Friday, 30 March 2012

Spring flowers and a bit of sewing

All this lovely sunshine has brought out the tulips in the garden, and very welcome they are too.  I love their bright, sweetshop colours after too many months of "greyness". The only downside to them being that most of them don't come back as big and strong the following year.  
These have been in the veg plot for about 6 years, after growing them in tubs first and some varieties have just disappeared, but others keep returning, albeit on shorter stems, which is fine for popping in mugs on the kitchen window sill.  I think they look gorgeous with the anemones, real "cheer you up" flowers!

I've been doing some more sewing, making some lavender hearts out of some scraps of vintage "comfy" quilts I've had for ages.  I love how they've turned out, decorative enough to hang up, but useful as a pin cushion too!  They'll be in my Etsy shop when I've finished sewing them up.

Lottie's been making the most of the sun, moving round the house to the warmest bit all day!  In the morning it's the back of the sofa.  I've given up trying to keep it looking tidy. At least she's happy :)

Have a good weekend

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Garden Spring Cleaning

Hello to you all and welcome to my new followers.
What glorious weather we've been having recently!  It's a shame it can't stay like this all year, though the garden really needs some rain, but I'm sure we'll get some soon enough.   The area near the back door desperately needed a spring clean now that we'll be spending more time outside so I spent yesterday getting rid of all the the broken tatty pots and assorted rubbish that tends to accumulate over winter and gave it all a good hose down and re-arranged everything.  

The pots of tulips are just starting to flower but I'm keen to get some more colour here and I want to try some new things in pots this year, apart from the usual hostas and pelargoniums.  
The bench needs a comfy cushion,  and then it will be a nice shady spot for relaxing with a cup of tea!

In the greenhouse there is lots of signs of life. The beans and sweet peas are all growing away and the peas in the guttering are doing well.  I like to start them off like that and just push the whole lot out into the soil.  It's still quite chilly at night, and a few weeks yet before the last frost, so nothing's going out yet.

Elsewhere in the garden everything is beginning to turn a lovely shade of green and the forsythia and daffodils are looking radiant in the sunshine.

In between garden pottering  I've finally managed to get my Etsy shop up and running.  It has seemed to take ages, from faffing about with a new bank account and paypal account and then setting up the shop. Then trying to get some decent photos and writing about the items, it all takes ages! but I think I know what I'm doing now and hopefully there will be more things in there soon.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wild flowers in the Garden

Hello, I hope you're enjoying the lovely spring weather.  This time of year always sees me coming up with a new plan for the garden, which more often than not doesn't happen for various reasons! but I'm hoping this one will.  I was inspired by Sarah Raven's TV series "Bees Butterflies and Blooms" and last time I was at the garden centre I bought some packets of seed to scatter in our wild area to try and boost it a bit.  Then I had a brainwave of leaving more of the garden to do it's own thing and ordered a bigger pack of seeds from Nicky's Nursery that I'm going to sprinkle over the grass area on the left of the garden and see what happens!

I've marked it out roughly with canes, and I'll just leave that area unmown and hope some of the flowers germinate.  It's a gamble, with all the rabbits and pigeons but hopefully something will grow!  There's already lots of tiny violets around the apple tree.

and the primroses are opening at the end of the garden

I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes up and hope it encourages more wildlife into the garden.

I'll leave you with a picture of my lovely Mother's day flowers.  The girls couldn't make it home 
this year, being in the middle of exams and year end projects,  but it won't be long 'till Easter :)


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Busy week in the garden

I've just come in from the garden for a well earned rest after spending most of the week getting the veg plot sorted out.  Hubby's had the week off and we've been busy with lots of things.  I finally got the last 3 beds dug over and weeded while he got on with making my obelisks for the sweet peas.  He used the instructions Here though he used slightly slimmer wood and made the tops himself on his lathe.

I'm painting them with Cuprinol garden shades "Winter Well" which I got mixed specially in Homebase.  It's a really pretty summery colour, like a paler version of Beaumont blue. 2 done, 2 to go!  I'm really chuffed at how they've turned out and at only about £10 each for the wood and screws, a lot cheaper than some I've seen for sale!

Most days this week it's been really foggy and chilly all morning but beautiful once the sun came out.

I've also planted the onions, shallots and garlic and sown seeds for tomatoes, peppers and aubergine for the greenhouse.  Hubby tidied the front hedge, giving me lots of pea sticks and poles for my rustic bean supports.

So, all in all a very tiring but satisfying week  I'll finish painting the obelisks tomorrow and plant the strawberry plants I bought today, then I really ought to catch up with the laundry and tidy the house :( 
Hope you're all enjoying the spring sunshine

Saturday, 10 March 2012

In the Garden

It's been a bit of a frustrating week.  In typical "sod's law" fashion, no sooner had I decided to get on with making things for my etsy shop, my sewing machine decided it didn't want to play :(  The tension has been a bit off for a while and it started breaking the top thread so I had to give up and find someone to service it.   It's not being picked up till Monday, so I've been at a bit of a loss on what to do.  I just managed to join some squares for a little doll quilt so I might have a go at hand quilting that.

Next, I dug out the pile of fabrics that I bought last year and gave them a wash, ready to use. 

The last few days have felt really spring like, so I've been in the garden attempting to tidy up a bit. The border round the veg plot has been edged and tidied and I've sown a couple of rows of broad beans.  The greenhouse is starting to fill up with trays of rootrainers and I've sown the first batch of dwarf and climbing French beans, and the sweet peas.  

I've just noticed the summerhouse roof!  The covering blew off in a storm a few months ago and it's still waiting to be repaired.  Another job on hubby's list :)

At the far end of the garden, past the veg plot is the "wild bit" that gets left to it's own devices.  It's just beginning to spring into life, but in a few weeks it will be covered in cowslips and primroses, followed by ox-eye daisies in the summer.  The couple of cooking apple trees should be covered in blossom soon too.  Best bit of the year I always think!

Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend

Monday, 5 March 2012

Lavender bags

Hello, I hope you had a good weekend.  It was too cold here for any gardening, yesterday we had loads of snow in the afternoon.  Luckily it didn't stick around for long, but it's definitely been a "stay indoors and keep warm" few days.

I've been turning some of my prettiest fabrics into squares and strips ready to make some more lavender bags.  I've made them before as gifts and for myself but I'm planning to sort out an etsy shop to sell bits and pieces. 
 I was going to do it last year but had issues with Paypal, to do with the fact that hubby and I have a joint bank account.  Apparently they only allow one account per bank account, so I've had to open a new one and it's taken me ages to get round to it!  Hopefully it'll be sorted soon.

Anyway, these are some of the ones I made before.

And these little log cabin ones are filled with a mix of lavender and chamomile which I bought last week and smell gorgeous, really soothing.

I'm thinking of other things like pincushions, needle cases etc, and there's all the shirt fabric rolls I made.  I know there are many others out there doing the same thing, but I'm going to give it a go anyway!
I'm off to fill a few more bags and breath in that lovely smell!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Spring has Sprung!

After a very foggy start this morning, it has turned into the most beautiful spring day. Let's hope it's here to stay!   The catkins are suddenly flowering away and there are bees humming and frogs croaking everywhere.

The hellebores and snowdrops and the odd crocus are very welcome when there's nothing else around.

I spent some time at the weekend sorting out the greenhouse, taking all the benches out and giving it a spring clean.  All my overwintering pelargoniums were tidied and cuttings taken. I could spend all day pottering in there given the chance! 

Some of my favourites spent the winter in my utility room where they've flowered away for months. The one with the pink flowers is "Sweet Mimosa" who's leaves are balsam scented, but I grow for the lovely flowers.  It's what my Nan would have called a "good do-er"!  

I got my potatoes planted today.  Lady Christl first earlies.  I don't bother with main crop ones but there's nothing to beat the first new potatoes of the year.  

On another note, we discovered a wasp's nest in our eaves space that we'd forgotten about.  We seemed to get them every summer, using the air vents in the soffits to get in.  The pest man came and treated this one last year, but it was only when hubby was putting some mouse bait out (oh the joys of living in the country!) that we remembered  it was there. It's quite impressive and I'd love to remove it to have a proper look, but there's no way I'm going in that little crawl space with all the spiders and dust :(
Hopefully we won't get any more as our new soffits don't have the big air vents

Bye for now