Busy Busy in the Garden.

I feel like this is the beginning. Doesn’t it feel like the beginning of the gardening season? Hardcore gardeners have probably been at it for weeks but cliche that I am, I did most of it over the Easter weekend. Even squeezed in an obligatory garden centre visit. Anyone else stereotype themselves this weekend?!

My outside space was neglected last year and I made a promise that I would be more attentive by the time spring came. So I chucked on old trainers and tatty jeans to spend a couple of days in the garden. (If my mistreated anemones can make the effort to flower, I can make the effort to green my fingers).

If I’m being honest, the bank holiday weekend wasn’t my first time out there, I’ve done rudimentary weeding and pruning, stuff like that, oh and planted some pea seeds. But it was the first weekend where I’ve spent a considerable amount of time doing organising, tidying and planting. Alchemilla mollis was growing in the gravel, so I scrabbled around and got those in pots,  I popped out to the front and gathered lots of baby foxgloves and put those in pots too.

Mum had given me a heuchera and a pulmonaria, so in the borders they went. I’m hoping the foxgloves and alchemilla will join them to fill up all the gaps I’ve got. Some cat mint died last year and left a hole. I didn’t split it when it was at its best a few years ago, I could see its demise coming and wasn’t proactive in saving it. Eh, I’ve never actually split any plants, even though the gardeners on the telly do it all the time. I get a lot of my plants from Mum cos she does what she’s told! Maybe I should chop apart the geraniums this year.

It doesn’t matter how weedy things are in the borders. As long as “weeds” bring colour, they’re welcome. Look at the delicate blue of the speedwell, I love that colour. My mum must too, it’s another one from her. Do you love forget me nots too? They make me extremely happy indeed. Those white anemones are the first plants I ever introduced to that patch. I’m amazed  that they come up every year.

At the end of the season last year, I collected some seeds from the aquilegia. I planted them in a tray this weekend (along with many other seeds in many other trays) and I hope to give the ones under the fig tree some friends (not that you can see the fig tree in the photo above – it’s that blurry trunk in the background).

I’m so excited to see all the buds on the clematis. We had to chop loads back last year as it was clogging everything up. Buds mean flowers! We didn’t kill it!

And you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve been eating purple sprouting with nearly every dinner. There’s flipping loads of it now. I needn’t  have worried about it at all. Just had some patience. But now it needs to get over itself, my runner beans will need to go in that space.

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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

 

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!

 

A quick sewing project and garden changes

purple lining zipper purse

I enjoy little sewing projects. Usually, they’re  easy and don’t take that long to make up. Just before the weekend I made two identical purses to give out as presents for two birthday girls.

two pleated purses

I didn’t do so well with pressing, meaning, I didn’t really do it. And I should have. They would have looked really tidy if I’d been more careful with the iron. I didn’t not get the iron out, but neither did I use it every time I needed to. Rush rush and being lazy. Also, with a good press, both bags would have opened without the lining repeatedly getting stuck in the zip. One did, one didn’t.

sewn purse with pleats

The tutorial is by Skip to My Lou, and it is really easy to follow. I think it looks a bit more special than a plain purse. The only problem was that the zips I had were too short, so I added a small strip of extra fabric to each end of the zips to make up the length. I got the idea from here at fishsticksdesigns.com and I’m really pleased with the effect. Also, in that tutorial the zip is top stitched, which would help to stop the lining getting stuck in the zip. And, don’t sew too close to the zip teeth, that helps.

pink foxglove

The garden is in a lull. I think it is a common occurrence in June. All the spring flowers have gone or are looking sadly scruffy but the true summer flowers are not yet at full gusto.

erysimum wallflower

I’ve got straggly areas that I don’t know what to do with and they could look much better with some planning. Next year I would like some sweet william and centaurea please. The erysimum is a new addition and I like it, hope it’s happy too.

lupins and a busy bee

The lupins are now tired, however, the bees think they’re awesome and have been buzzing around them constantly. I will take pictures of other plants from now on, these have had their moment.

baby courgettes

It’s time to move on to the veg patch. Things are beginning to appear! I’m excited as I can be about courgettes coming. I’ve also got flowers on the sugarsnap peas and runner beans. I’ve had a couple of batches of spinach for dinner too. It’s all a bit behind other years, I’m sure, but I’m starting to feel relief that production has begun.

baby apple

And, I am so pleased about the apple tree. This is only the second time that fruit has decided to turn up to the party. I bet they get some hideous disease and wither from their branches.

playing in the garden

I love my garden. I hate chunky, plastic garden toys. I do like these wooden blocks though. There is an old baby walker they belong to. I’m not sure where it is at the moment but the blocks have been sat outside for a couple of weeks.

Anyway, This was a bit of a mish mash of garden pics that I’m not really happy with. I think it’s dissapointment that the thrill of spring flowers has past and I don’t know what is going to happen next…. Apart from some crochet, I  know that that is going to happen next. I’m going to get a move on with turning some circles into a blanket.

Deciding what to blog about

I bought new fabric!

I can’t decide what to blog about today. I fancy having some random pictures is the thing.  I bought some fabric a couple of weeks ago from a shop in Exmouth. Gorgeous fabric, expensive fabric, birthday money fabric. I have no clue what I will be making with it. Every now and then I stare at it, then I put it away in the fabric drawer.

vintage books

Last Thursday I went to Exeter for car mending and lunch. There is a bookcycle place down the bottom of the high street. The books are free but you give a donation (however much you feel the books are worth). Three per person, but I stole Husband’s allowance too. I found Ladybird books!!ladybird books

More Ladybird books to add to my collection! I love Ladybird books. I love jumbling for them, car booting for them and finding them in charity shops. They’re getting pricey these days though and hard to find.

basket of tricks

I’ve been rooting through my basket of tricks this week. It’s a massive mess in there but it’s full of all things awesome.

needle in the eye

I got the basket out to make some felt eyes for a project I’m working on. It’s mostly a crochet thing. A new pattern I’ve invented all by myself! A friend is going to help me design a PDF thingummy so that, I can maybe put them on here to download and ultimately (one day) sell stuff on Etsy. Or some such thing. Maybe. It’s alien to me at the moment but it’s important to learn new skills I suppose.

sunny garden

Here, more gardens pictures, ha! Next door is like a building site, I pretend it’s not there.

lupins and peony

The peonies are out but I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. They’re not that great. The clematis is on its last legs.

baby lupins

The best thing about the lupins is the leaves. A fantastic contrast to boring roundy leaves. There are loads of colourful spires on this one too.

lupins afternoon sun

Anyway, I think  I’m going to go and sit in the garden now (after I’ve done the washing up and hung out some laundry).

garden bench

And lastly, in this random collection of pictures, I would like to say Thank You to Joyful Solitude for nominating me for a blogging award. Wow! Such a fabulous thing to happen so soon. Must be doing something right! I googled it and haven’t found where the specific award comes from. My gut feeling tells me not to accept because I dont know what it is. Well, actually I’d love to accept but there are conditions of acceptance which, to me defeat the purpose of this space, which is that it is mine and I want to do my own thing.  To accept the award you’re supposed to tell seven things about yourself and nominate ten others for the award. I might be shooting myself in the foot, maybe I can defer for a while instead? I’m being a pooper at a party about such a nice thoughtful thing. Eh, I’m still thinking. Also, I’m still adjusting to blogging. It takes me ages to do any thing. For five years I said “I’m gonna start a blog tomorrow.”

hotwheels

Sorry, one more thing. My eldest (6) requested that I post this picture of his Hotwheels car. Here it is sat on a dusty shelf.

A cottage garden in spring.

my garden. spring rain.

It’s not really a cottage garden, it’s my garden made to (kind of) look like one. This is totally self indulgent but I want to record what the garden looks like at the moment because I think it’s pretty. Apart from round the side to the left, that’s a mess (mostly leftover stuff from the fancy pants new patio and kids stuff).

my cottage garden

It’s frequently changing and next week it probably won’t look the same at all. And then I’ll take more pictures and do another post…and I’ll become obsessed. I’m already a tiny bit obsessed.P1110436

 

We did the garden five years ago and it’s my job to keep the plants maintained. I kill quite a lot of plants but thankfully, most seem happy. The plants that die are most likely to have have poisoned by me because I was too liberal with fertiliser. Some of them definitely don’t enjoy overdosing on it. And other stuff just doesn’t like the soil, I guess. I don’t know what kind I have.P1110431

 

I am just getting into container planting at the moment. Pots look great in number but they do get thirsty. I’ve got a lupin in a pot and he seems to be enjoying it. Loads of flowers are going to pop up soon. The lupin in the bottom bed is already in flower, this guy is behind. If it’s got flowers, I suppose he is really a she. Whatever.

yellow rambling rose

This yellow rose is the first of what will be many on the rambler. Last year in a February storm, we chopped it back to a foot high because it was torn from its moorings. It spent the rest of last year recovering and growing. This year I reckon it’ll be fabulous. That’s If the green fly don’t attack it too much. And it does have a little bit of black spot and a touch of mildew too. I keep forgetting to spray it. Oops.P1110493

 

The alliums aren’t happy with me. They’re being drowned by a japanese anemone. I’ve pulled up some of the anemone to give them room but a few have given up and decided not to bother growing anymore. Fingers crossed I get at least five. Mind you, it’s not as if I planted any bulbs last autumn, they’re from the year before. More will have to go in this year.

Crikey, I never thought I’d geek out about gardening. I’ve started young. This is what old people do. harrumph.

flowers on my crochet doily

Still using my doily too!

In a few days I’ll put up some crochet pictures. I’m working on a blanket that’s not behaving itself.

One completed doily

spring garden in the morning

I took this photo yesterday morning around 6.30. It looked lovely in the garden. It was a bit cold but that didn’t stop two children barging past bare foot, in their pyjamas.

doily edge

I finished my doily. I got around to blocking it so that it looks neat and tidy. If I make this pattern again, I’ll add an extra round of single crochet in the main colour before embarking on the final two rounds of contrast colour. I think it would look neater this way.

cotton crochet doily

Now I just need to work out what to do with it. Where should I put it? Not got a clue! I’ve put it in various places but can’t work out what looks good. Maybe I’m not a doily person after all. It just looks daft. I’d better make another one, just to be sure.

blocking crochet doily

This was the blocking process; pinning it out on a piece of cardboard covered in a tea towel. I also put clingfilm round it to hold the tea towel in place. It got a light spraying of warm water and I left it until it was dry. The cardboard wasn’t that thick so I did manage to poke my legs with pins quite a few times.

pot plants for the patio

The garden looks good at the moment. I keep going out to take photographs but not quite achieving what I want.  Mind you, I don’t think I will, not without learning how to use the camera properly. I need to locate the instruction manual and become less of a “point n click” person.

speedwell in the oregano

There is speedwell growing in my herb bed, it decided to move in last year. It’s a good looking weed though so I don’t mind it being there. It’ll soon be overcome by the alarming amount of self seeded borage that’s started to show.

7am spring garden

I’m working on two crochet projects at the moment and a couple of sewing projects. It’s half term week though, so I’m not able to do as much as normal.