Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Saturday 31 July 2021

July roundup


Not the best of months for spending, £80 on my arbour for my fruit bushes, it does look much better than a fruit cage, and buying 2nd hand got me a sturdy one. Purchased yarn, making blankets for grand children is not cheap, the cotton yarn is better. I do still have a good stash of yarn for projects later this year. 

This day is such an important day to record, our planet can only provide us with so much renewable produce, it's different than climate change, but just as important, it's part of the reason we make our choices in our life styles. Last year because of lockdown overshoot day was in August, which proves we can change outcomes, if we understand why we need to. 
This image is so true, after my huge sort out, I removed the biggest pile of clothes from my wardrobe, but still have enough to last me years. My low spend on clothes is in its 4th year, and going well. 

My new composter has finally raised it's inside temperature to the required levels, we are popping all our kitchen waste, along side garden waste in it. We do not add cooked items (which can be added), we are now so good with our portions sizes, we have no cooked waste. I purchased a small lidded plastic jug, we pop peelings, coffee dregs and tea bags and any other composting bits in from the kitchen and clean it every evening after our meal, it is working well for us. Even the dust from my Dyson goes in the composter. 

We have had a new floor fitted in the down stairs bathroom, our slate tiles had cracked, we now have cushion floor vinyl, it's much warmer than the slate, nothing else is changed but it does look much better. We have no plans for the house until next year, everything is looking good. 

We have not required any clothes, hubby was a superstar, I have an old pair of sandals which are scruffy, but look not so bad once I am wearing them, they are just so comfortable, the rubber sole had separated and was flapping, I asked him to glue it, and he did, I was expecting him to insist I throw them away. They should last this summer now, I think I might shed a tear when they do go in the bin. 

Our daily steps are much higher, we are walking more, and working in the garden is very good for my health, I do have to be careful with my back, as I often get twinges. I am eating less chocolate and eating more salads, not perfect but getting better. Sadly some days just need chocolater to see me through. 

Thursday 29 July 2021


I am harvesting food from our small garden, here is the last of the blackcurrants, the first of the blueberries and tomatoes, and another cucumber, which is my 6th so far. Never huge amounts, the raspberries and strawberries never make it into the house. 
The blackberries are full of fruit, I love these berries, I have trellis to allow this to run along the whole side of the garage. 
Blueberries are a bit slower this year, I have 3 bushes, so a good harvest to come, soon I will start picking them daily, they never last long in this house. 
I only had 4 strawberry plants this year, so to increase my stock, I am reusing this tiered pot, now I am home, I have time to water it a few times each day, and not loose plants, there are babies in each of the lower pockets.
Tomato plant is laden with fruits, I do have 2 plants in the upturned grow bag, 1st year I've grown them like this, it's working well. 

My lupin looked really sick last month, I took away the copper ring I had placed in the ground, and the plant perked up, so very late lupins,. The lilly behind, I dug out last year and moved, I must of missed a bit, I will dig it out once the flower is over. 
I put this dogwood here to hide the waterbutt, it's working well, I did not realise they flower, in the winter months the stems are a bright red, which should look good against the green. 
This side bed has been the best this year, I now have the right balance of flowers, most of which will return next year. Its taken a while, but both hubby and I are pleased with this look. 
The problems with the bird bath has partly been resolved, I popped the copper coins in and then decided to use one of my garden copper rings. The issues have not stopped, but the copper has slowed down all the green growth, I don't mind cleaning it once a month. Once the elderflower have finished on my neighbours plants, it should stay clearer. 
The recent heavy rain has not damaged too many plants, I did lose my chocolate cosmos, which is a shame as I love everything about the plant, I did get a couple of cuttings. I do have a couple of pots I put back into the greenhouse on very wet days. 

The biggest ongoing job outside is cutting back our neighbours fence line, she has planted large shrubs as close to the six foot high fence as she can, they are left to go wild, so we keep them cut back, out of our garden space. In our front garden if we left them to grow, we would not be able to use our 2nd parking space. I always ensure our plants have enough room to grow and are not planted too close to the fence. 

I had a wonderful surprise yesterday, my brother drove over from Somerset for a 4 day visit, instant way to cheer me up. 

Tuesday 27 July 2021


 Not everything can be sorted in one go, this crochet blanket for Molly is half way done, and now we have cooler weather, I can get on with it, it won't take long to finish, I am loving the bright shades. I will have some of the cotton yarn left over. 

This tiny oak, was an acorn popped into a small pot last year, once there was good growth, I popped it into this Bonsai dish, squashing its roots, earlier this summer it had 3 huge leaves, which fell off and was replaced by these smaller leaves. I am not feeding this plant, it gets only water, the trunk has not grown much, which is hopeful. I have no knowledge of how to care for and keep these trees small, I am learning as I go. I would love to grow a dish with 5 or 6 silver birch trees, I should look into purchasing some seeds, I do have another dish, but first I will see how well this oak does. I have killed a Acer, a couple of years ago, it never thrived after I got it home. 

Whilst I finished my cross stitch cushion front, as yet I have not made it with 2 other finished cross stitched designs, into cushions, I have the filling and everything else I need, just lazy. I did get my sewing machine out last week, I made a hem for some sheer nets made from recycled plastics, they hang on the sunny side of the pergola, and makes the evening sun nice and dappled.

I feel everywhere is looking good, having a mid summer spring clean is very rewarding, our home was never cluttered, but I had huge amounts of stuff packed in drawers, it's truly rewarding to see tidy spaces. Both hubby and I are tidy, things have to be packed away, everything has its place. My mum used to have times when she needed to clean, sort and get rid of stuff, I grew up in a large family, where our home gave us only a small amount of personal space each. 

The quickest things I purchase has always been clothes, craft and garden, I manage my clothes spend, preferring to wear what I already own, I've slowed right down on crafting spending, once my card stock is gone I won't purchase anymore, having said that, I have supplies to last a few years. My biggest stash is fabric and cross stitch, my yarn stash is not too bad, I have other bits I will use, everything is earning it place in this house. 

I have most of what I need in the garden, I have very little space left, hubby and I did decide to get another fuchsia for the raised bed by the backdoor, they survive the winter in that bed and will stop the need to get bedding plants. My shed is a tidy space, well organised, it's not very big, but I do love to be able to get at everything. 

My dish from the last post has been given a reprise, its on the dining room table, just can't bring myself to fill it with plants. 

Sunday 25 July 2021

Last Weekend of July.

My agapanthus are looking lovely, these are my original plant, I have 2 other clumps in our garden, both taken from this plant, its getting big again, after flowering I will dig some up and transplant to another spot in the garden. Plants for free are always very special. 

This was a rose stem which broke off the mother plant, I did my usual thing and stuck it in compost and luckily for me this one has grown and I have my 1st flower. I am surprised its a yellow flower, I had been expecting a cream rose, this cutting came from a different bush, sadly I have nowhere to plant this in my garden, so it will be a gift, not sure who to give it to. 
The blooms in my raised bed, daisies, poppies and corn flowers have all given flowers some are on their 2nd show, I am hoping next year they all flower at the same time. I have climbers behind which have been cut back and my sweet peas are in the other end of this raised bed. 

I finished Lethal White, I have enjoyed reading these books, over 2000 pages, this last book had already been shown on TV, I still enjoyed the book, even though I already knew the ending, there was far more detail in the book, this being my 31st book this year. 
I saw this online and its how I feel at the moment, its not enough we have stopped purchasing things just because they are for sale and we like them, I now need to declutter my life. When we moved here 12 years ago, I had a huge sort out, but the need for less is again ruling my thoughts. 
I'm having a productive time, Friday morning I wanted to do some housework, but instead of my normal clean in the kitchen and the downstairs bathroom, I did a full clean, even wiping the kitchen cabinet tops, all the tiles got a clean, it felt good to get everything sparkling again. I then cleaned the sitting room, office and spare bedroom. Saturday I cleaned our bedroom and shower room, I normally plan such cleaning, but I just got up and decided to get things done, I usually have to work myself up to doing cabinet tops. I also cleared out my 3 bedroom drawers, mainly underwear, which I do keep tidy. My makeup and cheap jewellery had a good sort and again I got rid of loads. My junk drawer in office is tidy. I also spoke to local junior school, I have a box of crafting things, mainly card making, loads of stamps, which I've not used for ages, so now I have space in my office. So much sorting, which I normally do in springtime, having less is so much better, I did start thinking about some of the lovely clothes I donated earlier in the week, got a bit sad, but they are gone, I didn't wear them. 

I was up in the early hours of Saturday morning, the thunder storm was loud and overhead, both cats were unhappy, Grace came running to me, she sat on my lap for a while, I moved their baskets away from the patio doors into a darker part of the room. Most of the  morning was dull and muggy, later we had another warm sunny day, the heavy rain over night did not do much damage in the garden, I had moved a few pots into the greenhouse, and I have been adding support to the plants in the past few weeks, nothing to do outside, it's looking lovely. 

George came for a sleep over, Will was sleeping over and Grandma and Grandpa's, so we asked to have George again, mummy and daddy had a quiet time together, Molly sleeps most of the day and night. They had a family and new baby photo shoot on Friday, so we will have family photo's soon. This morning is playtime with George, it's an early start, later mummy will collect him, then a quiet afternoon at home, alot depends on if we get the rain which is threatening.

Friday 23 July 2021

Busy doing nothing.

 I'm not doing much at the moment, it's too hot to do most things, mainly reading,  I have a pile of books to read, I am being given loads of books, which after reading I will pass on. I have done very little crafting, it's even too hot to crochet Molly's cot blanket. 
Whilst sorting my wardrobe, I found this dish, I have had it years, but I've not used it much in recent years. I am thinking of using it in the greenhouse and make a display of succulents and cactus. 
We had new bathroom flooring fitted, our slate tiles had cracked, they were down for 11 years, so no complaints. This is a cushion floor, it has lovely flecks of blue in, much nicer to walk on with bare feet. 
I have put my Maidenhead fern in our upstairs shower room, it's doing much better in here, I almost killed it, my office was too hot for it. 
I have purchased another house plant, hubby is not keen on too many plants inside, so I walk a fine line, this sits in the darker end of our dining room.
My Orchid purchased in late January has started to drop flowers from the middle stem, this plant has bloomed for six months, pure white flowers is a passion of mine. The smaller photo is another Orchid which has new blooms on.

This final photo is a perfect little family, our youngest daughter and SIL, went out for a walk in the woods, locally to where they live, Will enjoyed running around, George loves his new seat, he is facing mummy and next to his sister Molly. 
This week has passed again so quickly, Tuesday we sat outside at a friends house under shade for our get together practicing sign language, after we had a birthday lunch and cake, we sat much longer than normally, it was good to do simple things. Later we took my pile of unwanted clothes to the recycling bins, and back home for a quiet evening together. After reading comments seems I'm not alone in owing too many clothes. I have some drawers I want to sort as well, I'm in the right mood to get rid of stuff. 

Wednesday and Thursday was again at home, nothing to do, sat watching the birds play in the birdbath, and chattering to each other. I did some dead heading, but nothing else, the cucumber and tomatoes in the greenhouse need watering a couple times each day, I have placed water catching mats under most of my seeds and cuttings, which I keep wet in hope not to lose any. We are not outside much and the patio door stays almost closed, the flies and smell coming from next door is terrible, again we have contacted environmental health at our local council, but as always it's up to us to try and live our lives as best we can, once the heat wave is gone, the levels should drop.

Life has not changed much for us, we still wear our mask when in shops, it's very uncomfortable, but I feel we need to do all we can to protect everyone. We have no plans to do much or go far, with the school summer holidays coming, we try and keep away from busy places, preferring to walk locally. 

We have said we are not going to watch the Olympics in Japan this year, I do feel strongly the games should have been cancelled, with so many people in Japan not wanting them in their country at this time, and infection rates rising almost everywhere. 

Everyone has a strong desire for normal life again, but that's a couple years away, even with our high number of double jabs, the rest of the world is so far behind. I don't feel so fearful, but I'm not ready to relax, I'm still not watching too much news, everywhere is opinions and worst scenario outcomes, obviously good news doesn't find news space any more. 

Tuesday 20 July 2021


I was truly fed up having so many clothes in my side of our wardrobe, moving things around, which whilst in good quality and they fit me, I was not wearing. 
I have spent very little money on clothes in the past 3 years, £563.20 in total, including a new coat, which I am very pleased about, I fell off the merry go round, of buying clothes because I see it and like it. I last sorted my wardrobe when I stopped working back in 2017, removing loads of working style clothes, keeping just the nicer bits, but I don't wear many of them still.
This huge pile, will be taken to the Salvation Army bins in the village, nothing wrong with any of them, I just prefer to fill their bins, rather than take to charity shops. My shelves look better without these items. 
These 4 items are almost new, only worn each a couple of times, all good brands, so I will try and sell locally. 
These items have been worn, but still look good, I just never wear them anymore, and they take up too much hanging space. Again some nice brands here. 
My wardrobe now has plenty of space, my clothes are not crammed in and getting creased. I still have my favourite clothes, but I have been ruthless and I feel better for it. I still won't need to purchase any clothes for ages. 
I feel do much better for having a sort out, I still have too many clothes, but I am wearing most of what I own. I dread to think on how much money I spent on clothes which I have not worn enough, and now will never want to wear again. I have never been a fan of cheap clothes, I prefer to purchase good quality, and at the same time I dislike tatty clothes. 

For years we lived close to town, and when bored at home we popped out shopping and to have lunch. Our weekend sport and exercise was to shop in town centre, out of town places, garden centres, anywhere to make us feel good. These days we are much happier staying at home or walking locally near our village, keeping my purse in my bag and our money in our bank account. 

I'm going to say it, just too hot outside to do anything, the evening and night temperatures are still really high. 

Sunday 18 July 2021

At home

Another brilliant book, only just over 500 pages, this is book 3, so I'm reading out of order, very enjoyable story, my 30th book this year. I have started reading Lethal White, the storyline has been broadcast on TV, so I will see if I can read it after knowing the storyline. 
We stopped for a cheeky afternoon treat on Thursday at our village bistro, we did walk home taking the longer route, through our park. As always it was delicious, they do make a good cup of coffee.  
Yet another photo of Molly, this new baby is bringing joy to our family, we are loving seeing so much pink. She is just over a week old, we visited on Wednesday and played with both Will and George, and cuddled Molly, daughter is doing well, daddy is not going back to work for another week.
I have started her cot blanket, made with 4ply 100%cotton, it's going to be cot size, so cotton is best as it does not give off fluff. For both Will and George I used white and 3 shades, so I have kept this pattern going, it's easy to crochet.  
I am loving having a full craft bag by my chair, and doing such a colourful project, but starting a blanket just as a heat wave comes is not the best. I would like to get it done so it can go in her bedroom adding colour. 
Much of my time is outside, I always walk around the garden 1st thing, just checking, making note of jobs needed doing that day. My greenhouse door is always open at this time of year, I do have an automatic window opener, to help keep the heat out, I don't shade the greenhouse as our Magnolia tree shades it in the middle of the day, I do each evening spray the inside roof glass with water as well as the floor, which I think helps the plants inside. I have loads of cutting and seedlings in there, in hope to make more plants for next year. 

We are now spending more time outside, we had friends over Friday morning for coffee and cake, a neighbour popped in Friday afternoon, and in the evening hubby hoisted a committee meeting for 8 people.  Saturday was a day home together, we sat outside for our morning coffee and cake, chatting together, later we had a BBQ together, our Pergola gives so much shade on hot sunny days. 

Flies are again a huge problem outside, hubby found some great fly traps, which catch the flies and have to be emptied, it's the most disgusting job, but they do work well, we also light citronella candles on our big outside table. My lemongrass did not survive the winter, so I have planted mock orange plants in the huge trough, they are tiny this year, but should grow for next year, I hope to keep the plant smaller, lots of trimming to keep it in shape, they have a very heady scent  which should make sitting out a nicer experience.  

Today is another hot sunny day, nothing much to do, we have to clear the bathroom as we are having a new floor tomorrow, nothing much to move out, hubby is just ensuring everything is clear and tidy. We are hoping daughter will pop in with Will, George and Molly, it will be lovely to full our home with laughter. 

Friday 16 July 2021


I have already harvest 3 cucumbers, and there are a couple more almost ready, plus loads of smaller ones, this plant is doing well this summer. 
My tomatoes are not so good, I have a few on the plant, they are slower than normal, smaller as well, but the plant is healthy. 
Blackcurrant Bush is full, I have picked twice, but there are still loads on the bush, I don't like them, so these are all for hubby. 
The blackberries are full of flowers so the promise of a good harvest to come. I did cut back the bush over my shed, and will allow the regrowth next year, I do like this branch along the side of the garage.
I have 3 blueberry bushes, this being the smaller pink berry bush, all are full and all ripen at different times, I love blueberries. 
Lime plant still has some flowers on and tiny fruits starting to form, these if I can grow them will be my 1st citrus fruits. The larger plant is my lemon and the smaller plant at the back is an orange.
Yet again my Olive tree is full of flowers ready to form fruits, sadly the leaves have been blown off this year, but the tree is looking strong. 
This begonia is full of flowers again, it spent the winter in my unheated greenhouse. 
I love this clematis, Little Lemon is growing well in the pot and my small obelisk, I am dead heading in hope I can get the plant to grow just a bit taller. 
I have planted this fuchsia in my raised bed, it was a cutting from a plant in the side garden, which last winter died, I think it will do better here, it already looks very healthy. 
The whole garden is looking good, after the huge amounts of rain everywhere is looking colourful, I did stake many of my plants, a few pots are back in the greenhouse to protect them from the rain. 
Now we are back to sunny weather, the garden is being used most of the day, my sheltered pots are being removed from the greenhouse and placed around the plot, adding colour to spots.

Thursday was a day at home, most of the time outside, hubby gave the drive a good sweep and wash down, then cleaned the windows, I worked in back garden, I put new netting on the fruit arbour, the new black net disappears better than the old green net. We moved my Olive, hubby was not happy as the flowers were dropping over our outside table, I'm not sure I like its new position, but it's to big to go in many places.

Today is another day at home, we have friends popping in for morning coffee and a chat, later in evening hubby has a group using our garden for a meeting. So everywhere has to be tidy. 

Thursday 15 July 2021

Another year.

Happy birthday mum, I love this photo
eldest daughter, me, mum, youngest daughter taken many years ago. 


Tuesday 13 July 2021

Back to normal.

 I have ordered more yarn, this is 100% cotton, to make a cot blanket for Molly, I am so excited to be using shades of red and pink, I will crochet a granny square.

These are the blankets I made for Will and George, daughter asked me to make these as she remembers the blanket my mum made her, sadly she does not have it any more. At some point I will have to teach her to make these simple blankets, as she really wants to follow in this tradition and make for her grandchildren in years to come. 
This image is a pure joy, George getting used to his baby sister, Molly, we had no way of preparing George for her arrival, unlike Will who was involved all through her pregnancy and excited to have a new baby. George was scared of her cry and was not happy to be close to her, but at just two days old he is getting closer. 
I stayed with my daughter for a couple of days, just whilst they caught up with sleep and ensuring both boys were happy, Saturday, Grandpa, Grandma and Grancha (hubby) all visited together on daughters wishes, we had fish and chips for lunch, and a perfect family day, loads of giggles, all 3 children had loads of cuddles, mummy and daddy also had a restful day. 

Sunday was a slow start, Will went off with Grandma for a play day, mummy and daddy took George and Molly out to shop for pink things, I stayed behind and did a quick clean of the house, it did not take long as daughter keeps a nice clean house, and then back home for a quiet restful day, I did get a walk around our garden, everything is looking good. I caught the men's final at tennis, I missed so many matches this year, later still we sat and watched the England v Italy match, we are not football lovers, but have both enjoyed watch this England team play. It was the saddest moment to watch the penalty shoot at the end. 

Monday was a day at home, we stayed away from daughter and SIL, they need time together so make routines and bond as a family, it was preschool for Will, George is not too well so he stayed home, It was dull all day, I did manage an hour in the garden, popping stakes where needed and covering my mint to keep the rain out. Harvesting blackcurrants, salad leaves and cucumbers. The afternoon was spent reading, I do love to snuggle down on wet days with a book, and boy did it rain. 

Today I have sign class this morning, later we have no plans, I am waiting for some net to arrive so I can cover my fruit arbour, the birds are fed close by so my fruit needs protection, I do already have a net, but it looks scruffy, and I don't like it. 


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