Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 August 2021

August roundup

No craft spending this month, I am using what I already own, my stash is not big, other than fabrics, I hope to use more yarn in the coming months. One trip out, to get some plants and of course bargains found, it's always easy to spend for the garden. I did spend £14.99 extra, but one garden light did not work , I returned it and got a refund as they had sold out. I did buy a couple of cardigans and a pair of sandals, all replacing scruffy items, I'm still very happy with my clothes spending. 

We have decided to enter in our local Rowans lottery, I don't feel able to do another fundraising annual moonlight walk, it's a 6 mile walk through Portsmouth and the old dockyard late at night and probably too much for me, so our solution is to donate £10 each month, we already give to Macmillan nurses each month, we can never thank them enough for being there when we needed the support. We have never had the need to use our local hospice, but feel very strongly it should thrive for our community 

We have done nothing in the house, we have a few things which will need replacing but most of which will last into next year, the garden is now completed other than some winter colour, everywhere is looking good.

Our waste again is nothing, all garden waste goes into composer, we are not using the council bag, we still have the option until the end of this year. I will get a black plastic lidded dustbin to make leaf mulch, using all the leaves from the Magnolia, which should break down over the winter months. Both the waste and recycling bins are never full, shows just how much we have changed.

As for weight loss, 1 word, chocolate, nothing more to say, I'm weak, no control, I've not put any weight on, not lost any either. 

Sunday 29 August 2021

Planning and potting.

There are bulbs in all the shops, these are from Wilkinson's, I do love their bulbs, great price and most do grow. I have added the cost to my stash spend, these days its more of a garden spend. 
B&Q, firstly I do love Snakeshead Fritillary, I love to have them everywhere, most of these bulbs are for the raised bed, should have a great show in the spring. I'm pleased with the mixture, should be very colourful. 
I got these from Homebargains, at 99p per pack, it's worth a try, again for the raised garden, I did replant some bulbs, but I had forgotten what I had, so these extra ones will balance the area. 
Pansies, Violias and Chrysanthemum's, one box of pansies and 4 of the chrysanthemums are for hubbys front garden, most of these are being planting into bigger small pots for them to grow and improve before they are required for the back garden. Most of these will go into pots around the back garden, I do love the winter colour they bring. 
My friend was using this type of candle in her garden when we visited, we were impressed and got a couple, they smell of lemons and are really good at masking the smell coming from next door, and helping with the flies. We light them and keep them close to us, when outside, we have managed to have a couple BBQ's and not suffer too much. The pots when empty will be used in my greenhouse. 
I am working in the garden today, all the small winter bedding plants are going to be potted up and left for 3-4 weeks to ensure I have stronger plants, hubby will plant his in the pots in the front garden. I am going to remove the cucumber and tomato plants, the green tomatoes will go into brown paper bags and ripen in the next few weeks. I want to put up my folding table so I can store the newly potted plants, they could go outside, but the huge pigeons will trample them.

We had the late afternoon yesterday with daughter SIL and their lovely family, hubby helped daughter dig out her box hedge, it was all dead, we had a lovely takeaway together and watched as the boys went to bed, loads of Molly and George cuddles, Will gave us loads of information about space, he was playing with a Lego space shuttle. We shared a glass of wine later at home without the TV on, it was so peaceful. 

I find it so over whelming at the moment, Covid has haunted us for almost 2 years, we manage to stay safe, but for how long, there are 2 huge festivals locally this weekend, we have shopped and plan to be home bound for at least 2 weeks, it's all we can do. All the reporting of  HVG driver issues, and empty shelves in supermarkets, it will start another panic buying session, more trying times.  Afghanistan is haunting, I can not imagine life as a woman there, after the freedoms of the last years, sadly I don't believe a word the Taliban are saying, they are brutal, we moved from the south west to the south east of England a few years ago, which was hard, can you imagine moving to another country, so very different from yours, and bringing so little with you. The Gulf Coast has another hurricane , after Haiti, it is the hurricane season, our planet is now fighting back, with floods in Europe, wild fires in USA and Australia, mankind has do so much damage to mother earth. 

I'm off to the garden to leave all the bad news and the media frenzy against anyone who they think is wrong or have not done enough, it's sunny and warm outside, I need peaceful time. Hope your holiday weekend is good. 

Friday 27 August 2021

This week.

 It's been a busy week, we had Molly and George on Tuesday, mummy took Will for his last swimming session, he is a good swimmer now and just as important he is happy to play in the water. George loves this bike, he scoots around the whole ground floor, and now loves Molly. Tuesday was also our oldest grandson Josh's 16th birthday, he has grown into a lovely young man.

Wednesday was another babysitting morning, this time at daughters house, with Will and George, mummy took Molly for a hospital check-up, all was well, boys do play really well, Will is a loving big brother. afternoon was spent at home with hubby, coffee in the sunny garden. 

I have finished another great book, Rachel Joyce does write a good story, I loved both Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy stories, so to read about Margery Benson was pure joy. 36th book read this year. Hubby has ordered me anther book by this author. 

Thursday we had nothing planned until mummy asked for help, looking after Molly and George, Will was at his last pre-school day, this time she was able to get her nails done, a pure treat for her, both slept, so a restful time for me.  Later we had a BBQ, just the 2 of us, we did think of inviting family and friends but decided to enjoy good food and our garden together, it worked, it was sunny, warm and very relaxing. 

Friday was really a day of nothing to do, we saw no one, we stayed at home, pottered, picked soft fruits and relaxed. I did need a slow day after so many nanna days, I normally see them once or twice a week, but loads of appointments all came together. We did get great news from George's physical therapy visit, as we already know, he is doing well, his lower body had got much stronger,  he is starting to take steps. Sadly Wills trip to Great Ormond Street was postponed, he has a cough, so it's best to leave it, hard on mummy and daddy because they has sorted their head around it all, its not easy preparing for an operation on a 4 year old, it does mean I have a clear start to the week coming. 

We have no plans for the Bank Holiday weekend, we never do, locally is so many holiday destinations, and with good weather, everywhere is going to be busy. I have books to read, knitting to do, I have started the 2nd project, I am also thinking of doing another cross stitch, but no idea what I want to make, I do prefer making huge designs, I have a few unstitched designs in my collection, I will find time to look, I have all the canvass and threads I need. 

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Meanwhile inside

 Mummy got 3 soft pairs of joggers for George, these are great in length, but far too wide for him, he crawls out of them. The top pair is what he is wearing now. I was intending to make his joggers, but I can only get the fabrics online and was not keen to order without knowing the quality.  

They are all finished now, they fit perfectly, maybe just a tiny bit long, but George is growing so quickly. These are from Next and are brilliant quality, and were very easy to adapt to Georges size. I only took in the leg and waist, I did not adjust the band at the foot, that being too small to work with. It was a quick task, the hardest part was unpicking the waist bands at each side.  

I am enjoying knitting this simple design, soon I shall separate the fronts and back for the shaping, it still feels bulky to me, I have already planned my next project, another abandoned one, this time in 4ply. 
I finished this book, the storyline had a quick pace and was easy to follow, the backdrop of the lockdown due to a 'birdflu' virus was uncomfortably close to last year, luckily for us our lockdown was never as harsh or controlled as in the plot.  This being my 35th book read this year. 

I am starting to look at myself, I am very good at sorting the house and garden, but I don't do much myself, I have not purchased many clothes in the past 4 years, I have been trying to wear what I own and donate what I won't wear. My styles have not changed, I have not followed any fashion trends for years, being 'at home' is making me lazy. I try and not wear jeans too often, but I hardly wear a skirt these days, maybe if I am going to meet friends, I do find jeans very comfortable and hard wearing, so they are an easy choice when I have housework or gardening to do, and most days I do something in the garden. 

I have been trying to keep my nails looking better, it is hard when I love getting my hands dirty in the garden and I have weak nails, I have been using coloured nail polish and shaping them myself, my hands do look better for the extra care. Lockdown has changed me, I don't wear much makeup and these days I only pop eye makeup on when I am meeting friends, before I would wear makeup even just going to the shops. I decided last year I would let the grey in my hair come through, for years I did my own highlights, I still own a rubber head cap with loads of holes in, I am pleased I am not as grey as I expected, I do get my haircut every 5 weeks. 

My weight has loss has stalled, I'm still a stone lighter than last year, but I did want to drop another 8 to 10 pounds, for me winter is a better time to lose weight, we hunker down and eat balanced meals more vegetables, Summer is loads of sitting outside with coffee and nibbles. Hubby is not making his wonderful cakes anymore, they were much better than all the biscuits we eat, I'm not blaming him, I am the one who reaches for the treats, and far too many times in the day. 

Monday 23 August 2021

Back to order

Everywhere is tidy again, this layout I am finding very pleasing, I am loving being able to see the whole of the greenhouse. The paths are clear and clean, I can get to everything. The pot my sister gifted me is now on the step, it's small and fits lovely, we put the original top to the bird bath infront of the raised bed, it was here before, tucked closer to the fence, it's better moved to where we can see it. 
This path is clear again, I have popped a few things around the composter, I will find a space for a plant anywhere. My cape gooseberry is behind the grass, making a dull corner look really green, the long pot has my primroses in. I do keep a small watering can here, so I can empty the liquid from the composter.
The raised bed does not look much, but most of these plants will come back, I want this bed to look a bit wild, the taller plants are infront of my composter. I hope to have trailing plants along the front to soften the raised bed, I also put back loads of spring bulbs. In the summer months this area is under shade from our Magnolia tree until later afternoon. 
This bed was hard to dig out, the solid clay has been removed and some soil from the raised bed added, the shrubs at the back have some growing to do, I don't want them much higher than the back fence, and not above the chimney pots. I have more space than I expected here, I did cut back my english lavender, which now has loads of new growth. I keep a spade handle in this garden as our robin often sits on it, I came from a very old spade which belonged to my mum, I still have the spade, but when we had to replace the handle, we decided it still had a use. 
Both of us are enjoying this view, the refurbed birdhouse is back up and not so high, we left the post which props it up, which is not necessary, but our cats use it as a scratching post. My long flower tubs infront of the raspberries have given this area loads of colour, the blooms just tumble onto the lawn. 
We had rain overnight Friday/Saturday, but the weekend was unexpectedly dry and Sunday was sunny and warm, always a bonus, but it did mean I had to water the transplanted plants.

George had a sleep over on Saturday, we love to have him, he fell asleep at 5pm, nothing I could do he was tired, so his bedtime was much later, so more play time for us. He slept in on Sunday morning, we woke at 7am, which is a lovely time. George loves the Tellytubbies,  so we watched some whilst eating breakfast, he was jiggling to the music, he is now on his feet and talking his first steps, mummy collected him after lunch. 

Sunday afternoon was out in the garden, it was sunny and warm, we both got on with the few jobs to get everything finished, hubby has a planned trip to our local tip to remove garden waste and stones from the back bed. Our local council has suspended the garden waste collections, which could have been a pain, but most everything goes in our composter, the roots from a couple of bigger shrubs can't be composted and can't be placed in the council bag, so the trip to the tip is needed. 

I have done some sewing and knitting, which I will share with you in my next post, I am also finding time to read, Maggie the book Lockdown by Peter May is great so far. 

Saturday 21 August 2021

Crafting a new project


I have started some knitting, I'm being really brave, I started this jacket a while ago, the pattern is not easy to read and I got myself very confused, so I ripped it out. I am not helping matters because I am knitting the body in one piece, I don't want joins at the side, this is for George.
Sorry the photo's are the wrong way up, I could not turn them, I am using Stylecraft, Highland Heathers DK, 100% acrylic, so hardy for a little boy to wear. I am finding this project very bulky, I normally use 4ply and much thinner needles, these are very old needles, I can't say when they were purchased, but they are lovely to knit with. 

I have just finished reading this book, almost 600 pages, so another big read, I have read this author before, and she did not disappoint, the story followed one tangled family recovering from a tragedy, with another unfolding. My 34th book read this year. 
This will be my next book, it arrived in the post yesterday from Maggie, she has a lovely blog, and decided to pass on a couple of books recently, I have read Peter May before, but not this interesting one, set in these times. 
We have been working in the garden, we dug out the raised bed and moved it to it's permanent place, I took this photo yesterday morning, hubby did put all the soil back in, it's raining today, so I'm not going out to take the updated photo. 
It's been a busy few days, we have paced ourselves in the garden, there is no rush and these days we don't need to overdo things, the raised bed is now planted, the rain arrived as fore caste overnight, so the plants should bed in, I have a few gaps, but I just have to decide what things I want to move. It should rain again tomorrow, so no plans to work in the garden until next week. It does feel good to be doing things together outside. 

We did pop back to the garden centre, I had to return one of the lovely lamps, it did not work, I was not surprised, when I opened the box the packaging was damaged, and the top of the lamp had been opened. Sadly they had sold out of this design so we had a refund, neither of us wanted to look around for anything else. We did pop into Home bargains, which are close by to get some cleaning items, a couple of things we were unable to get, they did have loads of empty spaces on their shelves. 

Yesterday I popped to our neighbours for a catch up coffee, we have not seen each other for a couple of weeks, hubby took his bird house apart and replaced some rotted wood, now it's looking really good, sadly none of the birds use it. 

With my knitting I have read through the pattern and I have written it out in a way I can understand, I am OK with the body, I did have to add 2 stitches for the pattern to work, but I have allowed for them in the top back section. George is really tall and thin, he is 21 months old but is wearing clothes aged 9 to 12 months, these fit him around his chest and waist, but often are short, which in the summer is not a problem. This jacket I am making the correct chest size and I am adding length, it should keep him warm in the cooler months. I also have some baby joggers for him, which are the correct age for him, so the length is great, but I am taking in the side seams so the fit his waist. 

Later today George is coming over for a sleep over, he is much better, Will is at Grandma's house, so mummy and daddy have just Molly, who is now sleeping longer, so they should be able to catch up with some sleep. 

Thursday 19 August 2021


Hubby removed some box plants from the front garden, he replaced it with 3 small yew plants, which was growing in a pot. So with an empty pot, he decided to get more Heather's. I got a marjoram herb for an empty pot in my herb bed. The Venus flytrap replaced one which was strangled by another carnivorous plant in the greenhouse. 
This fence was not on my shopping list, we looked to see what was available, I had an idea it would be nice to have a low barrier at the back of the garden, this is perfect. The top is the same shape as our railings, not as solid, but it's only for show, it's in the shed until required, it was a great price. 
I have had these type of lamps for a couple of years, they are brilliant, they look like miners lamp and with hubby's heritage they are good to see in the garden. The 2 new ones were £5 off each, so £29.98  for them a saving of £10. The 2 we already have still work, but I will use them in the greenhouse, the new ones will stay in my shed until next spring. The string lights are for my sink with the grasses in, I have a metal teahouse, which should have a tealight in, but these should look better and light up every evening. 
One trip to the garden centre adds to my garden spend, but everything purchased will keep the garden looking good. I have not added hubby's plants to my list, which has always been about my spending. Next month I will require winter pansies for winter colour. I am determined not to buy shrubs for the bed, I have a couple in pots I can use. I often buy shrubs as tiny plants and grow them in pots until they are a good size, much cheaper and helpful when a bigger project is being done. 

We have not done anything to the raised bed, I have been sorting the main bed, I want that looking nice before I move the raised bed. There is no huge rush to complete everything, we have plenty of dry days coming.

I have a few ideas for my next knitting project, and I want to get my sewing machine out, I have a task my daughter has asked me to do. So crafting is back on my agenda, plus I have chosen my next read. My shawl pattern is called Leftie and can be purchased here, it is a simple design. 

Thank you for you comments on my last post, I can wait for medical appointments for myself, it's a pain but I understand life is not the same as pre-covid, but to see my daughter struggle to get a sick toddler looked at was so frustrating.  

Tuesday 17 August 2021

A finish and a rant.

I have finished knitting this shawl, it's a lovely size, I stopped because I was running out of the main colour yarn. All I have to do now is sew in the ends from 10 colours, and also a knot which was found in the middle of the ball of yarn, which I get so annoyed with, as I don't like to see knots in my work. 
These photo's show the true colours, which I do love, and because I have 2 pairs of gloves in these colours, I will keep this from myself, it will look good with both my winter coats. It's great to use some of my stash to make things, I don't have a huge stash of yarn, I will have another look and find something else to make.
These shawls are designed so well, both in the making and the wearing, so simple to make, other colours I have made can be seen here , here and here , this I think is the best. 
George is not well, he has a really bad cough, can't sleep too well as he needs to be raised, daughter has raised his cot mattress, but he wriggles so much in his cot. This little man has so many issues with his chest, but not normally in the summer months. 
On Monday morning I popped over to sit with George and Molly whilst mummy popped to a hospital appointment, I spent most of the time cuddling him, mummy called her doctors late morning, who suggested she call 111, after a long wait, they told her because of his age, a doctor needs to see him, call her surgery. The automatic answer service said she was caller 19 and should go to 111, after a very long wait, she was informed a doctor would call her back. 4 hours later the doctor told her she would have to take him to A&E to be seen by anyone, this being at 5.35pm.  A&E bless them, checked George over fully, sadly they had to take a covid test as he had a really bad cough, which really upset him, happily it came back negative, they came home just before 10pm last night.  What is happening to our local doctors surgery, this was a normal doctors appointment, get his chest listened too, make sure it's nothing to be worried about, as he is under 2 and has Downs Syndrome, daughter has popped him to the surgery before with the same issue. Daughter does not ring the surgery often, both boys gets loads of cough and colds, which are dealt with at home, George's notes would show he has issues which before has resulted him staying in hospital to be treated, but the surgery could not see a sick toddler. I find this worrying, I have heard other stories of the difficulty in getting to see a doctor, how can hospitals manage, when they are dealing with hopefully simple things which should be sorted at our local doctors surgery. 

I love our NHS, our local hospital, QA at Portsmouth is brilliant, as a family we have had to use it on many occasions, sometimes planned and other times not, and always found them so caring and hard working. BUT our A&E is not there to replace our local doctors, I have read the doctors are far too busy, there is a lack of GP's, but this has always been the case, and I know covid has changed so much.

Getting to speak to anyone at our surgery is almost impossible, they want you to fill out online forms, which are poor in their questions, twice when I have need to speak to a doctor in the past year, I have completed the questions, only to be told to ring 999, this because I have an underlying issue, ( I did not ring 999), when asking the surgery about their online, the answer is yes we know it's not right, but.....

Sadly our NHS needs someone who understands the medical side to control it, rather than a MP or a finance lead person. 

Monday 16 August 2021

Getting on with things.

Looking very different with the shrub and fence gone, the wooden fence just fell apart in our hands, the plant had been holding it up. The shrub was rotten at the roots, it just pulled out of the ground, I have a couple smaller cuttings which are growing, so I can replace this hedge in a another part of the garden.  The composter is moved for now, it will go back here once we move the raised bed. The big stone is being moved, hubby wants it for the front garden. 
This path looks huge, I aim to dig the plants from the 2 long pots into the ground and let them spread. The raised bed will swing around. The big grass in the pot will stay, I can move it around and use it for filling gaps. The corner space in front of the greenhouse will be for my composter. 
I have no idea why this section is shaped like this, the front bit in this corner has always been difficult to use. Once we move the raised bed, it should fill the space and make a lovely feature. I can picture it in my mind how I would like it, the passion flower from the raised bed is going, its gets too big and is loads of work for few rewards. I am hoping the sweet peas will return. 
Will had a sleepover on Saturday night, here he's enjoying his drinking chocolate before bed, it's a treat he loves. We made pizza for tea, he loves adding his own toppings. He helped to harvest blueberries, blackberries and tomatoes, most of the fruits did not all make it to the kitchen. 
Hubby took all the wood to the tip, we booked a slot on Sunday, so no rubbish in the garden. We have not dug the raised bed yet, we plan to do it this week, no hurry, it should take a couple of days to empty, then we can place it, it's much quicker to refill. 

Sunday we had Will until early afternoon, so we played with toys, walked to the shop for teacakes, after the dull start, the sun shone through, it was still breezy. We had burgers for lunch on Will's request, eating outside, Will decided it was our BBQ, he was really happy the whole time with us, he is now more than ready for starting school in a few weeks. I picked more blackberries from the garden, my bush is full and as its a thornless one, they are easy to pick. The blueberries have been a poor crop, I think the birds ate so many of the emerging fruits before we moved them. The bush with the pink berries are later to ripen, but there are loads. 

We had a lazy rest of the day, just the 2 of us, I was hoping to finish my scarf, but was too tired to knit or even read a book, watched some TV instead. Lovely early shower and night, feeling much better today. 

Saturday 14 August 2021

Never say never!

I loved every word in this book, I have had it a while and was saving it, knowing it would be a great read. The author always creates a great story, and if like this one, where it's different generations of the same family, she is a master of stitching it all together. The ending was predictable, but who cares when the words string you along, keeping you interested until the last word. Book 33 read this year. 
George is now loving his baby sister, we do have to watch him as he can grab at her, but he is no longer scared of her, and does not cry if she cries. He is such a loving little boy, he loves to sit on laps and have cuddles, they spent a day playing at our house. 

Our back planted garden, this area is heavy clay and not alot grows in here, I have accepted it's limitations, The shrub growing up the fence on the right hand side is dying back, most of it from the left hand side is already dead. 
Hubby has told me the fence and the post are rotting, the previous owners had made this fence, he wants to rip it out as the shrub is dying, so we are looking at what we can do with the area. So much for no plans in the garden, I do love the rustic look of the fence, but hubby says it's unsafe. I've cut back the variegated shrub, it's fast growing and will return, I don't think I will let it get as big. 
It's been a quiet week, we did have George and Molly on Thursday, Will was at preschool, daughter was feeling unwell, so we sent her home for a day of rest, I was so glad hubby was here, having 2 under 2 years was busy, George is crawling, we have just gated the stairs, and we keep all other doors shut, George does love to crawl around the place. 

Our eldest grandson Josh had his GCSE results, and they were good, he is going on to college next month, so pleased to see him being so successful. 

Friday was a nothing day, we did have a delivery from Tesco, being really lazy and did an online order, just items we can't get at Lidl and locally, loads of things were missing, nothing we can't live without. We did get outside in the garden, hubby has taken away half of the fence, I want to see if I like it better that way. 

We now have big plans for the area, the whole fence and posts need to come out, I suggested we swing the raised bed around so it takes away the need for a fence, in the far right hand side, hubby liked that idea, we have dug the raised bed out before it's hard work but worth it, so that's a big step, we did consider making the raised bed smaller, but the frame is good, so we will keep it as it is.

Tomorrow we will rip the rest of the shrub and fence out, we sat with a coffee, looking at the opened area, and agreed we both love it, the garden looks bigger, and we can see all my nasties in the greenhouse. The only post we will replace to the one with the bird house and feeders on, and the post leaning on it, the cats use it as a scratching post.

I have a yellow rose I can plant and a couple smaller shrubs in the main bed, the raised be will stay until next spring, I do have just a few plants for the front. So it's more hard work and little cost. 

Wednesday 11 August 2021

New project.

I have loads of colours in my stash, lots of odd balls, I have used this yarn on many projects, it's soft and I find it does not itch my skin, I have an allergy to Lanolin, which is found in most sheep fleece and therefore yarn.  So rather than sit looking at my phone, I thought I would knit. 
I have made this scarf 4 times before, it's a very simple design, and knits up quickly, I'm not sure if I will keep this for myself or use it as a Christmas gift. I was not wanting to knit another warm jumper, I made 2 last year, along with a warm cardigan. There is no point knitting for hubby, he does not feel the cold and would not wear anything so warm. 
I am sewing in the ends as I am knitting, it's a task I don't like , so it's best not to leave them all to the end of the project. 
I was given a pile of books and this was one of them, I loved A Touch of Frost on the TV, David Janson played a wonderful character, but in this book Frost is much more gritter, and I don't think I liked him as much. He swore and was very condescending to all around him,  a proper worn down copper, I won't look for another book. This being my 32nd read this year.  
Sunday night I managed to get another too good to go bag from our local M&S store, so for £4 we got, breakfast for both of us, lunch for both of us, and a main meal for me, some of the lunch we used for a second day, and a couple packs of wraps, which we love, daughter had one of the packs of wraps. Again we are really pleased with the contents. 
The rain has stopped for a few days, I am so glad we are not in a flood area, all the water soaks into the ground and is gone quickly. The breeze has done a bit of damage, nothing to bad, loads of leaves everywhere. There has been so much heavy rain this summer, normally I am worried about water levels at this time of year, all my water butts are full and the garden won't need a water for a week, my pots will need doing in a few days.

The weekend was quiet, we stayed at home and did nothing, far to wet to be outside, Friday we did stop for coffee and cake in the village, just to get out of the house and see different faces. I did manage to clean through the house, everywhere was really dusty, hubby did all the laundry. 

Monday was another stay at home, it was dry all day, the sun came out later, but again it was very breezy, a good day to read, I did pop to Lidl for a top up shop. Tuesday was blue skies when we got up, nice to see the sun again, daughter came with Will, George and Molly, we had a lazy day at home, it was nice to be able to play in the garden, our fake grass is perfect in this weather, layered with hardcore, grit and then sand all the water drains, never any wet spots. I did not meet with the sign ladies, preferring nanna duties. 

Today is another day at home, I have things to do in the garden and greenhouse, nothing heavy, just enough to keep me busy, 2 nice mornings in a row, I am blessed.

Sunday 8 August 2021

Summer garden

Our garden is full of colour, so many plants are doing well this year, our summer has been wet, which as you can see does have it's benefits. These are some of the blooms in our side bed, I try to mix and match colours and size, giving interest to this space. These photo's were taken before the heavy rain set in, 4 rainy days together, so it must be summer. 
I do love Begonia's, in every form and colour, their flowers are stunning, but their leaves match each bloom for their beauty. All are grown in different pots and chimneys, even my bedding plants. The top circular bloom is a surprise, I purchased yellow single blooms, but this white double appeared. 
It's also good to have busy Lizzies back in the garden, these are brilliant for pots as they bloom forever, I have just 4 plants, and they fill their space. For a couple of years they were not available due to disease.
English lavender, the white was a bit broken off (no I didn't break it) daughters plant last spring, it's filling out well, the blue has been planted a few years, it will need a trim soon, it's getting a bit big for this space. Lovely to see the bees all over them this summer. 
My acer tree, which we planted in the ground earlier this year has loads of new growth, it's always a worry when you move plants, the trio in the bigger pot is loving it's new location, the smaller acer in the small pot has grown loads this summer. 
Coleus, I try and grow some each year as hubby loves them, plus just one red salvia,  there were 4 of them in this planter, but with the heavy rain, I lost 3, The tub is a cheap soft square washing up bowl with handles, perfect, I can move it to any part of the garden. 
I moved this sink, which was very heavy, so I had to dig out the 4 plants, but they have settled again, I am excited to see new growth in the back right corner, this is my blood grass, the plant came very small and has grown slowly, it looking really healthy. 
 In the raised bed at the back of the garden, I have planted poppies, they are dark red when they open and fade to pink, I still have a few daisies, but the cornflowers have finished. I am hoping they set seed and more grow next year, together these are blooms I love, they always remind me of the seaside.
I am really happy with the look of our garden this summer, I have finally found the balance of what grows in our heavy clay soil, the side bed is the best area, when we lifted the paving stones to create this bed, we added loads of manure and top soil, I add compost or manure each year to keep the bed healthy. The back bed in front of the greenhouse, is the worse bed, I have dug in loads but it disappears in the heavy clay, so I have changed how I plant it. Using so many pots allows me to grow many different plants, I can give them the soil conditions they require.

I am loving the balance of flowers and form, for years I only grew bedding plants and small shrubs, everything was about the summer flower, in this garden where we sit and look out at it all year, the focus has changed. now whilst still having bare spots in the winter months, there is still enough to keep it interesting. Stems and leaves can be as beautiful as flowers, I do love the bare limbs on our trees, we watch the birds around our feeders dance from each branch. 

I do not dig my beds, I have not used my spade in years, other than to dig a big hole for the Acer, when I add to the top of the soil, everything is pulled down and disintegrates, the plants have loads of food. I don't suffer with many weeds, the ground cover and close planting seems to keep them at bay, luckily for me the wind generally blows into our neighbours wild garden, which blows any seed away from us.  

It does feel strange not to have any projects in planning, I do miss my note book and pencil, where I sketch plan and then redesign. I am now looking for different seeds and pips to play with, I do love to see the results. I have been reading up on how to care for cranberries, has anyone grow any and got a crop?


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