A Cottage Garden in June

the garden

I’m not sure you can call it a cottage garden if you don’t live in a cottage. However, it’s the style I like and I’m going to call it one. The theme for this post is pictures of my garden. And that’s it. It’s all I’ve got to show as I haven’t taken any photographs of anything else (apart from camping pics that I don’t have time to go through). I’m in a can’t be arsed slump. It must be the weather.

taking pictures of the garden

In no particular order I’m going to blather about some flowery pictures and see where it takes me. I will fly by the seat of my pants. I’m an expert at it.

Peach rose

I like this pretty peach rose. It wasn’t planned. He is a leftover from the previous owner who dumped it behind the shed. I plopped it in the ground to see what would happen. I’m glad I did.

Yet another view of the bottom of the garden

Whilst I’m down at the bottom of the garden, amongst the birds and the bees, I may as well start here. It’s a total mess, not at all manicured. It’s the way I like it as it means you can avoid a lot of hard work.

Geranium Rozanne

I’m a sucker for pretty flowers.

flowers in my garden

As well as those geraniums I’ve got some ox eye daisies coming up. My brother and I used to call them bum flowers when we were kids because we thought they smelled like bums! Delightful. I haven’t actually stuck my nose in any of the ones that have presented themselves, I’m not that keen. Maybe I should, just to check and see if they’re still bummy. They add a bit of non-bummy interest too. I like a bit of white to break up the bluey purples that are going on.

Down at the bottom of the garden. June cottage garden

I missed the peonies do their thing. They’re a bit saggy and old now. It must have happened quite quickly. Look at all my weeds in the gravel. I can tell you that most of it is borage. It goes mental. I think it’s going to have to come out. It’ll get massive if I leave it. If anyone in East Devon wants some, give me a shout and you can have some. I’ve got loads. Same for nasturtiums.

Cottage garden in June

Loads of figs happening.

Hawthorn blossom

This was the hawthorn blossoming a couple of weeks ago. It’s shrivelled and died since. I’m surprised that it’s a thing I look forward to (not the dying bit, obvs). It’s really impressive when in full flower.

A baby coal tit getting ready to leave home.

This also happened. Not in June, mind you but it was the last day of May so not a million years ago. So cute. I’m relieved that these guys fledged. Tits. Coal tits. It was a close call though. The day before, one of them ended up in our hall way. As far as I’m aware it’s Marceline’s first real gift for us. She also brought us a wasp last night though. Luckily the little tit was still alive and not in too bad a condition. It was taken back to the box where it wriggled back in.

stalker in the lupins

Here she is; a tiger in the lupins. A frog was her prey this time. I heard it way before youngest child spotted it.

ribbit

It did not have a particulary pleasant singing voice. But I’d recognise a frog scream anywhere. Our old cat used to bring in half a dozen frogs a day. It got tiresome, ferrying them out again. I don’t like it when they go rigid.Ravaged Lupin leavesAnyway, that’s reminded me about the lupins. Look what a difference two weeks makes?! Delightful, they were. Now, they’ve been ravaged by slugs or something. Gutted. I love lupins, if only for their leaves. And look what they’ve become! pfft.

alliums

Just up a bit from the lupins, I’ve got some alliums. They were really cheap to buy this time round. A couple of years ago you were lucky to buy three in a pack for less than a fiver and this time I got loads (I don’t really remember, it was months ago). I’d be much happier if a couple of small children hadn’t gone round with whipping sticks. In this photo you can make a few headless casualties (a the top).

Speedwell Veronica

Ok, I seem to be working clockwise around the border. I do like a pretty tangle of speedwell. I think this is called Veronica. Loads of things seem to be called Veronica though, flowers are confusing.

Mexican fleabane or Erigeron

There’s loads of this near me, it grows all over Devon. Erigeron or Mexican fleabane. It’s in fashion at the moment (Mum saw it on Chelsea). I never thought of flowers as fashionable/unfashionable but apparently this is the case.

A yellow rambling rose

Up near the house is a yellow rambling rose. I bought it from the local garden centre about five years ago. Two years ago its pergola doodah got blown down and the rose was chopped to a foot high. In two years it has gone nuts. I love it.

Yellow Roses.

The smell was drifting gently in to the living room last night (had the doors open), it was lovely.

Swathes of yellow rambling rose

Everyone grows runner beans here. A couple of years ago there were six gardens in a row with them. Interesting, hey?!

Sugar Snap Peas

I’ve also got peas. It sets me appart from the runner bean crowd. Bean dweebs.

Front garden gubbins

And because I never do, let me show some of the front garden. The foxgloves out the back were weak this year, pathetic and weedy. I thought they’d be happy wherever they ended up but not so as it turns out. There are loads out the front and they’re very perky. Mostly I choose alpine plants for the front as they’re not as fussy. I have cerastium (snow in summer), it sits very nicely with some lithodora (which was thirsty and manky looking at the time of photographing, so I cropped it out). Erm, what are those pink things? Are they indeed, just pinks? Dunno. And some weeds to show you that I am neglectful and untidy.

This afternoon I potted on some anagallis and my morning glory. I also started planting out some lettuces (with the help of a not so competent three year old) but had to stop for school pick up. Now that I’m back indoors do I really want to continue with that job? I’d probably make the tea instead. Eldest is at judo so I should do it now.

Garden in June

 

Time for a Garden Catch Up.

Love my garden

It’s getting good. Starting to get happy with sunshine and flowers. Yeah, there’s been loads of rain as well but it’d look pretty shockin’ without it.

Magnolia

This small magnolia was at its best about three weeks ago. It’s over now. It was a birthday present last year. I think it should grow to about four feet. The plan is that it’ll eventually hide the compost bin.

kerria japonica

The kerria japonica is also looking tattier than this picture suggests. Probs taken on the same day as the magnolia.

fern

I’ve loved watching the fern unfurl over the last few weeks. I’m not sure but ferns might be considered a bit naff these days. I still like em.

Emerging baby figs

Figs. I’m happy that they grow well in the garden, I feel quite smug about it sometimes. What’s that about?! I don’t even like the things. The tree is looking fresh green though and that, I do like.

bird box botherings

Hiding in the fig tree is the cat’s favourite outdoor thing. Many catis hang out here. I think  it has something to do with that bird box. I inadvertently caught a blurry coal tit too. Husband said he saw a starling trying to have a rummage in their hole…!

apple blossom

Cox. The apple blossom got lost in the clematis.

clematis on the fence

The clematis is growing all over. I like it, it’s becoming rebellious.

Clematis montana.

Pretty.

butterfly and clematis

This butterfly is boring. There was another one that was prettier but it gave me the slip with its flappy ways.

lupin leaf

Lupin leaf. Lupins are the thirstiest plants in the garden. They look so sad when they haven’t had a drink. I do too, I expect.

Geranium. Rozanne

This geranium is Rozanne. This is the first flower of the year. It’ll be covered in them soon enough.

aquilegia

Aquilegia. I think the seeds came from a wayside plant up the road. I don’t know what the rules are about nicking seed heads. I’ve got my eye on some deep purple ones too.

forget me nots that grow in the gravel.

Who could possibly want to tear up all these “weeds”?! I know people do it. They are so lovely and there would be very little out there right now if it weren’t for these.

Beautiful Forget me nots. Not weeds!

Forget me nots.

Growing food

Here’s a quick glimpse of the veg stuff. I do grow most from seed but I bought the purple sprouting as plugs (horrid word). I don’t need that many so there’s no point buying loads of seeds. I’ll cheat and buy courgette plants too.

spring flower beds

I’ve kind of caught up with myself from last year now. It was May last year that I published the first garden post. There was another post soon after.  Kind of the same but different. I’m losing my aquilegia, I didn’t realise until looking at the pictures. Better pinch some more of those seeds.

I’ve linked up with #MakingHome

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

Into the Bluebell Woods

Into the woods

Hello, Just here to share some bluebell photos. They aren’t very good I’m afraid. I think I’m using the wrong lens again. I’m on a bit of a downer though and that usually makes me think everything is rubbish. Boo flippin hoo. Maybe tomorrow they’ll look lovely!

Anyway, here is Blackbury Camp in East Devon (not blackberry, thank you). It’s a fabulous place for bluebells and I always time my visits incorrectly. Usually I’m too early and they’re not quite out. To be honest, I don’t think these are at their peak just yet. I could go back in a day or two, it’s only a ten minute drive from me but I bet I won’t.

through holly

This is me trying to be clever. I should work on perfecting the basics of photography before getting artsy fartsy.

White bluebell

I noticed white bluebells (?) dotted about the place. What’s that about?

Sea of bluebells

It wasn’t the best day, weather wise. Mostly grey, turning sunny towards the end of the visit. Twas a Monday afternoon.

Path through the bluebells.

The history of Blackbury Camp is interesting. It’s an old Iron age fort, possibly somewhere I’d head in a zombie apocalypse. It’s a kind of oval shaped bowl with two entrances and a moaty type thing around the outside. Now it’s all mud n trees but it presumably would’ve had wooden ramparts sitting sturdily on the rim of the bowl. These pics don’t really show the shape of it but google does.

Bluebells growing

In previous years we’ve had picnics here among the bluebells in April/May or in the summer when the kids catch grasshoppers and run around playing hide n seek.

Bluebells growing on the slopes of Blackbury Camp.

Because I was unhappy with these pictures, I admit I fiddled with them on Pic Monkey. I’ve had to warm them up somewhat because they looked so dull. Obvs, I blame the weather.

Bluebell woods

This one in particular got the editing treatment. It looks better than it did but no amount of fiddling can improve a truly crud photo… pah, onwards and upwards. I’ve asked for a photography book for my birthday, which is next week. The first anniversary of my very first blog post is coming up soon too. I think I’ll write up a crochet pattern for that one as it feels like it’s been a while.  Right then, I’m off to go and cheer myself up.

A Pretend Spring Cottage Garden.

I love forget me nots.

Now that the garden is well into the first stage of Spring prettiness, I am here to unashamedly post shed loads of photographs just because I want to. I also thought I’d post these sunny pictures today because outside it is cold, wet and grotty. What a flippin’ miserable day. Most of the pictures have been taken in the last two weeks but some with the cat were before that.

bottom of the garden.

In that nesting box, we’ve spotted a pair of coal tits flitting in and out. We watched them a few days ago collecting tufts of garden string to line their nest with.

Twatting about with pictures in the garden.

There’s no particular order. I did think about planning them out in a nice sequence but I was getting confused.

weeds and pots

Springing up.

Spring is here in my cottage garden!

spring garden flowers

some sort of cherry

sitting on the fence

Scary Marceline

Freaky pussy.

Forget me nots with the promise of Roxanne

kerria japonica

Marcy sitting in the grass

muscari in the afternoon sun

muscari in the shade

The muscari finally decided to come out to play.

peonie

The peonie has chosen not to take part in any games just yet.

Sat on the fence again

Delphinium is waking up

Burgeoning clematis Montana

Clematis is not quite ready.

Bumble bee and forget me nots

This picture is a missed opportunity. Must fit some more camera learning in. Mind you, that bee was gone just as quickly as it arrived.

blurry spring pics

Bluebells in the garden

a different view of the garden

I’ve also got my veg beds that need sorting. We planted some peas a couple of weeks ago and they’re coming up now. But there’s not much else going on there.

Honestly, I’ve been planning on a lovely garden post for ages and now that I’ve decided to do it, I can’t think of much to say! Probs for the best. Better get back to something more crafty.

I link up here:

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

Since it’s Spring…

pretty crocus

The garden is slowly waking up. We’re still not in “pretty” territory but it’s on its way.

spring flowers

The muscari in my garden are well behind others. I see them all over town; big and bright, in huge swathes or on their own, poking out of cracks in the pavement . This is their second year in the garden, I guess they need to establish themselves before being impressive.

New Forget Me Nots.

Forget me nots are so pretty when in their masses. In their masses they can get fungal diseases, which I think occurred last year when it was really soggy. I can see dark splotches on the leaves, which I reckon is fungal. I could tear them all up and give them a break but I’ll see how it goes.

Celandines.

Celandines are usually one of the first flowers to come round after winter. I would have had more but when we first moved in I ripped them all out. I didn’t know what they wear. They’d probably be considered weeds in someone else’s garden but I like the bright they bring.

Budding branches.

Living twigs. That’s the fig on the left and on the right is some sort of miniature cherry relative. Dancing with the butterflies? Something like that.

Crocus in the garden.

The crocuses in my garden are few and far between. I must have planted hundreds of bulbs in all the autumns we’ve lived here and yet I see very few waiting to come back after each of their first appearances.

Peony in March

Isn’t this a bit early for a peony? I used the macro lense for this but I struggle to see where the focus is and so I wiggle the lense miniscule amounts and take a picture at each wiggle (I know where I want the focus to be but it doesn’t always end up in the right place) . The margin for accurate focus is barely anything. I think I’m doing something wrong.

Erysimum.

I’ve had erysimum all through the winter. It’s gone straggly but it’s still flowering.

Daffodils still going.

There are still lots of daffs going strong. I’m amazed how long the season has been.

garden waking up.

This is the biggest area for flowers, down at the bottom of the garden. See? It hasn’t quite got there yet. There’s a lot more green than there was a couple of weeks ago though. And look at the first garden pictures I posted ten months ago (scroll past the shawl). Let’s see how it looks in another two months!

 

First time putting real things on Etsy!

Spring set of needle cases.

I don’t usually visit here over the weekend but I’m here to quickly link to my Etsy shop, which I have now added things to! Go me! Not sure how well these needle cases will do. They are needle cases after all, a bit too specific maybe. At the time I didn’t know what else to do with the embroidery I’d done. I actually would like to just present them on their hoops in future. They looked so nice like that. Any way, here is the link and some pictures. Have a lovely weekend!! X

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ZeensandRoger

Handmade felt needlecases

stitching daffs. daffodil embroidery almost completed snowdrops stitching.Snowdrops embroidered needlecase Snowdrops embroidered needle case Hyacinth needle case standing Hyacinth needle case Hyacinth embroidered needlecase Daffodil needle case back. Daffodil embroidered needlecase Daffodil embroidered needle case standing

 

Spring plants and flowers at Escot Park.

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It was half term last week and on Monday I took my boys to Escot Park near Ottery St Mary, Devon. We’ve got an annual pass as it isn’t far from where we live. It has loads of stuff for the children to do and lots of interesting things to see.

This year there will be even more to see as there will be new enclosures for some animals. They already have an excellent space for red squirrels (if you’re lucky they come up and say hello to you. They might even try to search your pockets for nuts!!). There are otters, wild boar and birds of prey too and they will soon be joined by lynx, wolves, wild cats and pine martins. I think that’s right, I’m saying it from memory.

Escot also has lots of interesting trees and plants. This is the bit I like. At different times of year there is always something beautiful to see. I will go back and see the bluebells and at some point, enthusiastically yet carefully put my nose in all the roses of the walled garden.

Excuse me if the picture quality is dodgy, I took these photographs on my phone. The only thing I’ve done is to squash the size down a bit.

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Who doesn’t love a teasel?!

Apologies if you’re not keen on snowdrops…

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The snowdrops were amazing. I don’t recall seeing them there before, must’ve always missed them. I got told off by the boys at this point, for taking too many photos. They wanted to go and play on the pirate ship.

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Good old crocus.

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I don’t normally like camelias but even I thought these ones were beautiful.

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I used to want cyclamens in the garden but they look better in this environment. Plus I did plant some a few years ago and I reckon the vine weevil got them. They never did come back.

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So, yeah, that was nice. The boys had fun and so did I. It was a lovely sunny day. I’m glad we went. I shall take small boy back next week if the weather is good. Gotta get my money’s worth on that annual pass.

Small things and Fun things.

Easy handmade valentines day card.

It’s half term, so it’s all a rush. Without too much gubbins I’ll share what I’ve been up to over the last few week.

Handmade birthday card

Husband got a Valentine’s card, my Mum got a birthday card. Both quick, easy and fun to do yet very effective, I think. Inspired by The Messy Brunette and her post about Valentines.

Cotton crochet doily

I made a couple of doilies with the cheap Drops cotton I bought. Cheap for a reason. VERY splitty. But I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing at 80p a ball.

Ugly cotton doily

The first one is the better of the two but neither are great. Not dainty in the slightest and I think they’ll just get hidden away rather than used. I found a diagram pattern on pinterest that I used. And I only went and blocked something!! I usually try to avoid it but here, there was no escaping it this time.

Hyacinth embroidery

I completed my hyacinth embroidery. I can’t find the time to do anything with the flowery embroidery things I’ve been doing. Maybe next week.

Making a crochet scarf.

Crocheting instead of perservering with my knitting. I love crochet.

perle cotton x50

Buying cotton. I can go through so much embroidery thread. Hopefully this is the answer. Bought from Ebay for less than £25! 50 flippin balls!

many colours of anchor cotton

It wasn’t in any kind of colour order so I’ve been playing with the way they live together.

colours!

I’m more excited than I should be about some cotton.

Look!

Look at the beautious bounty of awesomeness!

colourful thread.

It was bought with Christmas money, I still got a mild telling off for buying more craft crap. It has nowhere to go.

First ten days of February.

trying knitting

It’s been a bit of a blah kind of week. I think it’s because I started knitting and haven’t been an instant expert. I see knitting everywhere at the moment and thought I should jump on the band wagon. Well, I don’t think I’ll stay on very long. I don’t think I’m enjoying it that much.

rubbish knitting

I’m tempted to unravel this pappy attempt and crochet my way to a baby blanket instead. It’s messy and has dropped stitches. There is always the fear of it coming off the needles and I have no idea of what real knitters do if they make a mistake. I mean,  do you just unravel some rows and then painstakingly reattach all those loops, without unravelling the underneath row by mistake?? What a pain in the arse! It’s happened. Twice. The first time, my nearly three year old grabbed the needles and effortlessly yoinked away the knitting by swishing around his new “light sabers.” I did it the second time because there were too many loose bits after a colour change. Ugh. Stick with it ?… Or not? I’m surprised that I’ve picked up speed when I’m doing it right and I love the click clack of the needles, but, that is about it. Hmm.

pompoms

In a bid to change the mood, I thought I’d have some fun with pompom making. Turns out this isn’t much fun either. I bought a cheap pompom maker and it keeps popping open at the crucial moment, spilling tiny threads of yarn all over my lap. Also, I think mixing up the colours was a mistake. I’m thinking of trying some mono colour balls. They’ll look better.

working

This is where I’ve been sitting this week. Surrounded by mess. I’m like some sort of creative tramp at the minute. It’s the rotten weather that does it. Although, yesterday I took the small boy for a long walk around town. I said we could go and look at the swollen, rain filled river but by the time we got there he was asleep. When we returned home, he was angry with me because we hadn’t been to the river. It’s not my fault that he missed it.

daffs in garden

Looking out the window at the spring flowers, I had an idea that might cheer me up a bit.

a snow drop with macro lense

I know I’ve used the snowdrop picture before, it’s the only goodish one I’ve got.

hyacinth

I love the smell of Hyacinths. I love the smell of daffodils too. They’re also among the prettiest flowers of the spring. They are the first signs that the winter is on the out (although they’ve been fooled as it was -1 this morning and there is frost on the grass).

planning picture

Anyway, I drew some quick sketches and off I went, cutting up bits of fabric and stitching them roughly together.

working on daffs

I’m really pleased with the results. One or two mess ups have occurred but nothing too awful. I asked Husband his opinion and apparently they are twee and granny like. Something you’d find in a charity shop, he said. Maybe that’s the result I’m after but it kind of threw me. Now I’m having doubts.

fabric hyacinths

I think this one looks the most granny like and I’m hoping that will change with the things I’ll do to it. I’d really like them to be displayed in the embroidery hoops but they’re expensive so I only have one. I’ve got another idea but i’m afraid that it’ll transform them into “twee” monstrosities. Oh well, we shall see.

drops cotton

Lastly, I have this Drops recycled cotton. Hearts on the label, must be Valentine’s or something.  80p each! I want to make a doily or two but still on the look out for the right sort of pattern. Fingers crossed I’ll find a pattern soon and get on with it. I’m getting crochet withdrawal.

Playing with my new Canon 600D!

First daffodils of the season

I got a new camera for Christmas! It is a Canon 600D SLR. I was exceedingly happy to receive it, it was a complete surprise and also something I really wanted. I had talked about it all year but I didn’t think I’d actually get one! It’s not brand new, but whoever owned it before must have really looked after it because it’s so lovely and spanky.

indoor bulbs

So I’ve been playing around with it. At this stage I still haven’t plucked up the courage to read the manual. I’m using the excuse that it’ll be full of gobbledegook that I don’t get. I know nothing. I have managed to turn it on and Husband has pointed out what a couple of the dials and buttons do (he did a photography module at university). When I first got it I didn’t even know how to put the lense cap on and I still don’t know what “aperture” means.

playing with my camera- daffs

I’ve been playing with the manual settings because the auto function flashes at everything. I’ll find out how to switch that off. What a twonk, sounds pathetic. Before the end of the year I will be a super expert and then I’ll stamp down on my current self in great shame and anger.

First daffs-playing with camera

I find the lighting confusing too, I know the dial which lets more light in or reduces it and that’s helped for some of the macro shots I’ve tried. The two pictures above were taken about an hour apart. By the time I’d taken the second picture, the sun had started to come round to the front of the house and whilst neither of the photos are any where near perfect, you can see the the sun makes it have a nice glow. Anyway I shan’t discuss it more for fear of sounding like a fool. Practice practice blah blah.

Ladybird Books. The collection so far...

So I went round the house taking pictures of things (whilst Toddler was at his very first pre-school session!). The Ladybird books are on the other side of the house so I twiddled the dial to let in more light but the picture is still not crispy, as I’d hoped. I can’t work out how to get it done right. Is it the light or my trouble with the focus? Or something else? Er, I dunno. Yet.

Lego picture

Another place in the house. Lego. Lots of Lego.

Lego X-Wing

The first weekend of the year was spent playing with all the Lego. Eldest boy and Daddy found some X-Wing instructions online and spent hours and hours building a hotchpotch Star Wars starfighter! I know with absolute certainty that Eldest is very pleased with it. I know this because it is still intact. No Lego builds ever stay together for this long.

Old Lego X-Wing

Anyway, that is what I got up to yesterday. Onwards and upwards and all that. Will try not to tread on any camera peeps toes. 😛