Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Saturday 30 April 2022

April roundup

Another good month, just a couple craft items and plants for the garden, hubby got some plants for his front garden, but I don't record his spend here. My spending on main chart is about £90 less than last year, I am pleased, but not shouting about it, at any point I could see something and blow my budget. Just purchased a lovely jumper this month. Nothing much purchased for the house, just a new loo seat. 

Our food waste again was zero, any peeling went into my composter, we have become very good at only cooking our correct portion size, I did freeze loads of tiny tomatoes, they were all going a bit soft, so I started a bag, we can use them for sauces or soups later in the year. We only shopped at Lidl twice this month, we do pop into our local Tesco and Iceland, but we are doing that less these days. 

My weight is not good, I've put on a pound this month, not much, but it the wrong way, so May is going to be a strict month, no chocolate or crisp, I don't normally eat crisp, but I have been greedy recently. My steps are nowhere near where I wanted them, I've been lazy, with the nice weather, I realise I need to drop some pounds so I can fit into my summer clothes, I do not want to go up a size. 

My Fitbit Luxe has again stopped linking to my phone, I had a replacement about 6 weeks ago for the same issue, we purchased from Amazon, they are brilliant, sent a return label and very helpful, I have now chosen another model and hopefully it will be here soon, typically the newer model cost more.

Friday 29 April 2022

What day is it?

I have done more squares on this design, I had huge problems on the 2nd orange square, I could not work the design out in my head, I over complicated it, The yellow and pale green are not easy as they are both so pale. I am still loving it. 
As yet I have not finished this book, I'm on page 133, I have thought of stopping, but I will give it a bit longer, it's a new author to me, the woman has gone back to her childhood home, with all the memories of her childhood play days with her twin sister.
I treated myself to a Gardeners world mag, it had 6 packs of seeds, 3 I wanted and 3 flowers I will scatter around, but £7.50 per issue, really that's daylight robbery, as my mum would say, plus inside not much new information for me, loads on lawn care (ours is plastic). I did get some salad seeds as well. 
When we got our new to us table, we moved the bench to the walk by the garage wall, we both like to sit here in the morning with our coffee, it's sunny and protected from the breeze, the bench is in the shade all afternoon and evening, so later in the year on hot days it will be a cool spot to sit. We are viewing the garden from a different angle, which gives us different conversations, and a new plan forming.

I'm having a very lazy week, my back is much better, I am going to watch how I twist when I do things, it seems the little twist is the issue, thank you everyone for your good wishes. I did manage to do housework on Wednesday, slow and easy and I got it all done. Thursday we did pop out, a few things required, it seems after being in this house 12 years and doing all the work as we moved in, loads of things are needing replacing at the same time, we got a few smaller items and looked at prices on cookers, ours is 16 years old, everything still works but I am finding it very difficult to clean it.

Today I'm sitting with George and Molly whilst hubby helps daughter collect a heavy object, so I'm having a fun morning, not sure what we will do after, maybe a garden centre for lunch, hubby is looking for a rose bush. 

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Slow start

Book 38 read this year, where do I start, difficult plot terminally ill child, parents disagree on care, is it strange to say I loved this story, she always delivers a great book, she writes well and keeps you interested until the end, which did not disappoint, and was not what you think. 
My greenhouse is full, the top shelf has all my bedding plants in induvial pots, hopefully to go out in a couple of weeks, I don't think we should have any more frost, I'm just being careful. Middle shelf has bigger plants, which don't need the bright sunshine, they will be moved to the top once I have the space. It's tidy in here after my sort out a couple weeks ago. 
I am growing more salads this year, here I have 3 pots of green leaves, I have 2 different tomatoes in one huge pot, one is already flowering, in the other huge pot my cucumber, which has put on loads of growth. I will start growing spring onion and radishes soon, I do hope to grow all our salads stuff this summer. 
Bottom 2 photo's are my carnivorous plants, I have taken roots from the pitcher plant and popped them into this big mug. Top left is my spiral houseplant I purchase last year, it's a bulb, I've had it in my greenhouse resting, but it's throwing up a flower bud, can't wait to see what it looks like. The final top right photo is my sphagnum moss again purchased last year, it had loads of brown bits in the package, so I put it all in this huge pot saucer and kept it wet in a shady part of the greenhouse, it's looking very healthy, I hope to keep it through the year and let it grow. 

I am pleased not to have too much to do this week, the greenhouse it's just a case of watering and turning pots to keep plant straight, we have cut some salad leaves. When I was at our neighbours BBQ on Sunday, I asked to pop behind his large garden building and check the shared back fence on his side, it's an area they don't use, I saw some ivy growing up the fence by my shed where I would not be able to get at it from our side, so I pulled at it to remove it, and bugger I have twisted my back again, so I have been hobbling around again. Hubby is cross with me, he would have sorted it, but again it was just a few seconds simple task, Darren would have cleared it for me, if I had asked, oh well time to rest. I am feeling much better, just being very careful. 

Again I have plans forming, changes in the garden, I'm focusing on the herb garden, it always looks good, but never produced huge returns, hubby and I agree the herb bed needs changing, we have chatted and agreed on a new flower bed, it will take a good week to sort. I have enough plants to fill the area, well maybe I might purchase a couple, hubby asked for another rose, photo's once done. I am also planning to spring clean our small kitchen, the cabinet tops and the tiles are due for a deep clean. Both task are for after my back is better so starting in a couple of weeks. 

Monday 25 April 2022


Another clever book, are you scared of going mad, either as you age or after an accident, this explores the mind, plus a few twists, I loved it, book 36 read this year. 
This was his 2nd book written, it's a set of 4, I've not read the 1st book, I'm OK with reading out of sequence, I love this character, as a dad with teenagers he's believable, I do love reading 'normal' people getting themselves into trouble. Book 37 this year. 
 My Chinese money plant is full of babies, I potted the bigger one, and now I can see another 4 growing, I have everything crossed as this potted baby did not have huge roots, I have given it extra rainwater as this spot is warm and sunny.  

These succulents are doing well, I have small babies in the cup, which are slowly growing, I have taken a bigger cutting from the mother plant, in the small pot behind, these are beautiful when smaller, again I'm not sure if I am doing things right, just having a go. 
Bette is doing well, she loves this spot away from the window, but still in my sunny office, the pot, her hair is now lovely and thick, I am allowing the pearls to grow down this summer. I have also pinned up the stems of my string of hearts, hoping to make it fuller. 
My Easter plant is beautiful, every time I pass it I can smell the sweet scent, much better than cut flowers, the yellow just brightens the room. 
I've had this Orchid for months, the blooms are still looking lovely, they should last well into summer. I have other Orchids but none have buds on as yet.  

Hubby is back home, he had a lovely few days on a Welsh Guards reunion in Cardiff, I have been to them before, but I find I spend too much time listening to people who I don't know, enjoying reliving their army lives, which I was never a part of, hubby is happy to go on his own, I enjoy the time at home with our cats. 

The weekend weather was perfect, sunny and warm, sometimes a bit breezy, but on the whole enjoyable, without trying I have the start of a tan, I'm now wearing sandals, I try and ditch my boots and shoes as early as I can. Saturday we popped to our local Lidl's, where there were more gaps on the shelves, we only required fresh fruit, veg and meats, mainly stocking our fridge, it's very rare we get anything from the center isles, I even passed by the plants. Sunday another lazy day, we popped to our neighbours BBQ, in the house at the bottom of our garden, stayed for an hour. We avoid doing much away from our home over the weekend, we are planning a couple shopping trips next week. I did some sorting in the greenhouse, it's really full in there, which is normal for this time of year. Basically my time is reading, plants and craft, mainly cross stitch, I have said before hubby is a book worm, so we match well. 

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post, Sewing is my passion, always has been, whilst it's my hobby, I never wanted it to be my job, I enjoy making just what ever I wanted. 

Saturday 23 April 2022

Sewing 2 ways

 I am not rushing this, the design is everything I love, neat little boxes, loads of symmetry, lovely shades, I can only stitch this small 28 cwt in natural sunlight, so I try and do an hour most days. 
I can't say how pleased I am with these finished cushions, the designs are just perfect for our rooms softer look, I am so glad they are now being used. For years I have always given my work away once stitched, but this collection are of designs I love, I have changed colours and put different designs together, always making them mine. I was going to use fabrics to match my room colour, but decided to go with colours which enhance my stitching.

Another brilliant book, I do love Peter Robinson, this was a clever book, discovering the history of the house, I was pulled into the story, wanting to know what happened and why, I enjoyed the reveal at the end. Another author I love, book 35 read this year. 

I love sewing, as a child  I always used mum's scraps to make dolls clothes, and when I started sewing lessons at senior school, and used my 1st sewing machine I was hooked. My mum never owned a sewing machine, she always stitched by hand, I got my 1st sewing machine in my late teens. I watched my mum hand make cover for our furniture, just draping cutting and sewing, she made our summer clothes by sizing up the garment, it's a skill she passed to me. I have always owned a sewing machine, for years I made my own clothes, and when our girls were younger I made all their clothes. I have altered wedding dresses, I have also made dresses for many brides, including both daughters, countless bridesmaids dresses and waist coats for little people. I am at my happiest sat in front of my machine making things, sadly clothes are so cheap and fabric so expensive, I don't make myself much these days. 

I've been home alone for a few days, hubby is back later today, so I am having a fun me time, I have nothing to do outside, the tomato and cucumber plants are now in their bigger pots, they will both stay in the greenhouse this year. I have some  houseplants babies I have separated and made new plants. Housework is done, I've also done the ironing this week, so it's been me time, reading, sewing and eating loads of my type of foods, lazy days. 

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Spring blooms

This is the last pot of spring flowers, I have been changing things around here for weeks, soon it will be time for my summer pot to come out and fill this space with colour. This table is important as it's near our patio doors and prominent when sitting inside. 
This bed beside our back door is in shadow most of the time, so the spring flowers bloom much later, so still full of colour, there are loads of other plants here in, this bed needs very little added, most things planted come back every year. 
The side bed is full of leaves from spring flowers, it's too early to cut them back, but other things are growing, I love the new shrub, it adds colour and texture to this end of the bed, the roses have lovely new growth, and there are other plants coming to life, I have loads of bedding plants for here. 

Mum's Peony has loads of buds again this year, I can't wait for it to bloom, the inset is a pale pink plant I was given last year, it will take a few years to get to a decent size, I did disturb it a couple of weeks ago, so that has slowed it growth this spring.
This back bed, in front of the greenhouse is starting to fill with colour, at this time I am really into blue flowers, I love these bulbs. I have pots along the back path, I will at some point sort them and get rid of loads. I have bedding plants to pop in here as well, the centre section has space for extra plants.
This corner in front of the raised bed, is now full with plants, there is a Forsythia, which I hope to keep a smaller size, another Peony, this one is bowl of beauty, Forget-me-nots, all which should come back every year. I have loads of other plants here as well, it should be full of colour later in the summer. 
Along the back fence, I have a white daisy in the old gooseberry tub, this one overwintered in the greenhouse, so it's blooming early, the mixed tub is looking good, loads of summer plants starting to grow, and my Blueberry is loving this spot. I also have 2 Hosta's beside my shed in pots in the shade, they are bursting with life. 
Inside the greenhouse I have loads of bedding plants to put out, still a bit early yet, I am hoping to keep them inside for a couple more weeks, get some good growth on them. The greenhouse is still full, I should get my tomato and cucumber plants into their huge pots later this week, I have various lettuce and rocket growing, I am hoping to grow my own salads again this summer. 
These pots were in the front garden, but it's the sunniest spot and these pots kept drying out, so I now have them, they are along the side garage wall, one each side of our bench, they get sun all morning, but are in shadow the rest of the day, they are sheltered from the wind as well, I have a yellow lupin in one and a Echinacea (also know as cone heads) in the second. 
I am outside every day, just doing a bit at a time, there is nothing big to do outside, the shrubs are now coming into bloom, it's too early for bedding plants, so it's a time of waiting, watching and enjoying the garden, after years of hard work. 

Monday was a lazy day, I did do some potting, I sat in the shade outside my shed, handy to have everything I required close by, I also love the view looking towards the house, a friend popped in for a coffee and a chat sat in the sunshine. Tuesday was a bit cooler, still beautiful blue skies in the morning, we has the washing machine repair man here in the morning, he has replaced loads of parts, which should ensure the machine last a bit longer, we have been on a yearly repair contract, which we won't renew next month, so getting it sorted whilst it's not costing us anything. It did cool down after lunch and we had a storm of rain before tea, my water butt's are half empty, so any rain is appreciated. I have tried making time for some cross stitch each day, it's growing, photo's next time and also some reading time. 

Today nothing planned again, see what happens with the weather, so far this week my steps are really low, so I should plan a walk. 

Monday 18 April 2022

Easter weekend.

 Easter Sunday was a fantastic family day, daughter came for lunch with her hubby, Will, George and Molly, my brother was still here, we were outside most of the day. 
 We had a lovely egg hunt, Will loves looking for eggs and other treats, we had some for George to find, and a couple for Molly, every child was happy. Loads of garden games after lunch, it was a really sunny and warm, perfect in every way. 

Saturday was another lovely day, we were having a little celebration, hubby and brother walked to our local glazing shop to cost up the pane of glass for the greenhouse, they were told it would have to be ordered in, they don't stock 3mm glass, but hang on, we had one piece of glass ordered and never collected, what size do you need. Well I never it's just the size you need, we will let you have it for £15, the same toughened glass from the greenhouse company was on sale for £50 plus postage, so we celebrated our good luck. A couple other simple things were done around the house, my brother helping where he could, most of the time we were sat outside in the sunshine.

Lunch on Sunday was a huge leg of lamb, everyone sat around the table, Molly in her high chair, a proper family meal. Later we had a slice of my rich fruit cake, it's the same recipe as my Christmas cake. My brother drove to his daughters house on Sunday afternoon, so by 4pm, after daughters family went home, it was just hubby and I, very quiet evening. We sat and both agreed it was a wonderful day, I finished off the bottle of Prosecco, and an early night, just perfection.

Today it's just the 2 of us, sunny still, we had laundry to do, spare bed is sorted and remade, ready for our next visitor. Alarm went off at 7am, we were both already awake, so we had a lovely long slow start to the day, I have housework to do, it's amazing how much dust gets into the house. 

I hope your weekend was a fun filled as ours. 

Saturday 16 April 2022

Blooming fun

We went to The Range on Thursday, we drove to the huge store at the outskirts of Portsmouth, spent ages there, and purchased mainly from the garden department, hubby got 2 new tubs and more conifers, these are for his front garden, the 2 lovely clay pots once again have kept too dry for plants to live. 
I got loads of French Marigolds for the 2 long tubs in front of our raspberries, these are hubby favourite flowers, so I try and grow some every year. Not too close to where we sit, I don't like their scent. The Lupin is in a big pot, trying to avoid it being ate by slugs. 
Hubby was going to purchase me a huge bunch of flowers for Easter colour, but I chose these Gerbera's instead, I love the bright yellow, and once these flower die back, I can pop it into the garden. They cost a fraction of the price of cut flowers. 
Book 34 read this year, I'm sorry I can't remember who recomended this book to me, but thank you, I was just brilliant, all 503 pages, I am now ensuring all my water jugs are full each evening before going to bed. The story started with the whole area being ill and dying from the drinking water. I have no idea how he comes up with all these ideas, his story lines are brilliant. 
Friday was a perfect day, we were outside all day, working in the garden, we had a lovely BBQ late lunch, first of the year, it was warm and sunny all day, the garden is looking really good, it's fun to sit with nothing to do, loads of time chatting and listening to music. 

My brother arrived on Wednesday for a few days, as always its lovely to see him, he does love to visit us. I spent the morning doing housework, everywhere is clean and tidy. Thursday I started clearing the greenhouse, I needed to clear one side so the glass could be sorted, we went to The Range and got the plants above, my plants have been added to my stash spend, hubby does not record his spend. 

Friday hubby and brother took out the other glass panes from the greenhouse, the base had moved less than an inch, but enough to twist the frame. It's now been moved back and repinned, everything is perfect, I went online for the cost of a new pane of glass, but hubby will try a local glazing shop, it should be really simple to slot in. I brushed down everything and put it all back inside the greenhouse, we found 2 places where rats had dug their way in, hubby filled the holes and put wire down to stop them. I sorted the huge pots for the tomato and cucumber plants, I still have some plug plants to pot on. 

Today is another day we are staying local, I need to pop to local shop for a couple of grow bags for tomato and cucumber plants, I already have flowers on one tomato plant, I hope to pot on my plug plants, I have plenty of room in the greenhouse. 

Poor hubby has been on the toddler diet this week, you start by cuddling George with his bugs, you catch said bugs, 5 days later, he's feeling better, the silver lining, he's lost 5 pounds. Neither of us would never not cuddle any of our grandchildren, when they have bugs they need the cuddles more, so far I have managed to stay bug free. 


Wednesday 13 April 2022

Little girls bedroom.

I finally got the sewing done, I do love using my sewing machine, in this case I was cutting up the 2 quilt covers and the quilt, we recently purchased to make things for Molly's room, here a floor mat and 2 cushions. I have made a play mat and cushions for each of the children's bedroom, both the boys still use theirs, so these need to be well made. 
This was a new design for me, I've never made a round cushion like this, no pattern, just an idea. I started by cutting 4 rounds of firm wadding for the cushion, this time I have not made an inner cover. I used one of the long sides from the quilt cover, I measured the circumference of the round inner, cut the long bit sewing the ends together making a tube. I then fitted it over the padding and started to stitch the inner raw edge, it went well, but then I decided to make a hem to allow a stronger ribbon to be threaded through to hold middle together, this worked well. I now need to decide how to cover the centre, I have a few choices, but will check with daughter.   
I cut the king size quilt down to cot size, and did the same with both covers, it's a simple task once you have the sizes, I resized the quilt first, once finished I lay it on top of the covers and cut around, having just enough extra for the sewing line. I ensured I cut from the middle incorporating the button band at the bottom.  The rest of the quilt and covers were used in the making of other items. 
I have seen this tip on the Internet, when sewing bulky things pop the bendy bit of a straw over your foot to help feed in this case, the floor mat. Well for me it works, much easier sewing, I don't have a quilting foot, I don't do much quilting so it's not worth me spending money on a foot, but this bit of plastic is now in my sewing machine kit. (I don't purchase straws anymore, this one was free with a drink purchased on our last long journey, I keep everything.)

We had Molly most of Monday, daughter spoke to doctors, she took George in, he has tonsillitis and they suggested daughter take him to A&E for a full check up. Our local QA hospital is brilliant, they ran loads of test ensuring everything was checked, but it meant daughter and George was there most of the day. With George having Downs Syndrome, his chest is vulnerable, so they are extra vigilant, Molly and I got to play all day. George is feeling much better today, but mummy is staying at home to give him time to gain his strength. 

Tuesday was wet, so another day inside, we did pop to Lidl for shopping for the Easter weekend, they had loads of gaps on their shelves, we got most of what we required. Then it was another sewing day, finishing the round cushion, and making my cushion covers for our bedroom, photo's when they are all finished.

I have binged watched the final series of The Split, I normally watch weekly and enjoy the story, but after the 1st episode of this 3rd series, which ended in a huge way, I have wanted to know how their lives pan out. No giving away the plot, it's a fantastic, well made story, I loved the actors, everything about this was just so good. Shame there will be no more. 

Monday 11 April 2022

Play time

Molly looking so grown up, she is 9 months now and getting around, almost crawling, she loves to join in with everything. We went to a leisure centre in a town nearby for an evening family party supported by Portsmouth Downs Syndrome association. Will is here as well, but he was off in the bigger children's play area, making new friends.
Daughter with Molly and George, me holding on to George, we spent most of our time in the tots play area, daughter had loads of mums and dads to chat to, everyone supports each other. They had a perfect buffet, and each child had an Easter egg and toy, there was a big Easter bunny, but Will was a bit scared of him. 
I am so pleased I finally got my emerald ring fixed, the stone fell out almost 2 years ago, and through lockdowns and other issues, the jeweller I normal would use was just too busy to do repairs. We visited an independent shop in town, they sent the ring to a specialist, who suggested he redo all the fixings, now I have it back and I'm so pleased, I have missed wearing this ring. 

Last week was family time, SIL was away with work, so we were helping out more, it's not hard work, just loads of fun together, us playing with the children. BUT it is tiring, it shows why we have our children in our 20's. Sadly today George is not well, he does suffer with colds and chest infections, it's a bad time of year, the weather is so mixed and he will take off clothes if he feels too hot, mummy is having a day at home. Will is sleeping over with Grandma and Grandpa, so he won't be home until the afternoon. Daughter does not need anything, but we will stay near the house and car, just in case she needs us, Grandma will also help out.

I did manage to do loads of sewing yesterday, most of Molly's bedroom items are made, just 1 cushion to finish, which requires a lot a hand sewing. I hope to do my bedroom cushions today. It's another sunny cold morning, we are going to walk to the library to get more books and then to haberdashers for more soft stuffing, no laundry as it was all done yesterday.  Photo's next time. I've not read much and done very little to my cross stitch, I have been pottering in the greenhouse, all the tiny plants I potted on are growing well, I even have flowers on one tomato plant. 

Sunday 10 April 2022

Trees give life

I always show photo's of our Magnolia tree, it is a beautiful tree, but we do have more tree's in our small plot, this twisted willow is very pretty, I use thin twigs from here all the time, we do keep it small, it would grow huge if left.  
For 10 years this Acer grew in a wooden frame beside the garage wall, it loved the spot, but was becoming too big, so rather than pass it on, hubby suggested we pop in into the ground, it looks stunning here. 
The triple Acer was potted to fill the space from the bigger red Acer, I love these colours and hope to keep them together in one pot for as long as I can. I purchased a twig last year, it's another acid green shade, it's already doubled it's size. 
The Olive has been in this pot for a few years, I do feed it twice a year, the wind has battered the leaves, but they will come back. There are still a few Olives left, they do not ripen enough to be able to harvest them, so I always leave them for the birds. 

This is my success story, it's a Pomegranate grown from a pip in the fruit, started back in 2017, back in bud, the colours of these leaves are lovely. I don't ever expect to have fruit from this tree, but for as long as it looks good I will keep it in a pot. 
Again all grown from pips, Lemon, Orange and Lime, these aren't really doing well, I need to care for them better, I'm going to keep them here infront of the greenhouse, it's a very sunny spot and they will get extra heat from the glass. 
Our garden has loads of hard landscaping, the decking and the concrete path to the garage, plus our fake lawn, so I have tried in ensure there  are loads of natural grown things to please the birds and other wild life. With the flower and shrub boarders, there is so much colour, I tend not to think too much about the rest of the un-natural parts. Trees do give life to my garden and any other landscape. 

Tree's can be hard work when they require cutting back, our policy has always been, never let them get to big, keeping them to a size where we can reach them. Growing in pots is not ideal, as always at some point they require to be planted into the ground and there is not enough space in our garden. I have always offered them free on our local Facebook pages, I'm happy to pass them on for a new life in a bigger garden. I have put links on each tree, if you want to look back at post and see what I did, not that I knew what I was doing, just having fun. 

We are very lucky as our neighbours to the back of the garden has 3 huge trees, which we steal into our view, they leave their trees to just grow. I have always loved trees, and also the challenge of growing things from seed, so hopefully I will always have loads of different trees here. 


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