full Moon Blessings!



Happy Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 3rd!
The message of this Full Moon is to focus on things that are dear to your heart! Follow your intuition to fulfill your long awaiting dreams. Sagittarius is the sign of emotional wisdom and stability. Free-spirited adventurous Sagittarius reminds us about importance to find joy in our life, immerse ourselves in new experiences and remember what makes life worth living.
Nourish yourself and walk your Truth!

Take a look at poetic names for the June Full Moon from several Native American tribes:
Abenaki – Hoer Moon
Algonquin – When They Hill Indian Corn
Anishnaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) – Strawberry Moon
Arapaho – When the Buffalo Bellows
Assiniboine – Full Leaf Moon
Cherokee – Green Corn Moon
Choctaw – Moon of the Crane
Comanche – Leaf Moon
Cree – Moon Leaves Come Out
Creek – Blackberry Moon
Haida – Berries Ripen Moon

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