Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Friday 30 September 2022

September roundup

Almost nothing spent on gardening and craft, I was hoping to not spend at all, but September is a busy month replacing summer bedding plants and a new bin for leaf mulch. I already have a few things required in October, so any savings will be used up quickly. 

Low spend no spend September is over, how did we do, on food shopping locally much better, we decided to do our Asda shop on 1st day, hoping for a true showing of our spending. Sadly with two unplanned family visits our food bill was higher than expected. One weekend we had two takeaways, neither planned, but whilst daughter was in hospital we were looking after the little ones, and by the time bed time was finished it was too late to cook. As for other stuff, we needed so very little, we already have been using what we have, we make very few impulse purchases. We do need to try for more no spend days. I spent nothing on clothes or shoes. I think I can't call it a success, September is a busy month, loads going on and for us not a great month. On the plus, with hubby sorting the garage, he has sold lots of things no longer required and some bike stuff. 

We have again been so good on food waste, only peeling have been composted, our portion sizes work so we don't waste food once cooked. My sister asked for a beef stew, which hubby made, the leftovers he added veg to and blended, we now have thick broths in the freezer, ready for the cooler months. 

My weight is down again, I am now lighter than the start of the year, with having so little energy, I was not walking much, I had almost ground to a halt. My 'cold' has helped, I've not been hungry and without taste, food quickly loses its appeal. The time at my daughters house has boosted my steps to 10,000 plus each day, I will work hard to keep this going once I'm back home, small wins is the way ahead.

Wednesday 28 September 2022

What, no shed.

Behind the garage has been cleared of my shed, the base is still tidy, so just a brush off, and it's ready for it's next adventure. It's not a pretty spot but it can't be seen from the house, so it's going to stay a working area.
When you have a small garden, nowhere stays empty for long, The water butt is in it's place, it works well in the back corner, hubby just swapped the down pipe from the front of the garage to the back, there might have been a few cross words uttered. My composter is next to it along the garage wall. The dustbins are for leaf mulch, hubby got a second bin, which will take all the leaves from the garden. The small shelf unit with the pots on will go into my greenhouse, it's a bit too wide here.
In the scrappy corner where our neighbours fences don't meet I have popped in 3 plants, one will grow tall and be good for birds and bees, it's from a cutting I was given years ago, but I can't remember what its called. I have also put a holly there, which should stop cats and foxes digging and a grass which I'm not too keen on, they should fill this corner. We fixed a heavy net above to hopefully stop foxes getting into our garden. I am hoping all my shrubs will fill out along the two exposed fence panels. I prefer having a natural barrier than another fence panel.

The shed is starting a new life in a different garden, the couple were very pleased with it, the damp in the back corner was not too bad and they should be able to treat it and get years of service. We have done all the big jobs, I just need a day in my greenhouse, to clean and tidy, I have already popped some tender plants in there. Hubby did say these task would take a while and then proceeded to get everything done I'm not complaining, its lovely to see it all done. I'm away from home for a couple of week's, hubby has a couple things he wants to do inside the house, whilst I'm away.

Daughter has had a small operation, so I am staying with her for a couple of weeks, I am doing the school run and be on hand for lifting and other things until she is healed, timing was bad as her hubby is away for two weeks with his job. So two weeks of cuddles, splashing at bath time, books at bedtime  and very little of not eating the meals I cook, tantrums and naughty little ones. I am enjoying evening chats with daughter. And early mornings, 6am most days.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Tidy garden

 We got this new square plastic pot, the pomegranate plant was not as pot bound as I thought it would be, but this pot will be placed where our large water but is, on the side of the garage, it's a sunny spot so it should do well here. I got plastic because the whole plant and pot is still very heavy, hopefully once in place it should not have to be moved. 

There are still pockets of colour around the garden, the begonia's have been fantastic so far, but the cold weather will kill them off soon, they grow from corns, which I leave in the soil, all are planted in raised section, so the flowers tumble down. Most of the plants returned after the drought, but few are in flower, so we have lots of different shades of green everywhere.
I have done more stitching, I love the flower design on the outer section of the bottom square, I normally finish my thread and then pack my sewing away, yesterday a neighbour popped in, so I did not finish my section. I have now decided how I am going to finish these squares, and I've started to think about what to pop next to them. 
The shed is empty, hubby helped and gave it a good sweep, he place a free ad on our local Facebook page and it was quickly snapped up. Hubby has been out and removed loads of the screws holding it together, it should be collected later today. Removing the shed will not as bad as we feared, it did just fit into the space behind the garage, it had been built from the inside, so everything is accessible. Hubby has also remove the canvas roof to our pergola, he packs it away each winter, stored in the garage in the dry, it prolongs the life of the canvas and keeps it looking good, plus it does flap in the wind. 

It's been a busy few days in the garden, it's that time of year when it's easier to do so many jobs, it's much cooler this September, so some jobs are being done now instead of later in the month. I still have 2 pots with gladiola bulbs in I will dig them out and plant loads of spring bulbs, they can be done later in October as the soil in the pots stay a bit warmer. I have one big round pot, which the pomegranate was in, not sure what to use in that pot, it may stay empty for a while.  I also have my old 3 level  tower pots, I need to decide if I am going to use them or pass them on.

Thursday 22 September 2022

A little bit more

I am stitching just 3 of these star squares, there are 9 in the original design, but I think 3 will be enough, I am taking my favourite bits and putting them together, the blue should have been darker, but I think the change works. I love the red flower, I will do another yellow one in this section, there will be loads of different colour flowers around the piece.
I have moved the rose bush forward to the middle, it's a bit early as there is still growth, but as it has not been in the ground for 6 months it should be OK. I have moved a few plants about, this bed should be very colourful next summer. The little green fences are to stop my cats digging their holes to close to the front, for a while they were flicking soil over the slate.
I emptied my black dustbin, it was full of shredded leaves taken from our Magnolia tree late last year. Its the first time I have made leaf mulch, and I am really pleased, the shredding of the huge leaves helped break it down, most of the garden had a good covering of this precious garden waste. Hubby is so pleased he is looking to purchase another dustbin, and make loads more. 
The plant in this huge brown pot went into the back of the rose bed, it will match another one already in there. This geranium came from my little raised bed by the back door, the fuchsias were crowding it out. It looks good in this pot and can easily be moved into the greenhouse in the winter months, if it need protection. 
Not much left in my shed, it's so sad to see it almost empty, quite a lot of this will be going into the greenhouse, some will be thrown, should be empty by the weekend, when we will inspect to see if it's worth trying to pass it on, if not hubby will break it up. I loved having my own space, but now this tiny space behind our garage will have another use.
Monday we sat and watched TV all day, very sad to watch our Queens last procession, but so proud to see all our historic pomp and ceremony, the colours were stunning. Hubby is an ex Welsh guardsman, so he loved all the guardsmen protecting the Queen. The newer generations of the royal family also having a bigger role, life does go on. The history of seeing the cane being broken to be buried with the Queen, first time ever seen on TV and The Princess Royal, Ann standing with her brothers for the princes vigil, first time ever a female has done this.

Tuesday and Wednesday we were at home, I managed an hour in the garden both days, I was exhausted after each time, but pleased to get so much done. I still have the gladiola bulbs to dig out of 2 pots and to put in spring bulbs, that should not take long. I also did some sewing  it helps me rest if I am stitching. I am still full of cold, but I am feeling much better, it's been a horrible week, not sure what bugs I had, but I don't want to see them again, I have everything crossed I have not passed it on, hubby has a cough, hopefully that's all he will get. 

Monday 19 September 2022

Family time

 Hubby's daughter and youngest son were here over the weekend, for my daughters 40th birthday party, we did a lunch on Saturday, ensuring everyone was well fed. It was lovely to see so many grand sons running around the garden together, football was top sport, but as always the bikes were fun as well. Cousins making friends, they all live so far apart, so they are not often together.

I was surprised to see this rose in bloom, I had cut away all the dead heads and was not expecting any more flowers. Its such a pretty colour and such a beautiful blue sky.
I am full of cold and have an irritating cough, so I took a covid test, it's again negative, as the cooler months are here I expect we will be taking more test again.

We had a late night on Saturday,  we went to daughters party and left about 9ish to bring George and Molly home, hubby popped back just after 10pm for Will, we then sat with them until just after 1am, when mummy and daddy got home. Loads of our daughters teenage friends were at the party, it was lovely to see them all. Our house was very close to the town centre, and was the meeting place for all of them  we loved seeing them together and are so pleased their friendship has lasted.

Sunday was a late start, hubby's son and family came for breakfast, before driving home to Somerset, we then had a lazy day. My throat was very sore, I'm still full of cold  I am hoping this second pack of antibiotics will help with the cold and clear this kidney problem. Today we do nothing, the TV will be on most of the day, doing the same as millions of others, watching the final journey of our dear Queen.

We both have had our flu jabs and have booked our covid booster jabs, hopefully we should be protected this winter. 

Thursday 15 September 2022


I have cut out the 24 front and back squares, I will cut the same amount in the red fabric, my aim is to make two pockets, sew them together and make little bags. 
It took a bit more time, but I now have advent bags, I've not finished them all yet, but it won't take long. I swapped the plain red fabric for the colourful striped fabric, it makes them slightly more festive. These can be popped on our dining room table in a bowl, before I used white paper bags, these should last for years. I have to make the closing ties, I'm thinking a gold thin ribbon, the striped fabric I had in my stash.
I saw this yarn and loved the colours, so I am making myself another pair of socks, I thought they were going to be thin stripes, but the pattern has changed, I won't know what these will look like until the sock is made. I have used this brand before, it's very good for socks. The heel is in a contrasting colour, which I think goes well, not sure if I will use the same yarn on the toes as well. 
I started the other side of my work, ensuring I am on the same level as the right side, I am starting another loved design, stitched here, I have added this design to 3 other projects. I am truly mixing everything up. I love these colours together, they sing, I will have 3 of these squares in this corner. I have done 5 pink/red squares, I have 10 different designs, but for now I am leaving the right side, to fill the left side and middle. 
I still have all this fabric to use, the denim is the most important, I will work on that first. But I am not feeling in the correct frame of mind to tackle the bigger task yet. I will need to sort things as the weather is changing and George is in need of longer trousers, he is tall but very slim, his waist requires clothes for a 2 year old, but his height is for a 3 year, so if it fits around the waist it's always too short. I have taken in legging for him at the waist, but it would be nice for him to have trousers which fit. 

We had a couple of dry days at the weekend and Monday, but the rain is back again, so I have not done much more in the garden, hubby has his new shelves in the garage, so I now have the 2 shelves above my unit, so most of my bits are sorted. I do need to tidy my greenhouse, remove the tomato and cucumber plants, I have a few things to place in there, then my shed will be empty. 

Tuesday I went to sign group, I've not been for a couple of weeks, it was great to catch-up with everyone, I did not stay for lunch, we drove to daughter house, she was celebrating her 40th birthday, her MIL and FIL popped over, with their youngest son, visiting from Australia, where he now lives, so once Will came home from school, we had the whole family together, first time in ages. Both George and Molly kept giving Jonathan strange looks when he arrived, he is very much like his brother (their dad) and neither of them had met him before. Will was ecstatic to have Jonathan visit, he spent time playing with him and Lego, they often face time, so Will knew him well. I was pleased our daughter has such a lovely day, she is having a huge party on Saturday, when more family will arrive. 

Wednesday I got the sewing machine out and started my advent bags, I am doing cross stitch in the daylight and knitting my socks at night. It's too wet to be in the garden, but it is tidy, I just have a few smaller jobs to do, nothing urgent. Today hubby wants to go looking for new chairs, our leather ones are looking scruffy, neither of us like using throws as they slip on the leather and never stay in place, so a walk around a couple retail stores, it's a couple of junctions down the M27, expensive, but they do last for years. 

Tuesday 13 September 2022


 I said in my last post I had taken cuttings for plants along the soon to be exposed back fence panels, I'm trying something different, I got sphagnum moss last year, I have kept it in a huge plant saucer, keeping it wet with rain water. I have popped all my cuttings in it, in hope they grow sturdy roots, I don't expect success with everything,  but hope some will grow, I have a plastic cover for when it gets cooler. They have been here a few days and still look good.

I have repotted our rosemary plant into a bigger pot, the pot was from the front garden, the heather's had died and hubby did not want it. This section is looking nice, we moved another big pot to stand by the gate, without the motorbike, I can spread out in this space. When digging out the heather's 2 had new growth, I have potted them and left them in front of the Olive.

Hubby did clear the first space in the garage for my shed things, I love this wooden unit, it's very useful, I emptied it before moving it, gave it a good clean using linseed oil, and then sorted everything before filling it. Loads have been thrown and a few other things have found a home here. Hubby has to sort a couple of his shelves, he is sourcing some longer planks, so I can have both shelves above. We have had this unit since the late 80's, and I'm pleased it's still in use, now all our gardening items are together in one place. I still have loads to bring out of the shed.

My shed was purchased back in 2014, so 8 years old, it fits into the space behind the garage, but as it's such a tight fit, we can't get to do outside maintenance, since Pauline built her summer house with a rubber roof covering, the rain water blows directly onto the back of my shed. Hubby will help me clear the rest of the stuff. 

It's much darker earlier each evening, my lights around the garden are on much longer, now the mornings and evenings are cooler, any warmth in the daytime quickly disappears. We still have our summer quilt on the bed, but it is defiantly cooler, the season is changing. Shh! we have not had rain for a couple of days, managed to get all the laundry day. 

I have lost my way with lowspend-nospend September, with my sister here we spent more on food, and this weekend we have husbands son and daughter here for lunch, 8 adults and 8 children plus us, again expensive, hubby is hoping we can have a simple BBQ, with the children playing in the garden. I also purchased the christmas fabric, and I will need some pansies for the garden as I sort the rose bed. 

Today my youngest daughter is 40 years old, how did that happen, both daughters have their own families and lives, we see our youngest 3 grandchildren most weeks, our oldest 2 grandsons are busy with their lives, so we don't get to see them, but they prosper and are happy. As a mum all you want is for you children and their children to be happy. 

Sunday 11 September 2022


Of all the images shown across social media, I love this one, love never dies, it waits for you to be together again. The image with Paddington leading her to Phillip also is beautiful. 

We popped to the village and Sarah called me into her haberdashery shop, 'just wanted to let you know the Christmas fabric is selling quickly', she only had a few panels left, so I purchased one. It has a front and back panel, and you sew it so you have a hanging item with 24 pockets on, well, that's not what I am doing, no space to hang it. 
I have also been stitching, the heavy rain for most of this week, kept us inside, I have not picked a book to read so I keep stitching. I did a bit of sorting and found a 3rd set of Q snaps, these were bigger than the small ones I am using on the side of my work, so I now have a bigger working space. I mainly finished the colourful panel from my Spanish Sampler and now working on the 10 squares from my chemo cushion.
Hubby has been busy in the garage, sorting and making space, his motorbike is gone and so too are lots of the bits he used. The plan is to clear one side and give me space for my garden stuff, sadly my shed is letting in the rain in the back corner and is really wet and whilst still usable, I don't want the damp to get into my things. This means soon I will have the space behind the garage near the greenhouse, I posted about the space here years ago when installing the shed. 

I am happy when I am making plans, I can't sit still and do nothing, TV does not interest me to be able to watch it all evening, and we never watch daytime TV. So I am planning what to stitch where on my sampler. I also have loads of sewing, things to make so planning a day or two with my sewing machine. 

Also planning how to reuse the space behind the garage, we have already decided the big water but, composter and mulch dustbin and be popped there. We put paving slabs and stones under the base of the shed, so no groundworks. None of this will be done quickly, hubby needs time to rework his garage, then we need to dismantle the shed, the first thing to be moved will be the water but, we need to empty it, and then through the winter months it will refill with rain water. 

I have been taking cutting from around the garden, I want more plants to grow up the 2 exposed fence panels, I have enough colour here to create a nice display. I am doing my cutting differently, in hope they grow stronger, time will tell. 

I'm still not feeling right, if I do the simplest of task, I get really hot and tired, just waiting for results to come through and my next appointment with the doctor. We are having a quiet weekend at home, I'm doing bits outside hubby is in his (soon to be ours) garage.

Friday 9 September 2022

Its raining.

Such sad times our beloved Queen has passed, she was such an inspirational head of state, she never once did anything to anger her people who she served with dignity, unlike so many other prominent people it was never about her, always the good of this country. We have lost our Queen, others their mother, grandmother and great grandmother, we will all miss the space she shared in our world. I sincerely hope our new King and his consort reign with as much dignity as his mother.

Loads of stitching going on, I have done most of the corner section  I just can't decide on the colours for the centre pattern, originally it should be brown, but I'm not feeling it yet, so I stitch around the design to see if any colour pops at me. I also need to finish the dark green, but again undecided if I should use a pale green. I have started a colourful band, which brings some of the colours used together. I'm happy so far, this is just a tiny section and it's balanced.
The garden is looking good after all the rain storms, not alot of colour, but loads of shades of green, most of the bedding plants are past their best and will need replacing. The ground is too wet to sort the red rose bed, but I hope to clear the greenhouse, making space for my pots with tender plants.
I want to move some more pots into this area, I no longer need to keep second gate clear, I can spread them out, I do love this space, it will be nice to add colour here, the herbs are thriving.
I've changed one pot on this table, the summer plants are going over, in a few weeks this begonia will be in the greenhouse, I have loads of small pots which I change around to keep it looking interesting. 

It's been a big week for hubby, he sold his motorbike, and has no plans to purchase another, at 73 he has decided to stop riding, it's totally his decision, but in truth he used it less and less, his last trip was not such a joy and he returned home really tired. Its a sad time, but the road trips are no longer a joy, some motorists are so bad at watching for bikes of any size. He is sorting through his gear and listing things to be sold, so no changing his mind.

My sister stayed for 2 nights, we did not do much, a walk to the village, a long visit to our haberdashery shop, she got ribbons to make a door wreath in autumnal colours. We also popped to our favourite garden centre, and a visit to daughters house, play time with Will, George  and Molly. I did see some fabric I liked  but passed at this point, I may get some next month and make a Christmas advent calendar,  which will be reused each year. My sister purchased a lovely green offcut, and gave me half, which would look good as backing once I have finished my cross stitch. 

We have had days of heavy rain, everywhere has bounced back after our hot and dry August, the garden is shutting down autumn is on its way, which for us here in the south east is a few weeks early. I am itching to work outside  but I will wait until next week to allow the ground to process all the water, just a general go through, I don't cut back bedding plants I allow them to die back, giving the birds and bugs their final meals. With such huge sadness we continue with our lives, with a sad heart, today I am wearing my pearls in her honour, I've not worn them for years, daughter sent me the photo's of her children on our jubilee celebrations, I did a post here, happy days.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Nothing exciting

 New colour in the garden, these cyclamen are for pots, the flowers last for ages, these look a bit sad, I will cut the flowers back, the plant is healthy. They cost £2.20 each from our local shop, much cheaper than garden centre. I do need pansies and violas, they will add colour for the rest of the year.

Book 76 read this year, a daughter is kidnapped, a ransom is paid, what happens next, how lives fall apart and the strength needed to carry on, guilt is a strange emotion, an interesting read, not the best book, but a different story.

I don't think I can put into words the joy for me of every tiny x stitch, each pattern growing. I went wrong on the new dark green design, so I'm winging it, the pink box design is from my chemo cushion, stitched in 2010, I'm mixing patterns differently. I am looking at all my old finishes to see what I can add to this design, I am braver the second time around.
Today is our wedding anniversary 36 years, we decided not to do much, no gifts, nothing we want, we are reusing cards purchased last year, just added a message for this year. Just a fun photo, have we changed much.

My weekend was quiet, spent loads of time with Will, George and Molly, playing inside, watching TV, they do love their programmes, often playing with no one watching. I did not sleep well, but caught up on Sunday night.

Two brilliant thunder storms in the past 24 hours, the water buts are full, the garden has had a good soak, no water issues here any more. Everywhere is looking good, all the summer dust has been washed away.

Daughter picked me up on Monday morning, all 3 children were at school or nursery, so we had a few hours together. She drove to Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays, an outlet centre on the harbour, it's a lovely setting, I needed nothing and spent nothing, it was a lovely time together.  My sister is arriving today for a visit, on her own, it's a cheer her up visit, she has been struggling recently should be fun, no plans made, just see what we want to do.

First 6 days of no spend-low spend September,  we had 3 days with no spend, and other than food just the plants above, so a good start, we have got a few extra things for my sisters visit. September is a month of birthdays and our anniversary, a hard time do this challenge, but I cheated and popped money into birthday cards last month, this challenge is about our everyday spending.

Saturday 3 September 2022

Autumn, not yet

I have plenty of stitching time, I'm not in the mood to read at this moment, so sewing is filling the gap. I can only stitch in natural daylight, these holes are just too small to see in any other light. Plans are forming for what to stitch next, it's almost as much fun planning as stitching.
This geranium I dug out of the raised bed by the back door is doing well, it's a beautiful plant, I quite like it in this 'pot', it's a square washing up bowl with handles. I purchased 3 last year, much cheaper than garden pots. They look good, are light and really easy to move about.
I'm not a huge lover of grasses, but I do like these smaller ones, the blood grass in the back right hand corner is a very slow grower, I have another small clump in the big pot by the green house. I am trying to have more texture and form in the garden, coming away from loads of bedding plants.
The Olive tree is looking good, I have been watering it, I would be devastated if I lost it, earlier in the year it was full of blossom, but sadly there are only a few olives growing. I've never had a harvest, whatever grows are left for the birds.

So it's September already, the evenings are darker, I've started using the light on the stairs again, the solar lights in the garden are now on by 8pm, it's still warm, our patio doors are open until after 8pm, we mainly shut them to stop the bugs coming in once the inside lights are on. 

Hubby had another birthday on Friday, 73, how did that happen, I got him a small simple gift, which he wanted, we did not go out, I was babysitting that evening. We had a day together, no birthday cake as requested. Mummy popped over with George and Molly, Will was back to school, he enjoyed his first day in a new class, with a new teacher and different friends, he was very chatty all evening.

I have started watching TV again, lots of new series back on again, I am loving Chateau DIY, I love watching these beautiful old buildings coming back to life, I don't always agree with all the choices, but it's always interesting to see buildings saved. All that glitters is another favourite and of course bake off and strictly will be back soon.

Plans for the next week is get the red rose bed sorted, and move pots, it will soon be time to cut back the raspberries, they started well, but the heat killed off loads of fruits. The blackberry bush which I cut back last year, has given rich huge swollen berries, we have had loads more then expected.

I've had another blood test, I'm still not feeling well, the anti biotics are all finished, should speak to the doctor once all the results are back, hopefully something can be done to raise my energy levels and get me back to normal. 

Thursday 1 September 2022

On the move

The strawberry plants are now in their new tower, I have 6 levels, 18 planting spots, I have put 6 plants in, plus 2 babies. I am hoping to have more babies, if not I will purchase plants to fill gaps, I discarded 3 plants as I've had them years. These pots are much bigger and stronger than the other set, we should get a great harvest next year. I have to put grit on the planted cups, our local squirrel is very good at digging in pots, lucky  for me he doesn't like the gravel.
I love this raised bed by our back door, but the centre plant was being swamped by the fushias. The peony was planted under the acer and not thriving, it should work well here, it's a spring plant and will be over by the time the fushias flower. The geranium I removed I have popped into a big pot, I can use it for filling in any gaps, it is a beautiful plant.
This red rose bed has been a success, plenty of colour, but I planted the rose bush to far back, so an easy task of moving it forward. I will also take the gladiola out of the pots and dig them along the back fence, it's OK to plant now as the leaves start to die back. There will be still some room for bedding plants, hubby loves french marigolds, so I try and have them every year.
We did a garden tidy yesterday, everywhere is looking good, the sunshine helps. After having a few wet days plants are returning, the ground is still dry, and we are still in a drought, but it's not so desperate now. This photo has our morning shadows, our neighbours over grown plants are so high, they tower over our 6 foot fence and give us more shade.

Will did help on Monday morning, we only did a few things, he was so pleased with helping, he had already found raspberries and blackberries ready to eat, none made it into the kitchen. I can only do one small task at a time, I then have to sit and rest, it's a pain, I'm just glad I can do something,  it's very healing to be out in the garden. The rose garden will be done next week, then all I need to do is start swapping summer pots with winter pots and add pansies and violas for winter colour.


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