Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday, 20 February 2020

New start

I have loads of knitting to do, so why then have I started another pair of socks. Red and slate grey, these are men's sized and will be another Christmas gift, I don't need a pattern any more so they are for me simple to knit. 
 I have started reading this book recommended to me, I've not found it a great start, but I am starting to 'enjoy' it. Can you enjoy a story like this, it's a good read. 
 Checking in the greenhouse, 
no storm damage done to structure, all glass panels still secure. 
Most of my plants in the dry river bed are looking good, I have one which needs protection, it looks as if water has been dripping on it, not good, but it's still alive, so there is hope. 
So many flowers on this plant. 
My chicken will go back outside once summer is here. 
 The huge bulb in the center has shot up, this pot is at the back of the garden, soon I will move it to the front, so we can see the progress of the plants. I won't move it until after the high winds drop, I don't want the plant to be damaged, in this spot it's sheltered. 
The weather has forced us to be inside far more than normal, I do manage a walk around the garden, and short time in the greenhouse. We do love to sit inside in the warm and dry and look out on our garden, we feed birds, so there is always something to watch. I also manage to do loads of crafting and reading, I really can't sit and do nothing.
I make loads of mental notes at this time of year, looking for bare patches, I have already dug out an old holly and rose bush, and replaced with a Peony, I would like some more snowdrops, after saying they had not come back, I now notice some growing, they are just later to shoot and flower.
My herb garden is not as productive as I would like, I'm not going to change it, I love seeing the herbs, the design has loads of slate around the plants, and I could plant more herbs, but I do like the space between the plants, I think I need to replace a couple of aging plants.
I am truly pleased with my fruit pots, I had a decent harvest last year, I have loads of small pots dotted in this area with spring bulbs in, later I will put out my decorations, animals ect.
I was pleased with my side bed last year, I am hoping I will just have a few gaps to fill in the summer.
The big raised bed infront of the greenhouse has not been changed, just as I planned to lower the height, I noticed the bulbs showing so it has been left, I will fill it with colour, I have some Dahlias to plant.
I only have 3 small pots at the side of the house to fill, they have winter pansies in at the moment, and they still look good. Soon I will start the marigold seeds for the old strawberry tubs, I always grow them from seed, I will also sow parsley and coriander seeds.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


Today is Will's 3rd birthday, how quickly did those years pass, we popped over for cake on Monday evening, as Will was at nursery all day Tuesday. Mummy and daddy took him to the Science exhibition at Winchester, for the day, which he loved. They had lunch out and back home to open presents, he loved the police outfit and kept it on for the rest of the day. We all loved his cake, it was fire themed, he loved Fireman Sam as well.
George is growing so fast, he is 12 weeks old, he still looks very small, most people think he is only a month old, we had loads of cuddles and smiles from him.
It was a perfect finish to a busy day, we did some shopping at B&Q and home bargains, it was good to get out of the house, hubby was needing to go out, he had been decorating last week and then the wet weekend kept him inside. The decorating is not finished we ran out of paint, it's not sold any more in store, we did purchase it 2 years ago, but hubby found some online so it should be delivered this week, just 1 wall to finish.
Today I am having coffee with the sign ladies, it's in our neighbour Chris's house, which is just across the road, so no driving.

Monday, 17 February 2020

In bits

This is Tilly, I managed to finish all her body over the weekend, I used Ecru shade, and pink ears. She was easy to knit, but I did struggle with the instructions in a few places. 
 I love the long legs, the feet was a struggle with the pattern instructions, but I got there in the end, I did think of an easier way to knit them, but stayed with the pattern. There is loads of sewing up to do, but I find I am enjoying sew things together. 
 These are my 1st Christmas gift finished, I love the shades of blue, I will start another pair soon. This being my 2nd finish this year. 
 I do like this colour Amaryllis bloom, but in truth I think I prefer the pink flecked ones better, this will last for another week. 
 The buds on the 1st stem are dying, these blooms are now all from the 2nd stem, still no leaves. 
It's been a weekend for staying inside, it's just far too wet to be outside much, we did get a walk on Sunday, just to the Co-op for a sweet potato for tea, I have been very busy knitting, reading and drinking coffee. I am happy to be inside, and don't often suffer from cabin fever.
Our garden is OK after most of the storm, we are due high winds all day and some rain, so it's not over yet, but the worse has passed. The fence is wrecked at the bottom of the garden, we are hoping the rest will break, then we will have a new fence put in, which we will pay for, therefore having a strong fence rather than the cheapest, which is always our neighbours choice, normally we pay half each, which in the 10 years we have been here we have replaced 3 times.
Chris from Gully Grove  asked why do we name our storms, as in Australia they only name cyclones, it's a practice we have on done in the last couple of years, not all storms are named, just the ones which will  cause damage, often these named storms come with warnings for wind, rain and flooding. Our weather here in UK, is much calmer than other countries, but these named storms can leave loads of damage in their wake, but thankfully rarely loss of life. So many homes are flooded around the country, in Yorkshire their highest tide should be this lunchtime, so many are not safe yet. Again we are thankful we are not in a flood areas, and have not seen any local fallen trees, I tried imagining losing everything on our ground floor, and it's just too huge to comprehend.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Hunker down.

10th book this year, I really could not put it down, it has been recommended by loads of people, and I totally agree with them, a brilliant read. 
 I am at the toe shaping of my 1st pair of Christmas socks, these are for a size 11 feet, I love the colours, I am making striped socks this year.

 My cardigan is growing, I am working on the length, but I have also done loads on the sleeves, soon I will try it on and work out the final lengths, I always make the sleeves shorter to match my short arm length, making a knit down garment helps me get it perfectly right.

 I hope to make a start on Tilly soon, I am making her for a raffle prize at Easter, I will make her body 1st, I am using Drops cotton 4ply, I also hope to make a second set of clothes for a male rabbit, so suitable for a boy or girl. I am also making another small baby ripple blanket, so busy time. 
Love these knitted animals, 
they have a modern feel to them.
Friday was fun, we all met for coffee and a chat, afterwards I went to daughters house, my friend Shelia came as well, she had gifts for Will's coming birthday, which he opened, loads of musical instruments, we had fun singing and playing. Then my darling grandson did the toddler thing and changed from the little angle to a little devil, in a bat of an eyelid. Shelia and I popped out for lunch together before I returned to daughters house, Will was still having his terrible two's, but was better, I had a chat with daughter and cuddles and smiles with George. Later at home hubby cooked a nice steak meal with wine (no diet on Valentines day).
Today was a dry when I got up late at 10am, we walked to the local shops and then home for the rest of the day. Now the rain  is hammering down, with the wind so strong, we have no plans to go outside for the next couple of days. Plenty of reading and craft time.
We do realise we are truly lucky, we do live near the coast, but it's an inlet  by Portsmouth harbour and Gosport waterfront, any high tides and flooding never come close to our home, we get protection from the Isle of Wright. I hope you all stay warm and dry over this stormy weekend.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Before Dennis

Spring is everywhere in the garden

  This pot was re-planted last September

 Tulip buds in February.
  Our Magnolia tree has buds of pink forming. 
I purchased loads of snowdrops in the green last year, in hope they would survive in our clay soil, few have come back, so these are for a pot, looks as if it's the only way I can grow them. 
Another new bulb for this year, just peaking from the center of the pot, Fritillaria Imperialis, it grows huge and has a multi head flower, can't wait to see it in bloom. This pot was planted last September, I noticed when I checked the post, I had some other different for me bulbs, I can't remember where I planted them, so looks as if I will soon be having some surprises.         
I have finished reading this book, I really enjoyed the plot, cleverly written, I have enjoyed other books by Peter May. This being the 9th book I have read this year. 
Hubby has finished most of the painting, just a bit to do in our sitting room, he is still feeling well, hope we have buried the jinx with decorating. I have been able to steam clean all the wooden floors before moving all the units back into the dining room, I still have items to go back inside, but no rush. We are spending time inside, it's been very windy all week, we did have a long walk back from the garage on Wednesday, our car was due it's MOT and service, hubby caught the bus back to pick it up, he has a free bus pass.
I have been knitting, both socks and my cardigan, and plotting to start another baby ripple blanket with yarn I already have, and a toy rabbit, with cotton yarn I purchased this month.
Today hubby will finish up inside with the paint, I am out for lunch it's a friends birthday, so about 8 of us are meeting just outside of town, in a nice garden center with a good cafe. I will pop and see mummy, Will and George after, just to check everything is OK in their happy home.
We are just waiting for the full force of Storm Dennis to arrive this weekend, again more high winds and rain, we are lucky, no snow as yet, but the wind chill makes it feel very cold outside.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Ciara has arrived.

Saturday was a beautiful day, it did get breezy later in the afternoon, but the blue skies stayed and it felt spring like, it was not as cold as it has been. 
 24 hours later, high winds and loads of rain, storm Ciara has arrived, no overnight damage to our garden, what a difference, today feels cold. We have lost fence panels along the horrible neighbours side, which will be fun to get replaced. Locally we are not aware of any trees down. 
 Purdy spends most of her time outside, on days like these, 
she sits at the patio door looking out. 
 Grace has the right idea,
warm and dry under the radiator.
 I spent Saturday emptying all the cabinets in the dining room and packing everything small which can be moved into our spare bedroom, hubby wants to finish the decorating. If you remember he started back in 2018, did all upstairs, the hall, spare room and bathroom, he was ready to start our living areas, when he was taken ill and went to hospital for his heart operation. In August 2019, we decided to finish downstairs, I emptied the 2 rooms, the next day he was unwell and again ended in hospital, having a smaller operation. So with a warning to him 'don't get ill' we are hoping to finish the decorating. None of it is hard, when we moved in 10 years ago, we had all the walls and ceilings plastered smooth, and then painted, all the wood on the door frames and skirting boards were stripped, so they only require a rub down before painting.
Sunday was a lazy day, just too wet and windy to go out, I did finish one sock and stitched in all the ends from the stripes, my wool order came on Saturday, so I did more knitting on my cardigan, it does grow very quickly. Later we moved the units to the middle of the dining room.
Today has started sunny and windy, but it won't last. I am out, hubby prefers it, he likes to get on with the decorating alone.  So this morning I'm going to a coffee morning with daughter, Will and George, I was due to have lunch with friends, but one lady needed to travel by ferry, not a good idea in this weather, so we will re-book. I will probably spend more time with boys and daughter.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Garden post

I love these Nerine pink bulbs, I got some last year and they bloom beautiful, plus another Peony, £8 for 3 packs, cost added to my list. The Peony is for my back corner garden, the Nerine's are for the raised bed infront of the greenhouse. . 
The garden is looking good, it's not the best time for colour, but I do have plenty of interest, we both love this big olive tree.
 I have loads of buds on my fruit  bushes, all grown in large tubs. In the spring I have loads of pots here with bulbs, this area is very near our patio doors, so is lovely to look at from inside. I will feed these fruit pots next month and top up with bark. 
 Problems in the herb garden, 2 of my sunken pots only have herbs which grow in the summer, this year our very naughty squirrels have been digging, these cheap hanging baskets are working to keep them away, I will cut them down so they become a permanent feature. I think I may need to replace my sage plant, I will wait a while to see if there is new growth. 
 Raspberry beds, loads of buds on the canes, I removed the strawberries from the tubs infront and now I keep flowers in them, the primroses look beautiful. The box plant has been moved for hubby to use in his front garden. 
 Further back more pots of colour, there are tulip buds inside the leaves, all far too early. I have popped my Bonsai Acer in it's tiny pot under the big Acer.
 At the very back, my grass loves this spot, hiding the entrance to a hedgehog sleeping spot, with another pot behind with spring bulbs in, the wire is to keep the cats from the pot. 
 Outside the greenhouse door, the tower of pots not looking so great, but the plants do all come back, I cut back this ivy often, growing it in a pot, keeps it where I want it. 
 On my bistro table, I have had this alpine pot for years, I do need to pop a couple different plants in, to add a bit more interest, I do keep it covered in the winter wet months. 
The raised bed by our back door, hubby made this last spring, the plants look a bit ragged, but they are surviving the cooler weather, if we get a snow fore caste I will cover this bed, can you see all the spring bulbs popping up, they were a birthday gift a couple years ago. Last year they were in pots, I popped them all in here, promise of loads of colour, this is a shady spot so they will flower a bit later than the rest.
This time of year is so full of promise, lots of buds, most of them too early, here in south east of England our snowy weather is almost always in late February and March, so even if the garden is saying spring is close, I know it could change at any time. We did not get much snow last year, and can have a winter without snow, we just have to wait and see.
I spent a couple hours in the garden on Friday morning, I planted my recent purchases and some sweet peas a Christmas gift, we sorted a box plant from a pot in the back garden to a pot in the front (hubbies) garden. I moved the pot with Yew plants in, I want to shape them as they grow, just for fun, nothing to demanding.
I am looking for a big oblong pot to match the round pot used for our Olive, I want to plant lemon grass and lemon balm and place it next to the fence on our patio by our table, hoping it will help in the summer with the smell and flies from next door, if not we will have to change the seating area, which would be a shame as it's placed to give us loads of usable space. I get my lemon grass from the supermarket, pop it in water and plant once the roots show.
Nothing beats time in the garden, I had dirty finger nails but the biggest smile, roll on summer, I sat for ages watching our little robin checking out my work.

Thursday, 6 February 2020


I have finished my 3rd ball of yarn on the body of the cardigan, and decided rather than keep going, I would start on one sleeve, just to see how far a 50grm ball of yarn would go. 
 The design states I will need another 4 balls of yarn, but I want to make sure that will be enough, so I am aiming to finish one sleeve to be able to order the correct amount of yarn to finish this project. I purchased on line, so I don't want to run out and have to order more and pay postage, neither do I want loads left over. The woolwarehouse has a very quick to delivery any order, I do use other sites,  Lovecrafts are also goood on delivery and both are good on prices.
 I have started the first of my Christmas socks, I was pleased to have them all finished well before they were needed last year, and I would like to repeat it again this year. Every one is having striped socks, I find them a joy to knit, I have loads of different shades. 
 I have not read Elizabeth Haynes before and found this book brilliant from the start, it's not a short book, the plot is tight, not too many people to cloud the plot. This being my 8th book this year. 
A gift for George, a friend knitted this jacket for him, it is beautiful and feels very warm, and probably a bit big for him, can't wait to see him in it, he is growing fast so it won't be long until he is snug in it. 
 She made a point of finding these toggle buttons to finish off her work.
Tuesday I met with sign ladies, we had fun with a few old fashioned songs, we are not a class, but none of us want to lose our ability to sign, so coffee morning dates are in our diary, followed by a lazy afternoon. The gas men are working on the other side of our street, so loads of holes in the pavements and loads of mud, not great for walking.
Wednesday we should have had Will for a few hours, but he got very wound up and would not get in the car, so daddy stayed at home with him, mummy took George for a checkup at our local hospital, it is one of many George will have this year and throughout his life.
Today I have had my haircut, my hairdresser is not going back to the shop after the birth of her baby, she found me on facebook and offered to come to my house and do my hair, it's also a saving of £10 each time, so a double win. I will speak to my neighbour Chris and see if she wants to have the same service as well, Chris always went to this hairdresser. Later we are going out for lunch, we have not treated ourselves for ages, it's nice and sunny so we are popping to our local posh marina, we can watch big expensive boats as we eat.


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