I said all I had to say about the latest garden exploits eleven days agoso I’m not going to say much more. It’d pretty much be repeating myself. But I couldn’t ignore the fact that just a few days has made such a huge difference to the garden (to my eyes at least). And I always ramp up the garden posts in spring/summer anyway.
No bonfire yet but guess what? I emptied all my pots! A full on sense of achievement was experienced that day, I can tell you. Expect to see a better garden blog post in a couple of weeks or so.
Huzzah! Spring is here! Hello Spring! Who doesn’t swoon over spring blossom?! I can’t get enough, it’s just so lovely. This example I found in a car park. Ok, a garden centre car park but a car park nevertheless. It was smothered in busy bees, who couldn’t get enough either. I watched them go about their business for a while, Youngest had to drag me away.
These pictures were taken on my phone this morning after dropping the boys off at school. Super happy flowers. Even weedy types like celandine and daisies are cheerful.
I might have crept into people’s gardens to take some of these (probably didn’t get spotted).
There have been two periwinkle fails in my garden so I make do with walking past this lot every day instead.
Anyway, this is the garden at the moment. I’ve had two “sessions” taking photographs in the garden this week. Both have been lacking. It might be the absence of Chelsea quality plants, the disorganised appearance or just an unskilled photographer behind the lens (I’m improving on product photography but outdoor snapping is a completely different ball game). In real life I love this view; a picture of it is never the same. Hmm.
Look at all the yellow! Who is a gobbler of daffs? Someone has eaten the flowers now. I bought some slug pellets yesterday but I don’t know if daffodils are a slug’s cup of tea.
I’m glad the anemones in the border come up every year. The ones I planted in pots in the autumn haven’t flowered. They might flower in the next couple of weeks or they might not get blooms at all. They could be punishing me for tugging at them a while back (I’d forgotten what they where, which I mentioned last time I did a garden catch up).
I’ve had a quick look at what the garden was like around this time last year. Currently, it seems to be a weeny bit behind. I wrote a very similar blog post a year ago. I’d better have a different twist on a spring garden for next year.
I think the bluebells are multiplying! No other spring bulbs I’ve ever had have done this. I’d love it if the snow drops could bring it upon themselves to do a bit of breeding or whatever it is they do. I’m fed up of sporadic lone drops. I want big ol’ clumps! Luckily, the bluebells have got enough gumption about them to get their clump on.
The happiest garden happy happened this week. I found purple sprouting! The relief!! I’m looking forward to munching on this I tell you. My all time favourite vegetable. When I was pregnant (this time four years ago) there were trips green grocers nearly every day to buy it. The man there started giving me worrying looks after a few trips.
I often have a companion when hanging out in the garden. She will follow me all over the place. I’m feeling sorry for Marceline at the moment. We’ve had a few incidents of cat wee wees in the utility room. I blamed it on hyacinths the last time I got a waft but then I caught a tom nicking her dinner. He scarpered when he saw me. Of course, now I realise he’s had a spray in my house! Cheeky arse. Thankfully, it’s just the utility room (no soft furnishings) but how dare he?! Poor Marcy. I thought she had it sorted and ruled her roost but maybe she’s being bullied by the swagger monster next door. I’ve doused the place in vinegar but not sure if that’s the correct remedy.
In the interests of full disclosure: The corner of shame. This is actually a potion making zone. The boys have been brewing some weird concoctions that I’m not party to. It’s this or mud pies I suppose.
The next few weeks of the garden are possibly my favourite: The bright blue clouds of forget-me-nots, the planting of veg seeds, the montana clematis! It quite possibly means more blog posts about flowers too, for which I will not apologise!
And, veering off in a completely different direction, I’m desperate to talk about the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, desperate! But I’ll keep my gob shut until next week. I’ve found a few YouTube vlogs about it but I wasn’t organised enough to do that. See you next week. Have a fabulous weekend. X
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.
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.
The kerria japonica is also looking tattier than this picture suggests. Probs taken on the same day as the magnolia.
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.
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.
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…!
Cox. The apple blossom got lost in the clematis.
The clematis is growing all over. I like it, it’s becoming rebellious.
This butterfly is boring. There was another one that was prettier but it gave me the slip with its flappy ways.
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.
This geranium is Rozanne. This is the first flower of the year. It’ll be covered in them soon enough.
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.
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.
Forget me nots.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s no particular order. I did think about planning them out in a nice sequence but I was getting confused.
The muscari finally decided to come out to play.
The peonie has chosen not to take part in any games just yet.
Clematis is not quite ready.
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.
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.
The garden is slowly waking up. We’re still not in “pretty” territory but it’s on its way.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve had erysimum all through the winter. It’s gone straggly but it’s still flowering.
There are still lots of daffs going strong. I’m amazed how long the season has been.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking out the window at the spring flowers, I had an idea that might cheer me up a bit.
I know I’ve used the snowdrop picture before, it’s the only goodish one I’ve got.
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).
Anyway, I drew some quick sketches and off I went, cutting up bits of fabric and stitching them roughly together.
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.
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.
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.
I haven’t had many opportunities to play with the camera over the last couple of weeks. Some days it won’t cross my mind at all that I should be learning how to use my lovely Christmas present. I’m not going to obsess over it and I’m not going to write continuous blog posts either. The excitement will probably wear off soon enough.
Last weekend I thought that I should probably have a go on it. Keep up with the learning. I went into the garden to see what was going on. Bulbs have sprouted and are flowering early.
With the macro lense added I went in seach of some interesting things. I have no idea why I like the berry picture, I just do. First lesson to learn when taking close ups of stuff? Don’t let your over long fringe cast a shadow over the thing you want to photograph.
Initially I took pictures on the basic manual setting but then I twigged that I should be using the macro setting. I know this. It’s simple. I keep forgetting. It’s good to know that there are similar functions that I recognise from my old compact jobbie. However, if I want to use the camera properly, I can’t rely on them either.
It’s a good start though. I’m happy with the results. I could be satisfied just twiddling the main dial but it isn’t the same as understanding all the abilities of a fancy SLR. I’m pleased they’re there though.
I didn’t have long so I tried something else. Marceline got the Portrait treatment. It gave her a better colour. The standard Auto was dull and grainy(I deleted those). Then it was time to stop playing and hide camera away from my grubby little children.
Yesterday, a week later, I went outside again. I only had five minutes to experiment with a new function I’d read about. I’ve found a great little blog series that has taken away a lot of the fear of posh photograph taking. Consequently, I’ve found a new button. The ISO button. I’ll look up ISO in a minute. Something to do with light. Anyway, the daffodils have started to arrive. Think these are Tete a Tete.
Here are the shop bought daffs. Obvs, they need chucking. The light differences are just the changing of the ISO button. Interesting… But also, the camera is on the P setting and I can’t remember what the instructions said what that meant. It’s all the combinations that get me. You might have the right ISO number set but what if you haven’t twiddled the dial to the right bit? So much information and that’s just an iceberg’s tip.
Here is Marceline on the highest ISO number. Both she and the crochet are (kind of) in focus.
The number went mega low and I focussed on the blanket I’m supposed to be working on right now.
Then I focussed on Miss Marcy. And, what’s good is that I totally meant to do these things!
These have come along nicely in the last week. They belong to Eldest boy who planted them with Granny in the autumn. They were in the shed for a few months before I remembered to go and get them.
The ISO thing also means you can make blurry backgrounds to hide ugly things that lurk behind stuff you want to take pictures of. I don’t always get an accurate focus on the exact bit I want. Is it my eyes or the camera that’s not doing a proper job? Probably the wrong setting.
At this stage I took some pictures of the Spice of Life crochet blanket. I was going to add them here showing similar things about focussing on diffferent sections of the blanket. However, I’m almost finished and I think I’ll save them for another time. I think it’s enough that you know I’ve read what Aperture means.