Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday 30 April 2020

April round-up

So I have managed to spend some money this month, firstly I got an order for glass, I had run out of the special paper you put on the bottom of the kiln, it stops your glass sticking to the base, I did pop a couple more things in as well.  In the garden, I got some seeds and a couple of tomato plants from our local pet shop, and I got 2 big plant pots from a local place delivered here. Normally April is an expensive month, I buy my bedding plants and grow them on before planting next month. This year my greenhouse is full of seedling.

I spent nothing on clothes, £6 on a book and hubby spent £4 on some cut flowers for me.

We are saving on haircuts, neither of us look too bad at the moment, hubby a bit like a mad professor, mine is just a bit longer, for some reason in February I asked her to cut my bob a bit shorter.

Our shopping was more expensive, we have a bit more than normal in the house, but we are not wasting anything, fresh veg, dairy and fridge items are only purchased if we need them. I see no point in grabbing things just because you see them. Most of our shopping is online, we had a delivery this week, again we are getting a normal for us shop, never sure what will be sent. This won't last forever, we manage with what we have and change habits when we are unable to get things.

The car has been to our local garage, we had been thinking of using them, a warning light came on, so hubby took it to be sorted, unexpected £201 later, the wheel bearing has been done.
Our replacement fence is on hold, once life resumes the guys will come and do the task, money sits in our bank account, we did pay for supplies, but he refunded the money, decent guy, he is looking at dates soon.
Heating is still 'on', but the weather is kind and the boiler does not click in much, soon it will be time to close the heating side down.

Our garden waste collection has started again this month, which is helpful my bag is full, only one bag per household, we have again looked to see if we could get a compost bin in the garden, but every bit of space is used, as much as I would like one, we have no space. The recent wet days has filled our 2 water butts again, so I am happy with water levels. Most of the bedding plants are growing, so the garden should be full of colour.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

As April leaves

I'm inside with mum
 I'm outside with mum, Purdy is a very social cat, she follows me around, but always watching everything in the garden, she does not wander far from this space. Grace is asleep in her basket as expected from an older cat, she never leaves the garden. 
 I have named this pot Kirk, after Kirk Douglas, they have the same nose and chin. The Japanese blood grass is growing well, I love the red tips. 
 Kirk Douglas 
This white bleeding heart is just getting bigger, it will now live in this pot, I have never had so many flowers on it. I will leave it here in the same spot through out the summer months. 
 My Peony is in bloom again, 
 This is the most loved plant in our garden, taken from my mum's garden, it was in the corner of the lawn when I was a child, it has to be about 60 years old. The wire racks are to keep our neighbours cats off the garden.
The photo's were taken on Monday, whilst the sun was shining, again we had the patio doors open all day, spending so much time in the house makes me notice more than before, sadly I have no plans for the garden, everything big has been done, we are now both happy with the garden.
Hubby wants to clean and oil the decking, he also want to tidy our 2 wooden loungers and 2 spare wooden folding chairs, I do have to paint the front of my shed.
On the whole April has been a good month, we are all well in lock down, I did manage to lose a couple of pounds, I did put some on over the Easter weekend, but they came back off again. A few of my friends are putting weight on, they are now looking at their intake of food. Through health, I found out I had very high cholesterol when I was 19, so I have always watched what I eat and control food, I just needed to cut back on the super rich food and portion sizes. I do feel really good, I have found out clothes which I could not wear last summer, it's like having a new wardrobe, I looked for a favorite pair of shorts, which I think I sadly got rid of. I won't need any new shoes, the 2 pairs of sandals from last year both still look good.
I stayed up late last night and got another delivery slot from Asda, there is no point in looking at Sainsbug or Tesco, they are always fully booked. It means we are having a delivery once a fortnight, our daughter is doing the same, but on the week in-between, so we are getting most of what we need.  We help our neighbour who is shielding for 12 weeks, a couple of days before delivery there is always messages flying everywhere. Our lovely neighbour brought us some more bread flour, which again we have shared, hubby made them another loaf, and if I can get some SR flour, I want to bake a cake for them.

Monday 27 April 2020

Finishes and busy bee

I pulled out the 2 baskets of fabrics from the back of our wardrobe, 
gave them a good sort, moved a few things.
 Small purple basket has all my tea towels in, I do have a few, I love the challenge of making things from them. Middle basket has all the smaller bits of fabric, which might come in handy, and loads of fat quarters, all neat in one place. The final basket has all heavier weigh household fabrics, old cotton quilt cover, 1 old linen plain curtain, I purchased second hand, I love these, it's a cheap way of keeping heavier fabrics in. On top is a pair of curtains daughter gave to me, I love the fabric, would make good cushion covers. Plus I have my pile of fabrics shown in this post
 I left out some fabrics, 2 shopping bags cut out, 
and 2 small amounts of fabric which is very pretty.
 This fabric is a pair of curtains, project for a neighbour, she wants her daughter to pop all her soft toys inside a bean bag..
Finished items, I always love sitting at my sewing machine, these curtains are now a beanbag, I did not have a pattern for this, I did have instructions, but the material was not enough, and I really did not want to have to purchase a 20" heavy duty zip. So the bottom has two pieces which overlap, you can stuff from the bottom, the top circle is the size of our dinner plate. I had to make so many changes to the design I had planned, it's finished now. 
 I did one of my shopping bags, I've packed away the other and the fabric, the beanbag took far to long, I do love this bag with it's huge front pocket. The pattern material was off cuts I purchased from a charity shop, the purple material, I have had for years, they go well together. I used the same design as I used in this post for smaller children's bags.
Some baking was done, fruit scones, I made them a bit thin, and totally enjoyed on Saturday and Sunday, sat outside in the sunshine, we have a few left for this afternoon. I have made a couple of cheesy scones, only for me , not had them in years.
Totally predictable end, but it was worth the read, how she told the story of 2 woman's background, whilst having a sensitive story line, I loved this book, could not put it down.  This being my 25th book read this year. I'm now looking for my next book. 
I am crocheting my Tunisian blanket, it's an easy thing to make, but my mind is thinking about knitting, probably another pair of socks, I still have a few pair to make for Christmas gifts.
The garden calls every morning, I have cut back most of the daffodils along the side bed, I can now see what is already growing in there, it's still too early to pop in any bedding plants, anyway mine are still not big enough, hopefully in 3 weeks there will be loads to go in the gardens.

Saturday 25 April 2020

What are you growing.

In 2019 I had a beautiful Amaryllis, as the flowers went over they produced seed pods, so I planted the seeds, and they grew.
The pot above was crowded, so I thought I would pot them on, I was surprised to see such good roots and a tiny bulb has formed, I had to find bigger pots for them. 
 Six in plastic pots, 3 in bigger pots which can be used inside, it's exciting to see something new growing from saved seeds. I have no idea how these will progress, or even if I will get flowers.
 I thought I would update you on other seeds and pips I have growing.

In flower is my Lime plant, this was purchased as a plant, I was not able to find pips in limes. Next is my orange tree, this was grown from a pip planted back in 2015. Both are due to be placed in bigger pots. 
 My Lemon tree, planted in 2014, I cleaned and popped the pip in soil and was pleased when it grew, this started my fun on growing things from seeds and pips. I have a bigger grey pot to give this plant more space. These 3 plants are still in the greenhouse. 
 Cape gooseberry, planted in 2018, I have cut all the growth back, it had better shoots from the base, again I have no idea how I should be growing this. 
 Pomegranate sown in 2017, I cleaned the pink fruits and 1 grew, I have just put it in a bigger pot, the leaves drop each year and every spring it gets bigger and more wonderful. 
 Kiwi also planted in 2017, it took a couple trys to get these to grow, 1st attempt I picked out all the tiny black seeds and popped them on a wet kitchen towel, they grew but were to tiny to pop into soil. 2nd attempt, I cut a slice of kiwi and popped it on soil, it did go moldy, but I left it and I got 1 plant. It has been outside for a couple of years, and loves a sunny spot in the garden. 
 I am growing this kiwi for the blossom, it is beautiful, as yet this plant has not produced any, but I am hopeful this will be the year, the leaves are furry as is the stems, it's a very different plant. There was one growing in a neighbours garden back in 2013. 
 One of the babies from my pineapple plant, after the tiny fruit ripened, the plant died, so I potted up the babies, this lives on my desk, it's always sunny and warm here. 
 In the green house I have 2 other pots, the single baby had good roots, the pot with the glass cover has 3 plants which do not have many roots, the dome I hope will help them to grow, it's working so far. 
I have other things, an acorn sapling, I have a couple of nuts in soil, to see if they will grow, I am always looking for something to try and grow. I did grow  an avocado and had it for a couple of years, but it did not winter well in the greenhouse. Not everything grows, I had walnut sapling given to me, which curled up and died, and loads of things which never started growing, but if you don't try you will never succeed.
My green house is full, I have trays of flower seedlings, a couple tomato plants and I got another packet of cucumber seeds, the old ones I planted did not grow. I was given 3 camellia seeds, which I have planted, the itch to grow is huge at this time of year.
My mood has picked up again, feeling more positive, I'm finding it better for me if I focus on home and family, I can't change the world, but I can live the best in my world.
Husband went to our local B&Q, he got loads of bits, so he can finish jobs, mainly painting, he's ex army and follows the mantra, if it does not move paint it.
This weekend I am planning time with my sewing machine, simple projects, things which can be finished, my crochet blanket is growing slowly, having mastered the design, I am finding it's very repetitive, but it does look good. I am also reading, which is always good for me.

Friday 24 April 2020

Getting fit the enjoyable way

As promised our cycle ride around the golf course and along the water edge. 
Cams Hall, just before Fareham.

 The creek, looking toward The Castle in the Air pub on Gosport road.
 Hubby, my cycling partner.
 Gosport sailing club

 It's a good path most of the way
 Looking towards the Spinnaker tower

 Farmland just past golf course
 Near Portchester football club, The Wreck, I love this spot. 
 Zooming in on Spinnaker Tower
 The shore by Salt cafe, sadly not open for a treat of coffee and cake. 
The route to this ride is along A27 from Portchester to Fareham, I am loving the roads are not busy at all, but most of the way there are cycle paths. Once we get back to the football club, we cycle home on local estate roads. The whole route is 6 miles and it took just under an hour, but we did stop often to take photo's. The tide was on it's way out, so still not the best photo's. We do count ourselves lucky to live in such a lovely part of our country, being in the south we are warmer and dryer than most parts of UK. I am feeling pleased with myself, I'm getting stronger, I just have to hope my coughing calms down, I don't start coughing until I'm home, so no worried looks from people when I am cycling along.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Pottering in the sunshine

My smaller damaged Olive is doing so well, I decided to give it a new bigger pot, it should be happy in here for years. I have a 2nd pot the same for the lemon tree, but it's far to early to pop any of my citrus out, even if we are getting record temperatures at the moment, the risk of frost has not yet passed. 
Large pots in the garden do not stay empty for long, I have already popped my Pomegranate in the spare pot from the Olive, the smaller empty pot is earmarked for another plant. The new larger pots are plastic, they match the pot I have our Olive tree in. 
 I am finding the bigger clay pots are heavy before I plant them up, so I am matching the much lighter plastic ones, plus they won't crack with age. I do like these plastic pots to match in our seating area, I love this one planted with Lemongrass and Lemon balm, which helps covers the smells from next door. 
Years ago I got these huge matching plastic tubs for my fruits, I have 4 large and 1 smaller tubs, they work well as I can ensure each fruit bush has the best environment to grow, we do get a good crop, so it is working.  
Most of my pots and covers are years old, they work well in my greenhouse
 All my expensive staging has plastic grow-bag trays on, this stops water damage. 
Whilst I was working I decided I would add to my gardening tools, trays, tops and plant stakes, I wanted to ensure I would be able to do my gardening and propagating, most of all the items purchased were from Wilkinson's and B&Q, and almost always in the end of season sale. Now I only have to pop to my shed for any garden needs, and through the summer almost all of it is in use.

Most of it heavy duty plastic, but it is lasting very well, I ensure it's cleaned and stored in my dry shed, even though it's years old, I will have many more years use, I am not expecting to have to purchase any more. 

I also purchased loads of clay pots, I do love pots, our heavy clay soil has killed off far too many plants, plus I do love to purchase small plants and grow them on.

I have also been given some lovely pots, I have clay pots and heavy duty plastic seed trays from Win's garden, her nephew passed loads to me, I love to see them in my garden, it reminds me of a great gardener. My sister Lena and youngest daughter have both given me lovely pots, so my garden is my own history.

The total plus for all these pots, is once I no longer want them, they can be offered locally and passed on to other gardeners, I know my daughter will want a few of them.

My final photo is my beautiful Acer, another bargain, purchased years ago for 99p, in September, the leaves had fallen off and it was in the half dead bin, it was tiny, but I do love to watch plants grow.
I was hoping to get a smaller acid green Acer this summer, but I can wait.
The plant in the front pot is a white bleeding heart, it did not grow in the garden, this is it's second year and it's much stronger.

This post started with a photo of my Olive in it's old and new pot, and like my garden it grew, I've been on here far too long, but I planned a lazy day, now off to enjoy the sunshine. 


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