Garden joy

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending lots more time in my garden.  We saved up a couple of years ago and last year had the garden re-landscaped to a design of mine.  It had been devastating over the last few years as the amount of rain increased and the time taken for the water to drain increased with it.  At some points I think we were flooded for several months at a time.  We even had a regular heron visitor, but the icing on the cake was when we had a pair of mallard ducks swimming around where the lawn had once been!

We took the decision to do something which had to include some drainage solution and I put together a few sketches of ideas we could work with.  It was certainly a big plan and one we couldn’t have done ourselves, but our landscaper was fantastic and he was able to do all the drainage works and (with a few modifications) put my sketches into place.

The garden has now been put into zones.  We have a patio (using stones from the original garden), a border, a wildlife area and a grassy arbour with seat (daughter’s zone).  And I love it.  It’s such a great space to be and somewhere I’m thrilled I have in the current times.

We reused as much as we possibly could from the garden -well what had managed to survive the constant waterlogging anyway and it’s been great since to see what is popping up around the place.  Some of the offcuts from the sleepers used to raise the zones were used to make a seat and a little raised bed which we planted with strawberries and they are doing fantastically this year – we planted the runners from the original plants and they are obviously happy.

Equally happy are the cats.  This is Lily enjoying the sleepers, we often find her hiding under the plants or rolling about on the lawn, which is also doing well now we have better drainage.

My wildlife pond looks good too.  I’m amazed how much life there is in it considering it’s only been there for a year.  We have found several frogs and newts too, as well as lots of little bug life – pond skaters, water boatmen and whirly-gig beetles are a regular sight.

I have taken the time to plant some seeds this year too.  We have a patio up by the house and the rest of the garden is down a few steps and as we face south it is a fabulous sun trap.  So I have decided to see what comes up from several old packets of seeds from the garage.  I love poppies and I was pleased to see this little beauty pop up in a trough of seeds for the bees – although not much else seems to be joining it at the moment.

Before we ended up in lockdown, I bought some seeds from Aldi which had several different vegetables and herbs in.  I only planted these broad beans about a week ago and they are already showing their faces.

I am so pleased with the way everything is growing so well this Spring.  And I hope I will see some more flowers soon as well as the blossom on the trees.  Fingers crossed we also get some rain to add to all the sunshine as I could do with a few days indoors catching up with all my indoor projects too!

Stay safe and happy crafting

x

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Lions on lockdown

The weather this last couple of weeks has been nothing short of glorious up here in our little corner of East Lancashire.  I can’t quite believe it’s only April.  This has meant I’ve been finishing off my lions in the evening rather than during the afternoon, as it’s been too nice to not get out and do some gardening.

I am now pleased to say that I have finished the first toys from my work-in-progress bag.  Let me introduce to you Lenny the Lion.  He’s the second yellow lion I have made to the Steffi Hochfellner pattern and he’s a real cutey.

Unlike his best mate Rockstar!

This one has always wanted to be a rockstar and is loving the fact he can’t have a haircut during lockdown.  I think he really rocks the long mane look though and he’s not at all mean or moody.

With the weather being so lovely and not having done much exercise, we headed out to the garden for a mini adventure.  The lions quite enjoyed roving through the long grass (chives).

And then the scaled the magnolia tree for a better look at their kingdom.  They were joined by little blue lion, who isn’t quite finished yet.

After the magnolia tree, Lenny scaled the cherry, carefully avoiding knocking the blossom off.  He was desperate to get to the top and enjoy the sunny views with his friend.

Little blue was left at the bottom for a while as he struggles to climb without any back legs!  But the others helped him up for a tree top chat.

Lenny ended his adventure photoshoot with a relax by the waterhole (my wildlife pond).  I don’t think he spotted the frog or he might have gotten a bit wet!

It’s been lovely seeing the bright colours out in the garden and the lions just added a bit of fun to the day.  I shall get on with giving poor little blue some much needed back legs and an extra bit of mane as he’s still a little bald at the back (don’t tell him though).

Stay safe and Happy crafting

x

 

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Growing Kittens

I mentioned back at the end of December that I have adopted two abandoned kittens and they are certainly making their presence felt in the household. We have gone through a tough period of settling in. George in particular has taken his time in getting used to us all, but things are starting to settle down.

They have both had a series of trips to the vet, for check ups, injections, weight monitoring and neutering.

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But I am now pleased to say that they have a clean bill of health and have started to explore the wider environment. They are both still quite timid with other people and strange noises, but I’m not too bothered about that as it is keeping them close to home. It took over a week of being let outside for them to go further than the patio outside the kitchen door, and they much prefer it if I go out with them. Goodness knows what they will be like when the encounter another cat – and we do have a few around the neighbourhood!

So here they are in all their glory, climbing the trees and shrubs.

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Both of them have grown a lot in the four months they have been with us. I think George is going to be a big lad, and Lily is all set to be a dainty little thing. They are both very keen on my crafting! Not surprisingly they love my bags of yarn, so I have had to be much more disciplined at putting everything away when finished with. Of course, I still indulge them with the odd pom -pom and piece of yarn to chase.

What has surprised me most is how George just loves the cursor on the computer screen, so I frequently have a little ‘helper’ when I’m on the pc. The best part though is when I’m snuggled up on the settee with some crochet or knitting and I’m joined by them both, Lily on my knee …..

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and George has taken a liking to my project bag! (I’m not sure he’ll be able to fit in it for long though).

Ah well, they are growing fast and are great company although it is somewhat distracting when a kitten decides to jump on my desk while I’m working!

Happy crafting
x

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Boxing Day Floods

Having spent Christmas in the South West with my inlaws, I missed being part of the floods at home. It was rather upsetting watching it from a distance, trying to keep up with exactly which parts of Bury were flooded or were going to flood. I spent most of Boxing Day glued to facebook and the bbc news. Several friends and family members lost power for a time, and I was dreading what we would return home too.

We arrived home last night and couldn’t see very much in the dark, I was expecting the worst though! So I’ve just been out to feed the birds, and this is my back garden!

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More like a lake, and this is almost 48 hours after the rain subsided! It much have been awful on Boxing Day itself. Fortunately, the house is several feet above the garden level, but I’m really glad I hadn’t followed through with my wish to have a shed / studio space at the bottom of the garden, I don’t think there would have been much left to salvage! I think I shall persevere with my little craft space in the spare room for the time being.

But we got off quite lightly compared to many in the local area. There is a road bridge out of action because of the pub collapsing in Summerseat, and a couple of footbridges are having to be demolished. And we’re set for more rain to come. I hope 2016 brings a drier Summer!

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