Then there was Light.

I’m awake quite early these sunny mornings, the main window in the bedroom faces east. When the sun is shining and the birds are singing, what is the point in staying in bed? Wandering round the garden at 5.30 or 6am with a mug of tea is quite a magical time, I chat to the birds and the hedgehog if I meet him.



The light at this time of the morning makes some of the plants look quite beautiful, the most beautiful I think, are the ferns in the bog garden, Matteuccia struthiopteris.


With the sun shining through them like this, I could look at them all day. A few hours later they are in full shade for the rest of the day, so early morning is the only time you would see them looking so beautiful.


When it was so hot eventually in July, after all the torrential rain that we had, seemingly for months, this was the best time to weed the sunny borders, before the sun got too much heat in it. Yes, I was out there in my pj’s and wellies , just as well no-one could see me!  Shady borders can be weeded at any time of day, so nice to retreat into the cool shade.

Do you know what is looking stunning in your garden while you are fast asleep, you might find that your garden looks totally different in the early morning light, or maybe you are like me, already enjoying the first rays in your garden with a mug of tea or whatever else takes your fancy!

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20 Responses to Then there was Light.

  1. Kate says:

    You’ve almost convinced me to get out there with my cuppa! I often take a stroll early – but not that early.

    Your ferns are absolutely magnificent – as a fern addict myself, I am envious of their splendour and the way the light shines on them. So very, very beautiful……

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Kate, it really is a wonderful time of day, this is when I usually meet the hedgehog, worth it just for that! Glad someone else is an early bird!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Morning is my favorite time to enjoy a garden. Your ferns are lovely and it seems they would enhance an early stroll.

    • Pauline says:

      My favourite time too pbm, just the sun, the birds, and the village is quiet except for the sheep and cows. The light coming through the ferns was just magical, so glad I had got up early!

  3. Pauline your ferns look so beautiful makes my meger one look drab, I love early and late light as it slants across the garden (and landscape) my damp meadow looks transformed then, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      Early morning light is very special Frances and the ferns looked so beautiful, couldn’t resist photographing them. I can imagine your damp meadow will look lovely in the light at both ends of the day, lots of nice long shadows.

  4. Christina says:

    Early morning and evening when its dark are the only times of day to venture outside now, not even deep shade is cool. The ferns even look cool and refreshing, I love them. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Sometimes it can be too hot can’t it Christina, I prefer it a bit cooler than you have at the moment and I think my plants do too. I know the plants in the shade and bog garden that have large leaves would all wilt in your heat, its so important to plant according to our own conditions.

  5. debsgarden says:

    Your ferns are wonderful! Your photos capture the light perfectly. I have hopes of planting a fern glade in my woodland garden this fall. Early morning and late afternoon are the very best times for viewing a garden. The light transforms the ordinary into magic!

    • Pauline says:

      Ferns would look wonderful Deb, in your woodland. The ones that I showed here are in the bog garden, but we have plenty of different ones in the woodland, some of them have such interesting textures. I agree that the lighting can be quite magical at both ends of the day, worth getting up early!

  6. Laurrie says:

    Every plant looks remarkable with a little sun highlighting it, but there is something about lit up ferns that is magical. They really are light catchers. Even during the height of day, ferns in a shady dark woods will snag bits of dappled light and shine.

    Your early morning shots captured a lovely time of day.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you for stopping by Laurrie, I agree with everything you say! I caught the sun in just the right place and it made the ferns look so different from later in the day.

  7. Anna says:

    That early morning light works magic on those ferns Pauline – well worth getting up for. Here living near a busy main road I sometimes make the effort to get up and out early just to enjoy the peace before it gets busy out there 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Its good Anna to enjoy our surroundings before others are awake, even though we live in a quiet village, once the tractors and milk tankers get going, the peace is disturbed. Nice to have our gardens with just the birds for company.

  8. Alberto says:

    I could give you at least 10 good reasons to stay in bed when the sun is rising and the birds are singing but I won’t this time. 🙂 That border with the ferns and those sword like leaves looks beautiful and so peaceful. Your neighbors are luckier than mine! I often wander around the garden with a mug of tea and underpants in the morning.

    • Pauline says:

      Alberto, I’m the lucky one, no-one can see me, we have so many huge trees and very dense shrubs, nothing can be see in the summer, unless of course you are passing overhead in a little aeroplane!! The border where these ferns are is very peaceful, calming, lovely and cool in the shade, my next favourite place in the garden after the woodland.

  9. Carolyn says:

    Ah! A woman after my own heart. We call it the “Magic Hour” in our family. I rarely miss a morning out in the garden so early and if I do, I feel like I’ve missed the best part of the day. I’m out there in my pj’s visiting the blossoms, greeting the hummingbirds and gathering the snails. And you are so right… the morning light IS magical. Your ferns testify of that.

    • Pauline says:

      Carolyn, I will think of you next time I am out there with my mug of tea, can do without the snail hunting but wish we had humming birds to talk to! So glad you agree , it is a wonderful time of day, I think the best time of all.

  10. catmint says:

    Hi Pauline, I’m not usually an early riser, but sometimes I’m up and out in the garden. I agree about the light – and the dappled light on the lacy ferns gives a magical effect that you have managed to capture wonderfully. Presumably you had to put your cuppa down – can’t take photos like that with one hand! cheers, catmint

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, Catmint, I had to put my tea down this time, but sometimes I have managed with one hand when the wind is blowing and I’ve wanted to hold a flower still while photographing it. Early morning is my favourite time of day, when everywhere is still and quiet and the light is wonderful.

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