Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 31 May 2020

May - round-up

May is always an expensive month in the garden, so many gaps to fill, I purchased a few plants locally, not cheap but I'm not visiting any nursery's. I also purchased balls of yarn to add to my blanket I am making. £4.60 spent on a book.

I am wearing 3 'new' Marks and Spencer trousers, 2 chino's navy and stone, last worn 3 years ago and a navy striped worn 2 years ago, all look like new, plus a couple pair of shorts, I do feel really good, shopping from the back of my wardrobe is priceless. I have lost more weight, enough for me to feel pleased, I am now close to my next target, which I hope to hit by mid June. 

We had our fence panels done, but we already had the money to pay for it, the cost is out weighed by not having to look at next doors jungle of a garden. £73.94 from the garden list above was for a small fruit cage and shelving for my greenhouse, both should last for years. 

The heating is off, hopefully that's all the cold weather done for this year, our alarm is now set for 7am, an hour earlier, we are normally both awake, it's warm enough in our bathroom. Our fuel bills are stable, even though we are baking more, we have almost stopped watching TV, the news is so depressing, and all the reporters want to do is find fault. 

We are not wasting food, we are ensuring everything is ate, keeping an eye on dates all the time, I did a small shop in Lidl this month, they sell a few things we love, their smoked salmon is a very good price and there is plenty in the pack. We have a couple Asda orders delivered, but have no plans to book another one for a while. We do again have a huge pile of plastic carrier bags, I have rolled them together and we are keeping a couple in our shopping bags, with hope we can use them many times before we have to throw them away. 

Not going out has a positive effect on the bank balance, we have purchased bit's online, life still has to go on, our car just sits on the drive, the insurance companies should be lowering their prices next year, with 6 to 8 weeks not driving and less accidents, will have to wait and see on that one. 

Saturday 30 May 2020

Getting on with things.

This is my coffee plant, I purchased it February 2019 as a small plant in a coffee cup, and it grew, in March that year I popped it into this much bigger pot, it lives in our sitting room, which is in shade most of the day. I think I over watered it through the winter months and the tips of the leaves went brown, but the new growth is perfect. I have no idea where I will get with this plant, but it's fun growing it. 
I have loads of house plants, these below are just a few all looking good, the photo with 2 plants in are my pineapple and amaryllis, both are doing well. These string of pearls are their true green colour, these stay out of direct sunlight, I love the white flower on the African Violet, it sits on the kitchen window sill, and flowers every year, sometimes twice.  
I finished this 3rd book, I was disappointed with the end, but that's fiction for you. I will probably read more of her books, but with a different main character, they were an easy read and not too much gore. Book 34 of this year. 
I purchased this book from the net, I do love anything written by Sharon Bolton. I have enjoyed holding this book whilst reading, you can't beat holding a book and turning pages. It's another book I could not put down, brilliant plot and story line, book 35 this year.
I am slowly getting on with these socks, I am at the heal, and through the amount of work in the garden and the heat, I am just to tired to work on the heal, it's the only part of the sock, you need to think about. I will get it done soon, I want to knit a second pair with the same design but bigger. 
I have been doing more to this blanket, just a few squares most nights, it's so soft and comfortable, we keep the patio doors open until bedtime, so as it cools down it's perfect to spread this on my lap and add to it. The width is 20 squares, I aim to do 4 more full rows after this row, and then I will decrease each row by 1 square allowing the bottom to match the top. As yet I have not sewn all the ends in, naughty, but I will find the mindset to do it soon. 
I do believe I can now say I have mastered Tunisian Crochet, I am now thinking about my next new design to try, but I promise no more blankets, a gal can only have so many. 
On 1st May I did a post about my list making, showing things crossed on the original list and published the list below, as my next prompt. So how have I got on, well frankly poorly, I have not touched anything, I'm not bothered, the weather is perfect for being outside, and the list will wait for me. 
It was my turn to bake this week, and hubby asked for fruit scones, I made just 4 big ones, which we enjoyed with clotted cream and jam, and to start a conversation, I always add the jam 1st! I also made a quiche for my lunches, just a small one with half ingredients, it will last me 3 days. We are both enjoying salad most days, we are eating our main meal at mid-day and a snack at 6pm, which is working better for us. 

We are walking in the evenings, it's a bit cooler and we head for the water front, where we can find any breeze, it's a big area and never too crowded, we are walking much further, find new places to have picnics when we can get together with family.

We have planned to drive to daughters house on Monday, we will stay in the garden, watch Will and George play, we are hoping Will can understand the distance rules, I can't wait to see them all again. 

Our friend and neighbour went into hospital this week, he has underlying health issues and is really unwell , they ran loads of test and sent him home, they would not keep him in, the whole family have been shielding for 11 weeks, he had a covid 19 test, which thankfully was negative, he is now isolating just in case he picked up the virus, we are all hoping he's OK. 


Wednesday 27 May 2020

My tidy space

It's taken many days, my greenhouse is now set out how I wanted it, these shelves have loads of cuttings, seeds and plants growing here on the top 2 shelves. The lower shelf is now storage. 
My cucumber plants are growing fast, I can almost watch them grow, this space is perfect for them to spread out. The table in the back corner my sister gifted me, it has 2 stools, one is being used else where, so the empty space has all my seed trays on.
In the middle back is my potting table, it's perfect here, plenty of space, and my tray is now empty, before it has always been full of plants, below is all my clay pots, everything to hand.
In this corner I have an Aeonium plant on the 2nd stool and a nastie pot in front, this is a good way to fill this small corner. 
I ordered 3 of these shelving units from Ikea, all galvanized and perfect for use in the greenhouse. I have popped a water membrane on the top level, this is to stop the glare from the sun. At under £10 each, not too expensive, I have room to add to my collection of nasties.   
We booked a man to collect all our garden waste, bags of soil, some of the frame from the raised bed, it's nice to see this area clear, but already I have a bag of spent compost from my 2 long pots, they have been reworked. My 2 tomato plants will now live here, they always do well, the sun bounces off the glass and helps ripen the fruits. The gooseberry bush has gone, I have put the 2nd tomato plant in the huge pot. 
I have also worked in my shed, loads of things have gone into the greenhouse, and all my ornaments are in the garden. I have a new folding chair hanging, which is for use at this bottom end of the garden. 
Suddenly I have loads of room in the greenhouse, loads of clear floor space and loads of bench space. My potting table is now ready for use, I have never wanted it in the shed, it's just too small in there. 
I cleaned the outside glass of the greenhouse, it looks like new, and is still in great condition. 
Next spring I will have room for loads of trays of bedding plants, this year I struggled, I do have my camping 2 level table I can put up if I need it, I can get 4 seed trays on it. 
I am exhausted but really happy, now I promise I have no big jobs left in the garden, I do have 1 small job for the autumn, hubby agrees it will be an improvement.  
Whilst I have been busy in my area, hubby has sanded one of our wooden garden chairs and stained making it look as good as new, it took 2 days but the chair does look nice. He has another chair, bench and table to do, we are not sure how old the set is, but it's well over 15 years. 

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Things to make me smile

My sewing machine, I have owned a sewing machine since I was 12, my 1st was a second hand Singer, with a big wheel to turn in order to sew. I did consider a couple years ago of purchasing a machine which did loads of embroidery, it took me ages to decide against it, my love of sewing is putting fabrics together and creating items, so this simple machine performs all my requirements. 
Finally I got cucumber seeds to grow, I could not get plants locally, I found this potato sack in the back of my shed, perfect here with plenty of space for the plants to grow. I love this time of year, so many things growing, a promise of harvests, I love to have a seed and soil, and put them together and watch as things grow.
I am a bookworm, always have been, so it's no surprise I love a shelf of books, I have 5 here to read, the rest I've kept one book from authors I have enjoyed reading, I'm using Kindle more, not my favorite, I do like to hold a book, but needs must. 
This is my craft basket next to my chair, it is never empty, and normally I have a couple of projects in here. I very rarely I sit and watch TV, I have to be doing something, I have my blanket and a pair of socks on the go. I have enough in my stash to keep me going for ages, crafting is in my bones. 
The waterfront looking over to Portsmouth on the left, Gosport on the right and the sailing channel to The Solent in the middle, on a sunny day with the tide in, perfection. And only 15 minutes walk from our house, as good as any holiday location, we are so lucky to live here, and have big spaces to walk, made even better as it's really only a place locals go. 
Our cats, I have been lucky to share our home with cats since I was 19, over they years we have had 7 different furry friends, Grace is 15 and Purdy is 10, so neither is young, but every cat we have in our lives has enhanced us. They follow us into the garden, always sitting close to us, Grace is my lap cat every evening. 
Everything above has been important in the last couple months, home life has always been good, but lack of family visits mean long periods to fill. April to June is all about the garden, outside as much as I can, this year it has been perfect weather for the garden, with reading or crafting time in the evenings. To be happy you need a balanced life, hubby and I do enjoy time together, we bounce off each other, it helps he is a book worm as well, we hardly turn on TV these days, not even to watch the 5pm doom as Trish calls it. 

Monday 25 May 2020

Windy weekend

I enjoyed this 2nd book, I liked the underlying thread in the story, each book is stand alone, but they do follow on as well, just the 3rd book to read. 
I loved this book, it was a slow start and at one point I did wonder if I really wanted to read this, but I glad I stayed with it, tangled lives always start slow, book 33 of the year.
I am loving this table more after we moved the big alpine dish.
Kirk is doing well, like the rest of us, his hair is growing longer.
I am happy with my herb bed and under the Magnolia tree, for a small garden there is plenty of space here, I have chamomile seedlings growing in the greenhouse, which will be popped on the big pot. 
1st flowers showing from one of my chimneys, this stays here throughout the winter months, and always flowers early in this sunny spot. I have begonias in my 2 other chimney pots, they have leaves showing, so soon more flowers. 
French marigolds in front and white cosmos behind in these long tubs, hubby loves the marigolds and I love white flowers, should fill this space with colour. 
This is as close as we will get to rain, Saturday morning.
Friday we pottered in the garden, hubby has been sorting his garage, changing things around, I played for ages in my greenhouse, I have so much space inside, the last time I was this excited with this space was 6 years ago when it was new.  

Saturday it was another breezy day, sunny and loads of black clouds, so not much time outside in our own garden, we caught the tail end of 2 storms, only a few spots of the wet stuff, not enough to call rain. We did walk along the water front, but only managed 1 walk. Our order from Asda arrived, only one questionable replacement item, we won't require another delivery now for a month, any fresh items we will get from our local Co-op. 

Sunday was housework in the morning, the place was very dusty, and both bathrooms needed a clean, hubby did the ironing. It was lovely in the garden after lunch, the temperature was much higher, and the lighter breeze was cooling, I did some more cutting back of shrubs, it's a regular job as we don't like to let anything get to huge in the garden. My jasmine fought back, as always, last time I badly twisted my back, this time I caught my hand. We did have a long walk along the waterfront, the tide was in again, it's a big space, we passed loads of people, all keeping their distance, we did not stop or touch anything, which is our normal routine. 
Monday, starts another warm dry day, I have the last of my bedding plants to pop in the ground, and I may make a few more mask, I don't have elastic, so I will be leaving up to family and neighbours to find their own elastic. 
It's Bank Holiday here in UK, but with so many people not working, I don't think it will make much difference to many households, we never go anywhere on a Bank Holidays on normal years, so no plans today, it's a stay at home garden day, I'm sure we will find plenty to do and enjoy another walk. 

Friday 22 May 2020

Getting there

My hanging pot with string of pearls from the greenhouse is inside, I don't want to risk damaging this lovely plant, I will hang it back in the greenhouse, once I have completed all my work. I am hoping some of the green returns to this plant, the sunlight does fade it. 
My poor bonsai acer is still not showing signs of growth, a bloody squirrel dug it out of the pot, last week I changed the compost in hope I can get it to grow, the wood is not dry, so I think it's still alive. 
I spent a wonderful hour going back in time, I often get my blog book out to check a date on something, if it's gardening related it's quicker than trying to look back on my blog. Once I have my answer, as always I get sidelined by all the wonderful photo's full of memories. On average these books cost £60 each, but I love every one of them. 
This is a comment from my last post, which is my online diary, not an english project, Unknown, I can't spell for toffee's, spell check catches most of my mistakes, I am British and will try harder. 

Most of this week has been outside working in my now very hot greenhouse, plenty of drinks, mainly water, hubby helped me on Wednesday, we managed to dig out all the soil and remove the raised bed frame, most of the decking planks used were still good, so they have been cleaned and stored. 
I emptied all the contents, and cleaned inside, I also cleaned my tables and shelves. The vine weed roots were everywhere, we pulled all we can, the back corner of the greenhouse is on earth, so it was coming in there. If it comes back again we will use a good weed killer, hubby used it outside the greenhouse in that corner and the weeds are dying back, the cats and our visiting hedgehog can't get to the area, so it's used carefully. 
I am now waiting for an order from Ikea, for shelving and a folding chair, we do have folding chairs, but I wanted one I can leave down this end, once I have these in place I will have plenty of room to show all my nasties, leaving my potting table empty and clean. I also moved a few things from my shed to the greenhouse, so I now have more space in there, I can't wait until it's been completed, everything is due next week. Plus on Tuesday a licensed guy will come and clear the rubbish, our tip has cars waiting for 3 hours or more, and we still have to pay to dump soil and garden waste.
I have planted my 3 pots by the side of the house, should have loads of colour there, my eucalyptus in the 2 pots by the front door are looking good, I pinched out the top as I want low bushes. I have sorted my long pots, infront of the raspberries, I had the plants, and finally I will plant our side bed, it should all be finished by the weekend.
I am watering most days, my blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrant bushes are full of fruits, we could do with rain, but it's the same most years, we are in a dry area of UK. It's dull this morning and the air feels damp, but not expecting any amounts of rain. unless we get a thunderstorm, there is no rain fore caste for weeks.
We have no plans for the weekend, our Asda order will arrive on Saturday, we have BBQ food coming, so we plan to be outside as much as we can. A few days resting will be good for both of us, I have promised to keep busy so I don't get anymore ideas, which result in loads of hard work. We are both enjoying this wonderful hot weather, lucky to have our garden. 

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Midweek catch up

I enjoyed this book, lots of twists, book 30 of this year. 
Another new author to me, another crime detective book, this is the first of three books with the same DCI, there are loads of other books with different DCI's. I have already started the second book. 
It was my turn to bake, this Victoria Sandwich with buttercream and jam filling has far too many calories per slice, but it taste great. When I moan I have not lost any weight, please refer me back to this post. 
We went for a walk last night, along the water front, but to another different spot, I have been taking loads of photo's, I have a new phone with a stunning camera, this photo is brilliant with the details captured. Looking towards Portsmouth naval base, with HMS Queen Elizabeth and The Spinnaker Tower behind. 
 All the pots from this area has been sorted, cleaned and packed away until later this year, when I will get spring bulbs and replant. The compost bag has used compost in, soon I will have more bags and a trip to the tip will be required. No signs of growth on my gooseberry plant, large black pot, which is a shame, I need to decide if I get another plant, hubby does love them, but I'm not successful in growing them. The garden waste bag lives in this area

I have not knitted or done any crochet, I am enjoying reading, I am in the garden more, I have moved more soil from the bed in the greenhouse, I have added loads to the outside raised bed, the photo above shows the bed before I added soil. When we built the inside bed, we got loads of local topsoil, so I am re-using as much as I can, I have filled a couple of tubs to mix with manure and pop on my side beds, I am sifting it all to remove any of the bigger stones and any roots, the vine weed roots are huge and everywhere, but I am careful and ensuring I get them all out. 

I have been off par for the duration of lock down, I think we all are, I did one post 'Bored at home', but the more I think about it, I'm not bored I'm sad, being at home with hubby, is not enough, to have a balanced happy life we need family and friends and not on video calls, we need to be together, touching, laughing and relaxing. 
Daughter drove to our house with Will and George on Monday, they did not get out of the car, and with the windows opened only a tiny bit we were able to chat and see the boys, they have both changed so much, it was the best 30 minutes for ages. 
We are walking every day, some days twice, looking for different places to mix up the views, I have no desire to go shopping, it's been years since I was on the consumer round about, I'm not interested in owning the latest 'thing'. These days we do get things off the internet, delivered to our door, often because they are the best price, if you don't mind waiting for delivery, we do use the local shops in our village, if we want them to survive we have to spend our money there. 
The only place I like to visit is a garden center, well a nursery, some place where they love and care for plants, we have a couple places local, plus a modern one which sells everything you could need with a small plant section on the side, these 3 places I have missed as April and May is garden planning time, looking for plants to fill that empty gap. 
So whilst we all take steps to return to our own normal world, I like millions of others wait until the time I can mix with family and friends, it's the simple things in life which truly make us happy.
I truly hope we learn from this experience and have never to repeat it, but sadly the history of the human race shows differently.
It's mental health awareness week, not something I have thought about much, growing up with a mum who words were, 'pull your socks up and get on with it' that's what I have always done and luckily this is the 1st time in my life I feel any wobble, so I am listening to all the 'be kind to yourself' messages.  

Monday 18 May 2020

In the greenhouse

All my plants from the raised bed is now in pots, I do have loads
Pots are all different sizes and types, to add interest. 
These look good in the tall bin, the pot is lemon and it adds to the colour, 3 have roots and the front 3 have been cut from the leggy plant, I have done this before and they grew. I have still the roots of the original plant in a pot to see if the grow again. 
I only have a third of this bed left, I have popped the soil in a compost bag and added rich compost and chicken poo pellets, I will plant a cucumber plant in it. 
I took the cutting from my geranium last year, the mother plant is in my raised bed by the back door, it is still growing, I took this cutting as I was worried the plant would not survive the winter months, so now I have 2 plants, I just love the colours in the leaves.  
The Begonia was purchased last year, it has been in the greenhouse all winter, and will soon be put on a table in the garden. 
A friend brought me back a pack of seeds from a holiday, I planted them last year, very pretty flowers, but the plant will have to stay in the greenhouse. 
2 cucumber plants now growing. 
Both tomato plants doing well. 
I have some of my bedding plants outside, I cover them at night, this spot on our bench is a perfect place to leave them for a week, before planting in the garden.
I have been really disappointing with marigold seeds this year, 3 packs all purchased last year, still in date did not grow. 

I spent most of Saturday in the garden, and a couple of hours in the greenhouse, doing task slowly, stopping for regular drinks and ensuring I don't twist my back again. I always feel good when outside, dirty nails and hands, working with plants and soil. Hubby went along the fence line and cut back all the stray plants coming into our garden, I am not a fan of fences covered in climbing plants. It was a beautiful warm sunny day here, after a shower we sat and watched recorded TV, I caught up with Monty, it's so sad not to see Nigel in his garden. 
Sunday was a much duller start to the day, but it was always going to be a restful day here, hubby is watching me to ensure I don't over do things.  We had a couple of local walks, one just a short drive away, which we loved, it does feel good to get out. Later we made home made Pizza, which we both love and a glass of red wine, we opened the bottle the night before. 
Loads of reading and planning time, my head is full of how I hope the greenhouse will look, it is a working greenhouse, but I also like to display my nasties away from the grandsons. 
Today, it's sunny and warm, so time outside is planned.


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