Friday, 26 June 2015

Odds and Ends.

"There's a hole in my front door, my front door, my front door.  There's a hole in my front door, my front door - a hole! "   Luckily we have a second lock so when this one stopped working and my husband removed it and took it to be repaired, we were still secure.  I was hoping to get a mini view of the front garden through the hole, but the sun was so bright that didn't work.

Great excitement the other morning when this monster arrived at the top of the road where neighbours are having an extension built onto the back of their house.  This metal girder was the first to be lifted over their roof, followed by several concrete ones.   It arrived early and I nipped out in  my dressing gown to take this photo.

The honeysuckle on our pergola is looking beautiful this year - this is the view through the kitchen window looking up.
I love it's twisted stems in which the little birds love to hop about looking for insects.  They sometimes take shelter from bad weather in the winter under there.

I took this photo looking down on the honeysuckle from the bedroom window.  The bees have been enjoying themselves during the lovely sunny days we have had recently.

A view of the black elder flowering it's socks off and the summer jasmine just coming into flower.

I have been frantically trying to clear space for all the seedlings I have grown this spring but the soil is so dry and heavy it is taking longer than I bargained for.   We could do with some rain to soften the ground and my seedlings are almost climbing out of their seed trays and pots.   We watch large grey clouds pass overhead but only the odd spot or two falls here.   I daresay a few miles away they are having a lovely downpour.  Oh well, there's always the hosepipe.


Thursday, 4 June 2015

I'm still here!

I can't believe I haven't posted on my blog for a whole month.  I don't seem to have anything interesting to relate or to post about but thought I should put in an appearance however minimal.

Our wisteria has looked better than ever this year and now extends right the way across the front of the house.  We planted it about 15-20 years ago and it flowered right from the start.  I have heard of some that have taken several years to start flowering so we have been lucky.
There is a price to pay for all that gorgeousness and we are now paying it.   I have to sweep the fallen petals up daily as, in wet weather, they stick to the bottom of shoes and get trodden all through the house.  They also look awful lying on the path having faded to a dirty brown and I can sweep up almost a bucketful every day.

But I still love it.

Not much creativity going on here apart from potting up seedlings, planting tubs and trying to get some weeding done, energy permitting - I have wasted far too much on coughing, and it still hasn't gone completely.  I must start work on a couple more pages for my fabric book so that I have something to show next time.   Enjoy this lovely weather.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

This and That.

Here are our two little fledgling collared doves.  You can just make out the second one to the right.  The nest is on our pergola and right outside the kitchen window so I can keep an eye on them, and they can keep an eye on us.  A few days ago we were very worried as we hadn't seen either parent bird for some time and they were so tiny and huddled down in the nest.  We dropped some meal worms into the nest hoping to keep them going and then Mum turned up to feed them.  In that short time they have grown quite a bit.

A little while ago Maggie Grey posted a lovely wall panel she had made from holiday photos and ephemera.  I thought I would try one of my own but it wouldn't work for me, possibly because I didn't have enough interesting bits and pieces, and my photos were not as colourful as hers.   I really liked this idea so decided to turn mine into a book, and instead of ephemera I am adding scraps of home dyed fabrics left over from a course I did years ago and couldn't bear to part with.

I can't visualise the finished pages and hope they will tell me what else they need as I go along.  It could be a long job but at least I have started.

Last September I treated myself to a bag of 15 iris bulbs.  Plant in groups of 3 or 5 the experts tell us , so I planted mine in groups of 5, but what I have I got?   Three groups of one!!!!  I plant with such optimism.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

It's all happening.

Here is Mrs. Collared Dove sitting on her little brood - I took this photo a week ago.

This morning this young one was sitting in the sun with the wind ruffling it's soft feathers having been sent off out to make room for it's younger sibling.   Mrs C.D. must have laid her two eggs at least a week apart as we caught a glimpse of the little one and it is so much smaller than the one above.

Last week the crab apple tree looked like this.
Today it is in full bloom.   I do love the little bright pink buds.

The Montana is almost fully out too and the bees are very happy, when they aren't being buffeted about by the strong breeze.   The bluetits are still busy gathering nesting material.  I think they must be building a block of flats - they've been at it for ages, and we have watched a huge blackbird fledgling being fed by it's dad.

More heartbreaking world events and all we have to moan about is the impending election.  How lucky we are in this country.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Butterflies.

No lovely photographs sadly - the little darlings wont keep still long enough for me to focus on them!  However, I have noticed so many more butterflies in the garden this year than last year and have been trying to identify them.   Lots of peacocks, orange tips, painted lady, brimstone, small blue (chalk hill?), small fritillary, possibly a larger fritillary and meadow browns, if they are the ones that look as if they are dancing in the air together.

This weather is certainly good for them and  they seem to be enjoying it as much as I am. I am pleased that I haven't had the energy to dig up all our dandelions as I read somewhere recently that we should leave their flowers to feed the butterflies.  So I'm doing my bit for wildlife without realising it.

I hate to say it but our gardens could do with some rain - I had to water ours the other evening and it looks really parched again.  I think we are supposed to get some on Friday.  I don't think we have had any showers this April!

Enjoy it while we have it - make hay while the sun shines, or whatever you like making while the sun shines.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Still Doodling.


I am miffed at having wasted all the lovely days we have had, in between the grotty ones, when I could have been gardening, but I have found doodling to be very therapeutic.  Sadly my leg hasn't  prevented me from doing housework!
I started off using just a black pen then thought it might be good to play around with colour.  Most of the patterns are done freehand but I did use a ruler to create the grids, and as you can see doing the background with a fine grid has it's dangers and if you are not very careful you find that your lines have gone astray somewhere.


Most of my patterns start with randomly drawn lines to see what shapes I will come up with.

I used a ruler for these straight lines.

This one took me by surprise as it was going to be grid based and then changed it's mind!

This one makes me think of crows battling against the wind.  Very fitting for today's weather which has very strong gusts which keep blowing the bins over.  I'm not sure it is finished yet - I may add to it.

 Luckily it isn't cold and the sun is shining.
My leg seems to be improving slightly and I have even managed to christen my garden hoe and banished few weeds this morning, after which I rewarded myself with this little posy of rescued  polyanthus that the wind had blown about.
Hope you all have a lovely Easter and that the weather wont be too unkind to us.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Tea for Two!

I wouldn't be surprised if these two tried to build a nest in this bird feeder.   In past years collared doves have reared two chicks on the bracket of our Sky dish.

There are plenty of signs of spring in the garden this week.  Everything is doing it's stuff and if you don't look too closely it's all looking lovely.

I love polyanthus and have planted quite a few all round the garden.
The birds often peck at the yellow ones - I think there must be something nutritional to them in the yellow petals, but these seem to have escaped their attention.

Year after year I have watched our big daffodils blown down into the mud so have switched my allegiance to the dwarf varieties which stand up to bad weather so much better.

More lovely hellebores - they are spreading really well now and having babies all over the place.

These Jerusalem Cowslips are a wonderful blue, slightly washed out by my camera.  The bees love them.

These little violas have been flowering their socks off since last October and cope with anything the weather throws at them.

Last week the first frogspawn appeared in the pond.  It was about the size of a clenched fist - now there is a huge mass, so there should be lots of little froglets this year.

We won't need any early calls if these two build a nest in this tree.  It is right beside our house and there will be a great deal of 'karking' going on.

We have had several beautiful days which would have been perfect for gardening, but my wretched leg is still painful and I don't want to make it worse.  I only look at the tidy bits and try to ignore the areas that are crying out for my attention.  I had a new hoe for my birthday and haven't been able to christen it yet.  All in good time.