Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 October 2023

October round up


I have had an expensive month, mostly on bulbs, a few plants, and packets of seeds, the creation of the new flower bed took the most of the cost, I can't wait until next spring. I have changed a title on my stash spend list from glass to other crafts, I popped the lino cutting kit and some more blades cost there. 

I did buy some new knickers and some socks, I dislike scruffy underwear, a trip to M&S, hubby got some vest, he's beginning to feel the cold, shorts are now packed away until next year. Heating is not on everyday, we have been boosting for an hour on colder evenings. 

We saved loads in the garden refit by recycling so much from the decking, the top soil was a necessary expensive purchase, as were the bulbs. So far we have spent under £400, which is brilliant. 

Our trip back to Somerset incurred more takeaways than normal, we ate 'out' three days in a row, I had saved for our lunches out. I was good a ignored Christmas items for sale.

No food waste, we having been purchasing the special diet foods for Molly and George, both have issues with dairy, and Molly has problems with soya, but I always give mum the bits not eaten to take home. 

My weight is still the same, my steps are showing lower, but I was without my fitbit for 5 days, so I am looking at my weekly totals this month, which shows I average 6,000 steps every day. 

Monday 30 October 2023

Spooky night

 I'm not big on Halloween, I have had my ceramic pots for years, this year I made 2 pumpkins in needle felting and another 4 knitted, the bowl I got last year for 50p in a sale. The cat I recently made, these are for Will, George and Molly to enjoy, we ensure the front of the house is dark, so we don't get any knocks on the door, we don't have any young children in our street.

Halloween is not so huge here in our part of UK, on local social media pages there have been loads of messages suggesting you don't knock on doors without decorations showing. As we are now considered older, people stay away from our home.
Mummy took the little ones to another party on Friday afternoon, Will went with them, loads of things to make as well as a disco. George preferred this party as it was daylight and not so many older ones around, Molly was happy as it was not so loud, she wanted to wear a dress rather than a Halloween costume, George loves his costume. My title comes from Will, for years he would call Halloween spooky night. 
Saturday daughter came with her two youngest children, they play well together inside, it was far to wet to go outside to play and the garden around the house is not a safe place for them, they were bored at home and asked to come here. It's always nice to catch up with them. They loved my knitted pumpkins, Molly helped hubby fill the bird feeders, mummy enjoyed some rich fruit cake. Later a lovely restful evening, knitting my socks whilst watching Strickly. 

The rain has been non stop, I can't remember it being this wet before, I've had to cover so many pots to keep the rain out, I'm worried about my bulbs rotting. We have just come through another yellow rain warning, high tide on Saturday came very close to our castle walls, again much higher that we have seen before. There is no let up in our forecast, it's promised to rain every day next week. BUT, we are dry and safe, unlike so many around the country. 

Fireworks have started,  Saturday night was very noisy,  we don't live close to any displays, these were in one of the big houses behind us, we will be having a few late nights until they are all finished, Grace my old cat hates them, Purdy slept through them.

Sunday another very wet day, we only had an hour without rain, it poured all morning, non stop heavy rain. A day at home, hubby cooked a lovely roast beef lunch, with plenty left over. It felt too dark to do much crafting, I spent time sorting out my unfinished projects, luckily I don't have too many.

There are many mixed feelings in our village at this time, a fantastic local bakery has taken over our closed bakery premises and everyone is very happy, their brand is well know and loved locally, only 2 empty shops in our precinct now, which is great news for local businesses. 

People are not happy with our county highways department, they have decided to change the main road from a dual carriage to a single lane and a bus lane, worked started this week and it is causing huge delays as the volume of traffic build up. People are asking why the decision was made to do this and who thought it would work, it is a busy road to our local town and the motorway junction. We often travel by bus, and have never had issues with the flow of traffic, even at busy times, so I can't see any benefits to the huge cost of this change. Our local councillor stated, they had to do the work as if they did not the government would take back the money, surly they could have just improved the road surface and leave well alone, a couple of years ago they made a bus lane on another road going to the same area, within 6 months it had been put back to it's original use because of the chaos the changes caused. 

The middle east scares me, so many people dead, so much destruction, as with wars in eastern Europe and Africa. Another mass shooting in America, when is it ever going to end, how can anyone have such a disregard for another life, our world can be a sad place.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Between raindrops

I managed an hour outside on Friday, I used our homemade leaf mulch on this bed, and then I popped in some string to help the broad beans grow straight. I do have a few beans which did not come up, I don't have anymore so it's Ok. The two rows of onions in the middle are growing, I popped the net back down, just a case of watching them grow. As I've never grown broad beans before, I'm hoping Sue in Sussex will give me encouraging comments I am doing it right, she kindly commented before. 
The perfect treat after all that work, our cake is moist and perfect, you can taste the citrus in the fruits, it has cherries in but no nuts, as I would not be able to eat it. As we sat and ate it at mid day, we had to turn the lights on, we had a thunder storm and loads of heavy rain.
George will be 4 next month, and we have been struggling what to get him, daughter has a house full of toys, most of which Molly and Will use, George loves his play kitchen and all the wooden foods, he also loves dressing up, his box is full of outfits Will had. He does love reading and doing early learning with mummy, who encourages him to use his voice. So I went online to get him a book, none were what we wanted, so I sat down and made him one, the first few pages are about him and his family, then I have learning pages. With the numbers and colours, I have at the back of the book made a second set, which I will remove from the book, cut out and laminate, he loves a matching game. The images I have used came from searching free images, there is a whole world of things if you look. 
I have started another pair of socks, these are different, I am using 3ply, much thinner and therefore more stitches, that's OK, they are for me and I have plenty of time, the top, heel and toes are in contrasting colour, I'm hoping I can wear these with my boots, my other home made socks are too thick. I did not have a 3ply pattern so I have altered my usual design, mainly more stitches. 
I saw this on BBC news site, I hope this happens, I don't know about you, but I miss Wilko's, every time I go to town I shopped in the store.


The weather forecast has been for very wet days, and with loads more wet days ahead, locally a few roads have been difficult to pass, even when we get huge downpours and flooded, areas are nothing in comparison shown around the country, you would have to be very unlucky to have your home flooded here. Wednesday afternoon, the sun shone, and again for most of Thursday, it was a surprise, we still had a few sharp rain storms, Friday another sunny start, showers most of the afternoon and very heavy rain through the night again.

For the first time, we had space in the garage to put our wooden bench and 2 garden chairs, they should stay nice and dry, they are on my side of the garage, tucked in and out the way, I won't need most of my garden stuff until next spring. I also moved some of our herb pots up in front of the greenhouse, they will block the path, but again I won't need to get there. We are almost ready for the landscaper, we don't have a date and are hoping all this rain is not going to slow him getting to us. 

Hubby and I were chatting regarding the compost and leaf mulch we make, I purchased my hotbin composter because we did not want another waste bin and to have to pay the council to empty it. We worked out the cost of the hotbin, a shredder and two black bins, which I use for leaf mulch, would equate to 3 years payment to the council, including the cost of purchasing the councils bin and minus the price I got when I sold my wormery. By next spring we will break even on the cost, both the leaf mulch and the compost we get are great quality, no woody bits, I've not purchased any type of mulch for the general garden, I did get 1 bag of bark for the new flower bed. My working area behind the garage is clean and tidy, I can get to everything, we did discuss having a 3rd black bin, but I don't think we have enough of our own leaves. Other than recently removing stuff for the garden refit, we don't often need to go to our council tip, everything is working well, which it has to do in a small garden.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Something different

 Christmas cakes are all baked, the spice smells have been wonderful, I do love baking these cakes. The smaller cake on the left, hubby and I are sharing, just a little treat, using the excess mixture from my smaller cake I bake for my brother, it's easier to make up the quantities on the recipe. Once cooled I always place the cakes upside down on the boards, I fill the gaps at the bottom with marzipan to smooth the sides. 

My Amaryllis bulbs are only growing leaves again, I rested the bulbs over the summer months and then potted them in new compost, they are a bit of a disappointment, I will leave them inside in hope a flower stalk might grow, I have 3 more bulbs to plant. In the other photo is my silk plants, the Orchid is real, the flower stalk is silk, the Poinsettia I have had for a few years, I can't grow them in these rooms, it's not bright enough to keep the leaves on the plant. 

In the front is my garden trowel, I have had it for many years and use it every time I'm outside, so I was truly disappointed when the handle snapped, hubby looked at handles, very few places sell them and saw this new trowel, it feel very sturdy, I have a selection of trowels, for different uses. I don't use or need many long handled garden tools, most of them are years old and belonged to my mum. I'm sure I will have years of pleasure using this new addition. 
This photo brings joy to my heart, Will loves to read, he is now reading as he calls them 'books with chapters', so hubby went to Mr Amazon and got a David Walliams book for him to read, The books are bigger with bigger letters, it does have sketches in, he asked to go to bed that evening, as he now likes to read to mummy or daddy at bedtime. Whilst I'm not a huge fan of Mr Walliams, our grandsons love his books.

Making the cakes have got me active again, I rolled six balls of yarn, using wool left over from knitting. I used my needle felting triple needle tool to blend the outer ball smooth and ensure it is round and secure. I think I will cover them in red, I have alot of that colour fibre, photo's soon, once they are finished. I've done a few sewing bits, added badges to neighbours son's blanket for scouts and renewed the elastic on hubby's kneeling pads, making them just like new. 

Sign group was fun on Tuesday, we did a session on families, we can get loads done in just one hour. Thursday there was another knit and natter in the afternoon at our local shop, again fun mixing with local ladies, I have started another pair of socks, just to have a project.

Thank you for your kind comments, my garden has always been good for me, I love the fruits I harvest each summer, and I'm excited to expand my production of veg, I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband, who does not run to the hills, when I suggest changes. I think he has enjoyed creating this space for me, he certainly got on with things. Spending so many weeks chatting together has ensured this new layout is working for us.

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Extended garden season

Back outside in the veg section, my broad beans and onions are all doing well, I will have to stake these soon, I have some home made leaf mulch to spread over this bed. My joy is having so much growing for food is keeping me happy, I walk down this end of the garden most days, I need to be growing things, time outside is very healing, my greenhouse is full as well, so I have a wet day play area. 
This view looking back towards the house is lovely, I have cut down my raspberry canes growing along the fence, some I have kept on the bed, they will rot and feed the soil, the rest is in the compost bin. The potatoes for Christmas are showing again, I have high hopes for a good crop. It's very messy close to the house, I am counting down the weeks until the work is started.
This flower bed is just as I imagined, my three shrubs and my chimney pots give height, the gladiola plants are dying back, I have filled this bed with bulbs, every type except tulips, which I love but prefer grown in tubs. I should only need a few bedding plants along the front next year, saving me money. The statue is a mere cat with a camera, I've had it years, I moved it from the back garden, there are three fence lights on the railings, they give just enough light each evening.
The last of the tomatoes are ripening, I find a paper bag always works well. Some of these will be a base for the first batch of soup. There is a mixture  of yellow, red and tiger skins. I had a good steady crop this summer, using 4 different plants, I did not use all the seeds, so I am thinking of having the same varieties next summer. 

Our back growing section of the garden is doing well, the veg beds are as big as we could make them, whilst allowing decent paths around the raised bed, I'm extending the raspberries, I would like a couple summer fruiting canes. I'm still looking for a rhubarb for my fruit bed, I have new strawberry plants growing from babies. I have planted my cranberry plant, it takes about 3 years to produce berries.

Hubby did another tip run, the last of all the stuff is gone, our neighbour has their raised beds, we put some of the spare decking planks behind our greenhouse. I sorted my plastic pots and loads of them have gone, the rest have been cleaned and packed away for the winter, our local tip has a plant pot recycling area. All the supports and bits from the beds have been cleaned and packed into the garage, my side is packed at this time of year, but I don't need to get at much, so it's not a problem. 

I dead head cyclamen so they keep flowering and pick up leaves most days, I still like to keep the garden tidy. I have been asked to cut back all the plants in my side flower bed, the landscaper does not want to deal with stuff dropping whilst he is working, the hotlips are still blooming, I don't normally cut them back until spring, so that's a job to do in a couple of weeks, when I dig out the bed by the backdoor. Soon as the weather changes I won't be outside, so I love everything tidy, allowing me to watch the wildlife for our sitting room, the garden works for me every day of the year. 

Sunday was such a lovely sunny day, no wind, perfect to be outside, we managed a local walk, I planted all my tulip bulbs, inside with the Christmas cake baking, the rich smell of spices invaded the whole house. Monday I baked another cake and soaked the final dried fruits, keeping the chain going, I did get my Christmas hamper out of the attic, I store all the items I need in November in the box, cards ect, and found a couple of cake boards. Today is sign group and later I'm baking my last cake.

Sunday 22 October 2023

Weekend

We are extremely lucky to live in a dry area, we do miss loads of bad weather through out the year, we often just catch the tails of these autumn storms, we have had heavy rainfall for this area, the water in our road always clears quickly, there is no risk of our home flooding. Watching all the devastation in Scotland and elsewhere is heart breaking, I can not imagine having to clear up the mess from dirty water in your home, to loose so much, every year a different part of the country goes through hell with storms. 
It's that time of year to bake my Christmas cakes, I make 3, one for us, another for daughter and my brother. I use the same recipe I have used most of my adult life, it came from Woman's Weekly magazine, I tried it because you soak the fruit in the juice of oranges and lemon, no booze. I bring my sheet out, typed many years ago, I have a copy on my computer, but I love to see this original each year. 
I did say I had all the bulbs I needed, which was and is true, but 2 packs of these I've not grown before, I love Camassia blue, so the yellow should be pretty as well, the Crocus were such a beautiful colour, both were from Dobbies expensive range, Chionodoxa I've never seen before, I have already found space to plant them. These bulbs were more expensive, but there were more bulbs in each packet.
Another new author to me, set in Devon, Police work after a murder, I worked out who done it quite quickly, but a clever twist in the book proved me right and wrong. There is a huge series of these books, I'm sure I will read more of them. Book 33 read this year.

I feel I should be crafting, but I don't know what I want to do, I have my needle felting, I would like to make some Christmas decorations, I have hexagon flowers made, I have loads of beautiful fabrics, I started some freestyle patchwork, I started a crochet doll and a small blanket, I don't have any knitting on the go, but I do have loads of 4ply yarn. I have been looking at designs for my lino cutting, I have been thinking about starting another cross stitch, I have everything I need, would just need to decide on a design. My crafting mojo is low, I spend far too much time on my phone, I'm not even reading much. 

I've been sorting my book shelves in my office, I keep all my craft books there, it was full, so I have pulled out those which I don't use and I'm ready to pass on. They will go to our charity shop in the village. I did look on Ziffit, but these books don't have enough value to send them off.

Friday tea time I went to a Portsmouth Downs Syndrome event, Halloween party, with daughter and her three little ones. George had loads of fun, Molly was not feeling well so stuck close to mummy, Will disappeared most of the event, playing with friends. I was unwell later in the night, upset tummy, which hubby also had, but not as bad as mine, daughter also picked up the bug, we had them here on Saturday morning, mummy went to garage to get her repaired car. Today we are having a lazy day at home together, no plans.

The guy did not arrive to do the rendering, and did not contact us until very much later that day, he could only do a couple of hours on Sunday to prepare the wall and we would have to wait for him to finish, so hubby said no, we are not prepared to have the walls exposed and allow damp in, and he has lost our trust to turn up as promised. Hubby is looking into how we can do it ourselves. 

Friday 20 October 2023

Growing and blooming

 I did manage more time outside, I dug up some raspberry canes which were growing in the wrong area, they are now in the right place, these should help extend the fruit area, hubby will move the post to cover the growing area. I also planted one of my dogwoods in this back section, this area should fill out next summer. The willow stump is still in the ground, there is no new growth, we are hoping the stuff we used has killed it off, we have no desire to try and dig it out. 

I got hubby to make a little raised block for my pot of Japanese blood grass, it looks much better sat higher. This section is looking good, my rabbits are out of the way, and the railings will stop little people trying to get to the raspberries. My cider jar behind is full of spring bulbs, I can add summer colour next year. 
I still have plenty of colour around the garden, these coleus, which hubby loves are full of colour and last until the frost comes, I have an idea to pop some in the raised bed infront of the greenhouse next spring, they are colourful enough to be seen from the house.  
This tub is outside the greenhouse, and has different plants for different seasons, the begonia I leave in once the blooms drop, which will be at the first frost. Here the frost should not be an issue for weeks yet, so plenty of colour to come. 
I have 3 Fuchsia's around the garden, this one is in my raised bed, I love to see it tumble over the side, below is a Peony and a Forsythia, hopefully they will both do better now the willow tree has gone. Along with the moved dogwood, I am wanting bold colours in this back corner. 

The wet days have helped all the moved plants settle into the ground, I was pleased to get so much done earlier in the week, I still have my bed by the backdoor to dig out, I have a big pot ready for the plants and bulbs, I hope it will look much the same as it does now. My side bed by the garage has been overgrown, which we loved, but the plants have blocked all the bulbs at this time of year, I will leave the hotlips for now and cut them back hard next spring and not let them get so huge. 

We are having conversations regarding the Olive tree, I think it will have a new spot once all the work is done, slightly sheltered, so it should not loose it's leaves so much. Hubby would like an arbour bench for just inside of our gates, I'm not sure, it's something we should decide on once the work is done. 

Storm Babet, the heavy rain gave us no problems, the rain started just after lunch and poured for the rest of the day, we both stayed dry whilst shopping in the morning, we bumped into daughter and Molly and had a coffee together. The winds were really strong, but again no damage, whilst we did have heavy rain, once again along the south coast we missed the worst of the storm. Thursday we met friends at a different garden centre, we don't go there often, so it was nice to have a quick look, some bulbs came home with us. Afterwards we called into the huge Asda, we had a list and mainly stuck to it, a few Christmas items did get put into our trolley, I do blame hubby, if we had a basket there would not have been enough room for everything. 

I walked to Pilates last night, it's about 5 minutes, I did not want to get changed and go, but I did, felt great afterwards, I hate the cold and wet.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Its coming

 Just to show Molly does smile, this is a much better photo, we now have to choose which photo we love the best, to put with all our other grandchildren's displays, I do like to see their photo's in our house. I have them on the top of our dining room cabinet. I've not seen Georges photo yet.

I was looking in TK Max on Monday and came across this Santa sack, it's bloody huge, yet the words on the front say 'just a little something', has the world gone mad, when our girls were young, Santa always got them a small gift, we always told them family got the bigger gifts. Can you imagine in January a child showing their friends what Santa got them, and the friend having something small from Santa, and wondering why the difference. 
I have been needle felting again, I wanted to see if I could make my robin look any better, firstly I wanted to add different shades to his red breast, that worked to a small degree, then I tried to sort his wings and tail, no difference, SO I decided to have a go at some small hearts, why, I don't know, I have loads of red and smaller amounts of shades of purple and pinks. I was unhappy until after I had shaped them, I wrapped another band of roving, which made the edges look much better. I have 7 shades, I will make some more and link them together. I have been using this tool with 3 needles, much quicker working once I had gotten used to it, I broke 3 needles in this session, will need to purchase some more and a small sharps container.
Hubby has removed the final bit of the decking, we found a concrete path along by the house, which will help keep our shoes clean. The bits of our fake grass is still down, just makes it nicer to walk on. If the weather is kind over the weekend, the extension will be rendered, which is the last big job before the paving. I still have the little bed by the back door to sort, I've left it as the Fushias are still in flower, I have a big tub which is ready to take the contents of the bed.

The season has changed over last weekend, I'm now wearing socks every day and my vest, sounds old, but a vest does keep the cold out, we have put our thicker quilt on our bed, our weekday alarm is now set for 8am, no point it getting up when it's cold and dark. As yet our heating is still off, our house feels warm still, but once the sunny days stop, it will cool down quickly, on Monday we had our annual boiler service. I popped to town in the morning, our fruit and veg stall was missing from the market, I did wander around, didn't get much as I had to carry it home, hubby stayed home for the boilerman.

Tuesday we all met and had a morning playing games, I played draughts, which was fun, we both won one game each, it did make me think, maybe hubby and I should do similar, he is going to find out his chess set, I will be a bit rusty. I did spend afternoon outside, making the most of the dry sunny time. Today, started dull and dry as expected, heavy rain is due later , storm Babet, we are popping out for an hour, and then home, inside, crafting for me. 

Sunday 15 October 2023

Family

It's photo time again, this year Molly and George have separate photos, the nursery sent daughter a link. Most of the photos were lovely, but as daughter commented this photograph won't be chosen, our only granddaughter does have attitude, she still does not get posing for photo's, this was her 1st pose, she did smile in the rest. The nursery did inform mummy of the photo day, but Molly chose her own clothes and did not want to wear a dress. 

These little people bring me so much joy, they play happy together, and are very good. They are the youngest grandchildren, with no chance of any more, so time with them is precious, they are growing up so fast. This was after school playtime before bedtime routines, Will read to me at bedtime, he does love to read, and tries hard to sound out words.

After Sue's comment on my last post regarding my broad beans, I have changed the net covering on one of my raised beds, making a cage with straight sides and a soft net, keeping the pigeons away. Most of my beans have shoots, I'm really hopeful for a good crop, we should not have to worry with regards to frost for a while. I have grown veg before many years ago, but some like the broad beans are a first time for me. 
All the horror in the middle east started last weekend when we were away, we did not catch up until midweek, I can not put into words how I feel, so much disregard for suffering and life, so much destruction. Just like in Ukraine, and so many other places in the world, a few make so many suffer, indeed we do live in a horrible world, I've shown this image many times. 
Locally our facebook pages show loads of people helping others, small deeds and sharing when you have more than you need, my focus is locally and on the good side of life. 

I had a sleepover with the 3 little ones, mummy and daddy went to a show in London, all 3 were good, Grandma helped out picking Will up from school. A friend of Will's mummy took him to school on Friday morning, which was helpful as it was raining. Its lovely that daughter and SIL have time together, not having to rush home late at night, plus the luxury of a slow morning start. I also got to watch George at his swimming lesson, he loves water, but not so happy in the big pool. Molly is using her potty and is doing very well. Sadly two trains were cancelled on their return home and they had to train swap on a zig zag journey home. 

We had a lazy weekend at home, Saturday hubby was out most of the day, I did a quick clean of the house, it was mainly dusty, then I spent time out in the garden, it was very wet after so much heavy rain, my grass paths between the veg beds were dry and were working well, I did not have much to do, and spent most time in the garage. It was a sunny cold day, but the temperatures are due to rise again after the weekend, so as yet the heating remains off. 

I did start a book last week, but realised very quickly it was not for me, I have not picked up another one yet. I have not started any more crafting, the socks I made for my sister are not wanted, she said she did not need anymore and asked for something different, which I won't make, she had previously asked for a pair of socks, I will gift the socks to my daughter. So no crafting yet, I do have an idea for needle felting which I hope to make a start this coming week. I have also decided to make the three Christmas cakes, no other plans for now. 

Friday 13 October 2023

Back home

 I got more seeds, the herbs were half price, the others were just ones I will use in the spring. I will need a few more packs, I am hoping I can collect my own seeds going forward to save some money.

I also got 3 plants, 2 for my Butlers sink and a cranberry plant, I had been looking online for a while, I found this one at a perfect nursery, just outside Martock, Somerset. I could have picked up so many healthy plants but resisted, it's probably a good thing this nursery is 100 miles from home, I loved it there. I have planted the two smaller plants  I need ericaceous compost for the cranberry. 

 

My sister and I went to Yandles at Martock, it's a huge craft centre, hubby had asked me to look out for anything I would like for my birthday,  I did like this wooden handled stitch picker, he has packed it away. I fancy a go at lino printing, the small kit was a great price, the cat fabric caught my eye, just half a metre,  probably make a new bag. Again loads to look at, but nothing much I wanted, we did have a lovely cake and coffee break.

The garden was fine when we returned home, I was worried as the sunny days might dry out the transplanted shrubs, all the flowers section is still looking good. In my veg bed, the Christmas potatoes are shooting, not yet ready for earthing up, looking healthy, what I was not expecting was shoots on my broad beans, I've checked the packet, the beans were sown at the right time, I don't know if they grow all through the winter months, I will have to consult Mr Google. 

We enjoyed our stay with my sister and her partner, having a day out together on Monday was fun, we do love the same places, all my purchases have been added to my stash spend, we had a walk along Burnham-on-sea front, seeing a nice sunset over the Bristol channel, with a fish and chip supper. Catching up with my brother, and seeing his newly decorated house, he's on the final bedroom, with carpets arriving soon. 

I can't think of anymore I would need for the garden, I did get a nice frame for the begonia's in my blue pot to grow up, ready for use next summer. Everywhere there were Christmas decorations, my sister wanted to look at everything, I was not interested, I looked, saw nothing I wanted, Christmas is pushed back this year the garden is centre stage for the next month.

We spent one night in Cullompton, Devon, BIL's 25th wedding anniversary, we were given no details, even when we arrived at our hotel, we knew nothing. It lasted just a few hours so we had an evening to ourselves. Had we been given more information, we would have driven back to my sisters house, and saved on a hotel bill. It was a lovely get together, so many happy faces. Hubby and I found a nice garden centre for lunch, hence the extra items purchased, he got himself some new secateurs and a small saw for cutting branches. 

We got home Wednesday early afternoon, no problems on the drive back, we always travel via A303, A34, M3, M27, rested for a while, popped to Lidl which is just a short drive away and a lazy evening together. It did try to rain and felt cold, but as always it's great to be back at home. Grace sat on my lap all evening, Purdy was close to hubby, they were glad we are home. It rained heavy overnight giving the garden a good drink. 

I've been using my phone whilst away, which makes it difficult to comment, I have read your post, and enjoyed your updates, I am glad to be back using my desktop computer. 

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Memories or dust collectors

I was gifted these by my ex MIL, a lovely lady, these belonged to her mother, when we helped clear her house out, MIL brought them home in a huge box of trinklets. I have them simply because I love them, when the split with my 1st husband happened, I tried to give them back, but MIL knew I loved them and wanted me to have them, they will be passed on to my daughters. I have tried to find out what they were used for, I know they were made along the France Germany border at the start of 1900's, probably as candle reed holders.
This was given as a wedding gift in 1973, I have always loved it, it does get used often without the handle, which I keep just because they belong together. I have nothing else from my 1st marriage, it's a bigger size than my dinner plates. 

This delightful little statue was a 21st birthday gift to me in 1976, I have always loved it, unlike other gifts this has survived many moves and sits in my cabinet. A friends parent got it for me, haven't seen the friend in over 40 years, his parents I suspect are no longer with us. I love the simplistic style of the children, very old fashioned now. 
These little county dishes were every where in the 70's, I started collecting them on trips around the country, they were cheap, but very useful as a memento, I had quite a collection, but as with so many things, they ended up in a box, I did keep my home county, nice memories.
I very recently sorted all my Aynsley china, Little Sweetheart, this is just the bits I had left, I had given my sister loads, I collected these over 10 years, now I see them as dust collectors, they are in a box in the attic, other than the vases which have been used, the rest is in perfect condition. BUT no one wants them anymore.

Mum collected brass items, loads were passed to my eldest brother. Both of us come from bigger families, I was 1 of 9 children, hubby 1 of 7 children.  My mum outlived my dad by a couple of decades, and in her final years lived with my younger sister, so loads of her things were passed on, my sister has kept the rest, I do have a small pot mum loved, sadly it was damaged before given to me. I have my dad's old red driving licence, as shown here,  and his walking stick, he did not own much. Most of the things in my childhood home, I would never had wanted, these days photo's are scanned and shared, but we don't ever get to see all the albums mum kept, my sister promises to find them but never looks.

These things above other than the two clown pots won't be wanted by anyone, our children have less clutter than we did, very few ornaments, what they have, has to match their d├ęcor. At some point I think charity shops will stop taking all the trinkets people no longer want, I am sure the market for them is shrinking, I know I am happier with so much less in our lives. We are using our best crystal glasses, and when our everyday dinner service needs replacing, we will use our best set, I see no point is leaving it in a cupboard, I grew up in a world where there was a best set for everything, these days I want to enjoy our stuff. 

Monday 9 October 2023

Going forward

With fingers crossed behind my back, I'm saying these are the last bulbs purchased this year, I got the two daisies for the new flower bed, the cucumber seeds are the tiny F1, earlier this year I had trouble getting them, so when I saw them I did not hesitate in popping them into my basket. We also got bark, which I have spread over the flower bed. 
I've used this as an ornament in the garden for years, I got it in a half price sale, it matches my blue pots, we have been wanting a water feature for ages, looking in the past few months we found nothing we both like. I had a throw away comment, we could use this, the hole is for water, we would need a sump, and a solar pump, we already have a grill and loads of stones, hubby is on the case, 
My Amaryllis has only leaves, which are growing better than in previous years, I am hoping there will be a flower bud soon. I have potted a second bulb, it's a couple of weeks behind this one, I really want these to bloom again. I have also potted 3 hyacinth bulbs, and re-potted my white Christmas rose from last year, it could be a full bloom Christmas if my timings and plans all work out. 
My house plants are all doing well, this Albuca Spiralis Frizzle Sizzle has doubled in size, it sits by my computer, so I can enjoy it everyday, and it gets as much sunlight as it can, soon the radiators will come on, the heat will help it grow as well. The flowers have all finished on my thanks giving cactus in the bathroom, it does normally flower again at the correct time. 


I have not done any crafting for a couple of weeks, I do need to get my sewing machine out, just two smaller task, but that will have to be later in the week, hopefully I will have a crafting post soon. I am hoping I still have you all with me, lack of crafting and not another garden post. I have had time to read, and we are watching more TV, we love Strickly, Bake off, Ghost, Gogglebox, Sort your life out in 7 days, Race around the world, and Graham Norton. This week Britain's best woodworker has started again, the drama's are mostly good as well. I can't be bothered with Gardeners World, I find Monty's garden much the same and it's getting boring.

I have promised myself not to purchase anymore bulbs in the garden, I have spent just over £70 on spring bulbs and cyclamen plants, I'm not sure all were needed, but we will both enjoy the blooms as they come, hubby is really good, he knows it's an important time of year, preparing for next spring. I only have the tulips to plant in a huge pot, they go in in November, and I have everything crossed a rhubarb plant will be gifted to me at the same time. 

In some good news, my fit bit stopped working, the screen went black, its 18 months old, I did a live chat, they could not help me, but, surprisingly it's still in warranty, and a new model will be sent to me, not the same model as they don't have any, so an upgrade. How lucky is that, just a quick reply to an email and everything is sorted for me.

We are away from home for a few days, back in Somerset with family, staying with my sister as my brother is decorating his bedrooms. Then on to Devon to see hubby's brother, it's their 25th wedding anniversary, we also saw our Taunton boys, so grown up these days.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Phase 1

These veg beds do look big, we cut a huge hole in the fake grass and dug it out back to soil level, keeping the paths as 'grass'. I used homemade leaf mulch, loads of green stuff and some spent compost, which was placed at the bottom of each bed. Hubby lined the insides with heavy plastic, he has used the same plastic on my other raised beds.
These look like veg beds now, it makes me smile to think of all the fun I can have, and very proud of hubby, who works hard and does not run for the hills when I say 'I have an idea'  I have planted all the veg from my previous post, already one bed is full. I used the top section of my new runner bean poles, covered with a wire net, keeps cats and foxes off the beds. Other than earthing up potatoes I don't need access to the other stuff before the spring.
We moved the blueberries, the tub looks much better here, I am looking for a rhubarb crown for the middle back, again loads of room for them to grow, they should be planted in November. Next to the post with the bird house and feeder, I have placed a huge pot, I am planting it with spring bulbs for early colour, then I will use the pot for a cucumber plant, it can grow up the pole, it's a very sunny spot. I have dug this space and added drainage and top soil, taking away loads of the clay, I have a small gooseberry bush to go in here. 
I have cleared in front of the greenhouse, the huge pot I used for tomatoes this year now has a mock orange in its permanent home and a couple forget-me-nots. Our 3 statues are here for now, I will need to store pots here whilst the ground work is being done. Next year I will grow tomatoes in my raised veg bed, this path will be kept clear, I will need to get to the blueberries and rhubarb for harvesting, and it's easier to sort the raised bed from this side. 
Even behind the garage has been sorted, I gave the area a good sweep, it's much easier to get to the tap for rain water, all the containers along the fence can be easily moved, if needed, the 2 black bins are for leaf mulch. My raise bed which I use as a cold frame, just fits in here, I had struggled to find a place for it, the plastic home made lid is pushed down for now as it is empty. This area can't be seen from the garden, but I do like it tidy.
We sunk the flower bed frame into the ground, I did not want it to be too high, the veg bed frames sit on top of the grass, All my plants have been moved, this bed is much closer to our house, so we can see all the different blooms, my shrubs at the back I will allow to get a bit bigger, I have put the gladiola and other tall plants along the railings, this is a much better spot for them, any spaces can be filled next summer. I did purchase loads of  spring flowering bulbs rather than dig out from the old bed, no tulips, they all grow in pots. I will get some bark for this bed for over winter protection. Hubby's sundial looks good behind the railings, as does my big cider pot.

All our work is done, all the rubbish left hubby took to the tip, now everywhere is level, we have popped the strips of cut out grass as a path from the back door, now the decking is gone. We both work well together, I am so relived the big stuff is done, hubby will tackle anything, with me looking on hoping it's not too much for him, he leaves the planting to me, these days I do include him more, I was going to change the contents of a pot, but he said he loved the blooms this summer, so it stays.

We have spent a few days sat outside enjoying the warm unseasonal sunshine, with nothing much to do, other than enjoy our work, watching the birds, bees, butterflies and bugs around the place. It's cool morning and evenings, so it does feel wrong to have so much heat in the middle of the day, but lovely to have time to sit and enjoy our space. Both cats have enjoyed sitting out with us, lazy slow days, perfection. 

The best bit, so far we have spent less than £350, reusing the decking for frames and moving plants around, the railings I already had, I did purchase one more. The biggest expense was the top soil, we did look local, but any going free was full of stones and weeds, and not enough for our needs. We filled 4 old compost bags with the last of the top soil, I can use it in the spring to top up the veg beds.

As always one job leads to another and we are looking to get one wall of our extension rendered, we hope to get it done before the ground work, it's a need not a want, some of it is loose, hubby's not keen on doing it himself, we are now planning a restful few days. 

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