Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Wednesday 30 June 2021

June roundup

 This month I have June's figures and the half year figures, both to me are important. 

Firstly June, I was doing well until I purchase the composter for the garden, but I am excited to see if we can reuse everything and send less through the council, and from January, I won't be paying for garden waste collection, already if you go to our local tip they charge you for your garden waste. Within 2-3 years it would have paid for itself, just on the council collection charges coming in next year. 

Half year figures, I'm still please with these figures, I am trying harder not to just purchase things, my crafting and garden has always been the place to spend money easiest. I am doing OK on clothes, but after not spending much for 3-4 years, I did get some bra's, I need to keep on-top of my underwear.

I will have a couple of refunds to show next month, the sandals I purchase has broken and I am awaiting a refund, and when I sell my wormery, I will deduct the amount from this list. 

This month has been expensive, we have paid to have the house rendered, and then the cost of paint, hubby purchased topsoil, manure, plants, and 3 new pots for the side of the house, I did not pop any of those cost on my list, as it is not my garden. We have also order a new bathroom floor, which will arrive and be paid for next month. 

No food waste, very little other waste, we not not purchasing much, too busy with the outside of the house. Still loving the too good to go M&S bags, so far we are able to eat most of what's in them. 

I don't want to comment about my weight, as much as I try (not that hard) I have popped on a couple more pounds, time to sit down and have a chat with myself. I have had a lingering tummy bug, thanks George, I'm hoping there will be a bit of weight loss. 

Sunday 27 June 2021

End of June

Another M&S bag for £4, fantastic value, pasta will be tea for me tomorrow, the chicken and salad we are having tonight  with a jacket potato. The rest will be used quickly. 
I love these lemonade, from M&S, they are not cheap, but we mix them with any cheap sparkling water, any flavour works, very refreshing. 
Mummy sent this photo to us, Will was playing in his bedroom, so gate was left open and George escaped, there is no stopping him now, he is just so fast. 
I've almost finished this 2nd ripple blanket, one last go tonight and it's done, ready for baby due anytime now. 
My friend passed this book to me, I have read a few pages but it's not calling, not sure if I will struggle on or not. 
Nothing much is happening here, we are not planning much, just waiting to meet grandchild number 9, daughter is completely ready for baby, everything is sorted and ready, it's just a case of waiting.

The garden and house is completely sorted, no jobs on our list, which is just as well with the rain, hubby moved the rain butt's back by the house, so we can collect rain from our roof. So for the next few days we will sit and watch the wildlife in our garden. 

Thank you for all your recent comments, I know I keep a tidy garden and greenhouse, it's also ultra tidy in my shed. Growing up in a big family meant you have your own personal space for your stuff, mum was super clean, and we were impressed to look after everything, mum taught us the value of things, how long it took to earn the money to purchase what we needed, it's a lesson never forgotten. Hubby is the same, years in the army installed in him the sence of tidy, neither of us relax until things are sorted. Childhood habits are very hard to drop, I often find myself doing things the way mum did, I garden in the same style, sadly I don't have the same size garden she had. My mum passed away almost 16 years ago, but she is still a huge part of my life. 

Friday 25 June 2021

What's in the greenhouse

I was asked what do I grow in my greenhouse, I've not done a post for a while, so nearing the end of June, here's peak inside. On the left is my work space, this side often changes through out the year. The lower shelf is my plastic pots and jugs and sprayer. Underneath I keep some of my spare stones, slate and crock. 
I do love my carnivorous plants, there are 3 in this little tub, I keep it topped up with rain water, each plant has flowered this year, the Venus fly trap has shrunk, but there is new growth there, I cut the pitcher plant down each spring, the furry plant, I'm not sure what it is called, they all work hard and keep bugs at bay. 
I love this Jade plant, it's in a pretty biscuit pot, it has lived in here for a few years. 
Always loads of cuttings and plants from the garden which are not doing well outside. I have a baby pineapple and some amaryllis seeds all doing their own thing. In the spring these will spill onto the shelf below, I never have enough space. 
In here are the Hellebore seeds from my black flowering plant, I suspect they need the cold of winter before the shoot, I have plenty of time to see if they will grow.  
To the right are the cactus and succulent displays, this side stays much the same, I have a couple of smaller wire shelves to display some of my smaller plants. This is the sunnier side of the greenhouse. 
I regularly get blooms on these plants, and always have different pots, I love the gravy boat, purchased at a charity shop for £1, the plants in the gravy boat are new to me this year. 
My spider plant I over watered when in the house, so I cut it back and popped in in a shadier spot, it's now ready to go back in the house. 
I grow both 1 plant of cucumbers and tomatoes, both this summer inside, both are doing well, I have already cut some small cucumbers from the bottom of the plant, once they touch the soil they rot, so best to remove them early. 
Tucked to one side are my 3 Amaryllis, they flowered in January, so I popped the bulbs in here to dry and each bulb have produced new leaves, no bud stems. Plus 4 Orchids, they are tucked in the shade, I am hoping for new growth at some point. These sit on the floor at the back in front of my potting table, and loads of clay pots, most purchased 2nd hand. 
This lemon balm is in a pot with no holes in the bottom, and got waterlogged in the recent storms, it can stay in here to dry out. This plant if planted in our clay soil would take over the whole garden. 
I love these pots, they are washing up bowls, from our local cheap shop, in this one I have salads growing, spring onions, radishes and cut and come again lettuce. At £2.29 per 'pot' they are great value.
This beautiful string of pearls has hung in here for years, the pearls always fade in the summer but they do come back, this was my mother plant, I have 4 others around the place. Behind is another waterlogged pot, should dry out OK. Also coffee pot filters, I dry them out and use them in bottom of pots, they slow down the flow of water out of the pots. 
It's not as full as other years, most of my plants are strong enough to be out in the summer garden, I have lemon, lime and orange plants, who spend most of the year inside, all grown from seeds, my olive and pomegranate trees now stays outside the whole year. I do have other tender plants which will come back inside September time.

For once I have space to walk around, the floor is concrete, so it stays dry and clean in here, I don't shade the glass as our Magnolia tree gives shade for part of the day, the door is open 24 hours at this time of the year and the window has an automictic opener, so most of the time it does not overheat. 

I have started my hotbin, followed all the instructions, it's a case of wait and see if the temperature rises, I still have stuff in my white garden bag, I will pop it out next week for collection and then hopefully I won't need it again. I am checking and pleased to see the temperature gauge is rising, it is on the lid so I don't have to open it to check. 

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Bottom of the garden.

 This end of the garden is my working area, it's not that big, everything has to work hard to be here, I love my greenhouse, summer and winter it's always in use. The fruit tubs are doing well here, it was a good move. 


The raised bed is just giving me the blooms I have been craving, filling this corner with colour, this is often the dumping spot in the garden, normally filled with pots and my garden waste bag. 


My shed is a storage space, I have loads in there, in the winter months I store loads more and it's hard to get inside, but I don't normally need much during the cooler months. It does need a paint, I will have a go when the next few sunny days arrive. I love the mix of pots and plants here, it's also the best spot for my Hosta's. 

I have loved my wormery, but it's not big enough for all my garden waste, I have decided to clean it and sell it on, these are not cheap, the plastic is very sturdy, so there is a good 2nd hand value. My new composter will just fit in the space.

This is my new system, I am really excited about this hot bin, it's much smaller than normal composers and just fits into the only space I have, I can put bigger quantities in here and more diverse kitchen waste, with the hope of compost and still worm juice (liquid fertilizer to the rest of you). 

The bin had a 14 day delay stated on the website but was dispatched 2 days after placing my order. I am very hopeful this will help keep our footprint much smaller, all garden and kitchen waste will be made into compost, less purchasing compost in plastic bags, I'm pretty sure I won't make enough compost to stop us having to purchase it. 

I have had plastic compost bins before, but nothing like this, I was pleased to be able to get one with a base, we do suffer with mice in the garden and on occasions rats, and loads of flies, this bin once lid is shut is sealed, and reviews state it works well.

I have watched video's of how to set it up, read on how to keep it hot, we will have our own supply of shredded paper, and dried woody mater (from hubby's blower/sucker machine, which shreds when sucking), we can use the coffee waste from our pot and tea bags, egg shells and fruit skins and cores, and more food items, not that we waste much food. 

Thank you for all your comments regarding the new look to our home, I am much happier with the look, hubby loves his very different garden to mine. 


Sunday 20 June 2021

Lovely house

The front is now done, hubby painted both the white and the grey, I did think the grey was a bit light, but it looks good. It looks neat and tidy, just waiting for a new trellis to arrive to be placed between the windows for the rose, which already is growing back. 
Hubby has planted loads of lavender in here, it the english type and a Ceanothus Victoria, this one is a shrub, he does loves the blue flowers, we had a small shrub in our last house. We went with the stones as as ground cover, they keep the lavender stems dry, and they stop the foxes and cats digging and hopefully next year we won't see them as these plants grow and fill this space. 
This is the 2nd corner garden which has been planted for years, not my style of planting, but I do love it, hubby loves the cedar bark, it goes well with the shades of green. This bed is raised higher and next to the pavement. 
He chose 3 new pots for the side of the house, this is in front of the dustbins with heathers in and loads of grit on top. The other 2 pots are by our main entrance (side door) with Eucalyptus in, not my style of pot, but he loves them. The side of the house has not been painted yet, it's just too wet. 
Another plant I would not choose, Hydrangea, in the far corner, this is a smaller variety, and quite new, so it does have some growing to do. Last year we cut the dead heads off and then read you should leave them until the following spring, luckily the winter was not too harsh and it survived.  

 Our neighbours have given some lovely comments regarding the new look to the front of our house, we are both pleased with it, most of our conversations are on how we left it for so long. We have had the defusing blinds up since we moved it, the big window is our office space, the smaller window is the spare bedroom, I'm not keen on curtains and love the neat lines the blinds give us, I do have curtains but only in our 2 bedrooms. 

I am having a huge sort out at the bottom of the back garden, moving things out and making space for my composer, it's strange how you live with things for years and only once you decide to make changes can you see the improvements. 

Friday 18 June 2021

Summer garden

It's much duller these past couple of days, we have had heavy rain no thunder, the gardens have had a good soaking, it's looking good everywhere. Shame my 2 water buts are still disconnected, but then we are in and English summer.
Grace is out watching what I am doing, just taking photo's for this post. 
Again these pots have been tweaked, no major moves, just using one of the pots from outside the front door, upside down it make a perfect platform, I'm loving the mixture of pots and plants here. 
These long pots have had many different uses, they were purchased for strawberries, in the hope the fruit would hang over the side and not be eaten, didn't work. Then I kept them for French Marigolds, hubbies favourite flowers, this year the seeds did not grow, the spring was too cold, so I have filled with colour, which make the bottom of the raspberries behind look neat and pretty. 
I love my pots, I can grow so much more in them than in our heavy clay soil, I also love different pots, there are so many buds, blooms are just a short while away. Bottom right hand is my little lemon clematis, it's a shrub rather than a climber, this is it's 3rd year and it's best show.
The fruits are doing well, we had our 1st pick of strawberries on Wednesday when Will visited, we never get a big crop, as Will arrives just as they ripen, most don't even get into the kitchen. He loves the garden, watching things grow and ripen, we check to see how many bees we have, he loves bees and bugs, perfect place for a young boy. 
This is my 1 spot in the garden which is not working, my birdbath turns green very quickly, and scrubbing these pebbles are a pain. I did try cider vinegar as suggested on the net, it did not work, I need running water, which is not going to happen, so I have ordered bigger pebbles, so when I clean it, they should be easier. 
This is our 11th summer in this house and the back garden is just how we want it, this is my area, I get to choose most of what is here, I do think of hubbies likes as well, it's much smaller than I would like, but I can't change that as our house is just how we love it. 

Hubby is busy painting the outside of the bungalow, he is tall so no long ladder required, just a pair of step ladders, then he get the fun of replanting the front garden. We have placed an order for compost, top soil, large pebbles from a local nursery, who deliver once a month, it was started in lockdown, but he has kept it up, I love it, no lifting bags as they bring them into the garden, no delivery charge and the prices are the same as elsewhere. 

I have just ordered a bigger composter, my worms are lovely, but they are not big enough, I send garden green material through the council collection scheme, which in the new year is changing, we will have to have another big wheelie bin and pay a yearly cost, neither of which I want to do. Most composters are too big for the small space I have. But I have been reading about hot composting, these thinner square bins heat the contents and produce compost within 3 months, they have a bottom so no issues with mice/rats, the one I like has a liquid fertilizer collection point, it is sealed, so no smells and it looks nice. it's not cheap, but if it works as the reviews say it will be perfect for our garden, I am also going to get a black bin with a lid, so I can use our magnolia leaves to make leaf mulch. I will pop my empty cleaned wormery on a few sites to sell on, with the saving on the yearly cost and selling my wormery, I should recover the cost within 3 years. 


Wednesday 16 June 2021

Another finish.

I have finished this baby ripple blanket, there are just a few ends to sew in, most were weaved in as I did my crochet stitches. Now to cast on the blue one, these are so relaxing to make, I not sure if I have enough yarn, might have to make a trip to a local-ish shop. Which ever one is not needed I will ask daughter if she knows anyone who would love it. 
I was given this book to read, and told it's funny, he does swear a bit but his writing style is really amusing, I did enjoy it, book 27 this year.
Last Saturday I was given some cut flowers, the lady knows I do love Peonies, these  are beginning to open, they are just so pretty. I do grow them in the garden, but would never cut the blooms for inside. It's a rare treat for me to have real cut flowers inside.
This Orchid has the title of being the most amazing Orchid I have ever had, purchased back at the end of January, these blooms still look brilliant, not 1 has dropped yet. 
I have had this Orchid in the corner of our sitting room for years, a couple of years ago, I got the silk flower stem, and it does look real, so I am truly pleased to see 2 new flower stems on it. Once the buds are bigger I will remove the silk ones and allow it to have it's moment of bloom. 

 I've not been far since the weekend, we got our exterior paint at B&Q, the grey is a bit lighter than I wanted, but I wasn't going to pay loads extra for a different brand, just for a different shade, we had to get a huge tub of white as well. Hubby has been cleaning the paint off the drain pipes, each one was the horrible brown colour and filling a few spots. I'm not allowed to help, so I did all the ironing, not my favourite task. 

Tuesday morning our group of ladies met for coffee at my neighbours house, so no driving, after hubby and I walked to the village to have a nice lunch out. The rest of the day was busy at home and a lazy evening. Whilst watching Bake off the professionals, an ad came on for The new season of Handmaid's Tale, which starts on this Sunday, I'm not really sure if this story is being drawn out too much, I will watch it and see what I think. 

Normally we would have George this morning whilst Will has his swimming lesson, but sadly George has picked up the sickness bug going around nursery, Will is coming to us instead, it's a risk I am willing to take so mummy can get some rest without a healthy 4 year old running around. Mummy has just a couple of weeks before we meet our grandchild. 

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Tidy house

 Under the smaller window the work is done, under the big window it's ready to render, he worked hard to ensure all the loose stuff was removed and the wall was sealed, the green stuff will help the render stay on the wall whilst wet. 
The front is now finished, it just needs to dry, ready for painting, the finish is excellent, not a mark or ridge anywhere. We will now purchase the paint, we are going light grey on the new render, the rest will stay white. We can now move the pots back and 🤞🤞watch hubby's rose regrow.
 Hubby decided to dig out the small corner garden and replant, the box hedge had blight, it's a nice size, and as he gardens very differently than me, I can't wait to see what he plants, this area has not been changed for years. 
Side of the house outside our gates is almost dry, we keep our dustbins here along with the bottle recycling box and some plants, I have new pots for our plants. Once swept and everything back in place it should look good, I already have new growth on the clematis we cut back. 
These are my neighbours bricks, aren't they lovely, can you now understand how much I wanted to see them on our house, sadly she has decided to have her bricks covered the same as ours, at least I won't be jealous each time I see her house once these are covered.  
We are in no hurry to get all the outside painting done, hubby is redoing the downstairs bathroom, refreshing all paintwork and then in July we are having a new floor laid, the slate tiles have cracked and needs replacing. Hubby does like to keep busy, he is worse than me for being bored, I am hoping I can help, he is such a perfectionist, I think he will want to do it himself. 

We have new plant pots for the side of the house, the 2 eucalyptus plant pots have holes in the bottom and when we moved them the roots were poking out, so we got plastic pots (much lighter), no holes so the vigorous growth can't excape, hubby got a matching pot for his Heather's. Again not my choice, but it's his area, and as I have said before it's nice to have something different. 

Sunday 13 June 2021

Family time

Saturday was family time, Mummy, Daddy, Will and George, plus Grandma and Grandpa who we have not seen for over 12 months. We filled the paddling pool as we know Will loves water. Come closer daddy! 
This bigger scoot along bike is already Will's best toy outside, he was showing everyone how cool he looks. 
The smaller bike is now for George, he's not quite big enough, but that won't stop him. We got his shuttlebug bike out and he amazed us all but going forward on his own, clever little boy. 
Sat in the shade with George, just inside the house is our cat Purdy, who George loves. 
I managed to get a couple M&S toogoodtogo bags, we were both very happy with the contents, had tea one evening, 2 lunches each and some things for our BBQ, these bags are such good value. We did not eat the tuna snack packs, neither felt comfortable eating out of date raw fish. 

Friday we had friends in the garden for coffee, spent a lazy couple of hours chatting, it's the best feeling to have so much spare time. Mummy popped in with Will and George, who had their hair cut in our village barber, both boys look smart, mummy and daddy loves them to have short hair. 

Saturday was our BBQ, the weather was amazing, sunny and hot all day, plenty of shade on our decking under the pergola, Will went into the paddling pool 3 times, he loved it, later we used the water for our 3 trees in the garden. The evening was very quiet, just the 2 of us, the patio doors were open until late, another perfect day. It was lovely to see our SIL's parents, we have always gotten on well, just another perfect family time together. 

Today all we have planned is a trip to B&Q for exterior paint, the outside of our house is almost done, hubby will paint everywhere, not the huge task it sounds as we are in a bungalow. I am doing a quick tidy and clean, it's not too bad here, garden is just perfect, I am happy with everything outside, we have loads of leftovers for lunch and a simple tea planned later, so a lazy day. 

If nothing else, this pandemic and the lockdowns have shown us the value of family time, quiet hobbies, reading / sewing and knitting, watching birds on the garden feeders, life does feel good, we have no desire to travel. The life in the slow lane, which I dreaded whilst working is just fantastic. 


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