Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Spring is arriving

Every time we pop out of our back door we can smell the hyacinths, the bed is in the shade so most bulbs bloom much later, so no daffodils as yet. 
The side bed is full of yellow blooms, many different sizes and types of blooms. I thought I had dug all the hyacinths out, but two remain. The rose bushes have been cut back, this photo was taken and I popped back with my secateurs, they will shoot from lower down and stay a lower height.
I popped some daffodils in this new rose bed, I do need more, it's a good start. I want to remove the bulbs from my raised bed, so once they have gone over, I will transplant them into this area.  I do need to wait and see what grows here this year, and add to any empty spots. 
My two big spring pots and full of growth, there are a mixture of bubs in both pots, I have forgotten what I planted so it will be a surprise as to what blooms. My blooms on my metal table are starting to go over, I will change my small pots around again. 
My Chinese witch hazel has looked good all winter, the leaf colour is very welcome in the cooler months, the plant is now full of new growth.  I am hoping for loads of new growth again this year and loads of it's tiny red flowers.
I don't grow many tulips and only ever in pots, they rot in our clay soil, these are a dark red colour to match the hellebore, again another pot with mixed plants in, hopefully colour all year, it sits outside the greenhouse door and can be seen from the house. 
Our magnolia tree is trying very hard, loads of buds have been blown off this year, but it is producing more, the right hand side of the tree is almost bare, I can't wait to see these open. I love the tree full of pink blooms, the leaves always follow the blooms. 

I love all the new growth this time of year, I am itching to get outside, even with our milder temperatures, it's still a bit early, I have done some work to tidy my beds, but I will wait. I have planted some cucumber and tomato seeds,  just enough for our own use, I have a couple packs of French marigold seeds to start, they are hubby's favourite flower, so I always make space for them. The rain is back, which is OK, will help the garden, and keep me inside a bit longer. 

I have been busy knitting, I was doing very well, then I noticed I had done a twist the wrong way and unpicked over 30 rows, I am now checking very closely, it is growing photo's next time. I have not done any cross stitch or my calendar wheel, which is OK, I will get to them both soon. 

Monday, 20 March 2023

Family time

 I have started knitting myself an Aran cardi, I am making it bigger, so I can pop it on over my jumper if I'm cold at home, I already have one, but it's getting scruffy, so this will be great for later in the year when the cold weather returns. I am taking my time and enjoying the design, when I knit faster I do knit loose, this is spot on tension. The yarn was purchased years ago, so only 4 years waiting to be used, it was purchased to make a garment like this.

My last Amaryllis is opening, this flower is much smaller than others I have grown, the colour make it worth growing, it's not as bright as I expected. I requested no flowers for Mothering Sunday, and just the gift of our daughter and her 3 children, daddy is away with the F1 team, covering the race. As Sue from Suffolk said, it's hard enough for our own 'children' to make ends meet, without purchasing us more stuff. 

The little ones were brilliant, we did not have a roast lunch, more of an inside picnic, which they all enjoyed. We had new toys for each child, all to be left here, which they had so much fun with, plus a few of our older favourites. The joy is Molly still needs an afternoon nap, so mummy took them home early afternoon, time for us to pack things away and rest ourselves. Daughter sent us a photo of George fast asleep sat on their sofa, he rested for a moment and took a nap. 

We have had lovely sunny warm days here, it's still March so you need to layer up to be outside, just seeing blue skies makes me feel better, the hope that warmer weather is getting closer. I have planted two pots of sweet peas in the back corner of my raised garden, I purchased them rather than growing from seed, it's much cheaper, the cost of seeds and compost like everything else has risen. I also planted another pink peony in my small raised bed by our back door, it's still a wait and see time as to what will grow back. 

Thank you for all your comments regarding the shutters, I did so want them, but they would reduce so much light, we would have them with split closure, so the top and bottom working separate. We popped to Dunelm and I spoke to a really rude lady, who made a very curt comment, and I walked away, I need helpful people not jobs worth, I did complain before leaving. We found a local company who does all sorts of blinds, made local and very friendly, we can't find blinds similar to our existing, but we did find a design we both loved, and the helpful lady explained, they could make just the vertical blinds, so we could reuse all the plastic top and bottom weights, so we have ordered new blinds, they will take a week to make, and we can fit them onto our existing rail, saving loads of money and not replacing parts which are still working. The good thing, is if we see anything which we would love in the two front windows, we have not spend a huge amount, we are going to get new roller blinds, we saw some in Dunelm, but I was so upset we just left the store, I will probably order them online. I promise this is my last post on window shutter/ blinds, I know I have had enough of it all. 

Friday, 17 March 2023

What next

I have added another design, this was taken from a heart design, which was stitched all in red, I enjoyed using other colours, I altered the pink bands so I could fill the space with this design. I have also done more on the wheel section.
I had a annoying dirty mark on my fabric, so I stitched a pale pink flower over it, I love stitching these flowers, so I did another one under the gold band. Soon I will be moving this on the frame to work on the right hand side, I will pattern down to match the left side level, and then I will work from the bottom up, I love neat lines along most of the edge, it makes the work look complete and tidy. 
This is our 'office' view, the blinds allow the light in and privacy, as long as we don't turn the light on, it does get too sunny, that's why we have two roller blinds, the window is too big for one roller blind,  hubby uses his more than mine. I often do small craft projects here, we sit at our computers most mornings, I can spend a couple of hours here, when doing my blog book.
 The shutters from the outside will look perfect and there are no issues with the spare bedroom, but I have decided not to go ahead, for us to be private we would need to have them tilted, which stops the light and the view out. We should have ordered them this week, but with the cost being so high and I am so unsure, so we are looking at a few different options. 
We popped out on Thursday to Dunelm, looking at vertical and roller blinds, and any other options we could find. Close to the store is Home bargains and B&Q, I was in need of 10 strawberry plants for my tower, no strawberry plants yet, but lovely white Camelia's, the one in the pot is for hubby's sisters birthday, and the other is for our garden, I do have a spare pot. 

I did think my head would explode this week, all this information and worry, the shutters are very expensive, almost the same cost as the replacement windows, there are cheaper options, but I always want smooth neat lines, visiting the showroom stopped me in my tracks. We don't often spend any time sat at our desks at night, so it is all about daytime use. We have had this set up for over ten years and it works well, I just thought the upgrade to shutter would be good, and really embraced the idea. Your comments helped me, I knew they would get dusty, we have wooden floors so dust can be an issue here. So as Lord Sugar says, 'the hunt goes on'

I have started knitting myself a Aran cardigan and picked up a book to read, which is  daft as I have so many other things to finish, but I'm sure you will all nod your head and understand. My garden is calling, but still I will wait a few more weeks. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

March colour

My daffodils from the garden are opening, they are beautiful and give so much colour to the sitting room. Amaryllis buds are in front, the shorter one is opening.
Colour in the downstairs bathroom, these bloom for weeks.
These blooms are slow to open, 
but as it has taken me a year to get to get to this point, I can wait. 
Meanwhile outside

Primroses are stunning this time of year, I have removed 2 side clumps and planted them elsewhere in our garden. I'm not keen on the many coloured Primulas, preferring the traditional pale yellows.  
Hellebores are always brilliant at this time of year,  
I now have 4 different colours. 
Teta-a-teta are everywhere, they clump and spread, I dug some out of this bed last year, they are growing in our rose bed. 
On the metal table, a simple white section, the hyacinth have flowered for weeks, when they go over I will pop the bulbs in my raised bed by back door. The snowdrops were much later to bloom, again I have thinned out the pot. 

As most of you will know, I hate cold and wet, so being outside is not an option, I only go out if I must, so loads of time inside. Monday was sunny, but very windy, our neighbours empty bin took a roll down the street, we got our bedding dried on the line, everything kept there with extra pegs. Tuesday was sign group another fun morning.

Not so much on this week, we went to a showroom to look a internal wooden shutters for our front 2 windows, I have wanted them for ages, our hanging blinds are now too long with our new windows, so they need replacing. Firstly they are expensive, on looking into them, I am very unsure, we have set aside the cost and all it needs is for me to say, yes, but and it's a big BUT, I'm not sure, really not sure, they are what I wanted, but is that what I want for the windows, I am so confused. 

All my post are imported into my 2020 book, it's all done by hand, I have a routine which I use, streamlined to get it done quickly, I will have to read through each page and edit, normally the best bit, but 2020 was not a great year. I have also done one post on my 2021 book, I have ensured the covers match all the previous books and the page grids, fonts and headers match.  I have not read any books for weeks, I'm not able to settle and pick one up, I have plenty of other things to do, I am working on my cross stitch design, and sketching my wheel designs for February. 

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Into the weekend

We popped into TK Max, I love part of the shop, and dislike the clothes areas, they feel too much like a jumble sale, but their household and garden sections can be very interesting. I have been looking for a white tray to pop my 3 white plant pots on, just to keep them tidy on my desk, we found this drawer unit only in green, our office is painted pale green so it blends, reduced to £8, it is perfect for my plants, with extra storage. 
In Wilkinson's I got 4 packs of flowers, I transplanted my pink Peony and I can't see any new growth, so this is a replacement, I got an Astrantia a while ago and wanted a second, I have a white Dicentra so a pink one will be good, I've never grown Mirabilis Jalapa, they do look colourful. I will pot them up and keep them in the greenhouse for a few weeks. These are a brilliant way to get plants, you just have to care for them longer before they bloom. 
I got both the creams daughter suggested for me to use daily, through out the colder months I stopped wearing make-up, but as we are going out more I do try and look a bit decent. I also love this nail polish it's called In the stars, it's iridescent and looks lovely on it's own or over colour. I have already used these and feel good wearing them, I only used a tiny amount so it's very light on my skin. 
I have been doing my cross stitch as much as I can, I am enjoying working again on these designs, I paused the circular design, to fill in the space towards the middle of my work, the small square design is part of a bigger design, I do like it repeated here. I do need to think about what is going in the rest of this space, so I can decide how much more of the circular design I will stitch.  

Here in south Hampshire close to the Solent, we have missed all the snow, it has rained most days and is cold, our home is much warmer with our new windows, we are not turning the heating on so much in the daytime, so whilst the windows were expensive they are already reducing our heating bill. The wind has bent some of our taller daffodil's, which I am going to cut and bring inside, I don't have garden flowers inside as I prefer to see them where they grow.   

The last few days have left me confused, is it Sunday or Monday today, being busy for those few days, have tipped the balance of my life and I'm in the stupid position of not knowing what day it is. We babysat the 3 youngest grandchildren on Friday night, hubby gave daughter and SIL a lift to the restaurant, Molly cried as he left, did not want me, and only became happy again when he returned, I'm OK with that, George always loves and cuddle me, Will was playing minecraft on TV, so he was very happy. Saturday another cold and wet day, we have rain forecast for the next week, so much for me saying the garden needed the rain, happily no snow. I am getting through my book 2020, I am now up to October, and hope to finish uploading and editing by end of April. I will start 2021 in hope to have both books ready for November, when the publisher has their best discounts. 

Friday, 10 March 2023

Busy week

 Daughter and I went on a local hotel spa trial day on Monday, we had one treatment each, I had a foot and leg massage, then 2 hours in the spa and a lunch. Daughter had a head and neck massage, I was careful with treatments as I did not want to irritate my back, sadly the treatment was just rubbing in oils into my feet and legs, the spa was lovely, but lunch was suburb, we both had a beetroot starter and I had a salmon Caesar salad, with a glass of Prosecco and no issues with my nut allergy. Afterwards daughter gave me some make-up advice using some tinted moisturiser, we have the same skin tones, so hers worked well on me. 

Tuesday our sign group went to a garden centre for coffee, chat and a mooch around, the centre was not great, it's a Dobbies, which I find overpriced, it's to early in the year to get plants. The rest of the day I spent cross stitching and resting, I am loving being able to sew again.

Wednesday was a day at home, I did get my hair cut, which is strange as I am growing it again, I can't decide what to do with my hair. I did a good clean around the whole house, which always makes me feel good. My last Amaryllis is a nice height, and the flowers on my Albuca Spiralis Frizzle Sizzle are about to open, We have loads of pink blooms showing on our magnolia tree, no snow in the morning, just cold and raining.

Thursday hubby and I went on a pottery course, at a local arts centre, just a few hours of fun, the tutor was very informative and helpful, she explained how to hand build things and set us to work, she then called us one by one to the potters wheel, she centred the clay and showed us how to work it, and then talked each of us through how to throw a dish. Every dish was a different shape, some had straight sides, mine is more like a bowl. I also made an oval plaque for our wall, I did add a flower, which should be still there after firing, I then made a small hand built pot which is lower at the front, which I will have a use for, any unpainted clay will fire pure white, so my plaque is very simple. Hubby made a pant pot saucer, he struggled with what to make, but he did enjoy the course, it will be a few weeks before we get our pieces back.

We did a bit of shopping on Thursday afternoon in town, I will show next time my little haul. It rained all day on Thursday and was much warmer, temperature just in double figures. I am really pleased to have done so much more this week, hubby and I are hoping for a day out twice a month, daughter wants a day out together once a month, so we are all looking for things to do. 

Today Friday, I have nothing to do, I ache after last nights Pilates class, so I'm not planning to do much, We did have Molly booked for the morning, but daddy is at home this week, so she is staying in the warm with him, tonight I am babysitting whilst mummy and daddy have some time to themselves, they will eat out and find a film to watch. We have a couple of companies coming to price internal shutters for our two new windows, we are unsure if they will work on our huge window, so hopefully we will see samples and make a decision, if not we will replace our defuser blinds, as our existing ones are slightly too long.

Monday, 6 March 2023

A warm finish

I have finally finished this blanket, I have worked non stop to get it done before this cold spell, hubby loves it, I'm just glad it's finished and I can do other crafts. It's just simple stripes, which was quicker than squares and less ends to stitch in, I was undecided as to adding a gold boarder top and bottom, but hubby said no. I finished it on Saturday.
The colours are Welsh Guards, with added gold. We sit at night with our lap blankets through this cold spell, looking like a pair of oldies.
I am sketching February's section, we did more last month so filling the space should be easier, I am giving myself another week for the sketching, then I will catch up with the stitching, I am looking forward to seeing this grow.
I have manage to do some cross stitch, and I enjoyed every moment, it was fun to be back on this design, I am beginning to feel I might stitch as much of this circular design as the space allows. I've not done much, but it's now back as my 1st go to project, last seen here

I have loads of crafting to catch up with, but firstly I want to get all the badges sewn on our young neighbours scout blanket, I hope I can use my sewing machine, the blanket is a bit thinner than I would have used. Once that is done I have 3 more scrappy patchwork squares to make, these will make a new cushion cover for the sitting room, I also have the small Christmas cushions to take apart and remake into one bigger cushion, so loads of machine work. My hexagons are all made into flowers, all the spare ones have been gifted to sell for charity, I have no plans to stich anymore, and I have no idea what to use my huge pile of flowers. These are much the same things as I listed in January, everything was on hold for hubby's blanket.

I am looking for a book to read, I have a few here, so it's just a case of picking one. I got myself a new crafting lamp, with a better daylight bulb, which means I can craft more in the evenings, the light has three settings, warm, normal and daylight and angles well, so I can keep any bright light towards me and not hubby.

Sunday we had another hour in the garden, everything is now back in it's place, with a couple of pots moved, I can't wait until next month when the warmer weather starts, I love spring as it's a time of watching so many things reappear. Just need to get through the next few days, it's getting cold again. 

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Getting outside.

Thursday was sunny and the wind dropped, so hubby and I went outside, he put 2 post into the raspberry bed, and attached the black spiral poles to wire, he used an old fence post to save money, I popped out my lovely trellis, this bed is now ready, there is some new growth already. 
The two arches from the back of the raspberry bed has been moved to along our back fence, I now have five of these, I did think of passing them on, but I will train my climbers along here, and of course put some lights out, I already have some, purchased earlier this year. 
My white Christmas rose, I have planted in front of the big raised bed, this spot gets loads of shade from the Magnolia tree in the summer, and more importantly we can see it from the house. 
This is the most important view, and I am such a happy lady, the fence is done, no issues at all, we are private again and with concrete post any future damage should be easy to deal with. It was hard work, with so many huge overgrown plants next to the fence, but the guy was an expert, and dug deep holes to ensure the post never move. Hubby got the stain out and have painted two coats.
I have separated these plants as they have grown big, the two in single pots are original plants, the triple planted are babies off this plant,  once they were all planted together, I am hoping these three babies grow as big and lovely as the mother plant, which is in my greenhouse. The white plastic pots are for kitchen use, but they are also great for plants. 
It felt so good to be out in the garden, getting the only job done so early was good, my raspberries can grow and not be disturbed, we even managed to sit and have a coffee on our bench, Purdy our cat joined us, felt so good. The wind dropped for a couple of hours and it was perfect to be working outside, I cut back my winter jasmine, it was very woody and most of the new growth was over the fence on our lovely neighbours side, which they can't see because they have a huge shed. 

Friday was such a good day, I was worried, but our neighbour only appeared once to allow the man out through her side gate, she allowed him to work on the last panel from her side, which has never happened before. All the huge overgrown plants along her side of the boundary fence made the task much harder, but it's done, we now have a private garden and we are both looking forward to better weather and time outside.  

Saturday I was up early, this bloody cough is back, so we both wrapped up warm and spent a couple hours in the garden, hubby painting, me separating a few spring plants and moving them around, hopefully in the week we can get all the pots sorted and my black fence around the acer again, there is no rush other than to get it all tidy. 

We did walk to the village, I popped 3 coats into the Salvation Army clothes bins, I prefer to use the bins rather than charity shops for all our clothes, I am looking for a child's pushchair and doll for Molly, hoping to find them in a charity shop, it's time to mix up the toys, George loves being a daddy to Molly's dolls as well. I also got 4 huge dinosaurs, all for just £10, another bargain.  No pushchair but I will keep looking and I will make another Launa Lupin rabbit for Molly. 

Friday, 3 March 2023

Whoops, I done it again, twice

I have had my M&S red jacket for over 10 years, probably nearer to 20 years, it looks OK, until you get up close, hubby moans every time I wear it, but I have never found a wool jacket I like, and I have looked every year. So with the sales on again, I looked and found this coat, reduced from £116 to £43, in Oasis sale. I love the collar style, it's a bit longer than I wanted, but it will replace the red jacket. 
I have wanted a duffle coat for years, sadly they are very expensive, this popped up in my search, British made and reduced from £300 to £150, still alot of money, my M&S duffle coat purchased in the sale a couple of years ago is already scruffy. Hubby was delighted to see this as he has a good duffle coat, which he wears often, and encouraged me to get it. I now have 9 different coats, most of them are worn in different seasons, but I think 3 can now go to the clothes recycling bins. 

It's been a very quiet week again, sign group was good, but I only stayed an hour, I drove to daughters to chat together and I got Will from school, mummy went to parents evening later and came home with a huge smile on her face, well done Will. I enjoyed my Thursday Pilates class, the rest of the time was at home, the wind outside is bitter, we have blue skies and it's bloody cold. Today we are having the fence panels replaced, I just hope next door is quiet until the men have finished, I am a bit nervous.

An expensive start to March, but this cold snap is lingering, and getting colder next week, as I often say March is a winter month, it's come in like a Lion, hope it goes out like a lamb. I do make my clothes last years, coats even longer, so the quality of these purchases should last years. I don't give myself a budget for clothing, I do try not to purchase too much. 

We did watch the film A man called Otto, with Tom Hanks, what a brilliant film, I did not want it to end, hubby enjoyed it as well, I've not read the book yet. 

Thank you all for your kind comments about George, he is like all our grandchildren, the love of our lives, But he is a special little boy, his personality is shining through, he is helpful and caring, But don't you dare move anything around, he likes everything in it's place, just like his Nana. Molly has now caught George up in development, she is talking more than him, hopefully she will help him use words, she is starting to overtake him, which does not matter to us. We are supporting daughter much more as I can see she is starting to struggle with the fact George is not on the same development scale as Molly and Will, this was always going to be a pinch point, up to now George was just a little boy, growing up much more slowly, now his disabilities are showing. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

February round up

On craft and garden it's another low spend month, other than the yarn for hubby's lap blanket, I've been using my own stash, in truth I've spent most of my time on the blanket. Hubby purchased plants for his front garden, I don't add his purchases to my stash list, I got only 1 small house plant and 3 bulbs in bloom.

I did get some exercise leggings, which are much nicer to wear to Pilates and a jumper, no reason for it, other than I loved the design.

It is always expensive in Feb, the car needs Tax, insurance and MOT, and this year a service, can't be helped, but we do save for it throughout the year. Our insurance was only £6 more than last year, the service and MOT was less than we had saved, and tax is only £30, so whilst expensive, not too horrendous. 

Again no food waste, with portions sizes worked out, and being able to purchase only what we need for veg and meat, hubby now produces a menu each week, so everything to working well. We are using the butchers more, he is more expensive, but we purchase only the amount we need, he cut us some lamb chunks, and trimmed most of the fat off, so paying for only what we eat, the supermarket lamb has far too much fat, which we pay for and them remove. We do portion all our supermarket meats into 'our' size packs, even trimming chicken breast, giving us another meal from the pack. 

Steps were about the same as last month, the weight still clings, I am not really trying very hard at this time, not enough excise, I should be walking twice a day, but instead I sit and craft. Pilates is making me feel better, I am starting to do a home session on a Monday, I spoke to our tutor and she suggested I do our 1st routine. Hubby has expanded his bread and cake recipes, none are bad for us, but they do add to the calories, much better than the manufactured ones, at least I am not putting any weight on. 

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Life as I see it

We have not had George for a sleepover in ages, Will loves to come, but last night we had him, I picked him up early so we could play and have fun together, Purdy our cat loves him, so they play for a while, he slept in our spare bedroom as he does wake up often most nights, with both doors open we could hear him, hubby is a very light sleeper. Later today mummy is bringing Will and Molly over, we are having a family lunch, another neighbour has passed on some games and toys, George loved this keyboard.
Again these beautiful blooms, they brighten up our sitting room and make me smile every time I see them. Even Will comments on their big flowers. I do have a passion for white blooms, in the corner is my real Orchid with silk blooms, hopefully it will bloom again. 
My 3rd and final bulb has growth, 2 lovely buds, this is going to be a riot of colour, for a nice change, watching these bulbs grow so tall and bloom is a pure joy. These are super easy to grow, pop them in a pot, don't bury the bulb and let them grow, our sitting room is a cool darker room at this time of year, but they don't mind, only thing I do is as they grow towards the light, I turn them regularly so the stem stays upright. 
I asked my friend Shelia if she would make me a few small chicks to use on our Easter egg search, her crochet skills are brilliant, exactly 1 week later she gave me these, she has filled each chick with eggs and there are a couple extra in the bottom of the basket. Firstly her chicks are beautifully made, each one is safe for the children to play with, and her generosity is as always wonderful. I can't wait until I can use these, George and Molly are going to love them, we have other things for Will.

I have been working on my 2020 book, I am now into July and feeling better about the process, re-reading my words at the time with so many fears and worries, was not easy. 

I have not picked up a book this month to read, working on my blanket with such dark colours in the daytime, leaves my eyes tired at night, normally I would only work on something so dark for a couple of hours, but it's pointless finishing it in April, when the warmer weather arrives. We have noticed again how much warmer the house is, both our front windows are huge, the old ones were blown and not keeping the cold out. We always used to shut both room doors at night, now we can leave them open longer and get any daylight through the house. 

I am sorry for my moan in my last post, I am feeling better, the fence panels are booked to be replaced this Friday, fingers crossed it goes well. I have not seen my neighbour across the road, I will drive myself to sign group this Tuesday, as I will go to my daughters in the afternoon and pick Will up from school, daughter will attend a parents evening  a bit later. I am letting go of the nasty comments, there is nothing else I can do, I won't argue with anyone if I can help it. 

Friday, 24 February 2023

Spring, almost

I moved these 2 pots from the side of the garage, we could not see them, they have started their 1st blooms, sadly the frost has damaged the left hand pot, the bottom is broken, after the bulbs have all finished we will pop the pot on the garden and use it as a raised pot for as long as I can.
I love different pots on this table, I have blooms in various pots for most seasons. In these pots I have forgotten what I have planted, so it's a lovely surprise to see what grows. I did click on the tab bulbs on my blog and scrolled back to see what I had purchased. 
I put bulbs everywhere,
 these are under my triple acers. 
This raised bed by our back door has loads of hyacinths growing along the front and mixed bulbs everywhere. I transplanted a pink peony in the centre, but I can't see any growth, if I have lost it, I will purchase another. There is a fuchsia at each end, so the bed should fill with colour until next autumn. 
Buds on an important plant is our garden, mum's peony, I love to see it's shoots every year, it loves this spot in the garden, all I ever do is mulch it each October, to protect it from any harsh winter weather. This is in the middle of my side bed, between 2 yellow rose bushes. 

Not the best photo, look closely and there are loads of buds on our Magnolia tree, and in a few cases you can see pink. This tree for me is the start of the growing season, the bloom grow before the leaves, so soon we will have a beautiful pink tree. 
Our Olive tree has survived the winter so far, I say so far, as March can be a cold horrible month, we have had snow many times in March, it has thrived in this spot, I do feed it every year. 

Our weather is very mixed again, we have had lovely sunny days and now the days are grey with a bit of rain (not enough), all I can do outside is tidy the space, I did cut back some plants by half so we can see the emerging bulbs. I only have one simple job to do this spring, I want to move the 2 arches from behind the raspberries to the back of the garden, so I am not as yet itching to get outside. My greenhouse is full, I have a few pots which look dead, I will wait and hope, most plants can be replaced, but I have a geranium with variegated leaves,  which looks gone, I will be really sad if I have lost it.

It's a nothing week, I have helped daughter babysit, her hubby is away working for a couple of weeks, it's always a joy to do the bath and bedtime routine, loads of stories before hugs and kisses and sleep. 

I am getting very frustrated with a neighbour across the road, we go to sign group together and share driving, within two weeks she has been moaning about our solar light on the front of our house, it illuminates the house number, we have had it there for 3 years, now it irritates her, she lives in the back of her house, so only see's it when going up the stairs, she does not have curtains in that window. The lights are bright, but not bright enough to shine across the road and into her house, I've been out after dark to check, 4 times she has had a huge moan, and also commenting on Pauline's lights next door to us. This Tuesday she has a loud huge moan regarding some old decking planks we gave to her neighbour years ago for burning, she can see them in their garden and it's an eyesore. I have been friendly to her for years, she can be very harsh with words against other people in our sign group, which makes me very uncomfortable, I do see less of her, and this could be the problem, as others in the group don't call to see her that often. Then someone's harsh comments have hurt me, I don't even think they realise how I feel, we are also looking to get the fence replaced, so I am feeling a bit down. I will bounce back, I always do, but so many people now think it's OK to speak their minds harshly, I am a soft touch, I always see the best in everyone, giving second chances all the time,


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