Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 24 May 2024

Change of destination

Both hubby and I enjoy the Thursday quiz on Zoe Ball's breakfast show on radio 2, just 5 questions each week, the quiz master started an online quiz back in March 2020, when we were all locked inside. We had heard some of his back story, so when he said he had written a book, we both decided we would like to read it. It's a sad tale, not uncommon, broken families, he is honest and shows how he turned his life around, and one little wrong moved grew into this big story. Book 30 read this year.
I am aware of Rob Rinder on TV, I've not watched any programmes he has been in, I read another blogger enjoyed this book, so I got a copy to read whilst we were away. The prologue was it bit a of red flag for me, starting with the well loved, good looking successful police officer, but I kept reading. I really enjoyed this book, very clever believable plot, I loved how he kept adding to the case and plot, and an good ending. I will look out for his second book, with the same characters. Book 31 read this year.
I have loads of paper bags from our fruit and veg, I never throw anything away, this year I want to save seeds, so I have stapled the plant tag on each bag and will collect seed heads, a bit of fun, which could enhance my garden. These will stay in my dry garage until I can sow them.
These are from Bellis Perennis, white, tiny daisy like flowers, I have a pot full of them, these started the idea, it's going to be fun and hopefully I get free plants for next year. I would like to see these sprinkled around the garden, I do love daisies.

We had booked a few days away at Stoke on Trent, but the weather forecast was horrendous, heavy rain for two days, we wanted to visit potteries, lots of time outside. We managed to change our hotel bookings, delaying the visit until July, and drove to Somerset to stay with my brother, visiting family instead. Our last visit was back in November 2023, every time we planned a visit something came up.

Just a few lazy days catching up with family and our Taunton boys. I think my sister has given me a cough and cold, all I need is to shake it off quickly, we are back home now. It's nice to visit, but oh so nice to be back at home.

The garden and greenhouse are OK, no plants lost to the munching slugs and snails, I have come home with a few extra plants, we saw some vibrant colours on coleus leaves, hubby loves these plants, and I have a nice pot I can plant them in. I have a huge harvest of broad beans to pick, some will be frozen for Christmas lunch. 

Thursday 23 May 2024

Other things

 I'm not doing much craft at the moment, last year I pressed some of the flowers growing in our garden, they have sat in the flower press for months. I saw this double frame reduced in TK Max and decided its time I made a design. It's my first time of trying, I did have a very limited colour scheme, so many plants I love. I'm now pressing more flowers.

I have pulled out the knitting I am doing for hubby's sister, I want to finish it, ready for their visit next month, I do love knitting, it's a relaxing craft. Sadly I don't need anymore cardigans or jumpers, I always crochet any blankets we use. I have a nice stash of yarn, mainly 4ply, which I prefer to use. I've started on the first sleeve, I did think she had not purchased enough yarn, but I have just over 5 balls to do both sleeves and front band.
Hubby made a red velvet cake, which we both love, making the frosting using dairy free cream cheese, so the little ones can eat it, so moist, sat outside in the sunshine, sharing a special moment. The children loved it and wanted more, Will thought it was purchased from a shop. 
I'm not always sure about this authors works, she covers topics which can be thought provoking and hard, here teenage suicide or was it murder, two families lives so close, their children friends from birth. I did enjoy reading this book. Book 29 read this year.
I have a very happy husband, last December he won a raffle prize, which he was extremely happy with. This week tickets arrived for the Kings birthday, Trooping of the Colour, we have a pair of tickets, lovely seats for the event in June, we have booked hotel, coach tickets and have places at a luncheon after. Hubby has marched years ago infront of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, but never watched it.

We have been to an event attended by our late Queen, posted here, here hopefully we should see the King, and maybe other members of the royal family, would like to see William, not interested in seeing the Camilla, I have never liked her. 

Monday 20 May 2024


 We had our first harvest of broad beans with our Sunday roast, they were lovely, best tasting ones we have had, we should now get a steady harvest, I am hoping I can freeze some to save for our Christmas lunch. I planted these back in September, and was at every stage concerned if they were growing well, they managed our mild winter. I will sow more this autumn, in the other bed, it's good to see productive ground in the cooler months. 
We are also eating home grown lettuce and salad leaves, this raised bed is working well as a salad bed. I have copper tape around the back to keep pest away, it sits close to the garage wall. Behind is the blackberry vine, which grows higher up along the garage wall. 
Potatoes are looking heathy, just need them to flower, there are two bags here, one planted a few weeks later then the other, I have high hopes for a good harvest. I had two seed potatoes over, so they are in a raised bed. These bags work well here behind my high raised flower bed, I have no need to get to this spot. 
The other raised veg bed is looking good, the parsnip and beetroot seedlings are growing, these are either side of the middle section, the broccoli is huge, runner beans have started to climb the poles. I am on snail duty most days, I try and keep this bed free, something has nibbled at some of the runner beans, but it has not stopped them growing.
Also in the bed is my cucumber plant, I have a few small cucumbers starting to grow, these are F1 mini cucumbers, so soon we should start to eat home grown. The tomato in the huge pot is a beef tomato, I've not grown bigger tomatoes before, there are a couple of flowers forming. 
The tomato plants in the greenhouse are a bit behind, they are growing, so I'm happy. In the two tubs are cauliflower plants, once the broad beans are finished these will go in that bed. 
Both buckets of carrots are looking good, these are just inside the greenhouse, soon I will find a spot outside, I will also need to thin them out.
I purchased this pepper plant, it has been put into a bigger pot, it will need another slightly bigger pot soon, the first flowers are forming, this is a sweet pepper, I'm not a fan of chilli's.
My leek are doing well, they are strong, I have 19 here, they will go out in the broad bean bed once there is space. These are another veg I have not grown before, I have some onions in the centre of the broad beans, they are looking good.
I have grown fruits for years, again I am using this strawberry tower, this year it's in a different spot, sunny, but not full sun, there are loads of flowers. 
I have two slightly different blueberry bushes in this huge tub, they set fruit at different times, making my harvest last longer, and stops a huge glut. The early bush is full of fruit, looks as if it's going to be a bumper crop. 

Every morning before breakfast I walk around my tiny garden, I have so much squashed into the space, I grow where I can and in bags and pots where I have no soil, we are hopeful for a nice steady harvest, not too much of any thing, just a few nice meals. The veg section is giving me everything I have ever wanted, I will try and grow anything, and if we can eat it, then that's a double pleasure. 

I get so many comments 'your garden is tidy, we have loads of raised beds at different heights, I do like neat lines, so edges of the gardens stay tidy, I don't plant in straight lines, in fact I think I break so many rules, I like plants to mingle, I often plant just one plant, in a small garden there is not room for sways of planting, I also plant closer together. Like many others you get to see the best bits, I'm outside most days, so there is always a small job I can get done. I can't sit and relax if I see something which needs to be sorted, and I do love to sit outside as much as we can. 

Saturday 18 May 2024

Better outlook

Our garden, this is our view from the outside table, we sit and chat, watch the small birds as they feed from the hanging containers in the tree. We have noticed they hop around the veg beds, hopefully feeding on any bugs, it's good to have so much wildlife in our space. The bigger birds always swoop next door, where she has an open tray bird feeder. 
The garden is a working area as well, laundry on the lines, gone by lunchtime on warm days, hubby packs the lines away after use, this back end of the garden is earning it's keep with harvest of veg to come. At the moment this is my favourite end, so much growing, the broad beans are swelling in their pods, soon be time for a harvest. 
This area along the fence we have not used for years, it's a sun trap, but sadly the flies and smells from next door keep us away. The water feature is new, it's a firepit with a solar fountain, I wanted a low feature, everything else is years old, we both love this space now. Once all the plants in the big tub start to grow the area will be full of colour. 
Being aware on how much I am spending in the garden, we popped to B&Q to get some cheaper plants, £32 spent, one plant almost half price, I cut part of a rooted section from a scabiosa, making a small free plant. Every plant was pot bound, the roots in each case tightly wound around the bottom of the pots, I released the roots and planted, I prefer plants being pot bound rather than weak roots. These have all gone into my side bed. 

I have cut back all the yellowing leaves from the spring bulbs, the bulk being in the long side bed, my composter is now full, but it does break down quickly, I could now see the gaps in the ground, most of my focus will be on the side bed this time, I have bedding plants to go in for a couple of weeks, then the bed should be done. Last year there were Salvis hotlips, but they grew far to big, engulfing everything, whilst they are beautiful, it's not what I wanted in this bed. 

I have twice this week slept over at daughters, she had booked a break in Budapest, which both daughter and SIL needed, the children were very good for me, we had loads of fun, I did not want them to cancel the trip and lose money. As the children get older they are easier to look after, not so much lifting, and they can play well together, I did drive back here for one day, on sunny days they prefer to be outside. 

I am on hose pipe duty most nights, ensuring the broad beans are well watered, along with other new veg plants, all the new flowering plants had a good soak. I was really please using my Hori hori knife, I'm always wary with knives, they do scare me, both my garden knives are tucked away in a drawer with my secateurs, the drawer is a bugger to open, it sticks all the time, which makes me feel they are safe inside. 


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