We have had a little break at the seaside.

We went for lots of walks. I read some books. We ate a fair bit and drank coffee at six different cafes.

Of course, I was fascinated to look at all the seaside gardens. These have a very distinctive character. Lots of lavender, echiums and succulents. Lots of pebbles and seashells and tea-trees pruned and bent by the constant wind. It was lovely.

Now, we are home, and I am hoping to spend a week re-invigorating the garden. Weather permitting. I have already been out there this weekend, weeding and pruning like mad. And trying hard not to think about the little white dog who should be there too, bouncing busily around and getting under my feet. I miss her so much.

Right now, the most dramatic show in the garden is from the Luculia gratissima.

Luculia has a strong, sweet scent. The blooms are a pretty pink and the buds a lovely, deeper pink, but they are not good for cutting. They wilt very quickly.

Apparently, luculias can be a bit fussy. But this one has survived drought, frost and torrential rain; I guess this is partly due to the protection of the banksia rose hedge and partly due to luck.

Against the pale blue of a winter sky, we have a sugar overload.