Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 31 May 2019

May roundup

Over my target spend again, most on the garden, but we have almost finished the garden, just waiting for a few bags of blue slate to pop under our tree. I did not record all our spend on the garden, a lot of the cost came from the refurb fund, which we had not overspend on. The Olive tree would have doubled my garden spend, but hubby agreed to add it to our refurb budget.

I have not purchased any clothes or shoes and nothing for the house, it is really rewarding to see the value of every thing we own, we have everything we need to have a comfortable life style, and no desire to add any more clutter to our lives.

We got a few second hand items from our local Facebook selling pages, the trike for Will was a brilliant bargain, and all my clay pots have found homes in the greenhouse, I have already used some of them. I also got some more free books and I have passed loads on.

We had another online shopping delivery, they offered 30% off and free delivery, which we are happy to use, and it saved us going to a supermarket over the bank holiday weekend.

Our biggest rise in spending again is at our local Co-op, it is so easy to walk down for one thing and come home with loads, we always check out their yellow stickers, and plan meals around what's on offer. We do need to eat from our freezers, we have 2 small ones, and they are full.

We have stopped using the pouches for cat food, they can't be recycled, so we are back purchasing tins, they are much cheaper, one can last both cats 2 days, Grace does not eat much wet food, but she does love the jelly from the tins. Tins are recycled.

Both water butts are full, and I am using them, saving water as much as we can. We are looking at ways to save water from the house, but in a small garden storage becomes an issue, it would be lovely to reuse our shower water.

It's been a good month, I think I am going to have to look at my budgets, I'm spending far more on yarn, I do love to knit and crochet, and enjoy the fact I have time to craft.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Saving Olive

In 2014 we purchased a new Olive plant, we had left our 1st olive tree at our old house it had been planted into a raised bed. This photo is taken from a post back in 2014
 I loved this pot, it was perfect for a growing plant, but it was pot bound this summer so we repotted it into a much better bigger pot. The roots got damaged, and I have been watching the leaves fall off the plant. Another old blog photo, this one from last year. 
So today hubby and I went shopping for the last thing for our garden refurb, his words, I agreed with my fingers crossed behind my back. We both fell in love with Olive tree's, so this one came home with us. 
Planted in the bigger pot, looking good. 
I used the large plastic pot the Olive tree came in, for my tomato plant, it's a brilliant size for loads of compost to ensure this plant grows and produces loads of tomatoes. 
This brown pot had the tomato plant in, I had planned to use it for my lemon plant later in the summer, but now is a much better time to repot. 
The small pot I removed the lemon plant from, was a perfect size to pop my old Olive plant in, I have cut all the branches back, in hope I can keep it alive and it will have some new growth. 
I am shattered, it was hard work, sorting all the plants into the different pots, I am now keeping everything crossed the Olive plant survives and grows, if it does I will gift it to my younger daughter, but that won't be until next summer.
We have learnt our lesson on choosing pots for plants which will need repotting, getting wide top pots, but at the time I loved the cider pot, it reminds me of back home in Somerset as a child. I have a few much smaller old pots in my shed, they have lids and I use them for storage of grit and other tiny stuff.
I do love having my blog and using it to track the history of our garden, home and family. I find it very easy to look through my printed books to find photo's and details of everything.

Wednesday 29 May 2019


Julie's spare yarn arrived, in a perfect cake ready for use, such a kind gesture, and plenty for me to finish a pair of socks for my daughter. I love the cake it's so neat and tidy.
1st sock of the 2nd pair is finished

 Matching the top is much easier with this design.
I got a couple more books free off our local Facebook page. 
I have started Harvesting the heart.
Monday lunch was great, Will loves to sit at the table, we give him our normal china with a child cutlery set, we spent most of the day outside, loads of laughter.
Yesterday was a day at home, Will has passed another cold to me, I have a sore throat and cough, oh well I don't mind, I love that little boy. I spent the day at home, hubby popped out for the morning, I did very little, in the afternoon I knitted my socks and then started reading Harvest the heart, I am loving it, her writing style is brilliant. I wanted to watch The Planets on BBC2 last night, the book was so good I have recorded the programme. Both hubby and I love to sit without the TV on, the only regular programme we watch is the news.
Today I am at home, hubby is driving a group of ladies out for lunch, we have a man coming to service our boiler, I have very little planned, no housework, can't be bothered with it. I hope to do some more of my ripple blanket and read.
On a different note, we are bracing ourselves for another round of issues with our neighbour, she shouted at hubby yesterday morning, he was walking past their house, and she accused him of walking down her drive. I have been enjoying our quiet life, I am hoping it's just a one off, but our history shows once she starts, she will have a period of stupidity.

Monday 27 May 2019

Bank holiday weekend

Will had a sleep over on Saturday, he had a couple of new hats, a sun hat like Grancha, and a helmet to go with his new bike. He could not decide which to wear. 

 In the end the helmet won out, but he does like to wear it backwards.
The 1st sock is finished,
 it's a bit bigger than mine, but still fits on my shaper.
 I decided to start these, again for my sister,
using yarn from my stash, the toes will be the bright pink colour.
We spent all day Saturday outside, Will loves to sit at our table on the decking to eat, he loved the trike we got him, it only cost £10 with the helmet off a local for sale page, it looks almost brand new.
Will woke at 6am on Sunday morning, so it was a long day for us, he played happily most of the morning inside, daddy came to collect him, but he wanted to show daddy his trike, so he got to play outside for almost an hour. 
I am spending most of my time knitting, it is relaxing and socks do not get too big, which is good as Grace my cat is spending more time on my lap, she is not bothered with the yarn, so both of us get time together.
Today we are having a small family roast dinner, Will, mummy and daddy are coming, so loads of time outside, it's sunny here, but just a bit cooler.
We did not get any rain in the last couple of days, I am hoping the fore caste is correct for a couple of wet days later in the week.
I think this year we have been lucky enough to have nice weather at Easter and both of the May Bank Holidays. We are hoping we get another great summer, our garden will be the perfect place to spend most of the summer.
It's a bit strange as we do not have any big jobs on our list, we moved in here 10 years ago, did most of the inside in the first few months, kitchen and bathroom and had all the walls and ceiling plastered and finished with a solid wood floor. Hubby painted the hall stairs last year, and later in the summer he will paint the dining and sitting room, once the furniture is moved it's a simple job.
I love it now I can sit and watch my garden and not see anything I need to sort, it's never finished, there is always a space needing filling, at this time of year I'm watching to see what is growing back, I do have plants in the greenhouse almost ready to go out.

Friday 24 May 2019


I have started the 2nd sock for my sisters Christmas gift, 
but it's not the same yarn as the 1st sock.
 As I was shaping the toe, I had issues with the yarn
It's Drops, Delight 4ply
 This happened twice, the thicker bits I could cope with, but the very thin bits were an issue, there is no point in knitting weak socks. 
I contacted the supplier, Wool Warehouse by email, they answered very quickly and within an hour I had a refund for both balls of yarn, and a free post details for me to return the yarn.
The response from Wool Warehouse was fantastic, I use them because their delivery is very quick, after all, we want our yarn as soon as we click the purchased button on our computer, but to resolve this as simply and quickly as they did, to me shows the mark of a good company.
We drove to The Range this morning to purchase the blue slate for our garden, they had sold out of the size we wanted, a totally wasted journey, we will wait until they come back in stock and hope the new will match the rest already in the garden.


I have flowers forming everywhere, 
my succulents and cactus love it in the greenhouse.

 My pitcher plant is regrowing, pus the other two are both producing flowers, I'm not sure if you can see, but there are flies in them, these three plants keep the insects down.
 Salad and herbs, next month these will be outside.
 my lower shelf, loads of seeds and pips.
 Soft wood cuttings, been in here for a few days.
 Lupins, Cosmos and purchased Coleus, the Coleus had shallow roots, so these are in here to get a bit bigger before planting out. 
 My bleeding heart did not do very well in the garden last year, so I have potted it to help it grow stronger, I will plant it back out next year. 
My greenhouse is a good size, and I try and use it fully all through the year, I do have a cucumber plant in a huge pot inside, I open the door early each morning, it gets sun most of the day.
I have to call the greenhouse a glasshouse, Will got very confused with me, I could see his face saying 'but it's not green'.
Yesterday was a perfect rest day, we had our loungers outside on our new decking, resting, reading gardening magazines, my subscription for Gardeners World has ended, I have had a copy delivered every month for 2 years. I have kept every copy, they are a good reference, but I won't subscribe again.
The sky had lovely soft white fluffy clouds floating across, and was very interesting, and it was very hot. We had another small BBQ later.
Today we have to purchase the last of the blue slate for the garden, then other than planting, which is never done with, everywhere will finished.
So on the eve of another Bank Holiday, we have nothing to do, and loads of time to do it.
I will post photo's of garden next time.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Projects growing.

I am loving this ripple blanket and the shades of pink, I am using Drops Alpaca 4ply yarn, it's so soft. It won't be huge, but it will be soft and gentle for the baby.
 These colours are perfect for my sister, so these will be for her as a gift at Christmas, it's OK she does not read my blog. Her shoe size is one bigger than mine so I have added an extra stitch on each needle (4 in total) and I am making the foot longer. 
I have not started a new book Chelsea flower show is on the TV every evening, so I am enjoying everything flora and fauna and of course Monty Don.
My Bonsai Acer is good, I have lost just one leaf, I pop it outside on sunny days, I have notice there are a couple of tiny shoots, it would be wonderful if they grow. I am excited at growing small things, I have a few cherry pips in compost, the hope is if two grow, I will try and keep one tiny and start my own bonsai tree.
I did not go to sign class, we have had a busy week finishing the garden, I sorted all my plastic pots (the ones your plants are sold in), I have loads I kept over the years, we took them to a garden center which has a recycling area, I also looked at their Bonsai items on sale, I can get compost, dishes and loads of other things, it's an expensive place to shop, so I will look else where, but it's good to know I can get things local.
Wednesday I went into town to meet an old work friend, we had lunch together with loads of chatter. It's good to catch up, swap photo's of loved grandchildren. Later back at home, I helped hubby finish the garden, he has replaced all the decorative wood at the edge of the lawn, around my gardens, not an easy task. We removed all the gravel from around the base of our Magnolia tree, we will put more blue slate down, it is the last thing we need to purchase. The garden has been expensive this spring, but all the landscaping is finished, I will soon be planted my side flower bed and then all we need to do is deadhead flowers and enjoy our space outside.
Last Saturday I showed my Christmas socks finished, and was disappointed I did not have enough yarn to make a pair for daughter, if I purchased another 100grm ball, I could make her a pair but still have loads left. Julie another blogger, got in contact, she thought she had some of the yarn, she contacted me a 2nd time to confirm and ask for my address, she has enough with my leftovers to knit daughters socks, Julie and I have followed each others blogs for years, she made a really kind offer to send the yarn to me. I can't thank Julie enough,

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Catching up

Cousins having tea out together
 Last night we all got together for tea at a burger place the boys love
I got the best bargain ever off our local Facebook selling page , all these pots, there is over 50 here for £15, most are old, most are hand made, I have too many so I will pop some back on Facebook, with a few other things I don't use. If I am lucky and sell everything, it will replace the cost of these. 

 I thought this was a Christmas Cactus, but it flowered earlier in the year, now there are a couple more buds and loads of new growth. 
Hubby wanted to change the pot our Olive is in, and chose a huge pot, with plenty of growing space, it was pot bound in the old pot, so we had to cut roots. I am hoping it survives and grows.  
I now have another huge pot to plant up, I have some flowers in the greenhouse I can use.  
The weather is still warm here in Hampshire, Saturday was dull all day, can't complain after the perfect sunshine the day before. We spent most of the day at home, popping out only once to B&Q as hubby wanted a new pot for the Olive tree, I passed on all the plants, nothing in the half dead section I fancied. We had time to sit and share a shandy in the afternoon, enjoying the garden
Sunday I was home alone, I collected the clay pots and spent an hour cleaning them, each one was dirty, I have a thing about clean pots, there was plenty of space in my greenhouse for the pots, so they are packed away. After doing some house work, I had a restful afternoon, I should have got my sewing machine out but was not in the right mood. We had a nice amount of rain in the afternoon, more water in our water buts.  I have added the cost of the clay pots to my stash list, the new pot for the Olive came from the garden refurb fund.
Monday we had Will, but I had to pop out with youngest daughter, so did not see as much of him as normal, he went to town with hubby on the bus, which Will loves, he slept most of the afternoon. We drove to collect Josh, oldest grandson and all met up for tea. We have a great burger bar not so far away, which makes wonderful burgers and hot dogs, both older boys love it there.
Today is bright and sunny, so we have washing on the line, we have a trip out planned to a big garden center, they have a pot recycling area, I have sorted all the plastic pots to recycle, I now only have a couple huge pots (always handy to have) and some tiny ones for cactus.

Saturday 18 May 2019

C word post

My socks are done and I love them
Plus I finished hubby's as well
 His size 11/12 look strange against my size 6, 
they are twice the size
 I decided to start his tops with green, mine are red. 
 I weigh my socks when finished, these are 53grms, 
I have 47 grms left.
 This is for my hairdressers baby due in September, as you know I love making ripple blankets. I am placing the colours in a difference sequence, where the bright pink and white will have slightly larger bands. I need to complete more of the design to show through.  
 The light pink looks a bit grey here, but the babies room does have grey in, so it should match well. 
The West Yorkshire Spinners yarn was a pleasure to knit with, it did not split and went a long way, I was surprised to have so much left over. I was hoping to make a pair of socks for my daughter, she loves the colour, but I don't have any yarn to match to use for the rib, heels and toes, if I buy another ball, I will just end up with more yarn left over. I will have to think about it.
I do love the simplicity of knitting socks, I don't need the pattern anymore, so I can just click anywhere, just taking yarn and short DPN's. I have had request from family, hinting it's a good Christmas gift, so I have looked at my yarn stash and pulled out a few balls. I already have 7 pairs, hubby has 3 pairs, and I have made 2 pairs as gifts. So the summer months I will make socks for gift's, I do love to knit.
I have given up reading The Historian, I had no problems with the story, but I found I just was not choosing to read, which for me is strange, I always find time to read, I will now find another book for the pile I was given.
My garden is looking good, just waiting to see what grows back in my side flower bed and my raised flower bed, I have some plants in my greenhouse to fill gaps.
Thursday I gave my greenhouse a clean and clear out, it great to have space in there, soon my cucumber plant will grow and take up space, I also sorted my shed, but both places were full of overwintering plants (greenhouse) garden ornaments (shed), so summer has arrived at my garden, our weather for the next couple of weeks is staying warm, so it's safe outside for most of my plants.

Thursday 16 May 2019


My raised bed is looking good,
 I have 2 coleus to go in each back corners, so far I have only purchased the 4 bedding plants.
 Alpine pot looking good
 My sink is good, I have just one more grass to add, something was nibbling at one plant so I had to use the dreaded blue slug pellets.
  I popped the hosta in the metal bucket, and added the pot of French Marigolds, they will both stay in front of my Acer. The planter next to it, was placed there to harden off and will be placed nearer the house.
Lupins, Ostara, 3 of each for the garden and the grass for my sink.
 Cosmos, Dahlias and a huge pot of salad leaves, spring onions and radishes.
In the propagator is succulents. 
 My raised bed is sorted, I have added farmyard manure ready for planting, my sweet peas are starting to show. I have lillies in the big blue pot, I have placed the pot here to get more sunshine.
I got 6 Busy Lizzie's for the pots at the side of the house. 
I spent most of yesterday in the garden, it was sunny and hot, just pottering, moving pots and planting things, which I have harden off from the greenhouse, I still have more to plant. I did walk to the village and the market and got 1 tray of 6 Busy Lizzie's, which I will put in the pots along the side of the house, I also have a Dahlia for each pot.
Will and mummy came over for a couple of hours, Will loves being in the garden, he walks around with me as I tell him what things are.
I had a shower at 3pm and then went for my haircut, we had our tea outside, as the evening cooled down, a perfect day.
Today I am back outside for the morning, I can always find a few jobs, I have loads of pots to wash and store to use again. I hope to spend some time reading, if it is as warm as yesterday, we will both spend the afternoon outside.


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